It is tempting when we are stressed, or feel in need of a lift, to ‘treat’ ourselves with our favourite drinks. But not all of them will be helping your weight loss.
Here is a ‘traffic light’ guide to make it easier to choose.
Green for good drinks
1 Black Coffee when you need a shot of caffeine, coffee is a better choice than soft or energy drinks. Black coffee is calorie-free and rich in antioxidants.
Studies show that drinking moderate amounts of coffee (about 3 to 4 cups a day) may improve your mood and help your concentration.
It could also lower your chances of type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
2 Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and various plant compounds that may increase fat burning and help you lose weight.
One of green tea’s compounds is caffeine and although a cup of green tea holds much less caffeine (24–40 mg) than a cup of coffee (100–200 mg), it still contains enough to have a mild effect.
Caffeine is a well-known stimulant that has been found to aid fat burning and it increases the amount of antioxidants in your bloodstream and the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), is also a substance that can boost metabolism.
In one 2008 study, 60 obese people followed a standardized diet for 12 weeks while regularly drinking either green tea or a placebo.
Over the course of the study, those who drank green tea lost 7.3 pounds (3.3 kg) more weight than the placebo group.
3 Black teas like Earl Grey and English Breakfast are also good for weight watchers, preferably with no or low calorie milk. Black tea is a type of tea that has undergone more oxidation than other types, such as green, white or oolong teas.
Several studies have found that black tea could be effective when it comes to weight control. One study of 111 people found that drinking three cups of black tea each day for three months significantly increased weight loss and reduced waist circumference, compared to drinking a caffeine-matched control beverage.
Other teas that may be helpful are White tea and Oolong and studies show that white tea and green tea have comparable amounts of catechins, which may help enhance weight loss
4 Herbal teas differ from traditional teas because they do not typically contain caffeine, and popular herbal tea varieties for weight loss include rooibos tea, ginger tea, rosehip tea and hibiscus tea.
Although the ingredients and formulations of herbal teas can vary significantly, some studies have found that herbal teas may help with weight reduction and fat loss.
Rooibos tea is a type of herbal tea that may be especially effective when it comes to fat burning.
5 Water is essential for just about all the functions in the body as we are made up of around 60% water, and it has zero calories.
There are real health benefits in ensuring you drink enough as even mild dehydration can affect you mentally and physically.
Drinking plenty of water can help you lose weight because water can increase your feeling of fullness and boost your metabolic rate. The timing is important too. as drinking water half an hour before meals is the most effective.
It can make you feel more full so that you eat fewer calories and some evidence suggests that it can promote weight loss by slightly increasing your metabolism, which can increase the number of calories you burn on a daily basis.
A 2013 study in 50 young women with overweight demonstrated that drinking an additional 16.9 ounces (500 mL) of water 3 times per day before meals for 8 weeks led to significant reductions in body weight and body fat compared with their pre-study measurements
Amber for be careful
1 Kombucha is fermented tea blended with sugar and a culture of bacteria and yeast. An 8-ounce glass typically has about 30 calories.
It’s said to have several health benefits, including helping with weight loss, but scientists are still studying it to confirm this.
2 Beer isn’t really the ideal beverage if you’re watching your weight, but a 12-ounce bottle or can of light beer won’t typically give you more than 100-150 calories.
Be careful though because when it’s poured from a tap into a 16- or 20-ounce glass that number can climb up to 250. Craft beers can also have more calories.
3 Wine typically a 4-ounce glass of wine usually has around 100 calories, though types can vary in calories and alcohol content – and of course it depends on the size of the glass!
If wine is your drink of choice, watch the amount or slim it down by mixing white wine for instance with soda or sparkling mineral water to make a spritzer.
4 Energy drinks may give you a boost as the active ingredient here is caffeine, they usually have other things in them like vitamins, herbal supplements, creatine and — most importantly for your diet — sugar.
If you’re watching calories, you’ll want to check the label carefully and look for ones without added sugar. The ones that show the amount of caffeine can let you know exactly what you’re getting.
5 Fruit Juice can have as many calories as soft drinks, but on the plus side it has more nutrients such as . vitamins and antioxidants.
Always check the label as you want 100% fruit juice so avoid those that have added sweeteners and see what the percentage of real juice is.
You can also slash calories by drinking plain or carbonated water half and half with the juice.
6 Smoothies are a real treat and if you blend a banana, strawberries, and blueberries into a frothy smoothie you’ve got a delicious drink.
Make your own, so you can control the ingredients: skim milk (or an alternative, like almond milk) and fresh or frozen fruit are all you need.
If you usually get your smoothie from a coffee bar or cafe check the ingredients as it may include ice cream, honey, or other sweeteners that boost the calorie count sky-high.
Red for danger to your diet
1 Specialty coffees they are definitely a treat but a 12-ounce mocha can be almost 300 calories, and a vanilla latte can come close to 200. Even worse are the seasonal treats like Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino and the Peppermint Hot Chocolate which both have have 590 calories and a White Chocolate Mocha has a whopping 620 calories.
2 Worst: Soft drinks like colas mean you are getting hundreds of empty calories. Switching to diet soft drinks can cut calories, but there are real downsides to these for your health.
Try diluted fruit juice with carbonated water for a fizzy fix.
3 Specialty cocktails such as margaritas or mai tais can be heavy on the calories, especially when you don’t make them yourself.
The key with cocktails is to skip mixers like soda, juice, lemonade or pre-made cocktail blends. Instead, sip on something simple, like vodka and soda.
A 1-ounce serving of vodka ranges from 70 to 100 calories, and soda doesn’t add any calories but if you need more flavour, try a spice-infused vodka.
4 Mocktails may make you feel more virtuous, but alcohol-free doesn’t mean calorie-free. Mocktails can be high in sugar and calories, depending on the fruit juices used to make them.
If you want a fancy drink without the alcohol, look for ones made with sparkling water and flavoured with herbs and spices instead of sugar-sweetened drinks.
Losing weight is something that is a major concern for many women and you can maximise your chance for success if you are following a sensible diet and making sure your hormones are balanced.
At menopause in particular, many women find their belly fat increases and it can be related to oestrogen dominance.
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