At least 7 scientific studies have provided strong evidence that energy containing beverages (i.e., “liquid calories”) do not properly activate the satiety mechanisms in the body and brain and do not satisfy the appetite as well as food in solid form.
Epidemiological research also supports a positive association between calorie-containing beverage consumption and increased body weight or body mass index. New research now suggests that soda may not be the only culprit…
The primary source of liquid calories in the United States Diet is carbohydrate, namely soda. Now running a close second are specialty and dessert coffees. Did you know that a 16 ounce Frappucino can contain 500 calories or even more! That’s one-third of a typical female’s daily calorie intake while on a fat loss program.
A recent study at Purdue University published in the International Journal of Obesity set out to learn even more about this bodyfat – liquid calories relationship.
Researchers compared solid and beverage forms of foods composed primarily of carbohydrate, fat or protein in order to document the independent effect of food form in foods with different dominant macronutrient sources.
Based on previous research, some experts have recommended targeting specific beverages as being “worse” than others. High fructose corn syrup and soda has been singled out the most and you’ve probably seen that yourself in the news.
There’s no question that soda has been on top of the “hit list” for some time now, by virtue of the amounts and frequency of consumption alone.
However, this recent study says that from a pure energy balance perspective, we should be cautious about ALL liquid calories, not just soda and not just carbohydrates!
Fruit juice for example, appears to be an obvious improvement over soda, so many people have swapped out their soda for fruit juice. However, when fruit juice is compared to an equal amount of calories from whole fruit, the whole fruit satisfies appetite better (largely due to the bulk and fiber content), and so you tend to eat fewer calories for the day.
[On an interesting side note, soup does not seem to apply; soup has higher satiety value than calorie containing beverages, possibly for mere cognitive reasons.]
If you were to meticulously track your calories from beverages and you made sure that your calories remained the same for the day, whether liquid or solid, there would probably be little or no difference in your body composition.
But that’s not what usually happens in free-living humans. Most people do not accurately track or report their caloric intake. Our mistake is that we tend to drink calories IN ADDITION TO our usual food intake, not instead of it.
Men are especially guilty of this when they drink alcohol – Men tend to drink AND eat, while women tend to drink INSTEAD OF eating.
This new research found that with all three macronutrients – protein, carbs or fat – daily calorie intake was significantly greater when the beverage form was consumed as compared to the solid.
Yes, it’s true! Even protein drinks did not satisfy the appetite the way that protein foods did!
While you would think that protein drinks are purely a good thing, because protein foods have been proven to reduce appetite and increase satiety, if you turn a solid protein food into a protein drink, it loses it’s appetite suppressive properties in the same way that happens when you turn fruit into fruit juice.
[NOTE: After weight training workouts, liquid nutrition may have benefits that outweigh any downside, especially on muscle-gaining programs]
Why do liquid calories fail to elicit the same response as whole foods? reasons include:
high calorie density
lower satiety value
more calories ingested in short period of time
lower demand for oral processing
shorter gastrointestinal transit times
energy in beverages has greater bioaccessibility and bioavailability
mechanisms may include cognitive, orosensory, digestive, metabolic, endocrine and neural influences (human appetite is a complex thing!!!)
last but not least, nowhere in our history have our ancestors had access to large amounts of liquid calories. Alcohol may have been around as far back as several thousand years BC, but even that is a blip on the evolutionary calendar of humanity.
As a result, our genetic code has never developed the physiological mechanisms to properly register the caloric content in liquids the way it does when you eat, chew and swallow whole foods.
Bottom line: This study suggests that we shouldn’t just target one type of liquid calories such as soda. If you’re trying to beat body fat, it’s wise to limit all types of liquid calories and eat whole foods as much as possible.
Start by ditching the soda. Then ditch the high calorie dessert coffees. Then cut back on the alcohol. From there, be cautious even about milk, juice and protein drinks.
Drink water or tea instead, or limited amounts of black coffee – without all the high calorie extras.
If you do consume any beverages that contain calories, such as protein shakes, be sure to account for those calories meticulously and be sure you don’t drink them in addition to your usual food intake, but in place of an equal amount of food calories.
Remember, those protein shakes you might be drinking are called “meal replacements” not “free calories!”
For many years I have suggested focusing primarily on whole foods rather than liquids, even protein shakes. Unlike so many other fat reduction programs, Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle does not require any kind of liquid meal replacement or protein drinks and our company does not exist to sell supplements; we are here to educate you and millions of others about the realities of body fat loss.
We now have even more scientific data that confirms what Burn The Fat has been teaching all along.
I hope you found this helpful. You can learn more about “Burn The Fat” at www.BurnTheFat.com
I have no doubt that a scientist somewhere just read the title of this article and said out loud, “YES! Venuto is right! That little thing in your head – the hypothalamus – it IS the thing that is keeping you fat! By George, that Venuto guy isn’t a dumb bodybuilder after all – he’s been doing his research!” At which moment, I will be shaking my head and thinking, “you need to get out of the laboratory and into the real world, with real people, buddy.” Okay, okay, to be fair, Neuro-endocrine control of appetite and body fat really is quite fascinating. But today, I’m talking about PSYCH-ology, not PHYSI-ology. The little thing in your head that’s keeping you fat is actually just a….
