Numbers to Live By!!

Explore six simple lifestyle habits that can significantly improve health and wellness. Live 54321+8® Countdown to Your Health Lesson Plans features lessons that get middle and high school students thinking about ways to keep themselves healthy using a countdown approach:

• 5 servings of fruits and vegetables
• 4 glasses of water
• 3 good laughs
• 2 hours or less screen time
• 1 hour of physical activity
• 8 or more hours of sleep

 

 

What Do You Drink? It Makes More Difference Than You Think!

Calories in drinks are not hidden (they’re listed right on the Nutrition Facts label), but many people don’t realize just how many calories beverages can contribute to their daily intake. As you can see in the example on the next page, calories from drinks can really add up. But there is good news: you have plenty of options for reducing the number of calories in what you drink.

Learn To Read Nutrition Facts Carefully

Be aware that the Nutrition Facts label on beverage containers may give the calories for only part of the contents. The example below shows the label on a 20- oz. bottle. As you can see, it lists the number of calories in an 8-oz. serving (100) even though the bottle contains 20 oz. or 2.5 servings. To figure out how many calories are in the whole bottle, you need to multiply the number of calories in one serving by the number of servings in the bottle (100 x 2.5).You can see that the contents of the entire bottle actually contain 250 calories even though what the label calls a "serving" only contains 100.This shows that you need to look closely at the serving size when comparing the calorie content of different beverages.

High-Calorie Culprits in Unexpected Places

Coffee drinks and blended fruit smoothies sound innocent enough, but the calories in some of your favorite coffee-shop or smoothie-stand items may surprise you. Check the website or in-store nutrition information of your favorite coffee or smoothie shop to find out how many calories are in different menu items. And when a smoothie or coffee craving kicks in, here are some tips to help minimize the caloric damage:

At the coffee shop:

Request that your drink be made with fat-free (skim) milk instead of whole milk.

Order the smallest size available.

Forgo the extra flavoring—the flavor syrups used in coffee shops, like vanilla or hazelnut, are sugar-sweetened and will add calories to your drink. • • •

Skip the Whip. The whipped cream on top of coffee drinks adds calories and fat.

Get back to basics. Order a plain cup of coffee with fat-free milk and artificial sweetener, or drink it black.

Now that you know how much difference a drink can make, here are some ways to make smart beverage choices:

Choose water, diet, or low-calorie beverages instead of sugar-sweetened beverages.

For a quick, easy, and inexpensive thirst-quencher, carry a water bottle and refill it throughout the day.

Don’t "stock the fridge" with sugar-sweetened beverages. Instead, keep a jug or bottles of cold water in the fridge.

Serve water with meals.

Make water more exciting by adding slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, or watermelon, or drink sparkling water.

Add a splash of 100% juice to plain sparkling water for a refreshing, low-calorie drink.

When you do opt for a sugar-sweetened beverage, go for the small size. Some companies are now selling 8- oz. cans and bottles of soda, which contain about 100 calories.

Be a role model for your friends and family by choosing healthy, low-calorie beverages.

 
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