Rich desserts, salty snacks and fast food can all add excess fat to your frame’but don’t forget to include liquid refreshment in your calorie count. Unless you’re drinking water, diet soda, unsweetened iced tea or black coffee, you need to look closely at what you’re drinking’and how much. First, how much does your favorite glass hold? Most people think it’s about eight ounces. Don’t estimate. Fill it up and pour the contents into a measuring cup to see how much it really holds. You’ll probably find that it’s more like 12 to 16 ounces. That much orange juice is 240 calories. Grape juice, at about 360, is even worse!
Keep in mind that fast-food restaurants usually call 12-ounce drinks small and 32-ounce beverages large. If you’re drinking regular soda, that’s about 150 to 400 calories, not including free refills. As the Nutrition Action Health Letter noted (27:7-9; 2000), ‘A 32-ounce fast-food milkshake is over 700 calories, and a huge 7-Eleven Double Gulp Coca-Cola (64 ounces) is a whopping 600 calories.’
None of that takes into account the food that goes with your drink; i.e., hamburger and fries, fried chicken, tuna salad sandwich or a full restaurant dinner.
To cut those hidden liquid calories, switch to diet soda, water, iced tea’with no sweetener’or black coffee. If you just can’t do without your regular soda, consider the small’with no refills. And don’t forget to make your favorite drinking glass at home an eight-ouncer. IM