6 best drinks for weight loss that won't make you gain weight

Health Fitness Zone

Dietitians say these are the 6 best drinks for weight loss that won't make you gain weight

weight loss drinks

If you are trying to lose weight, you may be thinking about how much you move and how much you eat and drink. ICYMI, everything you drink has calories, just like everything you eat. To reach your goals, you'll want to choose the best weight loss drinks. Some drinks can make you want to eat more, which can make you gain weight.

Gabbi Berkow, RD, CDN, CPT, a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer, says that booze and soda are just "empty calories" and that you shouldn't drink them when you're thirsty. "The only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you eat," she says. "To get the most calories from food, we want to get the least calories from drinks." These drinks have a lot of energy and sugar, but nothing good for you. The extra sugar can also cause your blood sugar to rise and fall, which can make you want more sugar.

That's why you should be careful with sugar substitutes. Another thing to keep in mind is that most drinks don't have fibre, which is a very important part of feeling full. They won't keep you full as long as meals with lots of fibre, so you'll get hungry sooner and eat more calories total.

If you don't pay close attention to the calories in drinks, it's easy and quick to take in more calories than you need. Don't worry, there are many low-calorie drinks that are good for your health and easy to add to your diet right now. Here are 6 drinks that are okay with RDs and can help you lose weight.

green tea

1. Green Tea

Green tea without sugar has no calories, and research shows that it may also help speed up your digestion. "This is because green tea has caffeine in it, and also because it has catechins, which are antioxidants that can help burn fat," says Berkow. But, here's another point of view: To lose weight, you need to eat less than you burn, so you can't count on drinks with catechins to speed up your metabolism.

The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology published a study in 2019 that tied green tea extract to a lower weight, BMI, and body fat percentage. "That doesn't mean that drinking green tea on its own isn't good for you," says Katherine Donelan, RD, of Stanford Health Care. "On the other hand, the American Institute for Cancer Research suggests drinking between one and four cups of green tea every day as part of a diet to lower the risk of cancer."


2. Smoothies

"When smoothies are made right, they are a great way to lose weight," says Berkow. "But you have to make sure they are filling enough to replace a meal or snack." "You should also remember that fruits and sugars won't make you feel as full as solid food would, so don't eat too much of them."

Berkow says that you can use her recipe to make smoothies that are filling, well-balanced, and full of protein, fibre, unsaturated fat, vitamins, and minerals: Mix at least 20 grammes of protein (from protein powder or plain 0% Greek yoghurt), one or two servings of fruit (like bananas and berries), a handful of spinach or another green of your choice, one serving of unsaturated fat (like one to two level tablespoons of nut butter, a quarter of an avocado, or one tablespoon of chia seeds), and one cup of water or non-dairy milk/skim milk for liquid.

Audra Wilson, MS, RD, a bariatric dietitian at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, says that smoothies are great for refuelling athletes, but they might not be the best choice for the normal person. "A better choice would be to use a pre-made low-carb protein shake or powder and add 12 cup of fruit and a few tablespoons of low-carb yoghurt or powdered peanut butter. This gives you a different taste without all the carbs and calories that these add-ins give you, she says.

Even though there is no study to show that drinking smoothies can help you lose weight, there is no doubt that smoothies are a good way to add healthier foods to your diet. Donelan says, 'If we used to eat a sausage and egg sandwich for breakfast and now we choose a fruit and vegetable drink instead, that's a great choice because we know that eating more fruits and vegetables is more likely to lead to weight loss'.


3. Coffee

Berkow says that adding coffee to your diet can be a good idea. She says, "Black coffee would be best because it has no calories and caffeine, which can speed up your metabolism a little bit." (But this increase in metabolism isn't enough to make you lose weight on its own.)

In a 2020 study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, researchers found that having four cups of coffee per day could possibly cut body fat by up to 4%.
Berkow says that adding a lot of sugar, cream, or milk to coffee or tea makes it unhealthy and high in calories. Think of frappuccinos and coffee with flavours. If you like sugar and cream or milk in your coffee, that's fine. She suggests using stevia or monk fruit instead of sugar because they won't make your blood sugar go up. Use just a little bit of milk or cream.
Don't forget to drink water, either. During the day, it can be easy to drink coffee and forget to drink water.

apple cider

4. Apple Cider Vinegar Drinks

Many people like to add a little apple cider vinegar (ACV) to their daily drink or sip on a ready-made bottled form, which are easier to find in grocery stores now. "ACV is linked to many health benefits, like helping to control blood sugar and helping with weight management by making you feel fuller," says Marissa Meshulam, RD, of New York City. She also says that raw, unfiltered ACV (the kind where you can see the cloudy-looking "mother") is a source of probiotics, which can help the health of your immune system and gut.

A 2018 study released in the Journal of Functional Foods found that combining ACV with a low-calorie diet is a good way to help people who are overweight or obese lose their appetite.

But Donelan says that the amount of ACV you use is the most important thing. "Studies have shown that you need to take two tablespoons of apple cider every day to get the benefits, but it's hard to know if these apple cider drinks on the market have enough apple cider in them, and even if they do, you'd have to drink one a day to get the benefits," she says.

If you want to save money, you could just buy apple cider vinegar and drink it as a shot or in a shooter with a splash of juice. You could also make a drink with it to make it taste better.

nut milk

5. Nut Milk

Berkow says that nut milks have very few calories and, based on which milk you choose, can be a great source of iron, vitamin E, and antioxidants. When added, calcium and vitamin D are also found in nut milks. "They're also gluten-free, lactose-free, and vegan." The best choice is nut milk that isn't sweetened. Sweetened versions have a lot more sugar than plain ones.

A 2020 tudy found that plant-based beverages, like almond milk, tend to have fewer calories than normal dairy milk. This means that people who want to lose weight may benefit from switching to nut-based milks like almond milk. One cup of whole milk, for example, has 149 calories, while one cup of almond milk has only 60 calories.
"Not only that, but the American Institute for Cancer Research suggests limiting animal products as much as possible to lower the risk of cancer," says Donelan.


        6. Water

        Eh, kind of dull, right? Not so quickly. Berkow says that you must drink water if you want to lose weight. "It's also very important to stay hydrated if you want to lose weight, and for your health in general. "Your body needs water for everything—metabolism, circulation, energy, digestion, and more," she says.

        A systematic review from 2019 looked at several studies that looked at how drinking water affected weight loss. All of them found that drinking more water led to a major weight loss. Jesse Feder, RDN, a member to My Crohn's and Colitis Team, says that the best studies were the ones in which people replaced their high-calorie drinks with water.

        Also, you may have heard that hunger and thirst signs are easy to mix up, and that's true. If you feel hungry, you might just be thirsty. Berkow says that the best way to figure out how hungry you are is to drink a full glass of water before you eat. Aim for at least eight cups (64 ounces) a day, and even more if you've been very busy or sweated a lot. Add any sliced fruit you have in the fridge to make it more fun.

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