There’s something very appealing about the idea that liquids could “not count” when it comes to reducing one’s caloric intake. The lack of bulk suggests that there is no correlation between what you drink and the physical fat you want to lose.
The juice diet might therefore seem like an easy, and easy to maintain option: don’t chew anything; just slurp away. And you can get all your nutrients if you mix it up with milk, juice, a shake, sodas and a bevvy or two as a reward at the end of the day.
Often, “juicers” take this a step further by simply reducing solid foods into liquids by tossing them in a blender. Sure — you might drink it down, but make no mistake about it: you’re eating, not drinking, or at least your stomach is.
This handy little chart from 1968 means well. It wants to remind the dieter that alcohol has calories too, and does it by providing tasty, fat-laden equivalents to popular drinks. Certainly, it aims to act as a diet fairy sitting on the shoulder of the lady who will whisper in her ear “that Daiquiri is like eating 3 tablespoons of cream cheese!”
But how effective is it, really?
If I want a glass of wine with dinner, I’m not going to be put off by seeing that it’s equivalent to two teaspoons of butter. Whatev. It could also backfire by making one salivate at the thought of snarfing back peanuts or bacon, but knowing these are off-limits, reach for a beer instead.
Of course, it’s not just calories at stake here: it’s fat. There isn’t any in the drinks, but loads in the foods. The fat which will be produced by the body converting all that carbohydrate will come later. This too is the hidden problem with juice diets: they’re loaded with carbs.
Better to eat that avocado with a glass of wine. Because we all know that the peanuts are going to make you want a beer and vice-versa. And that there’s nothing that works as well as taking your mind off your fat than getting drunk.
Eat and Stay Slim, Better Homes and Gardens, 1968
Also from this book: Life's A Bitch