School’s back in full swing, so a pop quiz is only fitting. Which beverage is the very worst for your waistline: coffee, diet soda or alcohol?
If you guessed soda, you’re actually wrong! Though the vilified beverage is filled with chemicals that increase hunger and disease risk, it’s not the worst thing you can drink in terms of weight loss. What is? Alcohol—at least that’s what a new Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics study suggests. No wonder so many people are getting on board with The Amazing Truth About “Dry January”!
After examining the eating and drinking habits of more than 22,000 Americans, researchers discovered that coffee, alcohol, sugar-sweetened and diet beverages were all linked to overeating. But booze turned out to be the biggest weight-loss saboteur of them all. In fact, the findings show that alcohol causes people to eat an extra 384 calories daily, on average! Chugging sugary beverages like soda resulted in people ingesting about 226 more calories from food per day, while coffee caused participants to eat 108 more calories. As for the diet drinks, those upped participants’ daily grub intake by 69 calories.
So what’s the connection between your drink of choice and your appetite? Booze might make us more sensitive to food aromas and less likely to resist indulgent fare. As for sugary sodas and coffees, researchers hypothesize that people tend to pair these beverages with high-calorie foods, like café pastries and french fries. Then there are the diet drinks. Experts suspect that people feel less guilty about sipping a zero-calorie beverage, so they think it’s OK to down additional calories later in the day.
Though you should continue to avoid regular and diet soda (learn more about the health benefits of kicking the can here) you should also cut back on booze if you want to lose weight and get a flat, toned stomach.