Can cutting sugary beverages really help me lose weight?
BY: Michael CastlemanYes! A new study found that cutting just one sugary drink a day resulted in nearly 2.5 pounds of weight loss over 18 months with no additional effort. What’s more, experts believe limiting sugary drinks leads to more weight loss than cutting calories from food. Why? Calories consumed from liquids are less filling than calories from solid food, says lead author Liwei Chen, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Louisiana State University School of Public Health. As a result, you’re more likely to have a second soft drink than a second sandwich.
Many other studies agree that reducing sugary drinks can make a big difference when you’re trying to shed pounds. At Children’s Hospital Boston, researchers provided overweight kids with calorie-free beverages and asked them to substitute them for sugary drinks. After six months, sugary beverage consumption dropped by 82 percent, and the kids who started out the heaviest reduced their body mass by 2.5 percent (or about 5 pounds for a 200-pound child), reports study author Cara B. Ebbeling, Ph.D., co-director of obesity research at Children’s Hospital. Likewise, Harvard scientists tracking 51,603 nurses for four years found that those who drank the most sugary beverages gained the most weight, according to lead author Matthias B. Schulze, Dr.P.H. of the Harvard School of Public Health.
So replace those sugary sodas, fruit drinks, mochas and lattes with low- or no-cal alternatives. Add some exercise and healthy food choices and watch the pounds disappear!
Michael Castleman has been called "one of the nation's leading health writers" (Library Journal). He is the author of 11 consumer health books and more than 1,500 health articles for magazines and the Web. Michael is a frequent contributor to Live Right Live Well.