Liquid Waistline

On the basis of “calories in versus calorie out” what you drink might be a primary indicator of what you carry around your waist. A new analysis “What America Drinks” suggests that beverage choices could play a key role against Americans’ battle of the ever-increasing bulge.

“What America Drinks” report states that Americans consume about 500 beverage calories per day. Calories from sweetened beverages, such as soda, fruit flavored drinks, alcohol, pre-sweetened iced teas and sport/energy drinks can account for one quarter of your total calories per day and do not supply your body with the satisfaction it is looking for. A regular glass of wine, for example, carries approximately 120 calories, sport drinks/sodas can magically hold 200 calories, pub beers also hold about 200 calories and hard liquor has about 70 calories per ounce, which equates to the size of a small shot glass. These liquid calories do not provide the vital nutrients that aide in healthier bodies.

Most of you may not compensate for drinking your calories by eating less. Because liquid calories typically do not satisfy our hunger you may continue to eat your normal portion size. The report suggests that most adults drank soda or another calorie rich beverage more often than a healthier milk product. It also suggests that Americans who drank more milk and less nutrient poor beverages tended to weigh less than those who drank milk regardless of overall calorie intake.

Another independent study found that when a calorie beverage was consumed with a meal there was not a reduction in total food volume intake and the beverage calories added on to the calories from food, which resulted in a larger total caloric meal. This is a similar finding from many studies on portion size awareness. The more food that is placed in front of us the more is consumed. Subjects from this study reported that they did not feel more full by adding caloric beverages to a meal. Subjects also reported that the more beverages they were served they more they drank. The psychology of these various studies seem to be redundant—the larger the plate or glass the more you consume. Think small to help control your waist line.

Side note: According to the American Beverage Association, the average American consumes over a gallon of soft drinks per day. 7-Eleven’s bestseller, the Double Big Gulp, contains a whopping 800 calories.

Listed below are some tools to help you fight the bulge.

Instead of.. Try..

Coffee Starbucks regular cappuccino (400) Dunkin Coffee

w/skim and splenda (40)

(Avoid cream, sugar and whip)

Alcohol Long Island Iced Tea (230) Beck’s Light (64)

(Limit alcohol consumption

Stay hydrated, use lower %)

Juice Nestea (180) Fruit H20 (0)

(Use non-sweetened teas, try

seltzers, watch sugar content.

try fresh lemon, lime

or 100% fruit juice in water )

Energy Drink Gatorade (200) Propel (25)

(Check label for calories per bottle)

Dairy Whole Milk 1% or skim

Remember, saving just 100 calories per day can make a difference toward your weight loss goals. Compare your favorite sweetened beverage to low fat milk by visiting this interactive site: http://thinkaboutyourdrink.com/weighing_bb.php