Liquid Calories: Are You Drinking on the Pounds?
What if I said you could lose weight without changing what you eat?
Sounds like a typical diet gimmick, but it might just be true. Here’s my point: you may be able to lose weight by simply changing what you drink.
One of the primary causes of obesity is liquid calories—drinks sweetened with sugar. Consider these facts:
- Our bodies were simply not designed to take in large amounts of calories through liquids. For thousands of years our primary drink has been water.
- Liquid calories are usually “empty calories”—meaning they contain no nutritional value.
- Most of the calories we drink come from simple sugars, which set the body up to store fat.
- *Liquid calories are “sneaky”—they pass right through our digestive system without making us feel full. Even fruit juice has this problem, since the fruit’s sugars have been separated from the fiber.
Now let’s consider the caloric content of a couple of our favorite beverages:
*A typical can of soda contains 40 grams of sugar and over 150 calories.
*A blended ice drink at your local coffee shop will usually have over 300 calories and around 60 grams of sugar.
There is solid research to back me up here. A study published last year (April 2009) showed reducing liquid calories was more effective than changing eating habits in terms of weight loss:
A reduction in liquid calorie intake had a stronger effect than did a reduction in solid calorie intake on weight loss. Of the individual beverages, only intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) was significantly associated with weight change.
Exerpt from American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/89/5/1299), emphasis mine.
There’s really only one good source of liquid calories—milk. Milk contains protein, calcium, and other nutrients. It also requires digestion, which means it will give you some sense of satiety (fullness).
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:
If you are serious about weight loss you’ll need to start with what you drink. Reduce (or better yet, eliminate) all forms of liquid calories with the exception of lowfat milk.
Thanks to MOB’s favorite and most prolific guest poster. We love when Kevin at Strong and Fit honors us with one of his great posts. Always filled with great information and as the title states motivation. We hope you enjoy his posts as much as we do.
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