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I Had a Drinking Problem

I Had a Drinking Problem

Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.

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  1. Roz@weightingfor50

    Hi Lisa, GREAT post. It’s incredible how many calories we can take in with liquids isn’t it?? Hope the week ahead is a good one. All the best.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      It’s quite eye-opening if you write it all down!

  2. Beth @ Beth's Journey

    Wow that really is eye opening to see how many calories a day you were drinking!! I’ve always been pretty conscious about not drinking my calories, and like you, I drink water, unsweetened iced tea, and seltzer normally. I used to ahve vodka cranberries out at bars, but now I have vodka sodas and I like them better! If I feel sick to my stomach, sometimes I’ll drink regular coke or ginger ale, but i rarely drink soda, and if i do, it’s diet.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Isn’t it shocking, Beth?! I wonder if you were the same as me back in the day?

      I switched to vodka sodas too. 100 calories or so and just as tasty!

  3. kalin

    I’m not a calorie drinker-my biggest vice is a lot of creamer in my coffee. And because I love the creamer I use the scary sugar free chemical stuff. (Cause I’ve measured and with real cream? Yikes. It’s too many calories. Creamer is my one processed food vice). I drink seltzer water (Talking Rain!). I used to drink Diet Coke, but I don’t like the caffeine addiction it brings with it.
    In college I have many memories of buying diet cranberry juice as a mixer. A study came out while I was in undergrad about how using diet beverages as a mixer got you drunk faster. We, being smart young people, thought is made our mixer of choice even more awesome. Not only were our drinks low cal, we could drink fewer to get drunk! Win win!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I had no idea that diet juice made you drunker faster. Too funny!

      I’m with you on the coffee creamer. I use it too because I am so not a black coffee drinker. I have 1 cup of coffee Monday-Friday and I put coffee creamer in it. I figure it’s okay. Coffee itself isn’t high in calories, just the stuff you add to it….But my 60 calorie coffee drink that I enjoy now is a far cry from the 800 calories coffee drinks I USED to have!

  4. Jennifer

    I’ve never been one to drink my calories, though I do like juice and lemonade. I was addicted to Diet Coke and it was unhealthy. It made me feel bloated and, I’m sure, made me snack more (as research has shown). I never drink juice now unless I’m sick, as you said, but I do have Diet Coke now and then. I miss the taste and the bubbles, but not the bloated feeling. So I need to stay away from it! Usually I drink water and unsweetened iced tea too.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      That’s great that you never really fell into that trap. I also see that when I drink diet soda I crave junk food. I suddenly want chocolate or chips. It’s weird!

      I LOVE that I switched to sparkling water. I feel sooo much better when I drink it.

  5. Eleah

    It’s pretty common to be ignorant about how many calories are in drinks. This reminds me of those new billboards that have a photo of a soda and say, “You just drank 16 packs of sugar!”
    I drink espresso from home in the morning with plain organic soymilk, so about 40-60 calories. If I have smoothies, they’re usually in place of a meal. And I drink beer/wine no more than once per week.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I’ve seen those billboards on the bus! It’s nuts! I wish I had seen those ads about sugar and soda back then. I think that would have shocked me into making changes. I cannot believe how much sugar is in everything.

  6. Kris @Krazy_Kris

    WOW! What a great post! Isn’t it funny how little by little our habits can get out of hand? And yes, I DID notice you weren’t drinking water (uh – I know from experience) – and for me, the “thirst” signal is STILL so elusive… I don’t really get thirsty (I don’t think), but I get cranky, down, crave sweets, lethargic and I think those are all sideways thirst signals for me. I’m not a big calorie counter, because it can be kinda depressing (I’m having a love affair with almonds right now), but it is eye opening – even if very frightening! Thanks for sharing Lisa!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      You make an amazing point, Kris–even NOW I struggle with listening to my “thirst signals.” I OFTEN confuse them for hunger pains when in reality I’m just really thirsty. I am trying to be better about drinking water and going to water before food.

  7. cindylu

    I pretty much stopped drinking soda at 19. Instead, I drank a lot of water, sometimes juice, sweetened iced tea and the occasional chai tea latte. I didn’t drink much skim milk (now I have it in smoothies or with cereal). I wasn’t trying to be healthy, I was just cheap. Juice is pricey. So is alcohol. I did drink alcohol, but not much out of concern for my wallet, trying to be responsible (I often had to drive).

    Not drinking my calories and getting plenty of water were probably the easiest part of losing weight for me.

    On long or hard run days, I have Gatorade on the run and chocolate milk post-run. I’ve also developed a Diet Coke habit, but that’s maybe 2xs a week. I prefer the tiny 8 oz cans. I’m not a daily coffee drinker. I usually drink about half a cup, but I do add sugar and creamer. I can’t drink it otherwise. As for alcohol, I have beer or wine a few time a month.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Glad you brought up Gatorade. That’s another “iffy” one for me. I try not to drink it unless I’m hiking/biking/running. It’s an easy go-to drink during the summer so I have to remind myself to limit that.

  8. Jill

    WOW! That really puts things into perspective! That is a lot of liquid calories. That is where a food journal has been so helpful for me in losing weight. Sometimes we just pop things into our mouths without giving it a second thought. Calories add up quickly!!

    Dr Pepper was my all time favorite! I miss him sometimes! 🙂

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I do have some Diet Dr. Pepper once in awhile. 😉

      I am totally for food journals/calorie trackers/apps etc. It makes a HUGE difference. Often when I try to calculate/estimate in my head I under calculate. Plus, those little extra bites and nibbles add up fast too.

  9. Carly D. @ CarlyBananas

    Have you seen the NYC Department of Health “Don’t Drink Yourself Fat” ad campaign. It’s so graphic that I immediately stopped drinking soda. I occasionally have a ginger ale when I have a stomach ache or want something carbonated but that’s rare. It’s scary to think about how much sugar there is in beverages!


    1. Lisa Eirene

      Oh my god yeah! That video is VILE. It makes my stomach churn at the sight of it! What a brilliant campaign.

  10. steena

    I used to drink white russians too, THEY’RE SO GOOD!!!
    But yeah, liquid calories go down quick!
    I think in the summer I consume more liquid calories than in the winter because I go through bottle of Gatorade through the course of the day. I do that though to try & get my electrolytes that I need to be an athlete in the summer.
    Of all those drinks to kick, soda was the best to go!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      My doctor recommended I drink Gatorade last summer. I was having dizzy spells pretty badly and I was worried that running outside during the summer I’d collapse somewhere. She said my electrolytes were probably off. So I think drinking my calories is okay in the summer–like you said. Athletes need that stuff IF they are burning the calories!

  11. Mary

    I never liked juice or milk, but I was definitely addicted to diet soda and fizzy water (like seltzer, but with artificial sweetener). I gave it all up for just water or unsweetened tea – even if there are no calories, I decided I didn’t need the chemicals!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Good for you not liking milk and juice. I grew up drinking that stuff and I loved it.

  12. Shrinking mommy of 2

    Yeah, isn’t is amazing how you can drink calories without really thinking about it. That is why I don’t drink much but water. I add the crystal light packets to change up the water. I have told many people who want to buy me a flavored coffee or slushie, etc that I don’t want it b/c I would rather Eat my calories than drink them.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Totally! I’d much rather splurge and spend 300 calories on some ice cream than a fruity drink!

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