So, what should we do to control the liquid portion of portion control? First of all think before you drink. That “free-refill” of sweet tea may be costing you a belt notch or two over time. Here’s what to consider when you're adding a soft drink to your fast food combo, grabbing a fruit juice out of the cooler at your favorite sandwich place or when the server asks, “What would you like to drink?”
Water’s the Winner- Water is of course calorie free and the ultimate thirst quencher. But, if you think it can be a bit boring, add a splash of fruit juice to make your own flavored water. Zero calorie fruit flavored waters with no added sugars are a good choice, too.
Enhanced Waters- These products add everything from herbs to vitamins to the watery mix. Many are artificially sweetened to keep calorie levels down, but make sure to read Nutrition Facts label and choose one with less than 20 calories per 8 ounce serving.
Sports Drinks- They may be associated with winning big on the tennis court or cooling you down after mowing the lawn, but their dehydration fighting electrolytes come with a calorie price tag because of their sugar content. So, you might try the new crop of artificially sweetened lower calorie sports drinks available today.
And even though pitchers of free flowing super sugary sweet tea are a Southern institution, why not update tradition and ask for a customized mix? Try 90% unsweetened and 10% sweet tea in your glass. You’ll save hundreds of calories and you still get a hint of sweet tea taste. At fast food places, I add a splash of lemonade to the unsweetened ice tea.