Think Before You Drink

One-hit wonders. You gotta love ‘em.

One-hit wonders. You gotta love ‘em.

Songs like Bow Wow Wow’s “I Want Candy,” Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ “Come on Eileen,” Sugar Hill Gang's “Rapper’s Delight,” Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love,” Frankie Smith’s “Double Dutch Bus,” Oxo’s “Whirly Girl,” Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax,” and Frank Stallone’s “Far From Over” are awesome songs, even though the bands themselves faded into the obscurity of only being remembered as one-hit wonders.

Last night, as I was trying to be good having a healthy portion of pasta and sauce, another great one-hit wonder came to mind. Chumbawamba’s big bar anthem called “Tubthumping.” Yes, if you don’t remember, there was actually a group named Chumbawamba and their big hit was “Tubthumping.”

The lyrics of the song are fun. “He drinks a whisky drink. He drinks a vodka drink. He drinks a lager drink. He drinks a cider drink...” We always count the calories in food but don’t count the calories we drink. So it’s time to think before we drink. Let’s go through a typical day focusing on just what you might drink.

Waking to the sounds of Big Country’s “In a Big Country,” you need caffeine and stat. You head to Starbucks to enjoy a delicious cinnamon dolce latte. Sounds yummy, right? Well, that little number will not just cost you several dollars but 260 calories in the process. This is before we even start the work day.

Right around lunchtime, you head to the vending machine after listening to Baltimora’s “Tarzan Boy” for a 20 oz. bottle of Coke or other soft drink. I say 20 oz. because that size is in most vending machines. That’s another 240 calories right there.

Then you and your friends, who are all over 21 of course, go out for happy hour after work. You hit a bar and have a couple of Chumbawumba’s suggested bar drinks. In order, here are the calorie counts for each…

A 1.5 oz shot of whisky is about 100 calories.

A 1.5 oz shot of vodka is about 100 calories. Since I like martinis, I get to kick this up to 155 calories for each 2.5 oz. glass.

An average 12 oz Yuengling Lager drink is about 130 calories.

An average 12 oz Woodchuck hard cider drink is about 200 calories.

Finally, we head home listening to Ollie & Jerry’s “Breakin -There’s No Stopping Us.” We choose a glass of nice red wine with dinner. On average, there are approximately 100 calories in a white or red wine, per glass. However, the type of wine also decides the wine calories.

Add all this up and you’ve consumed close to 1,000 calories in drinks alone. That doesn’t count what you ate during your day. When we eat too many calories, we feel stuffed. When we drink too many calories we don’t. And if our tummies won’t tell us when to stop, we have to use our brains. Beverages are just like food. We can (and should) enjoy them but in responsible moderation – especially when it comes to alcohol. And always remember that good old stand-by, water. It quenches thirst and still has zero calories.

Armed with this new knowledge, everyone trying to lose weight can continue doing his or her best to eat better, drink better and cut down on calories.

And if we stumble and gain back a pound or 2, we can still hold our heads up in our various holiday parties singing some of “Tubthumping’s” other lyrics: “I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down.”

Now that I think of it, all the songs I listed and other one-hit wonders would make a great workout mix for any iPod to help work off that extra pound or 2.

4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

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