When it comes to losing weight, most dieters focus on what they eat – not what they drink. Now, experts recommend rethinking your drink to start losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight in the long term.
Over the past several decades, beverage calories have increased in the typical US diet. In a national survey, adults drank 425 calories while children drank about 474 calories per day from the beverage. That’s about 20 percent of your daily calories.
Perhaps even worse, the drinks account for about a third of the added sugars we consume. Not only are added sugars linked to many chronic conditions, but drinks full of empty calories also don’t lead to the feeling of satiety as the same number of calories from food. This makes it difficult to check total calories and weight.
Read on to find out the best sips to help you lose weight and keep it off by rethinking what you drink, and for more information on how to eat healthy, don’t miss 7 healthy foods to eat right now.
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you can start by reducing your intake of added sugars. One of the best places to start is to cut back on sugar-sweetened beverages. To do this, focus on drinking more water – bottled, tap or filtered. It’s one of the easiest ways to cut calories without increasing hunger or appetite.
Replacing one 12-ounce (140 calories) cola with water each day will cut about 50,000 calories from the diet and over 60 cups of sugar per year! Drinking water and other zero-calorie drinks (along with a healthy diet and exercise of course) is an effective strategy to lose weight more quickly.
For example, one study of 48 overweight adults indicated that those who drank about 2 cups of water before each of their meals while following a calorie-controlled diet lost about 5 pounds more during the 12-month study. week compared to dieters who did not drink water before eating.
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Hitting the brakes when drinking is a great strategy to help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. In one study, study participants who were asked to abstain from alcohol while part of a long-term diet and lifestyle study lost twice as much weight after four years of the intervention compared to those who drank alcohol.
There are many reasons why drinking alcohol often leads to pounds gain. Most importantly, beer, wine, and spirits are high in calories. Ethanol (the main ingredient in alcohol) provides 7.1 calories per gram versus 4 calories per gram for protein and carbohydrates, and 9 calories per gram for fat.
In popular alcoholic beverages, calories add up quickly: a 12-ounce can of beer has about 150 calories (100 if it’s light beer), a glass of wine has about 125 calories, and 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits has anywhere between 100 and 115 calories. If you had two drinks a night, that could add over 1,500 calories a week!
In addition to being high in calories, the ethanol in your adult beverage also stimulates your appetite, quelling your craving for healthy food, and increasing your craving for fun, high-calorie foods. It’s no wonder that after a couple of drinks, you’re diving head-to-head into a cheese pizza or craving for junk food. There is even a common name for the snack – drunks.
Read more: 9 ways to crush hunger cravings and lose weight now
Tea is another great slimming sip. Not only can some teas boost your metabolism, but the healthy plant compounds found in tea may also promote health and well-being. The flavonoids in tea can help reduce the risks of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
Preliminary studies show that tea flavonoids help raise metabolic rate, increase fat oxidation, and improve blood sugar and insulin activity. The antioxidants and caffeine in the tea can also boost your metabolism to help you burn more calories and maintain a healthy weight. Several studies on green, black, and oolong tea show that tea drinkers have a lower BMI compared to non-tea drinkers.
Related: Final Verdict on Drinking Tea for Weight Loss
Like regular tea, black coffee is naturally calorie-free and contains no added sugar or carbohydrates. But its low calorie count isn’t the only reason coffee supports weight loss – the caffeine in coffee can help increase metabolism to help your body burn more calories to help you maintain a healthy weight. A large population study revealed that individuals who reported drinking more coffee were more successful in maintaining a healthy weight, compared to those who reported drinking less coffee or no coffee at all.
How can your cup of joe help you lose weight? Some research suggests that coffee may suppress your appetite, reduce cravings, increase your ability to exercise and burn fat, making it easier for you to reach your health goals. In fact, one small study when coffee was enjoyed before exercise revealed that fat burning and energy output improved when people drank coffee versus hot water before exercise.
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