Changing what you drink just may be the magic weight loss bullet you've been looking for.
David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding sure think so. But then they did write the book on it: Drink This Not That. They've even gone so far as to claim that you could lose up to 32 pounds in a year just by changing what you drink.
What most people don't know is that it's a lot easier to drink extra calories than to eat it. So you really need to pay attention to what you're sipping on.
Here is a sampling of what their book has to offer. The following are 5 of the worst things to drink, followed by 5 slimming alternatives.
While a cup of hot coffee or a glass of lowfat milk are both great ways to start your day, beware of the smoothie trap. More often than not smoothies are closer to milkshakes than protein shakes.
Worst beverage: Smoothie King Peanut Power Plus Grape (40oz)
> 1,498 calories / 44g fat / 214g sugar
Drink This Instead: Smoothie King High Protein Banana (20oz)
> 322 calories / 9g fat / 23g sugar
A study done at Virginia Polytechnic Institute showed that people who drink 17oz of water before sitting down for a meal ended up eating 9 percent fewer calories. Those calories can really add up over time.
Worst beverage: SoBe Green Tea (20oz)
> 240 calories / 0g fat / 61g sugar
Drink This Instead: Honest Tea Organic Honey Green Tea (16oz)
> 74 calories / 0g fat / 18g sugar
When the afternoon rolls around most of us are ready for a pick-me-up. Too often these caffeinated drinks are loaded with waist-expanding calories.
Worst beverage: Starbucks Venti Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with whipped cream
> 660 calories / 22g fat / 95g sugar
Drink This Instead: Starbucks Venti Caramel Cappuccino
> 170 calories / 6g fat / 18g sugar
There's no good reason to follow up a great workout with a sugar-filled beverage, even if it makes claims for quick recovery and muscle growth. After exercise your body is in need of protein, carbohydrates and potassium, so choose a beverage filled with these three.
Worst beverage: Naked Protein Juice Smoothie (15.2oz)
> 418 calories / 4g fat / 53g sugar
Drink This Instead: Horizon Organic Chocolate Reduced Fat Milk (8oz)
> 180 calories / 5g fat / 27g sugar
There are known benefits to drinking alcohol in moderation (one or two drinks per day) such as raised HDL (good) cholesterol, boost in bloodflow, and improved sugar metabolism. A recent study in the journal BMC Public Health reported that people who have a daily drink were 54 percent less likely to be obese. However, it's called a beer belly for good reason, since many alcoholic beverages are loaded with calories.
Worst beverage: Red Lobster Traditional Lobsterita
> 890 calories / 183g carbohydrates
Drink This Instead: Red Lobster Classic Martini with Gin
> 140 calories / 0g carbohydrates
Recent studies are reporting that most of us drink 21 percent of our daily calories. That adds up to an average of 460 calories each day. It's easy to see how these calories quickly add up into unwanted pounds.
Pay extra attention to what you drink throughout each day. Make it a habit to pass on the calorie-packed drinks and to focus on drinking lots of water.
Remember that small changes to your lifestyle over time will make the difference.