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Baylor College of Medicine News

Look out for hidden calories in drinks

While many people will think twice before taking a second serving of a delicious dessert, they may not do the same when it comes to a beverage. But liquid calories can quickly add up, said an expert at Baylor College of Medicine.

"Liquid calories have contributed to the obesity epidemic," said Molly Gee, a registered dietitian with BCM.

Gee recommends being aware of the number of liquid calories you consume, and cutting calories where you can, especially when it comes to alcoholic beverages.

"Consider combining alcohol with a diet mixer or low-calorie tonic," said Gee "Also remember to pace yourself, maybe by drinking a glass of club soda with lime between drinks."

After drinking alcohol, the desire for salty foods is also enhanced, said Gee.

When it comes to popular coffee drinks, Gee says choose non-fat milk, skip the whipped cream and pay attention to portions.

Different beverages are served in different size glasses and cups (see list below), so be aware of what you are drinking and how many servings you consume at one time, she says.

She also noted that new research shows that liquid calories do not trigger the mechanism that indicates satisfaction.

"People tend to eat the same amount even after they have consumed calorie-filled liquids as they would without consuming those beverages."

Beverage Calorie Chart

  • 12 oz. soda = 150 calories
  • 8 oz. wine = 150 calories
  • 12 oz. beer = 150 calories
  • 1 oz. gin, rum, vodka, whiskey or tequila = 65 calories
  • 3.5 oz. martini = 140 calories
  • 4 oz. margarita = 168 calories
  • 1 tablespoon whipping cream = 50 calories
  • 16 oz. hot chocolate = 370 calories