The Dangers of Drinking Your Calories-80

The Dangers of Drinking Your Calories

Jun 8, 2023, 16:53 PM by Sean Tinkler

In a world filled with convenience and indulgence, it's no surprise that many of us find ourselves reaching for tasty beverages to satisfy our thirst and cravings. However, what may seem like innocent refreshments can often pack a significant caloric punch. 

What are the dangers of drinking your calories? Let's explore some eye-opening facts and figures that will make you think twice before taking another sip.

Caloric Content in Drinks: Myths and Misconceptions 

Here at BodySlims, our experience tells us otherwise. According to Gerard Moran, founder of BodySlims, reading food diaries of participants made him realise the confusion people had about liquified calories. Perhaps they are eating good food for weight loss but their efforts will be wasted if they are drinking their calories instead. 

“For very many people over half their calorie intake in a day was made up of liquids, alcoholic or not,” he said.

“Some people even thought you didn’t have to record liquids, which would be fine if all you were drinking was water. Another misguided belief is that milk is part of our natural diet, but unless you're a calf, that’s not true. And non alcoholic drinks are usually just sugars and flavourings with a really high calorie count but the sweetness makes them easier to consume,” he added. 

Like foods, there are good and bad choices you can make in trying to modify calorie intake, he said. For example, a gin and slimline tonic has far less calories and sugars than that pint of beer or glass of wine. However, there’s an even bigger issue at play which is that people are not drinking the wine or beer because they’re thirsty, but for a myriad of other reasons.

“That’s the reason I see these liquids as the same as eating sweets. No one really chooses to eat sweets because they’re hungry (generally when we’re hungry we have a meal) it’s usually after the meal that the sweets come out or we go for a drink. But similar to sweets, it’s not to satisfy a hunger or in this case a thirst so people are prone to overdo it and pile up a large amount of calorie consumption in liquid form,” he said. 

The glass of wine is a great example of this. Firstly, consuming wine at home has become a norm for many people. The bottle is opened and a glass pored which is often double the size that you would be served in a restaurant or bar. And then maybe a second one? Or a third? 

“And remember these are doubled so pretty quickly people are getting up to a thousand calories and these calories are what’s termed bankrupt or empty calories with zero nutrition,” Gerard said.

This leaves your body with just one choice in how to break down the sugars — It releases insulin and converts the sugar to body fat. The only other way the body could use the calories would be to go out and run a couple of miles really quickly after you drink a pint of beer or a big glass of wine. And no one is bound to do that! 

So the liquid over consumption causes three distinct problems: 

1. Because we’re not satisfying thirst we tend to always overdo it

2. Liquids besides water or tea or coffee are generally high in calories and mount up quickly

3. And the type of calorie is bankrupt meaning it’s quickly stored as body fat with no nutrition whatsoever. 

So as we can see, the issue is not that simple. Now that we know these dangers, let’s take a look at the common drinks and their caloric content. 

The Caloric Content of Common Drinks

To understand the impact of beverages on our calorie intake, let's take a closer look at the caloric content of various popular drinks. The table below provides an overview of the calories found in standard serving sizes:


Serving Size


Starbucks Coffee

16 fl oz


Pint of Beer

16 fl oz


Pint of Cocktail

16 fl oz


Energy Drink

16 fl oz



Note: The caloric content mentioned above is approximate and may vary depending on the brand and specific preparation.

Drinks with High Caloric Content

What are the drinks with high caloric content? Here are some examples: 

Sugary Soda:

Regular cola (16 fl oz): 180-200 calories

Flavored lemon-lime soda (16 fl oz): 150-180 calories

Sweetened Iced Tea:

Bottled sweet tea (16 fl oz): 130-180 calories

Peach-flavored iced tea (16 fl oz): 160-200 calories

Fruit Juice:

Orange juice (16 fl oz): 200-220 calories

Apple juice (16 fl oz): 210-240 calories

Creamy Coffee Drinks:

Mocha Frappuccino® (16 fl oz): 400-500 calories

Caramel Macchiato (16 fl oz): 250-340 calories


Chocolate milkshake (16 fl oz): 550-700 calories

Vanilla milkshake (16 fl oz): 500-650 calories

The Result of Drinking Your Calories

It goes without saying that your health suffers when you are unknowingly drinking a lot of calories from your daily cup of Starbucks or Costa, sugary drinks, energy drinks, or processed fruit juices. Naturally, one of the effects is weight gain that can contribute to obesity. Liquid calories are often less filling than solid food, causing us to consume more calories overall without feeling satiated.

Another possible effect is nutritional deficiencies. Calorie-dense beverages typically lack essential nutrients, such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Relying on these drinks as a significant source of energy can deprive our bodies of crucial nutrients. This can further lead to conditions such as blood sugar imbalance because sugary drinks can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. This leads to energy crashes and increased risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes over time.

Dental problems can also be another problem because liquids such as sodas and energy drinks are acidic and can erode tooth enamel, leading to dental cavities and other oral health issues.

Of course, these are just some of the effects but there can be more, depending on your current health condition. Now that you know the dangers of drinking too many calories, how can you be more mindful or manage your caloric intake of liquids? 

How Can You Stop Drinking Vast Amounts of Calories?

BodySlims ambassador Carla Piera-Fitzgerald, who is also a former participant, also struggled with this problem. 

“I remember the Christmas that I was doing BodySlims. My favourite drink is a Toffee Nut Latte. I used to live for this every year. I'd be there the first day they were available and grab the biggest one available,” she said.

Carla knew that it was about 400 calories for the large one, but she wanted to have it so badly that she factored it into her calorie allowance for the day. 

“Funny enough, after ordering it and sitting in the car to enjoy it, I felt it was actually a little too sweet for me, but I drank it all anyway. Well, what a mistake! 400 calories is not the biggest amount, but the issue of course is that it's empty calories full of sugar. So about two hours after finishing my sugary drink of course I crashed, lost all my energy and was STARVING! I can tell you I learned that drinking my calories was not a good use of my budget even if I had it to spare,” she remembered. 

Taking the BodySlims programme made her more conscious of her calorie content, especially drinks. And now, she has some tips for people who are just having this realisation and are about to adjust their drinking habits: 

“The thing about calories is that everything adds up. Those "drops" of milk, or that overly heaped teaspoon of sugar. At home, I recommend getting measuring cups that have the mls displayed on them and keeping them by your kettle so you can properly measure,” she said. 

Another tip is when you are out, ask for your milk to be served in an espresso cup or you can ask for one. There's 30ml in a typical espresso so you can count your calories.

“I also recommend switching out lattes etc. for americanos or filter coffee with milk on the side. You can even get a white americano which has foamed milk. You can save yourself up to 100 calories vs a typical latte,” she said. 

She also recommends trying alternative milks to lower calories, almond milk is a pretty good alternative in coffee, and so is cashew milk although a little harder to find but both work out around 23 calories per 100ml (of course always check the label of the brand you have).

These small changes to your daily habits and doing simple swaps can drastically change your caloric intake. Of course, this is only possible if you change your mindset first, which is one of the things you learn doing BodySlims — a weight loss programme with a unique approach devised by Europe's premiere peak performance coach delivering results 4 times better than the best medical programmes on the market. 

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