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When it comes to losing weight, cut down on liquid calories rather than food. Weight loss from liquid calories is greater than loss of calorie intake from solid food according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study found that drinking fewer sugary drinks was more important than eating less for losing weight. And, drinking one less serving of a soft drink was associated with just over one pound of weight loss at six months and an additional weight loss of more than 1.4 pounds at 18 months.
The body is able to self-regulate its intake of solid food. If you eat too much solid food at lunch, you will tend to eat less at dinner. But the same self-regulation does not apply for what you drink. The body does not adjust to liquid calories, so over time, you gain more weight. Beverages are categorized into eight categories:
- Sugar-sweetened beverages (including soft drinks, fruit drinks, fruit punch, or high-calorie beverages sweetened with sugar)
- Diet drinks such as diet soda and other diet drinks that are artificially sweetened
- Milk (including whole milk, 2 percent milk, and 1 percent skim)
- 100% fruit and vegetable juice
- Coffee and tea with sugar
- Coffee and tea without sugar
- Alcoholic beverages
- Water with no calories.
The best drinks are water, plain soda and tea or coffee with no sugar.