It's one of the most instantly gratifying pleasures known to man: that first cold, refreshing glug of your favorite icy beverage on a hot summer day. When it slips past your lips, bounces over your tongue, and hits that dry spot in the back of your throat, bam! You're happy. And when the weather turns cold? A steaming drink is the fastest way to crowd out the chill. Whether it's a time to celebrate (champagne, anyone?) or seek solace (with a misery-drowning martini), there's always the right beverage. What could be wrong with that?
As it turns out, plenty: Drinking the wrong beverages is the fastest way to blow out your waistline. A 2007 study in Obesity showed that Americans were taking in 21 percent of their calories—about 460 a day—from drinks. Imagine tossing two slices of Domino's sausage pizza into a blender, pressing "puree," and guzzling it down. Disgusting, right? Yes, but beyond those sickening statistics is actually some terrific news: If you want to lose weight, simple drink swaps can shave pounds off your body at a remarkable pace.
A recent study at Johns Hopkins University found that people who cut liquid calories from their diets lost more weight—and kept it off longer—than people who cut food calories. Slashing your drink calories in half could mean dropping more than 23 pounds in just 1 year.
That's why we wrote our newest book, Drink This, Not That!—to uncover the hidden dangers of our drinking habits and provide thirsty guys with the strategies they need to sip off the pounds. From the first morning beverage to that last libation of the night, this is your blueprint for a lifetime of healthy drinking.
8:00 A.M. Breakfast
Choosing the right beverage is never more important than in those first moments after you roll out of bed. A hot cup of coffee? Excellent—it's loaded with antioxidants, and caffeine has been shown to speed metabolism. A cold glass of milk? Absolutely—protein and a bit of fat is a great idea first thing in the a.m. Some juice or a freshly blended smoothie? Well, not so fast. That juice in your fridge may just be a glorified (but well-disguised) glass of sugar water, ready to douse your fat-burning fire before the day even starts. And that smoothie you just grabbed on the go? The way drink purveyors have been exploiting the smoothie's healthy reputation, it could be closer to a milkshake than the fruit-driven, protein-packed ideal we hold dear.