When you’re wanting to keep an eye on your weight, it’s just as important to choose the right drinks, as the right food.
Weight Loss Drinks: Water
Pure and simple tap water is the very best drink you can choose.
Water is free of sugar, and in western countries is as pure, if not purer, than bottled waters. You can use a water filter if you wish, either plumbed into the water supply with its own dedicated tap, or a filter jug which you can keep in the fridge.
And yes, it seems that water is one of the really effective weight loss drinks.
A 2010 trial reported to the American Chemical Society, showed that adults who drank 2 cups of water before each low calorie meal, 3 times a day, consumed between 50-90 fewer calories at each meal, and lost about 5lb more than others who reduced calories but didn’t drink the water.
It’s not clear why this happened, but it may be simply that water fills the gut without providing calories, so you feel fuller and eat less.
How Much Water?
How much water do you need each day? An article in the British Medical Journal suggested that there’s no need to follow advice that’s widely given, to carry water and sip constantly throughout the day.
Drink when you’re thirsty and keep a check on the colour of your urine to make sure you’re getting the right amount. If it’s dark, drink more. Almost colourless – you could drink a little less. Pale straw colour means you’re getting it right.
The European Food Safety Authority recommend 2 litres a day for women, 2.5 for men, of which around 20% will be found in foods in a balanced diet. That means that women need to drink around 1800 ml of water, and men around 2250 ml daily.
But kidney specialist Professor Heinz Valtin of the Dartmouth Medical School, New Hampshire dismisses the idea of drinking eight 8-oz glasses of water a day as having no scientific evidence to support it. Surveys of fluid intake, he says, have shown that people don’t need such a large quantity of water.
Not only do we need not need to keep ourselves awash with water in normal circumstances, we could even be doing ourselves harm, by taking in pollutants over a period of time, as well as wasting time and causing ourselves embarrassment through the need for frequent trips to the toilet.
If you decide to drink bottled waters, go for the plain ones, with no added flavours or sweeteners. If you want more taste, add a slice of orange, lemon or melon to your glass of water.
Soda and soft drinks
In the US, soda consumption has exploded alongside the obesity crisis, and sodas are the main single source of calories in the average person’s diet, with consumption running at 600 12-oz cans per person, per year.
Typically, sodas are packed with the empty calories of sugar – as much as 10-12 tsp/150 calories per can. You can find out how many teaspoons, by checking the ingredients and dividing the number of grams of sugar by 4 – so, 40g of sugar = 10 teaspoons.
Under-30s and children drink the most soda, and so miss out on more nutritious drinks like milk and fruit juice. That, coupled with the high sugar content of sodas, is enough to create health problems like diabetes 2, obesity, and osteoporosis, which can develop in women who didn’t consume enough calcium as teenagers, when their bones were developing.
If you’re serious about choosing weight loss drinks, then you can’t afford to drink soda. Even switching to diet varieties isn’t a good idea, as these are full of additives and sweeteners. Better to switch your soda for water or other, healthier drinks.
Weight Loss Drinks: Fruit juices and milk
You can include one 250ml/1 cup serving of pure fruit juice towards your five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Fruit juice is a healthy drink, because it contains nutrients, including vitamins and fiber, from the whole fruit.
But it also contains natural sugars which can contribute to weight gain, so if you’re trying to lose weight, don’t drink more than one small glass. You can make your fruit juice go further, but diluting it with plain soda water or sparkling mineral water.
Vegetable juice is a great alternative as its lower in sugar and satisfies the appetite.
When you buy fruit juice, make sure you are buying 100% juice with no added sugars or sweeteners. Products labelled as ‘fruit drinks’ or ‘fruit flavoured’ are not made of pure juice – avoid.
Milk is a nourishing drink, but whole milks are high in fat. If you want to use milk as one of your weight loss drinks, go for no fat or 1% varieties. You can use low fat milks to make a href=”http://www.healthy-weight-loss-made-easy.com/smoothie-recipes-for-weight-loss.html”>fruit smoothies for weight loss – a great choice for breakfast.
Alcoholic drinks are high in sugar and calories. Cut them out, or at least cut down if you want to lose weight.
In the UK, recommended maximum weekly intake of alcohol is up to 14 units for women, 21 units for men. A unit of alcohol is a half pint of beer or cider or a small glass of wine.
Limit your coffee intake to 2-3 cups a day. More than this, and you could start getting high blood sugar spikes, as happens when you eat very sugary foods, because coffee stimulated the adrenal glands to produce more adrenalin and prompts a surge of glucose – sugar – into the blood.
This leads to the body producing more insulin to cope with the extra glucose in the bloodstream. Over the longer term, you could develop insulin resistance and diabetes. And if you don’t use the energy that extra glucose provides, your body will store it as fat, right around the midriff.
The best of all the weight loss drinks is undoubtedly water. Drop the sodas and get the fresh, clear water habit and you’ll be giving your weight loss target a big helping hand.