When you’re trying to lose weight or achieve another similar health goal, it can be easy to think only about the food you’re eating. But what about drinks? These can often fly under the radar, but they can really make or break your goals for losing weight.
If you’re consuming heavier amounts of sugary drinks like soda, fruit juices with added sugar, or fancy coffee drinks, you may be unknowingly contributing to weight gain. But on the flip side, there are drinks you can focus on that can help you reach your goals of losing weight, too.
We talked to a couple of our expert dietitians to get their opinion on the best drinks for losing belly fat, especially for those who are over the age of 50. Here’s what they had to say, and for more healthy weight loss tips, check out 30 Essential Spring Superfoods for Weight Loss.
The best place to start with any weight loss goal is making sure you are hydrated and consuming enough water on a regular basis. According to Morgyn Clair, MS, RDN, author at Fit Healthy Momma, “water is the top choice for weight loss and maintenance since it has zero calories and is necessary for all bodily functions.”
“Water can be used as a powerful tool to increase overall health, and can potentially help aid in weight loss by helping you feel more full between meals,” says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LDauthor of The Sports Nutrition Playbook, and a member of our medical expert board. “If you are looking to cut belly fat, consuming a glass of water before a meal may also be beneficial.”
Regular water is necessary and an important component to maintaining your overall health. But if you’re looking for something healthy and a bit more exciting, you can always try sparkling water.
“If you are someone who doesn’t enjoy drinking plain water, or are trying to cut back on sugary sodas, sparkling water can be a great alternative,” says Goodson. “Sparkling water has been shown to increase feelings of fullness to a greater extent than plain water by keeping food in your stomach for longer periods of time. Not to mention, sparkling water satisfies your bubbly craving without all of the extra calories.”
Green tea has been known to help lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, help improve your brain health, help lead to a longer life, and help to promote weight loss.
“One of the most potentially powerful drinks for weight loss is green tea,” says Goodson. “The catechins found in green tea are antioxidants that have some scientific evidence to say that they might help increase your body’s ability to burn fat. Additionally, the caffeine found in green tea may help improve exercise performance by providing a boost of energy, ultimately helping You move more and burn more calories. For increased benefit, try consuming matcha, which is a type of green tea that is highly concentrated with catechins.”
Coffee can be a great drink to include in your morning routine, and according to a report from Critical Reviews of Food Science and Nutritionthe caffeine found in coffee may promote weight loss and reduced BMI.
You don’t have to drink your black coffee for it to still be healthy, but it’s important to monitor how much cream and sugar you put in your cup so that it doesn’t have opposing effects on your weight loss goals.
It’s also important to note how your body handles caffeine because everyone’s tolerances are different. If you notice more jitters, anxiety, or nervousness throughout the day after drinking coffee, you may want to reconsider!
Peppermint oil and extract have been associated with weight loss and reduced appetite, but more research needs to be done specifically on peppermint tea and weight loss.
However, drinking peppermint tea at night, especially if it replaces your nightly glass of beer or wine, can have positive effects on your weight by helping you sleep, helping to reduce inflammation, and providing zero calories.