Tag Archives: empty calories

Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper Actually Want You to Drink Less Soda

soda

There may have finally been a breakthrough. Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper have all announced that they plan to work to reduce the number of calories Americans get from beverages by 20 percent in the next decade.

The announcement was made at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City. Soda makers are facing increasing amounts of pressure to do something as sugary drinks continue to contribute to rising obesity rates.

Though obesity rates are still going up, there’s no denying that the idea of being healthier is appealing to more and more people. The last several years have seen customers moving away from consuming soda.

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NYE Party Planning: Stop the Scale from Springing Forward When the Clock Does

New Year’s Eve. A night of champagne toasts, smooching loved ones, staying up way too late, and boogying the night away. At the start of the year this is feels like a fitting celebration. But it’s important to remember that calories still count on special occasions, no matter how much you’d like to think otherwise. One night of overdoing it can set you back several steps when it comes to meeting your resolutions. As in, if you wake up on January 1 feeling tired, hung-over, and a few pounds heavier than on December 31st, chances are slim you’ll reach for a healthy, well-balanced breakfast first thing of the morning. So, have fun, but plan ahead.

NYE dancing

Try to drink at least a glass of water between each cocktail—this will slow your rate of drinking, hydrate your body, and may even help you drink less overall. And be choosy about what you put into your body. Remember, sugary-tasting drinks are usually pretty high in calories. Choosing to mix liquor with soda instead of tonic water can save you hundreds of calories by the end of the night. Finally, to negate all of those extra calories you do consume, start dancing. Dancing is a great way to kickstart the metabolism, plus it’s fun to do!

Here’s how long you’ll have to shake it to burn off these popular these popular drinks:

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How a Busy Person Can Easily Lose Weight

In the modern day we live in people are leading more hectic lives than ever before. It seems that we are always running around trying to get as much done as possible in the 24 hours that we have been given in a day.

So whenever we begin to think about slowing down and working to lose all that excess weight we are carrying we begin to think about things such as personal trainers, long tedious hours in the gym, expensive and tasteless food, and working day and night trying to prepare it all to eat.

But this idea that most people have of what it takes to lose weight is far from the reality. You can easily lose weight if you implement a few solid principles into your life.

The most important thing to do is avoid those scams out there, such as weight loss pills. They just don’t work!

The following tips will help you lose weight fast: (more…)

McDonald’s Posting Nutrition Information on Menus Nationwide, but Will it Do Any Good?

Ever wonder how many calories are in a McDonald’s meal? If you do want to know just how nutritionally void that Big Mac is, you would have to pull up the information on the restaurant’s web site. Until now!

Today, the corporation announced that they will list nutrition information on restaurant and drive-thru menus nationwide. President Obama’s new health regulation requires restaurant chains to post calorie information. McDonald’s move comes ahead of federal government regulation that could require major chains to post nutrition information as early as next year.

Jan Fields, president of McDonald’s USA, said in a press release that the company volunteered to give out their nutrition information. “We believe it will help educate customers.”

I asked our resident dietitian, Mary Hartley, what she thinks of McDonald’s providing their nutrition information, and she said, “It’s good publicity and they (McDonalds) know it really won’t make a difference, but who knows what will happen over time. Many people have no idea of how many calories they need and so the information is meaningless.” She points to the fact that New York City has required calories posted on menus for several years and it’s done little to change buyer behavior there. (more…)

SkinnyGirl Cocktails Eliminated from Whole Foods’ Shelves

Natural grocer Whole Foods recently decided to pull the popular SkinnyGirl cocktail line from their shelves.

Whole Foods claims that the low calorie alcohol beverages contain unnatural ingredients. Lisa DeFazio, MS, RD, and Hollywood Nutrition Expert, said that Whole Foods allegedly removed the popular beverages because they contained caramel coloring, which was not within their definition of “natural.”

According to the Whole Foods blog, natural can be quite a complicated definition.

“‘Natural,’ on the other hand, doesn’t have a strong governmental definition when it comes to food, so my team (the Quality Standards Team) spends quite a lot of time defining which ingredients make up the natural foods we sell in our stores. The basic tenets of our standard require that our products are free of artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners and hydrogenated fats,” Joe Dickson, Global Quality Standards Coordinator for Whole Foods wrote.

