Americans spend more than $60 billion every year trying to lose weight. And while a healthy diet and exercise routine has always been and always will be the best route to weight loss, there are tips and tools out there that you can use to make your weight loss journey easier. And one of them is sitting in glass bottles on the shelves of your local grocery store.
Kombucha can aid in weight loss as a substitute for sugary and alcoholic drinks, and also as a probiotic supplement. Kombucha has significantly less sugar and empty calories than soda and alcohol and can satisfy cravings for these drinks with its sweet, acidic, fizzy, and alcoholic taste. Also numerous studies have found that the probiotics and acetic acid in kombucha can significantly help with weight loss.
Lets get more into the specifics of kombucha and figure out how you can use it to lose weight.
What is kombucha?
Kombucha is a probiotic drink made from fermented tea that has become quite popular in recent years due to its great taste and many health benefits such as improved digestion and gut health, detoxification, and immune system strengthening.
How do I know if I’m Overweight or Obese?
The easiest way to find out if you are at a healthy weight is using a Body Mass Index calculator. Body Mass Index (BMI) estimates whether you are under or overweight by comparing your height to your weight.
A BMI below 18.5 is considered underweight, 18.5-24.9 normal weight, 25-30 overweight, 30-40 obese, and above 40 morbidly obese.
Although BMI is the easiest way to get an idea of if you're overweight or obese, it doesn’t take into account how much of your weight is is fat vs muscle. This means that someone who is super muscular is going to weigh a lot for their height and be considered overweight according to BMI, even though the weight they have is perfectly healthy.
Although it's not perfect, BMI is still the easiest way to get an idea of if you need to lose, gain, or maintain weight. If you’d like to try it out you can find a BMI Calculator here.
Why Being Overweight is a Problem
Being overweight or obese greatly increases your risk of developing heart disease, the #1 cause of death in the United States. According to healthline.com, excess weight can also increase your risk of
High blood pressure
Fatty liver disease
Type 2 diabetes
As you can see, being overweight or obese may lead to a lot of health problems that could significantly lower your quality of life, or even lead to an early death.
The good news is that although it’s difficult, you can control your weight and avoid most of these problems. What I'm going to share with you today is how you can use kombucha as a tool to make that process easier.
How Kombucha Can Help You Lose Weight
Kombucha is a Substitute for Sugary Drinks
Sugary drinks are one of the most fattening parts of the modern diet.
One study found that among men and women with a genetic risk of obesity, those who drank at least one sugary drink a day were 4 times more likely to become obese than those who drank less than one sugary drink a month.
The reason that sugary drinks, such as sodas or fruit juices, are so bad for you is because they are full of empty calories. Empty calories are calories without many nutrients that don't contribute to you feeling full, so they are usually extra calories added onto those already in your diet.
In another study, people who drank soda in addition to their current diet consumed 17% more calories than before. If you’re trying to lose or maintain weight, it’s hard enough keeping calories down with your diet. Adding on an extra 17% will make losing weight nearly impossible.
As we see from these studies, if you’re someone who is drinking sugary beverages daily, limiting or even completely cutting them out of your diet could make a huge difference in terms of your weight. This is where kombucha comes in.
Kombucha can be used as a healthier, lower sugar, lower calorie substitute to sugary drinks such as soda, since most kombuchas only have around 10g of sugar per bottle, 4x less sugar than that in a can of Coke (39g).
I’ve found that when I am craving soda, kombucha can satisfy that craving because its sweet, acidic, and fizzy taste really closely resembles soda. And simply substituting a kombucha for a soda significantly lowers my sugar and caloric intake, making the hard process of weight loss a lot easier.
Below is a table comparing the amount of sugar in a bottle of popular kombucha brands. They all are pretty similar but I think it's still worth taking a look at.
Grams of Sugar per 16 fl oz of Kombucha in Popular Brands
Kombucha is Full of Probiotics that May Aid in Weight Loss
Kombucha is known for the beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, that it contains. Probiotics are found in a lot of other fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, and some cheeses.
Your body, especially your gut, is filled with good and bad bacteria, and it’s believed that the modern western diet which is so full of sugar and processed foods harms these good bacteria in your gut. This is bad because a lack of beneficial bacteria in the body can lead to digestive problems, diarrhea, and infections such as candida.
Fermented foods with probiotics like kombucha replace and replenish these beneficial bacteria , possibly improving digestive function, lowering risk of diarrhea, improving mental health, boosting the immune system, and causing weight loss.
A few of the studies looking at probiotics and weight loss have found that:
Normal weight people have different gut bacteria than overweight or obese people.
Some probiotics can inhibit the absorption of dietary fat, increasing the amount of fat excreted in poop, and decreasing the amount that is being added to your body.
After following people eating yogurt with the probiotics lactobacillus fermentum and lactobacillus amylovorus for only six weeks, the participants body fat had been reduced by 3-4%
Part of the reason why the probiotics like those in kombucha may aid in weight loss is because they reduce the number of calories you absorb from food and affect hormones and proteins related to appetite, fat storage, and obesity.
So kombucha not only works as a lower sugar substitute for your soda cravings, but also provides probiotics that appear to significantly help with the process of weight loss.
Kombucha Can Serve as a Healthy Substitute for Alcohol
Alcohol has the same amount of calories per gram as fat, and just like those in sugary drinks, they are empty calories, providing your body with almost no nutrients.
Alcohol is bad for weight loss because normally your body will burn fat reserves to get energy, but when you supply it with a ton of empty calories, it just uses those for energy since they are much more convenient. Meaning that when you drink empty calories, you're making it harder for yourself to lose fat.
Alcohol also affects digestion and nutrient uptake by causing stress on the stomach and intestines, leading to decreased digestive secretions and inhibited movement of food through the digestive tract.
This leads to your body not absorbing and using nutrients correctly, which will have a big effect on the metabolism of organs that help manage your weight. Meaning that the fatty and unhealthy snacks you eat while drinking won’t be burned off like they normally would be.
Kombucha can serve as a really great substitute to alcohol for those looking to lose weight. Although it only has small amounts of naturally occurring alcohol in it from fermentation, it tastes like it has much more.
With less than 0.5% alcohol content per bottle, you’re not going to get buzzed off booch, but it can satisfy an your alcohol craving.
Because kombucha is slightly alcoholic and acidic, it has a bitter and vinegary taste that creates a similar throat hit and smell to alcoholic drinks. As far as I know, kombucha is probably the most alcoholic tasting, legally non-alcoholic drink out there.
Part of the reason kombucha works as a substitute for alcohol is that if you are a regular alcohol drinker, your brain is in a habit of releasing the feel good chemical dopamine when you have a drink. Because of kombucha's alcoholic taste, you may be able to trick your brain into forgetting that craving and feeling satisfied by substituting kombucha on a night where you normally would have a drink or two.
This will lead to you drinking a lot less empty calories, give you the sweet probiotic and antioxidant benefits, and leave you feeling better the next morning, giving you much needed help in your weight loss journey.
Drinking kombucha alone isn’t going to take dozens of pounds of weight off your body in a week, but it can serve as a helpful tool as a probiotic supplement and substitute for sugary and alcoholic drinks during your weight loss journey.
By drinking kombucha, you will be consuming more probiotics and significantly less sugar and empty calories, hopefully making your weight loss journey at least a little bit easier.
If you want to learn more about kombucha, how it relates to your health, and even how to brew it yourself, check out the rest of my website!