Beverages have more calorie consequences than most people realize.
Just because they go down quickly and easily doesn’t mean you aren’t taking in more calories than you need.
Drink these Four Beverages with Caution
Here are a few of the more common beverages people consume when trying to lose or maintain their weight. There are better ways to enjoy these drinks (and save some calories), which we’ll discuss below.
1. Diet Sodas
For those of you who know me, this statement will come as no surprise:
Diet sodas are just as bad for you as the regular stuff.
I’m sorry, but it’s been scientifically proven:
- Researchers identified sweet taste receptors on the tongue and on the lining of our digestive tracks. When they’re stimulated, they produce insulin, which is a fat-storage hormone (not good).
- Since diet soda has sugar substitutes, it shouldn’t ‘technically’ create this response. But, for some reason, it actually does.
Bottom line: You’re better off drinking healthier alternatives.
2. Green Juices
Many so-called “health juices” you can have custom-made at your local market are often just fruit juices spiked with something like spirulina to make it look healthy. That single ingredient turns these drinks into incredibly sugar-laden sweet treats that can pack several hundred calories in a single serving.
Consider eating fruit instead of drinking it:
- When you eat a piece of fruit, the fiber slows down your glycemic response, which is how your body processes natural glucose.
- In contrast, when you drink a fruit in juice form, the fiber is gone but the sugar is still there.
Skip the green drink unless you make it yourself with your own real fruits and veggies at home. Will it taste as good? Probably not. But it can fill you up in a flash and keep you satiated longer.
The optimal calorie-conscious choices are:
- Some type of spirit with tonic water or club soda
Choosing a beer is complicated due to the high carb content and many people’s undiagnosed sensitivity to gluten. Beer can also cause an inflammatory response that leads to fluctuations in weight and bloating.
Enjoying more than one or two cocktails also opens the door to food indulgences that are not worth the calories (or the guilt the day after).
A good jolt of java can actually be a healthy way to boost your performance in the gym and at the office because it produces adrenaline. But if you have more than three cups a day, you could be in trouble.
- More than three cups of coffee per day can tax your adrenal glands and cause you to feel sluggish.
- While plain coffee won’t make you gain weight, those tasty creamers, milks, flavored syrups and coffeehouse designer sugars can literally stall your weight loss.
Find new ways to enjoy your java without all the extras.
Water is Still Best for Weight Control
Here’s the the FYI on H2O:
- Plain water is a terrific antioxidant.
- Every day, drink at least six 12-ounce glasses.
- Many people confuse thirst signals for hunger.
- Toss in a few slices of citrus and drink it with plenty of ice. Your skin will also thank you for it!
Beverages like hot and iced teas can fill you up and offer added health benefits. But there are many drinks out there that add sugar, calories and carbs to your diet. Most of my weight loss patients say they prefer to eat their daily calorie allotment rather than drink it.
Whatever your preference, choose carefully. The last thing you want to do is stall your weight loss.
About Dr. Seun Sowemimo, MD, FACS
Dr. Seun is a top NJ bariatric surgeon and the medical director at Prime Surgicare, with offices in Freehold serving Monmouth and Ocean counties. He is board-certified, Columbia and Yale University fellowship-trained in advanced laparoscopic, bariatric and general surgery.
To learn more, visit his YouTube channel or call Prime Surgicare at (732)-982-2002.