Drink Up: Liquid Calories

Here’s a little task for all of you. Work out how many calories you take in per day through drinks. As an example, here is the drinks section of a food diary one of my clients (who will remain nameless) filled in during their first week and before we put them on the right path.

Regular Caramel Latte (Costa)
Squash (Robinsons)
Cherry Coke (bottle)
Touch of Fruit water (strawberry)
Regular Cappuccino (Starbucks)
2 x Glass of wine

Now I’ve been a little mean and picked a particularly bad day but lets have a look at these drinks in more detail:

Regular Caramel Latte (Costa) – 221 calories
Squash (Robinsons) – 14 calories
Cherry Coke – 260 calories
Touch of fruit water (strawberry) – 100 calories
Regular Cappuccino (Starbucks) – 110 calories
2 x Glass of red wine – calories in wine vary depending on the wine and size of the glass but an average calorie content for a large glass (250ml) is around 214, so we have 428 calories total here.

A couple of notes to consider here are that when reading calories for drinks in cans or bottles is that the companies will put the calorie content for what they consider the ‘serving’ to be, not for the entire bottle. A ‘serving’ for a 500ml bottle of Coke, for example, is half the bottle. How often do you drink the whole bottle in one sitting? So be careful and read those labels!

Also, alcohol can be a right bugger for your body (sorry)…

Apart from making you dance like you’re in a extremely tight-budget “Step Up” movie, alcohol affects weight gain in a few different ways.

First, it converts to a substance called acetate, which inhibits the metabolism of fat, boooooo!

Second, it messes about with your insulin resistance. If this gets out of sync you will be predisposed to increased weight, particularly around the abdominal area. Beer belly anyone? Double boooooo!

Finally, alcohol can inhibit Ghrelin. This Lord-Of-The-Rings-esque named hormone is key to your body deciding if it’s full or satisfied. With the precious Ghrelin being blocked you feel hungry, the result being a trip to Abra-Kebabra and probably another 1000 calories. Treble BOOOOOO!

Anyway, back to our mystery client. Looking above we can see that they have taken in 1133 calories through drinks alone – pretty scary huh? For anyone looking to lose weight, this should set alarm bells ringing. Let’s be a little mean and say that this person drinks these or equally calorific drinks everyday, they will be consuming 413,545 calories a year purely through drinks. Using the logic that 3,500 calories equates to roughly 1 pound of fat, that’s 118.2 lbs or 8 and a half stone of fat per year.

What’s worse, is that unlike when you take in calories through food, liquid calories don’t really stem feelings of hunger. This means people can take in a huge amount of calories through a large drink, then still be able to eat a large meal and shoot their intake up even further. Be smart with your liquid choices and you can massively accelerate your weight loss. Keep some water near you all day or in the fridge if you prefer it chilled; no one ever got fat by drinking water.

Image Credits
Starbucks made-at-home coffee. taken from – https://www.flickr.com/photos/snaps_at_aquastuff/4180956066
Author: Greh Fox https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/