Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Natinal Nutrition Month: Healthy Drink Choices for Weight Loss Success

In honor of National Nutrition Month, yesterday we talked about ways to drop 15 pounds in a year by cutting empty calories out of our diet pretty painlessly.

You may be wondering what you should drink instead that won't be filled with those empty calories.

I've said it before, but the absolute best thing to drink is good, clean, pure water. It is truly the only liquid the human body needs (as opposed to what we want!) We can live quite a long time without turns out most of us could actually live for a couple of weeks without food--even though we sometimes feel like we are going to die without it after just a few hours. But water? Although there are reports of some people living through earthquakes and such and surviving for a week without water, most people will die after just 3 days without water.

I filter my water, which saves me money over buying bottled water and I don't use a lot of plastic bottles that way either. If you still can't drink enough water, add just a splash of 100% fruit juice to your glass of water. I start my day with lemon juice in water...I love the taste and find it refreshing and energizing. Keep in mind that all fruit juice (even 100% juice) contains sugars. Choosing 100% fruit juice ensures that there is no ADDED sugar, but fruit itself has natural sugar in the form of fructose. This is easier for your body to absorb, but if you want to lose weight successfully you want to be aware of all the sugars you are ingesting. Have most of the fruit you take in be in the form of you also get all the fiber (which helps you feel full) and other good stuff that fruits have to offer!

Tea is another good choice because it is mostly water. Your risk of having a heart attack may be reduced by as much as 11% if you drink 3 or more cups of tea every day. Green tea may be better for us than black, but the most important thing about drinking tea is to take it without sugar or milk, especially without milk. The beneficial element found in tea is called "catechins" (pronounced cat-ih-kins) and these are made less active when combined with the proteins found in milk.

And coffee (black) is not the evil thing that we had heard about in the past for most of us. In fact, a cup or two may also have some health benefits including reducing your chances of developing colon cancer, Parkinson's disease and type 2 diabetes.

If you are used to drinking soda, you may want to wean yourself away from it...especially if your drink choice has been loaded with caffeine. Otherwise you may suffer from withdrawal, including headaches, fatigue or the jitters. Replace one serving at a time with water to help flush out your system. Don't rely on diet drinks--they may not have calories but they have their own set of problems and can actually hinder successful weight loss!

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