We often know which foods to choose when following a healthy eating diet plan to lose weight but which drink choices should we make?
Lots of water is the best but what about when you’d like something different throughout the day.
Below are details about a number of drinks to help you make healthy choices to incorporate into your weekly healthy meal plans:
The best choice of all when it comes to healthy drinks. You should aim to drink 8 glasses a day and start the day with a glass of warm water with lemon juice squeezed into it.
If you love coffee then it is ok to continue to drink it whilst following a healthy diet plan. Decaf is best when pregnant or breastfeeding (consult your doctor to find out what’s most suitable for you though). A 300ml latte with skim milk is approx 173cal. You can read some more details about the pros and cons of drinking coffee when losing weight here.
Tea is usually a better choice over coffee. If you need the caffeine hit then drinking black, caffeinated tea is ok but like coffee, keep your intake down to around 1-2 cups a day. A 200ml cup of black tea (without milk or sugar) is only around 2 calories. When you add a teaspoon of sugar the calories increase to approximately 15 calories and if adding 50ml of skim milk then add another 20 calories.
Herbal tea is a great choice when it comes to hot drinks. Drinking 3-4 cups a day is really good to increase your fluid intake and can be counted as part of your daily water intake totals.
There are a number of herbal teas to choose from these days and many claim to have various benefits. Green Tea and White Tea are popular and contain antioxidants that are good for your health. They have also been known to assist in weight loss. A 200ml cup of green tea only contains approximately 1 calorie.
It is ok to have a glass of juice when following a healthy eating diet plan but you need to be really mindful about which brand you choose, where the fruit is sourced and how much sugar and preservatives have been added.
Fruit naturally contains sugars so sometimes a glass of juice can contain as much sugar as a glass of soft drink, especially if sugar has been added.
Choose a brand of juice that uses Australian fruit and doesn’t contain any added sugar or preservatives. You can read more about choosing the right juices here. A 200ml glass of reconstituted orange juice like the Berri brand is around 91 calories.
If you do want to drink juice, only have it occasionally and if possible make or purchase a fresh juice that only contains the fruit, no additives like reconstituted juice to bulk it up.
250mls of freshly squeezed apple, carrot and orange juice contains approximately 80 calories. With fresh juice you can also get some vitamin and mineral benefits by adding veggies.
Having a glass of milk or adding milk to your Healthy Mummy Smoothies is often a good choice when choosing a healthy drink. But like other drink options you need to be aware of what type of milk to choose and how different milks vary.
You may have to choose an alternative to dairy due to intolerance but if not then it’s great to try some other milks like almond milk, soy milk or rice milk to see if you like them as these can often be easier to digest and contain less sugars than cow’s milk. Read more about various milk options here.
In general a 250ml glass of skim, cow’s milk contains approximately 123 calories with 13 grams of sugar whereas a 250ml glass of almond milk contains only 78 calories and 11 grams of sugar (but you can reduce this considerably buy using unsweetened Almond Milk)
Soft drinks and cordial
These sugary drinks really don’t have a place in a healthy eating diet plan but it is important to have balance so that your healthy meal plans can easily be incorporated into your lifestyle, so you can stick to them. Completely depriving yourself of some foods and drinks can end up with you wanting to binge on them.
If you have an occasional soft drink or cordial you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Just know what you’re consuming and try to choose a healthier option where possible. For example it is much better to have plain mineral water or soda water mixed with a small amount of cordial rather than a pre-mixed soft drink. Or mix mineral water with a small amount of juice.
- Mineral Water 200ml with 50ml of reconstituted orange juice: approx 30 calories
- Mineral Water 200ml with 25ml of cordial: approx 15 calories
- Coca Cola 375ml: 161 calories and just under 10 teaspoons of sugar.
- Lemonade 375ml: 124 calories and almost 8 teaspoons of sugar.
- Ginger beer 375ml: 165 calories and 10 teaspoons of sugar.
- Red Bull 250ml: 115 calories and almost 7 teaspoons of sugar.
- Powerade 600ml: 186 calories and 9 teaspoons of sugar.