A Moment of Science

Eat, But Don’t Drink Up

If you're watching your weight should you drink or eat your calories? Find out on this Moment of Science.

If you’re watching your weight should you drink or eat your calories? Today we answer that age-old dilemma: At your next party, should you go for punch or a slice of pie?

In a recent study on nutrition, participants spent one month drinking a sugary beverage, and another month eating a solid, sugary food.

The researchers monitored the participants’ weight and eating habits. It turned out that they gained more weight in the month that they were drinking the extra calories than they did in the month they were eating them.

Apparently solids and liquids don’t register the same way in our bodies. When you eat solids, you get full. So participants unconsciously ended up eating less of something else to compensate, which made up for some of those extra calories.

When you drink, it doesn’t really affect your hunger pangs because it doesn’t fill you up, and so you’ll probably end up eating the same amount whether you drink water or drink beer.

These findings may help explain why Americans have gained so much weight over the past decade, even as fat consumption and exercise levels have remained more or less the same.

Fat isn’t entirely to blame after all. We simply can’t continue to ignore all those extra calories people are getting from beverages like beer, whole milk, juice, sugary sodas, sport drinks, and specialty coffees.

  • jeanann_50

    I was looking more for the answer to whether or not I should drink liquids during my meal or as I have always done – should I drink liquid 15 minutes to 1/2 an hour prior to sitting down to eat? Does it have an effect on my digestion time?

  • jeanann_50

    I was looking more for the answer to whether or not I should drink liquids during my meal or as I have always done – should I drink liquid 15 minutes to 1/2 an hour prior to sitting down to eat? Does it have an effect on my digestion time?

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