Associated with partying, binge-drinking and immortalized in Toby Keith’s classic tune, SOLO Cups are an iconic emblem of youth culture. However, a longstanding legend regarding these disposable plastic pieces has been put to rest.
Recently, an image circulated on the internet claiming to explain how many ounces of each type of alcohol should be poured into a Solo cup. According to this viral photo, one ounce of liquor – equivalent to one shot – is measured up to the first line, five ounces for wine should be filled until the second line, and 12 ounces for beer should reach up to the third line.
Robert Hulseman invented the Solo cup in the 1970s for transporting and using at family picnics, but contrary to popular belief, his intent was never to provide measurements of alcohol servings. According to USA Today, though the lines on the cup could be interpreted as serving sizes for tequila or Merlot, that is not why they were included.
Recently, social media sites like Facebook have begun to remove posts which are not accurate or helpful. An Orlando radio station recently experienced this first-hand after a post of a misguided graphic was taken down, with the accompanying caption reading: What age did you find out these lines are actually measurements?
The Science behind Solo Cup Measurements
Solo cup measurements involve using a standard 16 oz solo cup as a tool to measure portion sizes. This method is based on the idea that the size of a serving should be determined by the size of the container it is eaten from, rather than by weight or calorie count.
But why do solo cup measurements work for weight loss? It all comes down to the concept of energy density. Foods that are high in energy density, like processed snacks and sugary drinks, pack a lot of calories into a small volume. On the other hand, foods that are low in energy density, like fruits and vegetables, contain fewer calories per volume. By using solo cups to measure your portions, you can easily control your intake of energy-dense foods and increase your intake of low-energy-dense foods, leading to weight loss.
My Solo Cup Measurement Weight Loss Journey:
I started my solo cup measurement weight loss journey by familiarizing myself with the standard serving sizes for different food groups. For example, a serving of protein (like chicken or fish) is equivalent to one cup, while a serving of grains (like rice or pasta) is equivalent to half a cup. I used these guidelines to plan my meals and snacks for the day, making sure to include a balance of different food groups.
One of the challenges I faced at first was getting used to smaller portion sizes. I had to retrain my brain to think of a half-cup of rice as a “normal” serving, rather than the heaping platefuls that I was used to. But as I stuck with the solo cup measurements, I started to see results on the scale and in my energy levels. I was also able to save money on groceries, since I was no longer overbuying or wasting food.
Tips for Success with Solo Cup Measurements:
Here are a few tips that I found helpful during my solo cup measurement weight loss journey:
- Keep a set of solo cups on hand for easy measuring. I found it helpful to have multiple cups of different sizes (e.g. half cup, one cup, two cups) so that I could easily measure out different serving sizes.
- Don’t be afraid to get creative with your meals. Solo cup measurements don’t have to be boring – you can still enjoy a variety of flavors and textures while sticking to the correct portions. For example, you can mix and match different vegetables or add a sprinkle of nuts or seeds to your meals for added crunch.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up. We all have moments of weakness, and that’s okay. The important thing is to get back on track and continue working towards your goals.
Our rating: Partly false
The claim that the lines on a Solo cup are measurement marks is PARTLY FALSE, based on our research. While the lines on a Solo cup closely match the standard serving size for different alcoholic drinks, it is a coincidence. The company that creates the cups has said the lines were designed for grip and strength, not measurement.
Our fact-check sources:
- Solo, accessed July 24, The original red cup
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, accessed July 24, What Is A Standard Drink?
- PolitiFact, June 5, 2019, No, the lines around the original Solo cup were not created to represent various measurements
- SOLO, June 13, 2012, Facebook post
- K92.3, July 22, Facebook
What everyone thinks Solo cup measurements are for
Fueled by the phenomenon of Facebook posts going viral, folks began to use the measurement lines found on plastic cups when pouring their drinks. It is assumed that the line at the base, indicating one ounce, is for liquors. Up a notch higher, at five ounces, wine is typically poured to this mark and for beer drinkers – the topmost line showing 12 ounces – gives them a precise pour each time.
Despite the presumption that Solo cups were created with adult beverages in mind due to the standard measurements, this has been disproved! These red plastic cups are ideal for fun and entertaining games such as prosecco pong.
What Solo cup lines REALLY mean
When Solo Cup created the popular plastic vessel, they did not intend for people to measure out their alcoholic beverages with it. However, this practice is widespread today. Alternatively, Solo offers alternate uses for its measurements such as mouthwash, cereal, and to gauge how much water should be consumed daily.
Not only does Solo provide precise alcoholic measurements, but it also provides unique, child-friendly methods for the plastic beakers. Ideas include adding juice, chocolate syrup, or even concocting a classic Shirley Temple drink. When you are preparing to have a picnic, be sure to bring some Solo cups and don’t forget these essential items in your picnic basket.
Solo cup measurements can be a useful tool for weight loss in the short term, but it is important to adopt a balanced and sustainable approach to eating for long-term success. This may involve incorporating a variety of foods, including both low-energy-dense and high-energy-dense options, in appropriate portion sizes. It is also important to incorporate physical activity and other healthy habits into your lifestyle for optimal health and weight management.
Solo cup measurements can be a helpful tool for weight loss and healthy eating for many people, but they may not be suitable for everyone. For example, people with certain medical conditions or athletes with high energy needs may need to consume larger portion sizes. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to determine the appropriate portion sizes for your individual needs.
Technically, you can use any type of cup for solo cup measurements as long as you are consistent in the size of the cup you use. However, the standard 16 oz solo cup is most commonly used for this purpose.
Solo cups are not an exact measure, as the sizes can vary slightly from cup to cup. However, they are generally considered to be a good approximation for determining serving sizes.
It is unclear where exactly the idea of using solo cups as a measure for portion sizes originated, but it has become a popular method for weight loss and healthy eating in recent years.
In an age of innovation, the thinking is always changing and improving. I’m sure that if you are reading this that you are aware that today’s society is always looking for ways to improve. That’s why at Solo, we have made some advancements to our measuring lines on our cups. Now you will be able to get the most accurate measurements possible.
Their purpose was to debunk the myth about the lines on the cup measurements. The campaign has since been quite successful and has even been featured on an episode of “The Today Show”. We are happy to say that the company has been kind enough to share a few interesting facts with us that we’d like to share with you.