Drinking calories

The other factor that begins to slowly tip energy balance into a surplus is the increased consumption of calories from drinks.

One standard drink contains 80kcal from alcohol, plus any additional nutrients in the mix (usually carbs).

Generally speaking, the carb content from these drinks is relatively low per 100ml, maybe 3-7g, but it’s the total intake that needs to be considered.

Three stubbies of beer are 1L, amounting to ~450kcal.

There’s a similar energy content from three glasses of wine.

Spirits contain fewer calories - mostly around 80-90kcal - but the addition of soft drink and juices can easily double the energy intake per drink.

During the day, it’s easy to fill up the calorie budget with the habitual fluid intake.

A 330ml can of soft drink contains 140kcal and bottle of juice is even higher (orange juice contains more sugar per 100ml than cola).

But the big one can be coffee, which can easily provide a few hundred calories every single day and its intake increases when tired/busy/stressed.

A regular flat white without any sugar or cream contains 130-150kcal per cup (similar to a can of coke).

Whilst a single serve of any of these drinks has a small impact on energy intake,  together they really start to add up.

A juice with breakfast (150kcal), two coffees throughout the day (300kcal), one beer after work  (150kcal) and a glass of wine with dinner (140kcal) all adds up to a total of 740kcal of energy intake, before you’ve even taken a bite of food.

I’m not advocating cutting all alcohol or coffee - although I’m happy to see soft drinks go - it’s simply an area of energy intake that should be considered.

Changes to fluid intake can make large impacts on energy intake, with minimal disruption to satiety and hunger.

Tom Fitzgerald