How do I lose 5-10 lbs?

Question: How do I lose the last 5-10 lbs?…or…How do I gain 5-10 lbs?

Answer:  It has to do with liquid calories and new research backs up what many coaches & people already knew.  Continue reading to find your answer.

Water: a non-caloric beverage


Soda: A caloric beverage

How to gain weight?

What seems like a lifetime ago now, I used to work with professional, college & high school athletes and to help them not only keep weight on, but gain weight I’d have them drink liquid calories in addition to their meals because it was a great way to sneak in extra calories. I did the same myself when I was in a weight gain phase back in college. (I entered college at 147 lbs. and left college at 195 lbs.)


How to lose weight?

However if you’re looking to lose weight, you definitely want to skip the calorie drinking and replace it with water while focusing on “solid” whole foods.

Dr. Tom Halton, the author of The Weight Loss Triad, just wrote an article on this subject and cited new research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Tate,, reported subjects who replaced their caloric beverages with non-caloric beverages lost 5% of their body weight over 6-months vs. the control groups who didn’t replace their caloric beverages. If you’re 185 lbs and you’re looking to lose the last 9.25 lbs, or if you’re 130 lbs looking to lose the last 6.5 lbs and you want an easy way to do it, switching your cocktails for club soda w/ lime, your beers for seltzer water, your latte for “black” coffee or green tea and your O.J. for water w/ lemon are some simple yet still pleasurable ways to be social and still enjoy hydrating & meal consumption.

In summary

Drinking caloric beverages or liquid calories is great for weight gain, but bad for for weight loss.

If you want to gain weight, drink liquid calories like smoothies, shakes, juices, alcohol, creamer, half & half, etc…

If you want to lose weight, don’t drink calories & instead drink water or its derivatives (tap, seltzer, mineral, ice, club soda, coffee, green tea …).

Yours living the active life,

Mike Alves

Tate, DF., et. Al. Replacing caloric beverages with water or diet beverages for weight loss in adults: main results of the Choose Healthy Options Consciously Everyday (CHOICE) randomized clinical trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2012; 95(3): 555-63.

Dinner with Dr. Halton

Last night I had the pleasure of hitting the town with my friends Bob & Tom. We met up for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory (sorry no desserts for any of us) and had great square table discussions on exercise & nutrition. This was the first time I had seen Tom since reading his new book, The Weight Loss Triad (read below to learn more), so I literally came with a list of questions.

Tom being the gracious professional and good friend that he is, kindly answered in detail each question.

Here’s my favorite thing he kept saying all night, “if you want to lose weight then don’t do this…and do do this”. There was no gray area whatsoever. It was simple. Follow this plan & you lose weight. Don’t do it & you may or may not. Pretty convincing and it came with science & personal experience to back it up.

Here are the questions I asked & basic summaries of his answers. Some will be shocking.

Q: Compete vs Incomplete proteins?

A: No big deal. Complete are obviously better, but your body will hold onto the incomplete proteins (for at least a day) until all the necessary amino acids are consumed.

Q: 3 Meals vs 6 Meals or Multiple Meals?

A: If you want to lose weight, stick to 3 meals. Increased meal consumption leads to increased chance for additional or excessive caloric consumption. He even cited the ADA’s new position statement.

Q: Bread?

A: If you want to lose weight, don’t eat it. Doesn’t matter the brand, the type, whole grain, etc…

Q: Pasta?

A: If you want to lose weight, don’t eat it. Doesn’t matter the brand, the type, whole grain, etc…

I believe the quote at dinner was, “dump it, if you want to lose weight”.

Q: Quinoa?

A: Yes it’s a complete protein, but it’s high glycemic like white rice, which raises your blood sugar & insulin levels. “Dump it, if you want to lose weight”

This one shocked me as I’ve been suggesting Quinoa as a “superfood” based upon Dr. John Berardi’s book Precision Nutrition to my clients as a “starchy carb” food to be consumed post workout.

Q: Starchy Carbs?

A: Oatmeal & Brown Rice as your grains, though from previous conversations, sweet potatoes can fall in the starchy carb category too (not grains).

Q: Swimming’s not a great exercise for losing weight?

A: If you want to lose weight and time is a consideration, swimming is not the best mode of exercise because you’re not weight bearing & something about building a superficial layer of fat to help regulate body temperature.

Q: Interval training?

A: He personally does it, likes it for its calorie burning effect when time is limited, but does not recommend it to the majority of his clientele, simply because they are not interested in performance and/or they are older & have increased risks for heart attacks, stroke, etc…and total cardio minutes (225-250 for women & 150-175 for men) are more important to him.

Q: EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) and it’s affect on metabolism?

A: Says it contributes to an increased metabolism post exercise, but is only 1 contributing variable to an elevated metabolism that can last up to 12 hours. Cellular repair from damage, digestion, thermogenesis, the breaking down of glycogen (stored carbs) & fat into energy are some others.

Here’s a little Dr. Tom approved intro to his book.

About The Book: The Weight Loss Triad presents a comprehensive weight loss strategy broken down into 3 key areas, Diet, Cardiovascular Exercise and Resistance Training. All three of these areas need attention for weight loss to become permanent. The program is based on Dr. Halton’s 5 years of doctoral research at Harvard University’s Department Of Nutrition as well as his 12+ years of experience helping people lose weight. Whether you need to lose 5 pounds or 100 pounds, you can attain your goals by following the principles in this program.

About The Author: Dr. Thomas L Halton is the owner of Fitness Plus, a nutrition counseling and personal training company based in Boston, MA. He is a graduate of Harvard University with a Doctorate in Nutrition. Dr. Halton also holds Masters Degrees in Human Nutrition and Exercise Science. He is a Licensed Nutritionist, a Certified Nutrition Specialist and an ACE Certified Personal Trainer.
Dr. Halton has been published in the nations leading journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. His research has been featured on CNN, CBS Health Beat, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report, Time Magazine, Newsweek, Men’s Health and dozens of other international media outlets.

The Weight Loss Triad is available for online purchase at

Check it out and if you have particular questions, comment below and I’ll see if “Dr. Tom” wouldn’t mind answering them for you.

Yours living the active life,

Mike Alves

p.s. The Weight Loss Triad, was simple to read & understand, a fast read, with great, ready to use action tips , without fluff or b.s. This will be your ultimate reference for weight loss as its researched based, practiced based (with clients who pay Big $$$ for results) and principle centered.