Of course we all know that what you drink is just as important as what you eat if you are trying to lose weight. But did you know that making smarter drink choices could lead to weight loss? In these hot summer days you need to stay hydrated but what you choose to drink can make or break your diet. Read the following list of drinks to help you determine what you should drink with your next meal:
Fruit Juice– Some types of juices have as many calories as soda so be sure to read the label. Your best bet is to choose the types that are 100% fruit juice without added sweeteners or added sugar. If the label shows less than 100% juice then you know that there is added sugar. Of course you can slash calories by adding water to your juice (or better yet add juice to your water) since even the natural juices are not calorie free.
Soda– Any time you choose to drink a soda, you are consuming hundreds of empty calories. It is now well known that soda is a narrow path to an ever expanding waistline if you don’t balance the calories with the food that you eat. Of course switching to diet soft drinks is a way to cut calories but it won’t lead to weight loss unless you control your additional calorie intake during the day. There are approximately 350-400 calories in a 32 oz bottle of soda so consider that the next time you feel like grabbing a Big Gulp from 7-eleven!
Water– If you are disciplined enough to replace any soda that you are drinking with water then you will undoubtedly cut hundreds calories a day. An additional way to cut calories using water is to drink one or two glasses before your meal so you don’t eat as much and you will feel full more quickly. New research also shows that drinking lots of water will have a positive effect on your metabolism.
Vegetable Juice – If you can train your taste buds to drink vegetable juice instead of fruit juice then you will be taking in about half the calories even though it is just as nutritious as fruit juice. One cup of tomato juice has 41 calories as compared to 117 calories in one cup of apple juice! Here’s a bonus: If you choose the type of juice with pulp, it will help you control your hunger. Smoothies- The home grown kind please! Grab a blender and add a banana, strawberries, blueberries and your other favorite fruits and you’ll come out with a delicious mix of antioxidants just ripe to fight diseases. Of course the home made kind is best since you know exactly what it’s made with. Forego the sugar or fruit juice, skim milk works great.
Coffee– If you feel like you need a shot of caffeine, plain black coffee is usually a better choice than soda and most energy drinks. It is naturally calorie free and loaded with antioxidants as long as you don’t add flavored syrups, whipped cream and sugar. Some specialty coffees contain over 500 calories in one cup which is more than a small meal! If you want to sweeten your cup, add a small amount of artificial sweetener and skim milk to save calories. Recent studies have shown that plain black coffee can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.
Wine Coolers– Everyone likes a Mike’s every now and then but be sure to keep it occasional. A hard lemonade contains about 300 calories while a wine cooler contains about 200 calories. Even regular wine is not considered a diet drink with 100 calories in only 5 ounces. A better alternative would be a spritzer- mix a dash of wine with sparkling water.
Energy Drinks– These days everyone is looking for more energy—You can find it in a can, in a bottle or even in a pill. Be careful of things that promise quick fixes. Researchers found that within four hours of drinking various energy drinks, 15 participants\’ blood pressure rates and heart rates increased approximately 10 percent for the systolic rate, 8 percent for the diastolic rate and heart rates increased 11 percent. Note that because energy drinks are marketed as dietary supplements rather than food, it is not required that manufacturers disclose how much caffeine they contain. Additionally, the FDA maximum of 71 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounces does not apply. The average 12 ounce soda contains approximately 35 milligrams of caffeine, while some energy drinks may contain hundreds of milligrams of caffeine per can. Your best bet is to increase your energy with natural fruits and vegetables.
What you drink is just as important as what you eat when you are on a path to a slimmer waistline and a lower number on the scale. Make wise decisions when choosing your beverages and your body will love you for it. Keep up the good work!
Thanks for reading! Have a healthy week!