When ordering the Starbucks “trenta” you’re getting an enormous 31 ounce drink with an extra 200 calories with the potential to gain an extra 20 pounds in a year. An extra 200 calories a day will result in a weight gain of about 2 pounds a month, or 21 pounds a year. A regular cup of coffee is regarded as 6 – 8 ounces, and research has indicated that drinking 1 to 2 cups of caffeinated coffee each day could have health benefits. The “trenta” will provide 4 – 5 cups of coffee in a single helping, and the extra caffeine will unfortunately not “burn off” the extra calories.
Individuals need to realize that that beverages aren’t necessarily innocent ways of quenching thirst, boosting energy, or satisfying a sweet tooth. Beverages can be rather sneaky sources of nutritionally empty calories. Increasing beverage or food sizes potentially distorts our perception of portion size and can make it difficult to respond to the natural cues of our body’s being thirsty or hungry or full. Individuals will sometimes make use of external cues to choose when to eat and when to stop. Cues can consist of the following: when others are eating, when their portion is gone and when the television show they are watching is finished or goes to commercial.
Contributing factors to determining how much individuals eat can include:
- Relational – “Feelings are going to be hurt if I don’t finish what they gave/made me.”
- Generational – “My parents taught me to clean my plate and not waste food.”
- Economical – “This is such great value for money.”
- Emotional – “Extreme moods can increase the odds for emotional eating.”
- Convenience – “I’m in a hurry and need it now.”
Massive quantities of drink and food shouldn’t be promoted to American consumers when the majority of the population is obese or overweight. Understanding our own body and our own nutritional needs is a necessary aspect of eating healthily and of looking after ourselves. Self awareness reduces the possibility of making use of external cues like the behaviors of others, size or price, and can result in behavior change and successful eating habits.