Volume 5, Issue 28
July 12, 2012

Drop the pounds without changing your eating or exercise habits

Are you struggling with your weight? Do you find it difficult to lose that extra fat? The solution might be a lot easier to find than you think. And, the best news is it may not have anything to do with what you eat or how much you eat. The problem may be in what you drink.

A study at Purdue University makes a solid point that it’s what people drink that makes most of them fat.

The researchers looked at seven men and seven women. For four weeks, they told them to drink a fixed caloric intake of carbohydrates as a liquid. Then after a four-week period of eating normally, they went through another four-week period of eating the same fixed intake of carbohydrates. Only in the second phase, they ate their carbs as a solid (jelly beans). In both four-week periods, in addition to the carbs they gave the participants, the researchers allowed them to eat whatever else they wanted.

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Before and during the study, the researchers checked the group’s diet records to determine how much they ate in addition to the carbohydrates they gave them. They also checked their weight, body composition, physical activity, and how hungry they felt. Here’s what they found.

When the group was on the solid carbohydrates, they compensated for those calories by eating 17% less food. The solid source of carbs decreased their appetite. However, when they were on the liquid carbs, they ate the same amount of food that they normally ate. The liquids had no effect on their appetite. As a result, their weight increased significantly only during the liquid period. The different diets had no effect on their levels of physical activity or hunger, so it had to be the liquid effect. If you have weight issues, this may be a huge finding for you.

According to the results of the study, taking in calories as a liquid does not have an appetite suppressing effect. You will continue to be hungry and eat as many calories along with the drinks as you normally would. The result will be weight gain.

For many people who are overweight, the results of this study and others like it may be critical. Think about it. Doesn’t the time that the country started getting fatter parallel the ever increasing amount of soft drinks and sports drinks available on the market? Studies have shown that over the past 30 years people have been drinking more and more processed drinks, and less and less water. Consider these statistics.

Between 1989 and 2002 all U.S. adults increased their intake of fluids by 21 ounces. And 100% of these changes were in the form of juices and sugar-sweetened beverages!

Between 1990 and the present day, school children have seen the water fountains removed from their schools. Instead, they now have easy access to vending machines.

The results from several national dietary intake surveys in Great Britain are startling. They consistently show that every age group studied gets over 17% of their total calories from beverages, juices, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened drinks.

So if you have a weight issue, let me suggest that you take a four-week liquid challenge. For the next four weeks, do not drink anything with caloric value. This would include alcoholic beverages, protein drinks, soft drinks – anything. I’m betting that you will find a significantly lower number on the scale as a result.

Finding your Real Cures,

Frank Shallenberger, MD

DiMeglio DP, Mattes RD. Liquid versus solid carbohydrate: effects on food intake and body weight. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2000 Jun;24(6):794-800.

Popkin BM. Contemporary nutritional transition: determinants of diet and its impact on body composition. Proc Nutr Soc. 2011 Feb;70(1):82-91. Epub 2010 Nov 22.

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