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 would not be surprising that the body tends to ignore beverage calories.
Scientific studies support this premise. 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. 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.
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, and 100% fruit juice and fruit drinks, in that order. Caloric beverages constitute 21% of all calories consumed by the average American. Even when the 2.9% of calories (about 64 calories a day) the average American drinks in the form of milk are excluded, if the average American would replace the non-milk caloric beverages with natural zero calorie drinks and not replace those drinks with other calories, he could lose 35 pounds a year!
To make this concept work on the Simply Fit Diet, eliminate all non-milk caloric beverages. You can still drink plain coffee and tea, water and carbonated water. If the body doesn’t count caloric beverages, then eliminating them will not make a difference in your hunger, but will speed your weight loss.
Read all of Chapter 5, the source of this excerpt from The Simply Fit Diet.