Drinking for Weight Loss

If you are trying to lose fat, what you drink is every bit as important as what you eat. Many drinks and fruit juices are high in sugars and will not aid fat loss.

Drink Plenty of Water

The Number One Rule! Drink lots of water! The benefits are many, and the research is sure – swapping out caloric beverages with water leads to a 2-2.5% weight loss.

See more about why water is necessary for optimal weight loss.

Cut Down on the Alcohol

We’ve all heard of the term ‘beer-belly’ or ‘beerpot’. However its not just consumption of large quantities of beer that can make us fat. Alcohol has other attributes that can make fat loss so much harder.

Everything in moderation – and when it comes to alcohol one or two drinks should be a maximum.

However alcohol interferes with the bodies ability to burn fat. Most of us know how large alcohol consumption can adversely affect liver function. The liver is one of the organs primarily responsible for metabolizing fat.

Alcohol is also a strong diuretic (causing the body to flush water), which goes completely against the advice of drinking lots of water.

Many alcohols (beer) also have a high number of calories. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram (slightly below fat which has 9 calories per gram).

Binge drinking is not an option for anyone looking to lose weight and become healthier.

Don’t do it! Stick to light beer or the occasional wine.

What About Coffee?

Yes we’ve all been told we drink too much coffee. But to be honest – a cup or two a day will not affect a weight loss program. Just don’t overdo it.

Many diet pills and supplements have caffeine included as part of the active ingredients – but this doesn’t mean we should start drinking lots of coffee. If you’re really serious, then try to minimize the amount of high-fat milks (no creamy latte’s).

Caffeine is a diuretic and can cause fluid loss – so remember to drink extra water if you’re having coffee.

Just be careful when going to restaurants and ordering their specialty coffees and gourmet varieties as often they are loaded with calories. Especially beware of McDonald’s and Burger King’s Iced Coffee and other’s ice cream based coffee drinks.

Diet Drinks and Low-calorie Drinks

Tea, diet drinks, diet soda are okay to drink – but remember – water is the best way to hydrate your body. Many so-called sports drinks often contain high-levels of sugar, and should only be consumed in moderation.

Diet sodas have little or no Calories – but, as yet, do not appear to be linked to weight loss. Incredibly, research shows that consumption of artificially sweetened drinks is correlated with weight gain!.

This may be due to artificial sweeteners leading people to crave the real thing (i.e. sugary foods). Or it could be a psychological effect (“I’ve been drinking diet soda all day – so now I’m allowed to eat this cake”).

  • Chen, L., Appel, L. J., Loria, C., Lin, P. H., Champagne, C. M., Elmer, P. J., … & Caballero, B. (2009). Reduction in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with weight loss: the PREMIER trial. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 89(5), 1299-1306. Link
  • Tate, D. F., Turner-McGrievy, G., Lyons, E., Stevens, J., Erickson, K., Polzien, K., … & Popkin, B. (2012). Replacing caloric beverages with water or diet beverages for weight loss in adults: main results of the Choose Healthy Options Consciously Everyday (CHOICE) randomized clinical trial. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 95(3), 555-563. Link
  • Stookey, J. D., Constant, F., Popkin, B. M., & Gardner, C. D. (2008). Drinking water is associated with weight loss in overweight dieting women independent of diet and activity. Obesity, 16(11), 2481-2488. Link
  • Fowler, S. P., Williams, K., Resendez, R. G., Hunt, K. J., Hazuda, H. P., & Stern, M. P. (2008). Fueling the Obesity Epidemic? Artificially Sweetened Beverage Use and Long-term Weight Gain. Obesity, 16(8), 1894-1900. Link

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