Friday, January 22, 2010

Lucille Roberts: Good and Bad Drinks That Impact Your Weight Loss Efforts

When it comes to losing weight, you may want to consider altering more than just your eating habits – what you drink counts, too! By substituting sugary sodas and energy drinks, as well as alcoholic beverages with healthier alternatives such as water, green tea and vegetable juice, you can boost both your metabolism and success rate for shedding those unwanted extra pounds. Below is a list of five quick fixes you can make today to start you down the road towards slimness.

Poor Drink Choice #1: Soda - Due to its large quantities of calories and making up for 10 percent of the caloric intake of the average American, soda consumption is without a doubt a significant contributor to weight gain. In fact, it would take approximately 27 minutes of walking to burn off one 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola-Classic. Moreover, with such a high concentration of both sugar and starch, soda may also contribute to appetite increases and overeating.

Healthy Alternative: Fruit Juice – Loaded with vitamins and nutrients, fruit juice with natural pulp and very low quantities of sugar can actually help you feel more full, often curbing your appetite so that you will not overeat at your next meal.

Poor Drink Choice #2: Coffee Drinks - While drinking a two-calorie cup of black coffee in the morning will not put a dent in your calorie-reduction efforts, a venti-sized Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks will sabotage your hard work, accounting for an entire meal's worth of calories. At a whopping 660 calories, this popular coffee drink among caffeine cravers is a definite “no-no” for anyone trying to slim down.

Healthy Alternative: Green Tea - With a plethora of positive health benefits and plenty of helpful antioxidants, consuming 3 to 5 cups of green tea on a daily basis can boost your metabolism and speed up your body’s fat-burning mechanism by up to 40%.

Poor Drink Choice #3: Smoothies – Although a smoothie made from only ice and frozen fruit serves as a healthy and refreshing snack, beware of high-calorie frozen drinks made with enormous amounts of sugar. Jamba Juice’s 30-ounce Peanut Butter Moo’d Power Smoothie, chiming in at an unheard of 1,170 calories and 169 grams of sugar, accounts for 4 days worth of the recommended allowance of sugar.

Healthy Alternative: Fruit Smoothies – Fruit smoothies made from your favorite fruit and a touch of skim milk are among the top five healthy drinks to help you lose weight. Just be sure not to consume any fruit smoothie that contains caloric giants such as added sugar, whipped cream, honey or other sweeteners and your healthy selection will surely pay off.

Poor Drink Choice #4: Energy Drinks – Accounting for $3.4 billion a year in revenue, popular energy drinks such as Red Bull contain massive amounts of sugar – there are 27 grams of sugar in one 8.3-ounce can of Red Bull. While it may “give you wings,” this energy drink will also affect your metabolism adversely, often leading to undesired and inevitable weight gain.

Healthy Alternative: Ice Cold Water – Most of your drowsiness in the morning is a result of overnight dehydration, therefore, reaching for a refreshing glass of ice cold water may provide the boost you are looking for. You will also burn an extra 200 calories a day drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water, while boosting your metabolism up to 30%.

Poor Drink Choice #5: Beer – With the average light beer accounting for just over 100 calories and 6 grams of carbohydrates, its effect on weight gain may only be minimal. However, keep in mind that it would take a total of three hours and 20 minutes to walk off drinking one can of beer a night for a week.

Healthy Alternative: None - Since beer contains the macronutrient alcohol, a healthy alternative that offers the “buzz” you are looking for simply does not exist. Yet, drinking beer and other alcoholic beverages in moderation is a much healthier alternative to late-night binge drinking.


  1. A friend of mine assures me that cold water is not good but i begged to differ and you have just cleared that for me.

    I honestly enjoy ice cold water, well i must say its because it gets rid of some calories which is great.

  2. I've tried various low-carb, low-calorie, and low-fat diets for the past couple of years. Although the Atkins diet is very popular, it made me feel somewhat unhealthy.
    The diet plan I'm on right now is the Medifast Diet. The caloric intake is roughly 800-1000 calories. However, it doesn't make my body feel weak. It is a bit of a pricey diet, but there are plenty of coupons available on the internet (i.e. You should never pay full price.
    My advice is just choose a diet plan which your body reacts positively to. No one knows your body better than you do!