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Weight loss warning: 'Healthy' drinks that nutritionist says dieters should avoid

A top nutritionist is warning against drinks which appear to be healthy, but in actual fact may wreck your diet. Smoothies, fizzy drinks, alcohol and shop-bought juices are on the no-drink list for dieters, says Susie Howe, a Hertfordshire-based nutritionist.

She advises people on gut health, stress and weight management. Speaking to The Express, Susie said: “I keep all my advice realistic and relatable by offering the practical application of well-evidenced solutions to make positive and sustainable life changes. Instead, we should be adding high nutrient foods to keep us satiated such as protein and fibre that will also feed the gut microbiome. For example meat, fish, beans, pulses, fruit, and vegetables.

“Our gut microbes can alter the way we store fat, how we balance our blood glucose levels and how we respond to hormones signalling hunger and satiety. So we need to keep these well-fed with probiotic and prebiotic foods.”

Read more: Seven healthy habits that can halve the risk of Alzheimer's

How much food and when should you eat to lose weight?

Managing your portion control, leaving a gap of three to four hours between meals and eating mindfully (such as not in front of the TV) are all tips Susie gives to help you lose weight.

She said: “The timing of, and quantity of food can also work brilliantly for weight loss."

“I advise that there's at least a 12-hour break between the last meal at night and first meal in the morning and for clients to see if they can stretch this gap in time. There's also supportive evidence for intermittent fasting for weight loss and lowering inflammation.”

Fizzy drinks are not recommended if on a diet. Susie said: “Drinks to be avoided are those that contain sugar such as fizzy soft drinks, alcohol and shop-bought juices and smoothies.

“A few glasses of alcohol a week will be OK but anything more won't aid progress. The body processes alcohol in quite a different way as it's perceived as a toxin - it reduces the amount of fat our bodies burn for energy as well as acting as a potent appetite booster.

“Fruit juice isn't ideal either as the fibre has been stripped out. So the juice alone causes a huge glucose spike.

“The jury is still out on zero sugar fizzy drinks but these still have sweetener added. Even though there are often zero calories in these drinks, they can cause insulin to be released by the body due to the very sweet taste and can disrupt the gut microbes."

The nutritionist with a passion for healthy living added: “Drinks to focus on are tea, coffee, herbal teas, water, homemade smoothies and juices, fizzy water.”