Health, Diet, Fitness and Weight Loss Blog
The Simply Fit Diet
Stop Drinking Calories: Lose 35 Pounds

By replacing caloric beverages with non-
caloric beverages, the average
American could lose 35 pounds a year
with no other dietary changes.

Body fat is becoming a national crisis.  In
the U.S., 74% of men and 64% of
women are overweight or obese– almost
70% of the adult population (
1).  Eleven
percent of American adults have
diabetes and 35% have pre-diabetes
(
2).  The American military rejects 27% of
recruits because they are too heavy and
more than half of active duty personnel
are overweight (
3).

Dieters often spend hundreds to try to
sweat off weight in a gym when a
cheaper and easier strategy would be
more effective.

Government statistics reveal that the
average American adult drinks 400
calories a day in the form of regular
soda, energy and sports drinks, alcoholic
beverages, milk, 100% fruit juice and
fruit drinks, in that order(
4). Caloric
beverages constitute 21% of all calories
consumed by the average American.

But throughout most of man's history,
water was the primary beverage. Fruit
juices, wine and beer are recent
inventions–only in the past several
thousand years. Coca-Cola arrived on
the scene in 1886, Gatorade started in
1965, and energy drinks, the most recent
high calorie fad, have only become a
significant force in the past decade.
When compared to the hundreds of
thousands of years that humans have
been around, most caloric beverages
have only been available for the blink of
an eye. Therefore, it is not surprising that
the body tends to ignore beverage
calories.

Scientific studies support this premise
(
5). In one study, students were allowed
to eat as much pizza as they wanted,
accompanied by no beverage, a non-
caloric beverage, or a caloric beverage
such as milk, soda, or orange juice (
6).
The students ate the same amount of
food, whether or not they consumed a
beverage, and felt just as full, whether or
not the beverage had calories. However,
when the beverage had calories, these
calories were added to the meal–the
student's bodies did not seem to count
the liquid calories as food calories.

Although the pizza-eating study found
that milk acted like soda or juice, other
studies find milk the exception to the
body ignoring liquid calories. This makes
sense, we are designed to thrive on
human milk, and cows' milk is a similar
substitute. In some studies, milk is the
single beverage that the body seems to
acknowledge and therefore reduce the
consumption of other foods.

Subtracting the 2.9% of calories (about
64 calories a day) the average American
drinks as milk, he still drinks 336 calories
a day.  Applying the standard that it
takes 3,500 calories to lose a pound, if
the average American would replace the
non-milk caloric beverages with natural
(
7) zero calorie drinks and not replace
those drinks with other calories, he could
lose 35 pounds a year!




Footnotes:
_________________

1. “Who Is at Risk for Overweight and Obesity?”
National Institutes of Health, July 13, 2012,  
http://www.
nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/obe/atrisk.html

2. “Number of Americans with Diabetes Rises to Nearly
26 Million,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
January 26, 2011,  
http://www.cdc.
gov/media/releases/2011/p0126_diabetes.html

3. "Still Too Fat to Fight," Mission: Readiness, 2012,  
http://missionreadiness.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-
content/uploads/Still-Too-Fat-To-Fight-Report.pdf; "The
U.S. Military's New Mission: Slimmer Kids,"
Buisnessweek, May 23, 2014,
http://www.
businessweek.com/articles/2014-05-23/the-u-dot-s-dot-
military-says-childhood-obesity-is-hurting-enlistment

4. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, U.S. Department
of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, 2010, Chapter 5 at page 47,
http:
//www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/Chapter5.pdf

5. Tate, Deborah, et al., “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,” American Journal of  Clinical  Nutrition. Mar 2012;
95(3): 555–563,
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.
gov/pmc/articles/PMC3632875/

6. Panahi ,S.I., El Khoury D., Luhovyy B.L., Goff H.D.,
Anderson G.H., "Caloric beverages consumed freely at
meal-time add calories to an ad libitum meal," Appetite.
2013 Jun;65:75-82
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.
gov/pubmed/23402713

7. Whether low or no calorie sweeteners help or hurt
weight loss is unresolved.  In observational studies,  
they seem to be correlated with weight gain, but in
controlled studies where they replace sugar, they seem
to help with weight loss.  
http://ajcn.nutrition.
org/content/100/3/765.full  The safest approach for
dieters is to stick to natural zero calorie beverages like
water, tea and coffee.
All original contents copyright  2017.