Self-limiting beliefs are among the biggest problems that people deal with in their struggles to achieve a healthy ideal weight. They’re also one of the reasons that so many people start to falter or fall off the diet and exercise wagon as early as late January or early February in their New Year’s goal pursuits.
If you’re that science guy I spoke of and you’re about to bail because you’re thinking, “Here we go again… another psycho-babble, self help article,” then think again. A belief is the force behind the placebo effect, which is well known by every scientist and medical professional. A respected doctor gives a patient a pill and is told it’s a powerful drug. The patient gets well immediately, not knowing that the “miraculous” substance was a dummy pill. Inert. Sugar. The miracle was in the mind.
But beliefs are not only involved in the mind-body connection, they are unconscious programs that control your behavior. The most important factor in whether you achieve the body and the health you want is NOT what diet or training program you follow. It’s what makes you follow your diet and training program. And guess what? What you believe controls your behavior – whether you will stick with your program or sabotage it with cheating, bingeing or inconsistency.
What to do about limiting beliefs
Ok, so now you agree that beliefs are psychological factors that affect you physically by controlling your behavior, including your eating, exercising and lifestyle. What now? 3 steps. 2 questions.
STEP 1: IDENTIFY LIMITING BELIEFS
You are fully aware of many of your beliefs. For example, beliefs about spirituality or politics are usually in the front of your conscious mind.
But the beliefs that hold back your health and physical development the most are usually the ones you don’t even know you have. They are like unconscious “brain software,” running silently in the background.
So the first step is to bring those unconscious and potentially damaging beliefs up to the surface so you are aware of them. You can’t fix a problem if you don’t know you have one.
2 Quick Questions That Will Help Draw Out Your Beliefs
Beliefs can go back to childhood, but don’t worry, you don’t have to go to a psychotherapist and be regressed back to kindergarten. It’s simpler than that. But it does pay to do this questioning process as a formal “exercise” with serious quiet time, with pen and paper (instead of just thinking about it).
Question #1: What causes me to be overweight (or unhealthy, or not having the body I want)?
Question #2: What’s preventing me from getting leaner? (or healthier?)
Spend some time with it and see how big of a list you can create. Ask yourself whether each belief helps or hurts you. Does it move you forward or backward. Does it empower or disempower you? The ones that hurt you or hold you back will be obvious. You may come up with beliefs such as:
“I’m overweight and I can’t get leaner because”:
I have no time
I’m too old
I can’t stop eating
I hate exercise
You just can’t do it when you have 4 kids
It’s impossible after having a hip replacement
But the million dollar question is: are these beliefs actually true?
Beliefs are not facts. You may hold your beliefs as absolute reality, but when you deconstruct them and challenge them, you may see that they don’t hold any water.
Self limiting beliefs are false interpretations (negative thought patterns) that hold you back. And you keep holding on to them because making excuses and staying the same is a lot more convenient than changing, isn’t it? Change requires hard work, effort and leaving your comfort zone.
Your mission now: weaken the limiting beliefs and get rid of them
STEP 2: CHALLENGE THOSE BELIEFS
How do you challenge a belief? 4 ways:
(A) Challenge it directly: Is the belief even valid at all? See if you can find a “counter example” that disproves your belief. For example; if you think that after you’ve had 3 or 4 kids, it’s impossible to get a nice flat stomach, what will you say after I introduce you to a dozen of my clients and readers who had 3 or 4 kids and went from bulging belly to rock-hard flat stomach? If they did it, then how could your belief be valid? Answer: It WASN’T! You believed something false and inaccurate and it was holding you back!
(B) Challenge the source: Is it your belief, or have you been living what your parents, peers or culture handed down to you? Just the realization that a belief wasn’t yours to begin with is enough to shatter it.
(C) Challenge the usefulness of the belief: Ok, so you believed something when you were younger. Does still believing it has any usefulness today? Does it help you move closer to what you want in your life today? If not, then wouldn’t today be a good time to get rid of it?
(D) Challenging the belief by weighing the consequences: If you keep this belief, what is it going to cost you? What will the pain be like? What will you miss? And what will these consequences be if you don’t change it NOW?
STEP 3: INSTALL A NEW BELIEF
Nature abhors a vacuum, as Spinoza once said. You don’t simply get rid of a belief, you must also replace it. What things would you want and need to believe instead that would create positive behaviors that would move you toward your goal? Write them down, then massage them into an affirmation. For example, if you’ve hung your hat on the belief that you didn’t have time to exercise, could you write a new affirmation of belief similar to this?
