Follow this, and (depending on you and your current habits) you could potentially lose 2-7 pounds by the weekend.
I used to have a roommate in college that regularly drank 6+ cans of Coca Cola a day. He was highly addicted (even physiologically — he would get severe headaches from withdrawal), and his daily habits were reinforcing his soda habits. Obviously he was extremely overweight too. Now, although his coke consumption was insanely high — through the roof high — I became curious about drinking liquid calories.
Just how much weight would my roommate lose if he stopped drinking his 6 cokes a day? Even if he kept to his crappy diet, how much weight could he possibly lose just by eliminating that daily bad habit?
I decided to go to Starbucks and do some research.
Can I Get a Mocha-doppa-frappa-kappa-dappucino Please?
I like to do a lot of my afternoon and evening work in coffee shops. It’s quiet, but there are people. There’s that white noise that makes it not feel eerily quiet, but it’s quiet enough that I can focus on work.
Where I live, there are lots of mommies that get their mocha-doppa-frappa-kappa-dappucino in the afternoon.
Those are the “health conscious” mommies.
But every once in a while their kids come in. Guess what they order? The same sugary drinks — but they also whip out a soda at the table and sip it almost unconsciously while talking.
And it gets me thinking. How many times a day do I randomly drink something to keep busy? For kids at school it’s the same as people at their day jobs – it’s boring and repetitive, so we want something to do. We drink something.
Let’s assume a kid has one soda at school, and then one soda at home later. And we’ll tack on a Starbuck’s drink just for fun.
How many extra calories a day is that person consuming?
Two sodas (or 1 soda, 1 orange juice) = 300 calories (conservative estimate)
Mocha-doppa-frapp-kapp-dappucino = 200 calories
= 500 extra calories a day of sugar and junk.
But wait, there’s another sneaky bastard in there: orange juice.
3 Reasons to Stop Drinking Orange Juice (& Other Fruit Juices)
“What!? But Tropicana CAN’T be bad for you, can it?!” Unfortunately, fruit juice is one of the more fattening things out there.
Yes, it’s true.
Smart marketers have told you that “breakfast isn’t complete without a glass of orange juice!” And then when that failed, they told you that you need “vitamin C to fight off disease!” But the research shows that many vegetables actually have more vitamin C than oranges.
For example, an average orange may have 50-100mg of vitamin C. Here are some vegetables with a lot more:
- One cup of red bell peppers has ~190 mg of vitamin C
- One serving of broccoli has ~120 mg of vitamin C
- Two cups of kale have ~200 mg of vitamin C (And a ton of other great nutrients)
This is probably one of the best reasons (in general) to eat your veggies.
Worried about your vitamin C? Your vegetables have more vitamin C anyway and won’t make you fat (more on that later).
But the news won’t tell you that. Smart marketers.
Why Liquid Calories (And Fruit Juices) Suck
There are three reasons why drinking liquid calories are a sneaky, insidious way to gain weight:
Liquid calories make you feel less full than solid calories, so you can consume more. When you drink a liquid, there is less of a “satiation response” and fiber so it’s much easier to consume a lot more calories than ordinary without feeling full.
There are 7-8 glasses of orange juice in a carton. What’s 18/7? 2.5. So you drink about 2.5 oranges per glass of orange juice.
What would happen if you, instead, ate 2.5 of those large oranges instead (flesh, pulp & all)? You’d probably be pretty full. You probably couldn’t eat 5 large oranges. But you can easily drink 2 glasses of orange juice, which is essentially the sugar and flavor of 5 oranges.
When you eat the whole fruit it’s easier to get more of the good stuff — the pulp, the skin, the fiber, etc.
But when you drink the juice from Tropicana you’re basically just getting a sugary soft drink that has an almost identically fattening effect.
Liquid carbohydrates (fruit juices, alcohol) are more fattening than solid carbohydrates. Since they’re liquid, they are more easily digestible by the body and thus are more easily digested, quicker. This which also has a greater effect on your insulin (potentially contributing to long-term fat gain).
(About fruit juices): Fruit juices are particularly deadly. First, they’re liquid calories (see above), and they’re liquid carbohydrates.
… And the TV tells you that a glass or two of orange juice a day is healthy and good for you.
Back to The Equation: How Much Extra is Trophy Mom Sally Consuming From Her Latte and Orange Juice?
Let’s assume Sally is “healthy.” It’s flu season, so she’s making sure to drink two glasses of orange juice a day – need that Vitamin C right? Toss that onto her daily Mocha-doppa-frapp-kapp-dappucino she gets after her workout with her girlfriends.
How many extra calories is she consuming via liquids?
Two glasses orange juice: 120 calories each glass, total = 240 calories.
Mocha-doppa-frapp-kapp-dappucino: 200 calories.
Total = almost 500 extra calories that are “junk.” That’s almost 500 calories of sugar. = Weight gain.
So What’s the Secret?!
The secret is this: Don’t drink your calories.
And don’t buy into the myth that your orange juice is healthy. There, I told you.
Sally the “healthy,” Starbucks-drinking mommy is drinking 250 calories of orange juice a day (she thinks it’s healthy), and then another 250 calories from a Starbucks drink in the afternoon. And that’s assuming she doesn’t drink soda. If she has a soda while at work or in the afternoon, it’s getting close to 700 liquid calories a day that are almost all sugar.
That’s a nice recipe for solid long-term weight gain.
Okay, so I know I shouldn’t be drinking orange juice or my mocha Frappucino.
The next question is: how do I not drink orange juice at breakfast? Or how do I replace my afternoon soda / Frappucino habit?
That’s the hard part after all. Virtually everyone knows what to do, but isn’t doing it – right?
We have created and acquired a lifetime of bad habits. This is why all diets fail — if all you’re doing is giving yourself a different diet, you aren’t addressing the true reason behind your failure.
So here’s how to go about it: instead of forcing yourself to say, “must… resist… frappucino’s… evil powers….” learn more about the psychology behind your habits. It has very little to do with willpower.
Maybe that afternoon frappucino is a pick-me-up, in which case, a coffee would work equally well. Maybe that afternoon coffee is an excuse to socialize – in which case, a phone call to a friend or a visit to a co-worker would work equally well.
Depending on where you are now (and what day it is), you could realistically lose 5 pounds by Friday.
Hit me up with a question or comment below. Are you trying to kick that Starbucks or orange juice habit? There ain’t no patch for that…