Liquid weight loss

22 Jan

According to the NHS obesity reduces the average life expectancy by two years! Now I’d quite like to live two extra years, so I went looking for easy ways to help shift the pounds. While there are a lot of well known pieces of advice (some of which you will find here), I wanted to concentrate on the do-able and quickly realised there was a whole sub-section of advice on liquids that can help weight loss. Here’s what I found.

Milk

As a kid I loved drinking milk, now I was not a small child, so I ditched glasses of milk to help get my weight down and as I started working out at the gym, took to drinking sports drinks. It would appear that I was completely off the mark! Researchers at McMaster University found that subjects who downed 600ml of skimmed milk after a weights session lost nearly twice as much fat as those refuelling with a sports drink. So while I can’t take milk to the gym, I can at least have a glass after a home workout.

Hot milk can also help you sleep due to its high calcium content, as well as tryptophan, which the body turns into serotonin that can make you drowsy.

This is important to weight loss because sleep regulates hormones in your body that influence hunger according to WebMD

Michael Breus, PhD, a faculty member of the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine and director of The Sleep Disorders Centers of Southeastern LungCare in Atlanta explained to WebMD; “Leptin and ghrelin are both horemones that work in a kind of “checks and balances” system to control feelings of hunger and fullness. Ghrelin, which is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates appetite, while leptin, produced in fat cells, sends a signal to thebrain when you are full.

So what’s the connection to sleep? “When you don’t get enough sleep, it drives leptin levels down, which means you don’t feel as satisfied after you eat. Lack of sleep also causes ghrelin levels to rise, which means your appetite is stimulated, so you want more food.”

Green Tea

The thermogenic properties of this drink have come into question, with research from Switzerland showing an average 24 hour increase in metabolism of 79 calories. However a) every little counts and b) it certainly beats tea with milk and two sugars, which is around 40 cals per mug!

Water

Dhydration is often mistaken for hunger, so we end up eating when all we really need is a drink. According to GoodToKnow water is also useful in the breakdown of fat cells, which harden up when we are dehydrated. So if you are dieting or working out remember to drink lots of water.

Protein shakes

I‘ve had a bit of a love/hate relationship with protein shakes. At first I consumed these regularly to help build muscle, however, I’m no professional athlete and I soon began to put on fat. With this in mind I stopped using the shakes and have lost some weight at the expense of building muscle.

According to the Marquette General Health System, we need muscle to burn fat and the more muscle we are able to maintain the more calories we burn as muscle is active and needs energy to function. it is even better at burning calories when you aren’t doing anything.

So what’s the compromise? Well it’s not really a compromise, more of a decision. Though it’s a bit expensive for me, I’ve decided to spend that little bit extra and buy a low-calorie protein shake. The one I have chosen is MaxiMuscle Promax Diet. It’s not the best tasting (or by far the worst either), but then that’s not really important. Having bought a few protein shakes in my time, I’d say a good rule of thumb is, if you enjoy drinking it, it’s probably not that good for you!

Tabasco sauce

According to Live Strong, this spicy sauce has no calorific value, making it perfect for giving flavour to less exciting low-calorie foods. I love the stuff, so this is very easy to implement. What’s more the capsaicin from the pepper has thermogenic properties, so it helps to speed up your metabolism, even if it’s by a small amount, it’s better than nothing!

The only concern to have is that Tabasco sauce has a high amount of sodium, which in excessive use can have serious health implications over time and will cause water retention.

So that’s it for my quest for weight loss liquids. I hope it’s helpful.

Ni

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