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Americans are Snacking Their Way to Weight Gain

For many people, snacking can be part of a healthy diet that can lead to effective weight loss. However, according to research presented at the 2011 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo, snacking, as well as beverage consumption outside of a regular meal, continues to increase among Americans, accounting for more than 25 percent of calorie intake each day.

Between 1977 and 2006, snacking in the American diet has grown to constitute “a full eating event,” or a fourth meal consisting of about 580 calories daily, according to Dr. Richard D. Mattes, Ph.D., professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University.

While overall, snacking has increased, “there has been a significant increase in the amount of calories consumed through beverages,” said Mattes.  Beverages are estimated to account for 50 percent of all calories consumed through snacking.

According to Mattes, many Americans don’t equate beverage intake with calorie intake so they are less likely to count these calories or make up for the excess by cutting back elsewhere in their diets.

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Alcohol Also Slows Your Metabolism

A lot of people think alcohol is such a dieting disaster because of the excess calories, but it harms your weight loss efforts in a different way, too.

The majority of the population today fails to lose weight or stick to a weight management program due to the fact that they refuse to make the simple lifestyle changes necessary to do so. Everyone knows the difference between a high fat diet, full of hamburgers and french fries, and a low fat diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables. Everyone knows the benefits of exercise and how it can impact their lives for the better.

Another big issue today is alcohol. Alcohol is a total diet killer and completely harmful to the body. Alcoholic drinks are not only diuretics, but full of empty calories, loaded with sugar and salt, hinders performance, and can lead to severe liver diseases.

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Save Money and Calories On Your Next Grocery Trip

In 2009 the U.S. Department of Labor reported that the average American family of four spends $8,513 per year on groceries. That’s a lot of trips to the market and probably a lot of empty calories purchased each week.

While some people can afford to splurge on premium ingredients and brand names, the grocery store is also one of the most common places where people overspend.

“Take your grocery list to the store when you shop,” said Teri Gault, CEO of TheGroceryGame.com “Don’t buy groceries that you don’t need. If you have a list of everything you’ll need for the next few weeks, you’ll gather all the ingredients you need while saving money and avoiding the panic of the last minute rush.”

Follow some of our tips to keep your grocery budget to a minimum – and your grocery list full of healthy food.

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Healthier Beer Choices for Oktoberfest

When you hear “Oktoberfest“, what comes to mind? If you are anything like me, it’s beer. Beer can be a caloric bomb, though, next bringing to mind the term “beer belly”.

Beer doesn’t contain fat; however, it does have tons of carbohydrates, protein and alcohol- and that’s it. Beer is the epitome of empty calories, giving you all the calories with no vitamins, minerals or redeeming health qualities whatsoever. A gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories, a gram of protein 4 calories, and a gram of alcohol has a little over 7 calories. This is why different beers can have higher calorie counts in relation to their alcohol content.

To keep things in perspective, I found this information online at realbeer.com: “A five-ounce glass of wine contains about 125 calories; one ounce of distilled spirits, 90 proof, 75 calories. Beyond the world of alcohol: an eight-ounce glass of milk has 160 calories, one ounce of potato chips 160 calories, a banana split 550 calories, and a Burger King Whopper 650 calories. Oh yeah, just six French fries have 12 grams of fat (about as many calories as a light beer).” (more…)

Consider Calorie Impact of Alcoholic Beverages

jamie-lyn-pittmanJamie Pittman is currently a graduate student at East Carolina University where she is obtaining her MAEd in Health Education.  She also works full-time as a grant coordinator at the North Carolina Alliance for Athletics, Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NCAAHPERD) in Raleigh, NC. Jamie is also an active member of MyDIR, the DietsInReview.com community.

Week after week friends complain to me that they “can’t lose weight,” that they are doing “EVERYTHING!” and their weight just won’t budge.  These same people go out and drink five or more drinks at least one to two nights a week.  You might think–what’s the harm in a little social drinking?  You should be allowed at least one “cheat” day a week where you can eat and drink whatever you want, right?

Alcohol contains calories (I promise—all alcohol contains calories!), 7 calories per gram to be exact and they add up quickly.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cites that the average alcoholic beverage is 13.7 grams, or about 96 calories. (more…)