Drinking one can of soda a day can pour on 10 pounds of weight gain a year. Cutting back on sweet drinks and drinking more water is one of the easiest ways to lose weight.
There is no other single food or beverage that promotes weight gain as much as sugary drinks do. Drinking beverages loaded with sugar also increases the risk of diseases associated with obesity–diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis and cancer.
Cutting back on sweetened drinks can be one of the easiest and most effective ways to lose weight. Researchers tracked the calorie intake and weight change of over 800 adults (Cabellero, 2009). People who cut back on sugar-sweetened beverages had significant weight loss after six months and 18 months. Cutting back on liquid calories had more impact on losing weight than reducing solid food.
One focus group participant, a Lexington mother of three, found this out for herself. “I gave up soft drinks and lost 9 pounds in 6 months. I didn’t make any other changes.” According to her, “It was easier for me than cutting back on food. I feel better and don’t get that ‘I gotta have Pepsi feeling’ anymore.”
Why is cutting back on sweet drinks so effective for weight loss? When you drink your calories you feel hungry sooner and eat more later in the day than you would if you had eaten the calories as solid food. Drinking plenty of water gives a feeling of fullness that reduces the temptation to overeat. Sometimes we mistake thirst cues for hunger cues. If you drink enough water you’ll be less likely to eat when you really need to drink some water.