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The #1 Best Drinking Habit to Shrink Abdominal Fat, Says Dietitian

Giving up this beverage will significantly help you in your weight loss journey.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Visceral fat, which is the type of fat that sits around your abdominal organs, can be really difficult to lose—especially if you aren't sure where to begin.

Thankfully, making changes to your diet, including what you drink, is one place you can start. According to Courtney D'Angelo, MS, RD, registered dietitian and author at Go Wellness, one of the best drinking habits you can have when you're wanting to lose abdominal fat is to eliminate sugary drinks from your diet.

"Sugary drinks can include juices, alcoholic beverages, (cocktails and mixed drinks), soda, energy drinks, specialty coffees, teas, and more," says D'Angelo, "and choosing to drink more water instead of sugary drinks will be difficult at first, but over time you'll end up feeling more energized and healthier."

Continue reading to learn why sugar-sweetened beverages can lead to more abdominal fat, and for more healthy weight loss tips make sure to check out The Worst Eating Habits For Belly Fat.

How sugary drinks can cause abdominal fat

starbucks frappuccino on table with green straw

Drinking your calories from added sugar can lead to more fat around the abdominal area, which is why limiting these drinks or avoiding them altogether is a helpful step in losing weight.

"Consuming excess sugar, particularly large amounts of fructose, can lead to fat building in the abdominal area and the liver," says D'Angelo, "which then increases abdominal fat and liver fat, which can lead to serious metabolic health problems, including diabetes and obesity."

A 2020 study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology reported that sugar-sweetened beverages and added sugar, in general, were both associated with an increase in visceral fat (fat around the abdominal organs), which increased the participants' risk of disease.

Another study found that diabetic patients who consumed more sugary drinks had higher levels of obesity, specifically abdominal obesity.

How much sugar is in your drink?

glass of soda

It's very common to consume sugary drinks without really understanding the health consequences that come from them, and many of us focus more on our food than our drinks when we're making changes to our diets. "But becoming aware of the amount of sugar, including added sugars, in the beverages that you drink is really the first step," says D'Angelo.

Harvard Health mentions that adults should limit their added sugar consumption to about 24-36 grams per day to maintain a healthy diet, but many sugary drinks surpass this amount in just one serving.

For example, there are 39 grams of sugar in just one 12-ounce can of Coke, and about 54 grams of sugar in a medium-sized Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino, which means both of these drinks have more sugar than what is recommended to consume in one day.

RELATEDPopular Drinks With More Sugar Than Soda, Says Science

The takeaway


Drinking sugary beverages like specialty coffee drinks, sodas, or fruity drinks can quickly derail your weight loss goals and lead to unwanted weight gain around your abdominal area.

If you're trying to lose abdominal fat, one of the best steps you can take is to avoid or at least limit your consumption of these drinks.

Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha