Liquid calories

When we calculate daily calorie intake, many of us focus on food and forget about drinks. Such a miscalculation can affect the effectiveness of the diet, because their energy value can reach 400 kcal. But this is not the only problem! Our bodies react differently to calories from food and drink, regulating appetite and hormone levels. We are going to tell you why this happens and what to do with liquid "fuel".

To lose weight, you need a calorie deficit. There is no other way. This rule applies not only to food, but also to drinks. Their calories must be added to the calories from food to be below your daily calorie intake. 

The calorie drinks are only part of the problem. A number of studies show that our bodies "value" food and liquids differently.

For example, food. If you eat a satisfying meal, your body immediately reduces ghrelin levels, the hormone of hunger. As a result, your appetite decreases and you don't feel like you are hungry for the next few hours.  

It's different with drinks. One of the hypotheses says that the body's response to them is weaker, the level of ghrelin barely falls, that means that hunger remains. Together with it, the chances of gaining extra calories in the form of the next meal that your body will ask you, increase. 

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American nutritionists conducted an interesting study. For one group of volunteers, 450 kcal were added to the diet in the form of sugary drinks for a month, the other - the same 450 kcal, provided by sweets and cakes. By the end of the trial, the first group had significantly higher weight gain than the second. The explanation for this fact is simple.

- Solid food, for the assimilation of which the body spends up to 10% of the energy received, is processed slowly, lingers in the stomach for a long time and creates a feeling of satiety for a long time.

- Liquid calories are absorbed instantly, almost without energy consumption. Therefore, a person imperceptibly drinks more than he planned. 

You should be careful with soda and other sugary drinks.

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How can you control your liquid calorie intake?

This can be done by listening to the helpful advice of nutritionists. They will help you accustom yourself to proper nutrition, limit the amount of unhealthy

foods in your diet, as well as teach you how to calculate the number of calories received from the liquid, and allow you to get rid of it.

1) First and foremost, reduce the amount of sugar in your drinks. Use a low-calorie sweetener. Limit yourself to bottled drinks - they are incredibly sweet, whether the sweetener is natural or artificial. 

2) Reduce the amount of sugar you put in tea or coffee daily. There is no need to make exceptions for any type of drinks - neither for cold nor for hot. 

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3) Choosing the right juices that do not contain sugar can help you cut down on liquid calories.

4) Dairy products should also contain a minimum percentage of fat and be low in calories. 

5) There is no place for sodas in your diet. Replace sweet soda with mineral water, which is much healthier and does not contain harmful elements. 

6) Try to reduce the number of cocktails and "healthy" drinks. Their calorie content is often more than 800 calories, although there is still usefulness in such products. The combination of milk, fruit and yogurt adds protein to our body, so only use fresh fruit and skim milk and yogurt.

7) If you are thirsty, drink water. Adding a slice of lemon, lime or orange will noticeably refresh the drink and add vitamins for your body. 

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"Liquid" calories and blood sugar

Another disadvantage of the drinks is that they are easily digested. It means that carbohydrates from the liquids will quickly enter the body and cause a rise in blood sugar levels, and at the same time a surge in insulin. These all can hinder your weight loss goal, even with a well-formulated diet.

To lower your blood sugar, you can revise your menu and drink a smoothie instead of juice, and a thick shake instead of soda. 

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What's good about liquid calories?

Easily digestible, quickly raises sugar levels, does not affect appetite - “liquid” calories are ideal for gaining mass! They will be especially useful after strength training, when energy resources are depleted and he needs strength to recover. Well, if you add protein to the drink, the muscles will definitely say "thank you" to you. As you can see, cons on a diet can easily turn into pluses when gaining mass. 

As you can see, liquid calories can often unnecessarily increase your energy intake. After reading the article, you should know where the empty energy in the form of liquid calories lurks and how to avoid it.

And if you can't imagine life without Coca-Cola, try to gradually reduce the amount, gradually replace it with a lighter version, and try working with, for example, a homemade drink made from soda, fruit juice, and possibly sweetening it with one of the sugar substitutes. What if you can't imagine life without an energy drink? Choose the option with artificial sweeteners and do not exceed 400 mg of caffeine daily.

Be healthy, happy, beautiful, scroll through our site and find even more useful information!


Cover photo by Shreyak Singh on Unsplash

Julia Stecher is an award-winning fitness model, professional nutritionist, and certified personal trainer who provides personal training services in Zurich and online.

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