Liquid Candy

I hope everyone survived the latest chapter of "Snowmaggedon" this weekend! Some winter we are having this year!   Today I wanted to talk a little bit about the number of calories we consume in our drinks…..

I called this newsletter "Liquid Candy" because I wanted to draw attention to the number of calories (and the amount of sugar) in the drinks we consume.

According to a recent analysis by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health the average American drinks 28 ounces of sugary soft drinks per day.  These extra ounces supply 300 additional calories.  That may not sound like much, but remember every 3500 calories is another pound of weight…so every 12 days those 300 calories is adding another pound.  These calories mostly come from soda, but also sports drinks, fruit drinks, sweetened tea and coffee beverages, and fruit juices.

You read that correctly…fruit juices.  If you are a bariatric patient my advice to you is never drink fruit juices, an 8 ounce glass of orange juice has 150 calories.  If you want orange juice…eat an orange….it has less calories and will make you feel full.  One of the main problems with liquid calories is they don't really reduce your appetite as much as solid food (the medical term is "satiety").  So after your 8 ounce glass of orange juice you will feel hungry 30 minutes later despite the fact that it has 150 calories!

If you are a bariatric patient you should only drink beverages with zero calories, or as close to zero as possible.  If  you read the nutritional label make sure you know what the serving size is (we talked about this in another newsletter recently).  A good example of this is "Snapple", if you read the label it says the serving size is 8 ounces, the problem is the bottle you are holding in your hand has 20 ounces in it!  So you have to multiply the number of calories by 2.5

What if you don't have a nutritional label to read…like at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts…you might be surprised what is in that morning drink!  I was recently at Starbucks getting the morning "cup of joe" and I noticed a pamphlet titled "Nutrition by the Cup"….given what I do for a living, how could I resist?  By the way if  you there you should pick it up, it is very enlightening!  Let me give you a few highlights:

A Grande Caffe Mocha with 2% milk has 260 calories
A Grande Signature Hot Chocolate with nonfat milk and no whipped cream has (brace yourself)….410 calories….add 250-300 calories for whole milk and whipped cream! (hey, it's cold out, can't I have a "hot chocolate")
A Grande Tazo Green Tea Latte with 2% milk has 350 calories (isn't green tea supposed to be "healthy")

I think you get the idea…if you don't know how many calories a drink has you might be in for a rude surprise.

On the other hand if you have cup of brewed coffee (remember when you used to get "coffee" at a coffee shop?) with skim milk and splenda it has less than 10 calories.  The point is there are plenty of healthy choices out there, but you need to educate yourself.  This is one of the reasons I now offer in house nutritional counseling for all of my patients.  If you would like an appointment with our nutritionist, Lisa, you can call the office and schedule one.

Support Group:

Our North Jersey Support group will meet this month on the first 3 Wednesdays of the month at 200 South Orange Ave, Livingston, NJ (the Ambulatory Care Center) starting at 6 PM, you can call 973-322-2458 for any scheduling changes and additional information.
March 3rd for patients who have a had a gastric bypass less than 1 year ago
March 10th is for patients who have had gastric banding surgery
March 17th is for patients who have  had surgery over 1 year ago

The Ocean County Support Group is the first Friday of the month (March 5th) from
7-9 PM.  It will be held in Community Medical Center in Toms River in Auditorium A (no RSVP is necessary).  This meeting is for any bariatric patient (band, bypass, recent surgery or long time veteran)

Free Informational Seminar

This Wednesday March 3rd I will be having my usual free informational seminar at my Millburn office, 225 Millburn Ave, Suite 204, Millburn, NJ.  The seminar starts at 6:30 PM, it is free and open to anyone who is interested in finding out more about bariatric surgery.  If you will be attending please let us know by emailing us at:

Once again, thanks for reading and trusting me with your healthcare, till next time..

Michael Bilof

Contact Information

web site address:
phone: (973) 218-1990

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