Unwanted weight and belly fat result from taking in too many calories and expending too few of them. Even if you eat a reasonably healthy diet, some drinks, such as milk shakes and regular sodas, can push you over your daily calorie limit. Switching to fruit juices will provide better nutrition, but these drinks still contribute about as many calories as a soda. To lose belly fat, choose beverages with the least fat and calories.
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Reduced-fat milk is defined as having 2 percent, 1 percent or fat-free, also called nonfat and skim, fat content. Whole milk contains 3.25 percent fat. Whether you drink milk with cereal, for calcium or as sweetened drinks, those with the least fat will help you lose your belly fat the fastest, especially if you drink milk every day.
One cup of whole milk has 149 calories; 2 percent, 122 calories; 1 percent 102 calories; and nonfat, 83 calories. The American Diabetes Association cautions you not to exclude milk from your menu just because it has more calories than other beverages. You need the vitamins and minerals in milk, but not the fat. Similarly, flavored milks have added sugar and calories you don’t need.
Artificially Sweetened Sodas
Drinking one or two 16-oz. regularly sweetened carbonated beverages per day will add as many as 274 calories to your daily totals. These drinks provide no nutrition, other than sugar, which your body may convert to belly fat.
The American Heart Association suggests drinking diet sodas made with a non-caloric sweetener instead, dropping your calorie intake to zero. When you next expend energy, you will be burning off stored fat instead of a new influx of sugar.
Unsweetened Bottled Water
Zero-calorie water can help you lose belly fat by satisfying your thirst and taste buds. Options include mineral water, “drinking” water from municipal sources and carbonated waters, such as seltzer, club soda and sparkling water.
Calorie-free fruit flavoring won’t add to belly fat, unlike the high sugar content in some vitamin waters. Check the nutrition facts on the bottle to make sure water has zero calories.
Tap Water and Brewed Beverages
Drink as much zero-calorie tap or filtered water as you like without contributing to fat storage. Unsweetened coffee and tea have 2 calories. The USDA notes that a squeeze of lemon juice will add only 1 or 2 calories.