Sip Smart: Cut Back on Sugar Replace one sugary drink like regular soda with water or a zero-calorie seltzer and you’ll avoid about 10 teaspoons of sugar. Add lemon, mint or frozen strawberries for flavor and fun. The liquid sugar in soda appears to bypass the body’s normal fullness cues. One study compared an extra 450 calories per day from jelly beans vs. soda. The candy eaters unconsciously ate fewer calories overall, but not so for the soda drinkers. They gained 2.5 pounds in four weeks.