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8 glasses of water a day. If we have heard it once, we have heard it a thousand times. Problem is, in winter, it’s difficult! Instead of water we often tend to drink more tea and coffee, often with sugar and milk and will swap the sparkling water ordered out for a cappuccino, latte or hot chocolate.

There are two problems with this scenario. One, our energy intake goes up. Two, we dehydrate.

The Energy factor

Although there are physiological, biochemical and genetic factors involved, weight management can be simplified by the energy in versus the energy out.

The hot drinks you choose can add a fair amount of energy to your daily intake, making weight management a bit tricky. Check out the table below to size up your drink of choice

Energy Content (calories)

Fat (grams)




Skinny cappuccino






Hot chocolate







By swapping a regular drink for a skinny you can save between 30 – 45% the amount of calories and 24 – 40% of the fat content.

Caffeine and dehydration

By increasing our intake of tea and coffee during the colder months, we often increase our intake of caffeine as well. Caffeine dehydrates the body, and in reality, we need to drink more fluids to compensate for this. Suddenly the 8 glasses a day becomes, nine, or ten, or more!

When we are dehydrated, our appetite regulation is off and weight management becomes more difficult. The body often mistakes hunger and thirst, and oft times we think we are hungry, but in actual fact we just need water!

There is a way around this. Swap out the caffeine-containing hot drinks for herbal teas instead. This way it’s easy to keep both warm and hydrated! Just remember to be light handed on the added sugar!

For more tips, or to book an appointment, contact Toni Smyth, Dietician’s in Cape Town, by clicking here!