Lose liquid calories

Think about your beverages – because what's in your cup can make or break your diet.

A few wrong drink choices can trickle in more than 1,000 calories per day. Just eight ounces of orange juice contains 100 calories, a large skim milk caramel coffee drink has 380 calories, a 16-ounce soda has 200 calories, and a medium fruit smoothie is worth 340 calories. Shaving these extra daily drink calories can lead to almost a two-pound weight loss a week.

Though fluid needs vary from person to person, the Institute of Medicine recommends that women drink about nine glasses (72 ounces total) of fluid a day, and men about 12 1/2 glasses (100 ounces total).


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Choose beverages that have 15 calories or less per serving, such as unsweetened tea (herbal, black or green), coffee, and club soda (with a twist of lemon, lime or orange). While diet sodas are better than their high-calorie counterparts, you should drink them only occasionally because they might work against you if you are trying to lose weight: It turns out that the more diet soda you drink, the more likely you are to gain weight, according to research presented at this year's American Diabetes Association's annual meeting.

Experts suspect that many diet-soda drinkers mistakenly think the low-calorie drink significantly lowers the overall calorie content of a high-calorie meal.

Of course, nothing beats water when it comes to quenching thirst and keeping you hydrated, but if you need something with a little flavor, try these slimming sippers:

Instead of sweetened iced tea, try lemon-lime seltzer or plain seltzer with a squeeze of lemon or lime.

Instead of fruity drinks, try mixing in flavor packets in 16 ounces of water.

Instead of cola, try mixing 8 ounces of a (seasoned) tea with eight ounces of seltzer and one teaspoon honey.