Starbucks, Peets, and Dunkin Donuts are not making America fatter. Drinking rich, sugary, calorie heavy drinks is making people fatter. Macchiato, Frappuccino, Carmel, Chocolate, grande, vente, is shouted over noise coming from the crowd of caffeine-addicted patrons. It looks and sounds exotic and cool.
The truth is, many people are spending a lot of money on drinks that contain more calories in one serving than we would consume in a good dinner. I don’t know about you, but I would rather eat my calories than drink them.
And it is not just fancy-dancy coffees. Juicers beware. There I often enough sugar in that smoothie to send a diabetic into a coma. Fruit is good. Too much fruit plus yogurt, plus granola, etc. etc. is a dieter’s Nightmare on Fat Street.
Alcohol. Americans love their alcohol. A glass of wine with dinner and an after dinner cocktail, or two, or three, whatever one does, again are empty sugar-packed calories.
Getting healthy is not just about making food swaps that have better ingredients in them than the candy bar or ice cream sundae you used to eat. Not if the calories and sugar surpass the calories in the sundae. I would rather have the sundae.
So, here’s the real deal. To lose weight, we need to cut calories and move more, right? Yes, but that is not enough. Don’t make food swaps without knowing what you are trading your calories for. If you do, you shouldn’t be surprised if the scale keeps going up.
Thankfully, I don’t like coffee. I don’t juice or get smoothies. And I never drink because alcohol is just not my thing. I’m fat from eating too much.
I’m not saying we can never have a smoothie, or a fancy coffee, a glass of wine, or a cocktail. I am just saying if we want to enjoy the things we love to ingest, we have to find healthier ways of making them.
Non-fat milk instead of whole milk; sugar-free flavorings instead of actual caramel or chocolate; a lite beer, a glass of wine, instead of a sugar-filled cocktail; and a smoothie made with a serving of fruit or frozen fruit and ice are great ways to swap out the negative calories for healthier moderated calories.
Remember, the goal is not to cut out foods we love. The goal is to find healthier versions so we lose weight and we can maintain that weight loss.
Until we meet again, this is Linda Misleh Wagner, Future Former Fatty.