Liquid Amnesia Zone

Do You Think About The Calories Your Drink?

Liquid Amnesia is a term that I use with my patients as I am analyzing their daily nutrition questionnaire that they fill out for me at their new patient appointment. What I found quite often is that many people do not consider that what they are drinking throughout their day can have considerable calories in it. One of my classic stories that I have written in the past is the “Latte Lady” that you can read at either or under ‘Featured Articles’.I will give you some common Liquid Amnesia examples below:

Coffee: Whether it is at home or bought at one of those coffee kiosks it can be a dangerous word. It used to be a 5 cent 0 calorie cup of coffee but now it is an 800 calorie $5.00 cup of “gourmet” speciality coffee.

The coffees that actually become more dangerous are the ones made at home with the liquid creamer. I always ask the patient whether it is coffee in their creamer or creamer in your coffee. I usually get a smile and then they admit that it is several “glunks” in their coffee.

“but it’s Fat Free or Sugar Free creamer”

What I tell them is that whenever they hear the terms Sugar Free or Fat Free little hackles ought to go up on the back of their neck. If it is fat free all that means is that it is fat free. But guess what else it has in it? You are catching on!! It still has a whole bunch of sugar. If you drink too much sugar guess what your body turns it into? Oh yeah! That would be fat. If it is sugar free that means it still has fat in it and fat can go right to your fat cells.You also have to beware of the misinformation you are getting when you order a “Fat Free Sugar Free Latte”. It means that they are using sugar free flavoring syrup and they are using fat free milk. That means the milk is fat free but it still has a whole bunch of sugars and calories. Many patients I meet think that a Fat Free Latte is in some way calorie free and they ARE NOT.

So let’s do a bit of math:

Let’s suppose that their home brew is 150 calories per cup and they do 3 cups a day at 150 calories per cup. That equals 450 calories per day.

So let’s say they do that 5 days per week. 5 x 450 = 2,250 calories per week just from their coffee.

Let’s go even farther shall we? Say that the take a month off from drinking their coffee and they do it for 48 weeks and not 52 weeks.

2,250 calories/week X 48 weeks = 108,000 calories that have been consumed just from their “COFFEE”.

That is a huge amount calories so it really doesn’t make that much sense unless we put it back into fat.

A pound of fat is 3,500 calories.

108,000 calories divided by 3,500 Calories/pound = 30.8 pounds over the span of 48 weeks!

Isn’t that amazing how quickly in can add up and that is just from coffee.Let’s turn our attention to the much beloved glass of wine (red or white, doesn’t matter).

The American glass of wine continues to grow from the diminutive 4 ounces of a small traditional glass to the ones that my wife just bought at Pier 1 that our two glasses empties an entire bottle of wine.

An average glass of wine these days let’s say estimates to be at about 150 calories per glass.

Let’s do the math:150 calories/glass X 2 glasses/ night X 3 glasses/week X 48 weeks/year150 x 2 = 300 calories per night 300 X 3 = 900 calories per week 900 calories X 48 weeks = 43,200 calories per years just from wine!!

Remember a pound of fat is 3,500 calories.

43,200 divided by 3,500 calories = 12.3 pounds of fat.

We could do beer, we could do Mike’s Hard Lemonade or we could even do the math for any type of mixed drink or any flavor of regular coke or soda. You can imagine doing the math on any of these liquids. So you better watch out for your favorite drink and make sure it is “non-calorie liquid” or you will be entering the… “Liquid Amnesia Zone”!