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Don’t Drink Your Calories!

September 20, 2022 | Healthy Diet Weight Loss

Pumpkin spice latte and Dr. Bilof newsletter

Let’s Talk About (NOT) Drinking Calories!

Perhaps you’ve seen the ad below in your travels around the internet. It’s the fall after all and one must have the proper beverage at all times!

Hate to be the guy who rains on the parade, but you definitely want to avoid all these types of beverages. If you want to see what you will be subjecting your body to if you drink one of these follow this link: and then click on the “Download Beverage Nutritional PDF” and then go to page 7 of that PDF: the “Autumn 22 Promo Beverages”. Whew! They sure don’t make it easy do they?

Pumpkin Spice Latte nutrition factsIf you do all of that, be prepared for some scary reading! You will see that the “Tall” Pumpkin Spice Latte has 265 calories! The “Venti” (Starbucks-speak for “Large”) has 422 calories! If you drill down a little further (and I appreciate we are in the weeds now) it has 13.5 grams of saturated fat and 50 grams (not a typo!) of sugar. That isn’t a ‘coffee’ it’s a day’s worth of saturated fat and a glucose tolerance test rolled into one! “Doc, I just had a ‘coffee’ this morning, that’s all…”

If all of the above seemed a bit confusing, here is the take home message: Don’t drink Calories! I mean that literally… that includes Fruit Juices, Milk, Soda and yes Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Like every rule there are exceptions and the one exception here is your recommended protein drinks, which are obviously liquid and have calories. BTW, black coffee and tea are totally fine—you can think of them as essentially flavored water as they basically have no calories unless you add them.

Since I am raining on the parade, one other thing to mention: Alcohol has calories (sorry… just the messenger!) I’m not saying you cannot drink alcohol but if you do, please recognize it has calories. A glass (5 ounces) of wine has between 120-150 calories depending on the alcohol content and amount of sugar.

By Dr. Michael Bilof

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