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Drowning in Drinks

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 5:08 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Hot ChocolateBetween 1965 and 2002, the number of liquid calories ingested by the average American adult doubled. Today, nearly 21 percent of the daily calorie intake is consumed by beverages.  Fruit juices, alcohol, soda and energy drinks bulge our bellies without filling them. We slurp beverage after beverage not bothering to compensate for the intake by reducing how much food we eat. As a result, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer are on the rise. We are attempting to slow them with programs such as the Global Dump Soft Drinks Campaign, but we are doing so by focusing solely on soda.  That’s a mistake, particularly right now, particularly considering the season.

It’s cold out. It’s holiday time, and your calendar is packed with parties. The allure of warm, heavy beverages has never been so strong. Personally, I am spending hours dreaming about malted cider (an annual obsession that consumes far too much of my thought), increasing my want with every drop in temperature. You may be longing for hot chocolate, eggnog, a hot toddy or a body-warming brandy. Regardless of the type, it’s bound to be a stream of calories and one that you’re more than likely to indulge in. After all, why shouldn’t you? Why shouldn’t you refill your mug or glass? Why shouldn’t you add whipped cream? Why shouldn’t you transform your typical Starbucks coffee into an Eggnog Latte? And why shouldn’t you empty the entire bag of marshmallows into your steaming, chocolaty drink? You’re celebrating!

And it’s true. You are celebrating. It’s the season for celebrating. However, you are doing so daily rather than sporadically. Sunday through Saturday sees a constant flow of calories, rather than just Friday or Saturday night. If this continues, unchecked, you should expect the liquids to start solidifying on your body, as fat. To avoid this, cut back on the beverages or at least acknowledge that you are increasing calorie intake with each drink. Compensate by reducing your chewable calories and consider drinking some calorie-free/low-cal beverages. Tea is an excellent choice. It will fill your body with the desired warmth without the undesired consequences.

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