Many of us watch what we eat but not what we drink when on a diet. That’s a mistake. The average American drinks 20% of their daily calories. In fact, choosing the right drinks will tweak your metabolism, curb your appetite, and help cut calories. Learn which drinks help you lose weight and keep it off.
Replacing carbonated soft drinks with water will cut hundreds of calories per day. Drinking two glasses of water before a meal may also help you feel full faster, so you don’t eat as much. And drinking enough water may have a positive effect on your metabolism.
Drink: Vegetable Juice
Vegetable juice is as nutritious as fruit juice, with about half the calories but a lot more sodium. One cup of tomato juice has 41 calories, compared to 122 calories for orange juice. Choosing juice with pulp provides some fiber, too, which may help control hunger.
Drink: Low-Fat Milk
Eating calcium-rich foods may do a body good, and it may help you lose weight. Some research shows that drinking higher amounts of milk or eating other dairy foods can help with weight loss. For the best all-around benefits, stick to skim or low-fat.
Drink: Black Coffee
When you need a shot of caffeine, coffee is a better choice than soda or energy drinks. Black coffee is calorie-free and rich in antioxidants. Studies have shown that drinking moderate amounts of coffee (about 3 to 4 cups a day) may improve mood and concentration, and may also lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.
Drink: Green Tea
Green tea is an excellent choice when you’re looking for a little boost. Not only is it calorie-free, research suggests green tea extract may stimulate weight loss. It’s not clear exactly how that works, but caffeine and micronutrients called catechins may each play a role. The benefit appears to last only a few hours, so it may help to drink green tea at least twice a day.
Drink: Light Beer
OK, beer is not really going to help you lose much weight. But if you’re out with friends and want to share a pitcher, light beer is the only way to go. A 12-ounce serving has about 100 calories, compared to 150 calories for regular beer.