“I’m a very busy person, so that means I must set clear priorities and I must keep my health and body on the top of my priority list. I always schedule time for my most important priorities, I am efficient with my training, and I use every minute of my day wisely. And if Barack Obama, the busiest person in the world, can train for 45 minutes a day 6 days a week, there’s no excuse for me. I can do it too.”
Write down your new belief affirmations and read them, right along with your goals, every day.
Then “activate” this affirmation by doing what Olympic and professional athletes do: engaging in mental rehearsal. Visualize yourself carrying out the behaviors that this belief would generate. Think about and feel what it would be like to take those positive actions steps and play mental movies of how your life would change by doing so. Involve all your senses: see it, hear it, feel it.
Keep it up until you start to see your behavior change and your habitual actions come into alignment with your goals/intentions. If you’re diligent, you’ll see changes in attitude and behavior with 21-30 days. It may happen sooner. It may take longer if you’ve carried deep, lifelong limiting beliefs. But in less than a month, the roots of the new belief pattern will be formed.
Then you can update your goals and affirmations to reflect your current priorities and move on to the next goal you want to achieve or the next limiting belief you want to change. Keep THAT up, and pretty soon, you will be LIMIT-LESS!
BELIEVE ME, spending quality time understanding and working on your beliefs is a lot more productive than spending time in forums arguing about whether a low carb program is better than a high carb program… or even whether the cure for obesity is found in the arcuate nucleus of the lower hypothalamus. It’s in your head all right… but most people have been looking in the wrong place.
Want to work out in a gym-like atmosphere but don’t want to fork out the hundreds of pounds required for a membership? For those of us who either don’t like to or can’t run outside, and can’t find a way into the local fitness center, we’ve compiled some tips for you when it comes to creating your own home gym.
Check it out at the library. A staple of any home gym is exercise videos. These are a great way to get sweating with minimal cost involved, but when the minimal cost drops to zeroit’s as budget friendly as you can get! Most libraries carry work out tapes and videos in their media sections, and the larger ones are likely to have DVDs as well. This is a great way to get some serious variety into your workout video regime as well, since you can bring back the old tapes and pick up new ones every week without spending a dime!
Work out with a buddy. Instead of spending 50 pounds or more on a personal trainer, why not try working out with a friend in the comfort of your own homes? This is a great way to get you both motivated to work out, as you’ll have to deal with the sense of not letting the other person down if you cop out for a day. You can either encourage each other or compete against each other as you desire, and it’s all free!
Used gym equipment is cheaper. If you’ve always wanted a stationary bike but just can’t justify spending the hundreds if not thousands of pounds required to get one into your home, try Craigslist or Ebay for used equipment. You might balk a little bit at first, but think about it, people pay hundreds of pounds to share gym equipment with total strangers at gyms. What’s so different about purchasing an item that’s been in somebody else’s home? Give it a chance and you’ll save big.
Make your own weights. This will depend on how strong you are and how much resistance you need, but you can often create a reasonable exercise plan for yourself by either using your own body as weight e.g. push ups, sit ups, lunges etc, or by filling jars and cans with rocks, sand, or other heavy materials and using that in lieu of expensive dumbbells.
Use cables instead of weights. If you need more resistance but don’t want to buy traditional weights, try cables. These can be used in many ways to give even the strongest individual a great workout, but are much smaller, easier to store, and less expensive than dumbbells.
Depending on where you live and what your lifestyle is, you might be able to get in better shape and improve the planet at the same time by commuting smarter and healthier.
The UK is a car-based country. The vast majority of individuals who are of an appropriate driving age happen to own a car or motorbike, and many children spend hours and hours saving up for that very first car. While much can be said for the car in terms of convenience and accessibility, our constant attachment to our cars contributes heavily to the overproduction of greenhouse gasses and our steadily rising obesity rate.
For those who are trying to get healthy on a budget and wouldn’t mind doing their part to help the environment as well, have you considered walking or biking to work? Of course, if you live forty miles away from where you work this won’t be a feasible option, but if you’re within a ten to twenty mile radius, commuting by bike is a very reasonable and real alternative. While biking ten miles to work in the morning might seem like it would take forever, imagine what your morning commute could be like if you didn’t have to spend a half hour sitting in traffic!
Commuting by walking or bike can do wonders for your waistline. Without ever stepping foot into a gym you can start working your way to fitness by spending very little. While it’s true that biking equipment can be expensive to obtain, it is certainly much cheaper than a car. After the initial investment in a bike the ongoing costs are very small, especially when considering all the money that goes into the upkeep, fuel consumption and insuring of a car, not to metion the cost of car tax!
For those who are interested in perusing this unique way of commuting, there are hundreds of sites on the internet that are dedicated to the art of bicycle commuting. Some people even get to the point where they bicycle everywhere, not only to work, and this only helps them live healthier and on the cheap. Whether you decide to invest in new bicycling equipment or decide to make do with the old mountain bike you have stored away in your closet, bicycling can be an effective way to improve both your body shape and the shape of your finances.