Don’t Be Stupid, Eat Smart

Don’t  be stupid, eat smart. Eating smart isn’t easy and it’s not because you’re stupid; it’s because smart eating is confusing and getting more confusing all the time.

The definition of smart eating depends completely on who is talking.

Take for instance this post that was among the newsfeed on my Facebook wall. Authority Nutrition – An Evidence Based Approach –

27 Health and Nutrition Tips That Are Actually Evidence Based 

Any smart person would believe that an evidence-based nutrition tip couldn’t be stupid, but they actually can be very stupid.

Evidence-based isn’t the same as a scientifically proven fact. The evidence is anecdotal, it may be fiction based on fact, or just some stupid theories.

As soon as I read the very first tip, the remaining 26 were of no interest to me. The first tip tipped me off that I was reading stupid advice.

The first tip was never drink sugary drinks because “sugary drinks are the most fattening thing you can put into your body.”

I’m not writing this blog to make a case for drinking sugary drinks. I think it’s smart to limit sugary drinks and I believe it’s stupid to never drink sugary drinks if you happen to enjoy them. They are certainly not the most fattening things you can put into your body.

Be smart when you drink sugary beverages. Portion control matters. IF you want a big glass fill it with a lot of ice!

Be smart when you drink sugary beverages. Portion control matters. IF you want a big glass fill it with a lot of ice!

Alcoholic beverages are arguably much more fattening.

They have more calories per serving. One ounce of vodka has 80 calories. One 12-ounce can of Coke has 140 calories. One can, or many cans of Coke, won’t alter your mental state or affect your ability to make smart choices.

One or several Cokes won’t help you to forget you’re trying to improve your eating behaviors. You won’t get that false sense of well-being that tells you it’s okay to eat a bunch of high cal/ low nutrient snacks conveniently within reach, the way an ounce or two of vodka or a couple of beers could.


There should be no guilt associated with burgers and fries but this kind of meal is best eaten mindfully with portion control and balance as important considerations. After an alcoholic drink or two, mindfulness isn’t easy and overindulging is a real possibility. That makes alcohol a more fattening drink than sugary beverages.

That’s just one reason why it’s stupid to believe that sugary drinks are the most fattening thing you can put into your body.

There are studies that suggest sugary drinks are linked with obesity. The headlines of the studies make it sound like a sure thing. If you’re inclined to go on to read the entire article you find the effects of sugary drinks and weight isn’t as great as the headline leads you to believe.

Science is telling us that liquid calories aren’t recognized in the way that solid calories are recognized. In other words, the calories don’t create a feeling of satiety which is what tells us we’re full and it’s time to stop. Regardless of how we recognize satiety internally, we have the ability to engage our brains.

We can drink sugary drinks sometimes without worrying about gaining weight or becoming obese. We can be aware that we’re not getting much nutritional value for the calories in the drinks and therefore we don’t drink them daily or make them our default beverage.

Don’t be stupid. Giving up altogether foods that give you pleasure because they may cause obesity is stupid.
Smart eating is eating lots of very good for you foods you love and including some very good tasting, lower nutritional value treats!


Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.