Drinking Habits That Can Jumpstart Your Weight Loss, Say Nutrition Experts — Eat This Not That

Food may not be your biggest enemy in your battle with belly fat—can be fluid. What you drink and how much affects the total number of calories you consume. And those calories can sneak up on you since most calorie counters only count calories from solid foods. Therefore, recognizing and adjusting your drinking habits to reduce calories can boost your weight loss.

Think about it: the average American consumes about 22% of their daily fluid calories. So let’s say you eat an average of 2,400 calories per day (a conservative number as some studies suggest the average is 3,000, others say as high as 3,600!). That’s 528 calories you could make a dent in if you cut sugary drinks out of your daily routine.

Make it personal: Track all the fluids you consume in a typical day and count calories to see how many you can cut out to fuel your weight loss. Adopting the following healthy drinking habits will help.

Read on and for more information on how to eat healthy, don’t miss Eating Habits to Lose Belly Fat as You Age, Dietitians Say.

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Making a habit of drinking a shake as a meal replacement is another way to work your way to a slimmer body. But you have to do it right. Many people don’t. They mix up shakes that are so high in calories and even sugars that they’re counterproductive to weight loss, dieticians say.

To ensure your shakes are truly designed to fill you up and not satiate you, make sure they have enough protein and fiber, ideally 20 grams of protein and at least 5 grams of fiber, advises a registered dietitian nutritionist. Elise Harlow, RDNowner of The flowered table. “If these nutrients are overlooked, your shake can cause a significant spike in blood sugar and leave you hungry soon after,” she says.

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READ MORE: The 25 Best Weight Loss Smoothies Of All Time

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“Artificial sweeteners have been a controversial food product for years,” he says. Trista Best, DRa registered dietitian Balance One Supplements. “The concern is whether reducing calories in our food is worth the potential side effects, which range from gas and bloating to gastrointestinal irritation and the potential for promoting cancer.” Additionally, the common artificial sweetener sucralose reduces healthy bacteria in the gut, which increases the likelihood of gastrointestinal irritation and can contribute to weight gain.

RELATED: What happens to your body when you eat artificial sweeteners

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By having a water goal for the day, you’ll be more likely to avoid high-calorie fluids. “A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of calorie-free fluids every day,” he says. Samantha Presicci, RDnutritionist in bone broth FOND. “And I always recommend electrolytes to help support that hydration and help your body better utilize and absorb the water you’re drinking.”

Also, the more liquid you consume, the less food you tend to eat. Studies have shown that people who drink glasses of water before a meal end up reducing their caloric intake at the meal and for the rest of the day.

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All unsweetened teas are great beverage choices, but one can be particularly powerful in boosting weight loss: green tea. “Japanese researchers found that the levels of special antioxidants called polymerized polyphenols found in green tea inhibit the body’s ability to absorb fat by up to 20%,” he says. kelly choyauthor of The 7-Day Flat Belly Tea Cleanse. Both green and white tea also contain certain plant compounds called catechins such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that have been shown in studies to boost weight loss and belly fat loss when consumed regularly, she says.

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Also, these teas contain caffeine. An analysis of studies published in the International Journal of Obesityshowed that the combination of EGCG and caffeine may be responsible for increasing metabolism by 5%.

Now that you have your drinking habits under control, check out these Eating Habits to Lose Belly Fat as You Age.

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