RD Q and A: What's the Deal with Sugary Foods and Drinks

Cliff Notes:

1) Sugary foods, drinks and alcohol are ultimately empty calories for your body and are unnecessary.

2) Track your food to see how many items you're eating or drinking from each category.

3) Having food prepared ahead of time gives you options when you reach for a snack between meals.


During the 21-Day Shred, our goal is to combine effective exercise strategies with nutrition education to help participants meet their fat loss and fitness goals. We guide everyone through the 10 nutrition habits we promote, which lay the foundation for a life time of healthy eating. 

There is no “diet,” just the food you eat. Food gives the body signals, encouraging hormone production, which in turn creates the body you see in front of you. If you’re unhappy with what you see in the mirror, one of the first things to consider is the food you’re putting into your body. 

Diets are synonymous with restriction. Instead of a diet or meal plan, we promote guidelines or habits. These become “rules of the road.” To navigate the path to a healthier body, you have to do certain things. Simple changes like having protein and vegetables with every meal can make a big difference on your body composition. 

The first thing we ask people to do is food journal to give you and your coach perspective on what’s going into your body. We then analyze that food journal to decide what habit will help you get to the next level. One of the things we single out while analyzing is sugary foods, sugary drinks and alcohol. 

In a video we released yesterday, Coach Ed tells us that these “sweet” additions to our diet are unnecessary. The average American consumes 32 teaspoons of sugar a day. This is about 126 grams. That’s “only” 3 cans of Coke, daily (1,095 cans per year). In the end, sugary foods and drinks are very low in terms of benefits for your body. Through our habits, we encourage people to prepare their food ahead of time, giving them the tools to make better choices when they reach for a 3pm snack. Small changes like this can reduce your sugar consumption and ultimately make you healthier. 

Bottom line: sugary foods and drinks are unnecessary but are superfluous through our society. At RD recommends cutting sugar out, because people feel huge benefits from it. However, if sugary snacks are your treat, based on our system, you get 3 sugary foods, sugary drinks or servings of alcohol each week (assuming you eat every 2-4 hours or 35 meals per week.

Being prepared with food ahead of time will give you healthier options when you’re looking for a snack in between meals. Protein shakes, yogurt, cottage cheese or even just a smaller version of a normal meal are great choices. Log your food, and start to make small habit changes one at a time.


The things you need to do to change your life are simple. A little exercise and better food choices go a long way, but never confuse "simple" with "easy." Change is rarely easy, but getting together with a group of people who are ALL willing to change sets you up for success!

If you're ready for a change, join the 21-Day Holiday Shred! For 21-Days, immerse yourself in nutrition and exercise. A few changes can help you gain control over your life. Click the button below for a free consultation