Thursday, July 31, 2008

Estimating Your Liquid Calorie Intake

Brian Wansink, PhD, author of Mindless Eating has come up with a "10-20" rule for guesstimating the number of calories in a drink when a nutritional label is unavailable.

For most “thin” liquids such as juice, milk, soda, etc., figure 10 calories per ounce; for thicker drinks like shakes and smoothies, figure 20 calories per ounce.

For example, according to the 10-20 rule, a 20-ounce Pepsi from a convenience store soda fountain would contain approximately 200 calories.

This is a great tool for when you have no way of knowing the actual figures but remember, it's just an estimate. A quick online search turned up a calorie count of 250 for a 20-ounce Coke and 400 calories for a 32-ounce Pepsi, both higher than the 10-20 rule estimates.


jimray said...

I expect the "guesstimate" is taking into account the idea that ice would be included in the fountain drinks, displacing some of the calorie "volume." The online calorie counters (I use NutriMirror) figure that you're weighing the drink only. That might account for the difference.

Mickey said...

Good point.

Something I say all the time but should have mentioned in the post is that, for the most part, just eliminating most liquid calories is the best route.