Can Liquid Calories Make You Fat & Cause Weight Gain?

When you consider your diet, do you solely consider the food you consume? Are you scratching your head, wondering why you’ve gained weight despite the fact that you’ve been eating healthier?

You’re exercising, managing your refined carbohydrate intake, and avoiding sugar, but you’ve hit a weight-loss plateau. If you are struggling to lose weight, it might be time to look into some unforeseen causes. 

Consider the calories in the liquid you are consuming. It might be difficult to determine what is healthy and what is not.

A nutritionist and doctor claim that the word “calories” in the name of liquid calories is one factor that undermines weight loss. People who substitute liquids for food believe they are making healthier or lower-calorie choices. But that’s not necessarily the case.

Healthy Beverages That May Promote Weight Gain

The following beverages are generally healthy, but excessive use might lead to weight gain.

Diet drinks

On the other end of the scale are low-calorie drinks like diet soda, sparkling water with added flavors, and others. They, too, can disrupt a healthy diet, but in a different manner. 

According to a famous nutritionist, one would assume that consuming diet beverages would result in calorie savings. Even though this is true, research shows that diet drinks don’t make the body feel full. 

The nutritionist explains that because these drinks don’t provide any nutrition, the hormones that cause cravings aren’t suppressed, leaving you feeling hungry and wanting to eat more. 

Also, because artificial sweeteners can taste sweeter than sugar but have no nutritional value, they can stimulate the right parts of the brain and gut. 

According to a study, when calories and sweetness are mismatched, the body’s metabolism is tricked. This “mismatch” prevents the body’s metabolism from being triggered by the calories, which may cause your brain to fail to register your calorie intake.

Energy Drinks And Protein Shakes

Some protein smoothies and energy beverages include an average of approximately 200 calories. 

They are made to replace meals, which is beneficial for calorie restriction, according to a dietitian. However, a lot of dieters still eat frequently and supplement with protein shakes, defeating the purpose of calorie restriction. 

To fight this issue, be conscious of the calories in the beverages you consume, read the labels, and alter your diet accordingly.

Fruit juice

Cranberry, orange, and apple juices may sound healthy, but the majority of their calories come from sugar. 

The majority of dieters are aware of the “bad” effects of soda and opt to replace it with “healthy drinks like fruit juice, but they are unaware of the calorie cost.” A 12-ounce can of Coke has 140 calories, compared to the 110 in an 8-ounce glass of orange juice. 

“No meaningful savings there, and of course, most of us don’t stop at 8 ounces; 12 to 16 ounces is more common,” said a renowned nutritionist.

According to research published in nutrition journals, sugary beverages are responsible for weight gain.


A dietitian claims that alcohol contains much more calories than most people realize and is also converted into sugar, which is not ideal if you’re trying to cut back on your sugar intake. 

For comparison, a 12-ounce beer has about 150 calories, a 5-ounce glass of wine has about 120, and a 2-ounce serving of whiskey, which is considered a “hard liquor,” has about 140 calories. 

“Alcohol is consumed in addition to a meal, not as a substitute for one, so it contains many empty calories,” she further added. 

Even worse offenders have frozen drink mixtures and sweetened cocktails.

Keep Your Beverages Simple

Of course, water is the best beverage. However, a certified dietitian advises trying caffeinated or decaffeinated teas if water bores you. 

“Green tea contains no calories and is especially rich in antioxidants.” Herbal teas, which are actually infusions of sections of flowers or edible plants and not true teas, typically do not contain caffeine. 

They are delicious and have no calories unless someone adds sweetener or sugar. If you’re wanting bubbles, consider club soda or calorie-and caffeine-free original seltzer.

Replace All Beverages With Water

Water should replace sports drinks and sodas. Water has zero calories, in addition to numerous other advantages. You don’t need the calories from a sports drink unless you’re engaging in intense cardio. 

Drinks are essentially sugar water, and despite the fact that diet sodas have no calories, they can deceive your brain into believing you’re consuming sugar, resulting in cravings after the sugar rush wears off. 

Also, when you consume zero-calorie drinks, you may think, “Well, I drank diet soda, therefore I can eat more,” which can lead to poor eating patterns.

Opt For Smoothies

Choose a protein-rich beverage to help you feel fuller for longer, such as a smoothie or milk made with extra yogurt or protein powder, which will offer a better nutritional balance. 

Occasional consumption of calorie-containing beverages is acceptable, but in general, it saves liquid calories for food, says a nutritionist, a registered dietitian. 

According to a study published in a nutrition journal, taking carbs in solid form from meals induces satiety, whereas consuming carbohydrates in liquid form leaves one feeling hungry.


Calories from liquids are frequently referred to as “empty calories” because they have no nutritional value. Milk is an exception since it contains protein and calcium. 

A nutritionist explains that the majority of beverages include extra sugar and fat in a manner that might be misleading; they are easy to consume but do not satisfy hunger.

The Society for Clinical Nutrition says that weight gain is caused by taking in liquid sugar calories every day. 

According to research, there is a correlation between the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, such as sodas, juices, and specialty coffee drinks, and the rise of obesity in the United States.

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