Swapping sugary, fizzy drinks for slim-line versions or water can help dieters lose up to 5% of their body weight in six months, an obesity study has revealed.
The research, due to be published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, compared the weight loss of 318 overweight or obese people over a six-month period.
The subjects were divided into three groups - one swapped high-calorie drinks for diet alternatives, a second switched to water and a third continued to drink their regular drink but were also given information about healthy choices that could lead to weight loss.
Those who switched to calorie-free drinks - either water or diet drinks - were twice as likely to lose 5% of their body weight than those who continued to drink sugary drinks.
Professor Deborah Tate, study author at the University of North Carolina, said: "Substituting non-caloric beverages - whether it's water, diet soft drinks or something else - can be a clear and simple change for people who want to lose or maintain weight.
"If this were done on a large scale, it could significantly reduce the increasing public health problem of obesity."
Although water, not surprisingly, showed positive results, Professor Tate explained that diet drinks could help those who enjoy the sweet taste of fizzy drinks to stick to their diet plan.
However, she also pointed out that water had additional benefits such as reducing blood sugar levels.
When embarking on a weight-loss plan it is a common mistake for dieters to think only of their food intake and assume that their drinking habits will have little effect. But with a few simple changes to your drinks consumption, it's possible to drastically reduce your daily intake...
Water is your number one weapon in the battle of the bloat, helping to eliminate water retention as well as alleviating constipation. If you're struggling to down the obligatory two litres of water a day, drink lots of herbal tea and incorporate water-packed fruit and vegetables into your diet, such as melon and salad leaves.
Fruit juices might seem like a quick and easy way to boost your five-a-day intake but even freshly squeezed juices can contain the equivalent of five teaspoons of sugar per glass because the squeezing process concentrates their sweetness. Try restricting your fresh fruit juice intake to breakfast time only or diluting with sparkling water.
We're frequently being told about the number of units in our alcoholic drinks but most of us are in denial when it comes to the number of calories they contain. A large glass (250ml) of average strength red wine contains 214 calories while a bottle contains 644 calories; a large glass of medium dry white wine contains 190 calories with a bottle totalling 570 calories; the average glass of champagne contains 97 calories while a pint of premium contains a hefty 330 calories. Throw hangover breakfasts into the mix and you're talking serious weight gain for the average drinker.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh found that pomegranate juice may lower the amount of fatty acid in the blood, known as nonesterified fatty acid or NEFA. Previous studies have shows that high levels of NEFA are linked to a greater storage of fat around the abdomen. So pomegranate juice may be the key to losing your love handles - but don't forget that fruit juice is laden with sugar so stick to one glass a day.
According to a study, green tea raises metabolic rates and speeds up fat oxidation. It is rich in compounds called polyphenols and catechins. These are powerful antioxidants that help flush out toxins, which slow down metablosim and can lead to weight gain. Green tea also contains EGCG, another powerful antioxidant linked to appetite suppression.