There is a section in Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding when the eponymous heroine tries to lose weight by drinking smoothies one hot summer. She thinks this will work: it’s just tasty fluid after all. Jones drinks so many smoothies she gains weight instead. The lesson here is that calories are still calories no matter the state in which they are delivered: liquid or solid.
The Worst Fluids
Some liquids are worse than others when it comes to losing weight. The worst sorts are alcoholic drinks. Even if you stay within so-called “safe” limits for weekly alcohol consumption, that’s mainly a health-related rating to protect your heart and liver, not a means of staying within caloric bounds. Beer, wine, and spirits contain many calories you probably forget about the more you drink, and the more you drink the more food is likely to be consumed too. Alcohol provides a double-whammy for the consumer intent on shedding pounds. Thick, sweet spirits and stout are the worst (Guinness, Baileys, Kahlua, etc.)
Drinks sweetened with any kind of sugar are bad news. It doesn’t matter if they are sweetened with cane sugar, rice syrup, honey, or table sugar. Soda-pop is rich in the stuff: often several teaspoons for a regular-sized tin. Kids perform science experiments at an early age in school where teachers try to deter them from consuming cans of soda. Nurses lament the early use of cola in baby bottles as a means of settling fractious toddlers. No wonder even very young people are fat and tooth decay is rife as soon as a child’s teeth come in. These are hard habits to break in adult life too.
Coffee is considered the enemy of weight loss, especially for people who can’t block cortisol production. They lay down fat when they are stressed. It’s thought that too much caffeine prevents flavonoids from working, so if you are drinking coffee, try to cut down. It’s not the sugar and cream that matter so much (although they aren’t helping); caffeine alone is doing you no favors. If you can’t resist, reduce the cup size at least or consider ordering a skinny latte, thereby cutting out some caffeine. Compensate by eating more flavonoid-rich food too. And, if caffeine is the only thing you feel you need, try some green tea instead.
Water is the healthiest drink around, but if you’re tired of plain water here are some suggestions to help you remain hydrated and stop nibbling. Drink pure, freshly squeezed fruit juice in moderation. A bit of orange or apple juice (not from concentrate) is better than pop and provides some vitamins. Drink citrus juice with protein-rich foods and absorb more iron.
Choose herbal teas and drink them without sugar. Green tea is an antioxidant and other teas are known for their holistic properties. Some cleanse the liver or GI tract (milk thistle); certain types ease digestive issues (mint styles); and others are excellent for calming a person prior to sleep (like chamomile.) These lose their health benefits as soon as you pour granulated sugar into them, so learn to enjoy the aroma and your taste buds will come to love the taste.