Step Away From the (insert name of calorie filled beverage here....)

I hate diets that restrict you from eating things.  I want to be able to eat that donut, pizza or mac and cheese, guilt free.  I want to be able to drink that damn margarita.  But I do have one rule...

OK OK OK -- before all you smoothie, juice and pumpkin spice latte lovers come at me with your sharp straws -- hear me out!

Twenty-some years ago, when I was just a kid, I was on a weight roller coaster.  I would get pudgy then grow a few inches... get pudgy then grow ... in cycles.  I was never "overweight" by medical terms (at least I didn't know it if I was), but I do remember a doctor's appointment where I was lectured by my pediatrician about choosing fruit over cookies.  Of course there are also those photos from my past that definitely make me cringe and I did get teased about my weight by the boys my brother played baseball with over the summers.

I always played sports and danced so thankfully my active life didn't let things get totally out of control.  I just always loved food and I didn't know how to eat healthy when my mom wasn't around to cook for me.  When I got to high school and dieting became the "IT" thing to do, I did make my first diet rule for myself.  And this one stuck with me from then on out...

Thou shall not drink beverages that contain calories. *

*Some of my exceptions:

with calorie-free mixers 
post workout or as meal replacement
b/c I can't eat my lucky charms with water

Before I go on to discuss anything else, I want to hammer this point home....  

When I cut out the non-diet soda, sports drinks, energy drinks and juices, the weight literally melted off of me.  Not kidding, calorie laden beverages were the only thing I cut out.

Let's talk calories...  

The average large soda at a fast food restaurant : 310 calories
The average grande coffee drink at Starbucks : 380 calories
The average 16oz blended coffee drink : 560 calories
The average 16oz blended fruit smoothie : 380 calories
The average 16oz cold pressed or fresh squeezed juice: 230 calories

This is all fine and dandy until I think about people having said beverage in addition to their meals... for those calories I would rather eat food!  Now, not everyone has the time every morning to sit down to a delicious balance breakfast and would prefer sucking down a protein smoothie.  I cannot stress enough that this is not a problem.  I preach to do what works for you.  But I also want to preach that dropping a few pounds could be as easy as cutting this stuff out... or just being aware of what you're taking in through that straw and tracking it properly.  

So I know you're all thinking it.... YES, I'm the person that goes to Mcdonald's and orders a cheeseburger, fries and a freaking diet coke.  But hey, it works for me.  

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