Drink Your Way to Health and Weight Loss
No to whiskey, soda or sugary fruit drinks… Yes to water, green tea and a healthy smoothie
DO YOU have friends that never drink water? I do. I’m thinking of one guy in particular as I write this post whom I’ve known for thirty years, and have never once seen him drink a glass of water. Rather, it’s always a large bottle of soda or ice tea.
My friend is not doing himself any good; in fact, he may be harming himself. The reason is that drinks like soda and most ice tea you buy pre-made are calorie dense, and the calories are comprised of unhealthy sugars, like high-fructose corn syrup.
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (as reported here), most of our calories come from soda, not food. The percentage of soda calories is 7.1% — more than any other of 143 categories of food intake measured.
Consider this perspective: If you eat 2,500 calories per day, and reduced that tally by 7%, or 2,325, then you would drop 1.5 pounds each month, or 18 pounds over a year. Small changes can, over time, produce significant results.
Soda is not the only culprit – as mentioned, many bottled drinks are stuffed with nasty sugar-type garbage, like corn syrup. (Learn about which sugars are best here.) These insidious “sugars” are worse than “real” sugar. Many researchers link the obesity epidemic in America to high-fructose corn syrup. (See if your drink among the unhealthiest drinks here, and watch the late Peter Jennings’s special about corn syrup and the fattening of America here.)
So, the best thing to do is to drink purified water, not bottled water given the environmental issues with the manufacture of the plastic, the transportation of the water and the disposal of the bottle.
Increase Metabolism with Water
A study of 173 overweight women that drank more than one liter (about 4.5 cups) per day, showed an average loss of 5 pounds over twelve months. If you’re a soda/ice tea/sugary fruit drinker who substitutes that for water, your one year weight loss, then, is 23 pounds (18 + 5).
Researchers at the University of Utah discovered that the more water you drink, the higher your metabolism — the eight-cup drinkers had greater concentration, higher energy levels and burned more calories than the four-cuppers.
Drink Green Tea, not Coffee
If your coffee habit cannot be overcome, then at least drink real coffee, instead of all those fattening derivatives. Researchers studied coffee habits in New York and found that two-thirds of Starbucks’ customers opted for blended coffee drinks over regular brewed coffee or tea. The average caloric impact of the blended drinks was 239 calories. The regular coffee or tea, by comparison, was only 63 calories after factoring in added cream and sugar. So even if you like your coffee sweet and light, you can strip away 176 calories every day, just by making this one swap.
For those of you who are willing to consider swapping green tea for coffee, you’re in for a world of good. Green tea increases the thermogenic effect in your body, meaning, it helps you burn fat. (Read Nine Reasons to Drink Green Tea.) If you drink multiple cups of coffee each day, try substituting one with green tea, and then after that change settles in, replace another cup, till you’re completely in green tea nirvana.
Drink Smoothies for More Weight Loss
They take little time to make, you can put a lot of good, healthy stuff in them, and they can reduce hunger. The key is to make sure you don’t drink too much, or put fattening stuff in them.
A good recipe is low-fat, unflavored yoga, water, berries, a banana, whey protein, and flax seed powder. (Go here and scroll down to read about my daily tonic.) Researchers at Purdue University found that people stayed fuller longer when they drank thick drinks than when they drank thin ones, and a study at Penn State found that people who drank yogurt shakes that had been blended until they doubled in volume ate 96 fewer calories a day than those consuming thinner drinks.
So, to sum up:
1. Drink lots of water.
2. Eliminate soda, and other sugary drinks.
3. Drink green tea instead of coffee.
4. Eat smoothies
These four steps will add to your health and subtract from your waistline.