Liquid meals and snacks are quick to prepare and easy to consume on the go – the ideal solution for our modern, multitasking way of living.  From juicing and smoothies to sports recovery drink or mocha Frappuccino the beverages give us quick, instant satisfaction.

Studies show that many of us to do not factor in the calories of liquids we consume (both mentally and physically) and this may cause us to over consume in more ways than one.

Mentally, we just do not seem to register that the 16-ounce Jamba Purely Carrot Juice contains 130 calories, 26 grams of sugar and zero fiber. And for reference, 26 grams of sugar is equal to 6.5 teaspoons of sugar. Now 130 calories are not a Snickers bar (215 calories) but the Snickers has less sugar (20 grams), more fiber and protein and you generally count/register the calories. Liquids just seem to evaporate, and they do so all day long…coffee with cream &/or sugar, that smoothie or juice, more coffee with cream, the lemonade at lunch, the afternoon beverage, the glass of wine after work…it all adds up.

Physically, it takes approximately 18 whole medium-sized carrots to make 16 ounces of carrot juice. Eighteen carrots is not something most of us would consume in one sitting or all day for that matter. But if we did, we would also get 36 grams of fiber, 14 extra grams of protein, more stable blood sugar and a satisfied tummy for a much longer period.

The physical aspects of eating whole foods starts with our eyes and our nose. Simply seeing and smelling foods starts the digestion process. But chewing is what really kicks in the fact that you are eating. A study posted in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, found that the body responds differently to liquid and solid foods and that solid foods makes us feel fuller/more satisfied and can stave off hunger longer; thereby potentially saving calories.

Now, I am not suggesting that we should not enjoy or use liquid foods. When they are well made they can add value and convenience to our lives. We simply need to be conscious of the fact that when we consume liquid foods we are consuming calories and we need to adjust our overall diet to accommodate them. We should also “chew” our liquids. This simple act can possibly trick our system into thinking we are eating instead of just drinking. Just food for thought…. let me know what you think!