Are Your Drinks Ruining Your Diet?

It’s been a while since I wrote a post on nutrition. I thought I would write about the last diet tip, don’t drink your calories, from the post 7 tips for balancing your meals.

One of the top diet mistakes I’ve noticed that people don’t take into consideration when trying to eat healthy or lose weight, is the amount of liquid calories they consume.

It is easy to take in hundred to thousands of calories from drinks because they do not fill you up. Not only do they not fill you up, but they also don’t take much work for your body to digest and absorb.

Here are some tips regarding drinks:

1. Drink water with all meals and between meals. If you’re not a big fan of water, figure out a way to like it. I don’t like sipping ice cold water. I prefer to chug room temperature water. If you need to, add a lemon or lime or even a strawberry. Find a way to like it and drink it.

Water women's health

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2. Ditch the sodas, regular and diet. Regular soda has a ton of calories and sugar and it is not helping your body/health in any way. Diet soda doesn’t have any calories or sugar, but it does have artificial sugar. There have been studies linking artificial sugar with the urge to consume more sweets. There is not a definite yay or nay to this link, but just in case it is best to cut it out too. Try drinking carbonated water with a splash of lemon or lime juice.

3. Ditch the juices, even 100% juice. It’s basically sugar water. Yes, it has some vitamins and minerals, but it is high in calories and sugar. If you compare an ounce of unsweetened apple juice to an ounce of coke, the apple juice (13 calories/ounce) has more calories than the coke (11 calories/ounce). An alternative is to add fruit to your water then as a bonus eat the fruit after you finished your water. Yum.

Water with Strawberries

4. Drink your fruit and protein smoothies if you are able to control the portions and ingredients. Many smoothie places use juice, ice cream, sherbet and full fat milk to make smoothies. If you love your smoothies, make them at home. Use fruit, vegetables, protein powder and skim milk (or unsweetened almond milk or even water). You can also add chia seeds, flax seeds, oatmeal, peanut butter and the kitchen sink if you want. If you choose to drink a smoothie, consider making it a meal. Even with all the healthy goodness you add to your smoothie, the calories and fat can add up. Homemade smoothies will most likely fill you up due to the fiber, protein and healthy fats you add. Here is an example of a healthy smoothie.

Strawberry Chocolate Protein Faux Ice Cream

5. Ditch specialty and flavored coffees. Adding sugar and cream to coffees adds calories and fat to your body. Drink your coffee black. If you must add something to your coffee, consider adding a small amount of skim milk.

6. Unless you are performing a high endurance activity that is lasting for an hour or longer, skip the energy drink. You do not need a Gatorade while working out on an elliptical machine. You also do not need a “healthy” smoothie while walking on the treadmill. I’m always confused when I see people doing this. They are probably taking in more calories than they are burning.

7. Skip the alcohol if you are trying to lose weight. Keep in mind, alcohol has 7 kcal/gm. If you are at your goal weight and have been able to maintain it then have yourself a glass of wine. As always, moderation is key.

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8. Try drinking non-calorie naturally flavored green teas. If you don’t like your tea hot, brew a pitcher and stick it in the fridge. An added bonus, green tea has antioxidants and can reduce the risk of certain cancers and heart disease. Just don’t load your tea with sugar and milk.

Cutting out your liquids calories will help you lose some weight without having to do too much else. It will also save you some money in the long run. And saving money is never a bad thing.

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Do you have any tips for drinking water?

-I like adding fruit and cucumbers to a pitcher of water. You can also add frozen fruit to your water.

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