Dietitians Say Having This Hot Drink At Night May Be Why You Struggle To Lose Weight
Wintertime is mug drink time–for many that means more coffee, tea or hot beverages like hot chocolate. If you’ve found yourself sipping on the latter, health experts warn that it could be the worst thing you could do if you have weight loss goals for the new year.
“The most common hot drink that I come across with my patients are a nice cozy cup of hot chocolate; perhaps with a little whip cream on top,” Dr. Amy Lee, board certified doctor in internal medicine, medical nutrition and obesity medicine and partner of Nucific, tells us.
It is nice to have something warm to hold onto, and Amy says people may feel that people feel they fall asleep better after a warm cup. But, they "need to understand exactly what your hot chocolate is doing." Uh oh--this doesn't sound good!
"First of all, hot chocolate is not like a cup of warm milk. It usually has added sugar and flavors," she explains. "A typical mug of hot chocolate does have more calories. The calories derived from the sugar of the drink basically triggers your body into secreting insulin. Insulin is a signaling hormone that triggers the body into utilizing the sugar you have just acquired."
If you drink it in the morning, you have a better chance of metabolizing the sugar and turning it into fuel is high, she explains. However, at night, it is a whole different story.
"The insulin will do its thing by activating cellular pathways to optimize the use of the sugar," she warns. "But if there is no potential way to metabolizing (moving of a muscle group found in activity), the sugar has to find a place to go." It will likely end up getting stored into the fat cells. Do this consistently enough, "and you will find yourself experiencing weight gain." Say it ain't so!
So, what should you when this evening craving hits? Amy suggests trying something with no sugar added, such as herbal tea.
"Herbal tea is a great alternative because some herb themselves help with relaxation. These are things such as chamomile and lavender."
Her personal favorite? "A nice cup of hot water with a squeeze of a lemon which a boost of extra vitamin C without all the calories." Sounds perfect!