I’ll start with the obvious but we don’t always want to drink just water so I’ve included some delicious drinks which most of us love to drink.
The idea for writing this blog came to me due to so many people asking me “what to drink to lose weight”. This blog has the answer.
I’ll start with the obvious – water – but we don’t always want to drink just water so I’ve included some healthy versions of delicious drinks which most of us love to drink like alcohol, chocolate drinks and sodas.
To find out how you can use these drinks to your health advantage read this blog to the end.
It is golden and can help you lose weight for three main reasons:
1. Thirst is often confused for hunger – Dehydration is not a good thing and paying attention to it will take your mind off food.
Before you reach for food try drinking a tall glass of water first and then check with your body, “am I still hungry?”
2. Drinking water 30 minutes after a meal and throughout the day helps move the stool though your digestive system so your digestive system is not over taxed and it can absorb precious vitamins and minerals that will keep your cravings in check.
3. Water helps transport and release toxins from your body through the urinary tract, stool and sweat glands.
Accumulated toxins disrupt our body in so many ways and holding on to unwanted weight is one of them.
To learn more about toxins go here.
How to stay hydrated?
It takes a conscious effort to hydrate with enough water.
Your goal should be to drink half your body weight in ounces so if you weight 140 pounds you should drink 70 ounces of water every day.
You must have a system to help you reach your water goal. Some ideas to help you get started:
• Placing a large, preferably glass, container of water on your kitchen counter that you will see and drink from.
• Carry a water bottle with you all the time. This is my preferred method and to make sure I drink this water I follow two rules.
a. Fill it up before you leave the house or office.
b. Drink all the water before you return to the house or office even if it means chugging it at the door. It must be empty.
The next time I go out I fill it up again and go through the same process. I’m in and out a lot so this is a prefect solution for me.
Drinking a glass or two with your meals is not enough and it’s not even the best time to drink water.
After a meal the acid in your stomach helps your body digest food, water dilutes the acid and interferes with this task.
So maintain a good time gap between your meals and water consumption.
Hydrating is so important and it doesn’t matter what you do to make drinking water a reality and not just an idea.
Should you drink ice-cold water like the Americans do?
Well it depends.
A German study found that ice cold water actually helps burn fat for it raises your metabolic rate, your body needs to use a little more energy to warm the water to body temperature.
However, ice-cold water is not easy to chug and if you are going to hydrate properly you probably will be chugging some water.
I am yet to find someone who hydrates with the adequate amount of water for his or her weight by sipping water throughout the day.
Add cut up cucumber, strawberries, lemons, lime, pineapple or just about any fruit you’d like to add a delightful flavor to water.
If you love chocolate you’ll love this one.
Raw cacao is loaded with antioxidants that help fight the aging process, control blood sugar and regulate your blood pressure. Cacao is also an energy booster.
Make sure you choose unsweetened raw cacao. Sugar will give you instant energy but not for long.
As your body releases insulin to bring the blood sugar down it will end up leaving you drained also excess sugar is detrimental to your health and it you’re your skin and body.
Here is my favorite cacao drink that will give you vibrant energy and control your sugary chocolate cravings.
Energy Boosting Shake
• You can use unsweetened, coffee, tea, coconut milk or even water as a base liquid to change it up a bit.
• For hot cacao warm up the base liquid in very low heat and whisk the cocoa. I like to add coconut cream to end up with a thicker hot cacao
• Feel free to add vanilla and any other spices you like – spices are great for you.
• Choose unsweetened organic versions of all your ingredients when possible.
• To add sweetness I recommend you use 1 or 2 dates (for the Energy Boosting Shake), Stevia or monk fruit.
Want to learn the difference between cocoa and cacao? Read this article Cacao or Cocoa, which is Best?
The acid in Coke, Sprite and other sodas removes rust from metal, grease strains from clothes, cleans battery terminals and even cleans your toilet stains, yikes!
It also kills pests like roaches, flies even snails and slugs. Please don’t put that in your body.
Sodas are full of sugar and in most countries this means the worst kind of sugar – high fructose corn syrup.
According to Bart Hoebel, a Princeton University professor specializing in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction, and high fructose corn syrup is more likely to cause obesity than other sweeteners, including sugar.
He conducted a rat experiment that yielded some interesting results.
“When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese — every single one, across the board,” he said.
Thinking to switch to diet sodas? Think AGAIN!
Artificial sweeteners are just as bad or worse for your health and weight.
Several studies have found that people who switch to diet sodas end up eating more carbohydrates throughout the day to satisfy their sugar craving and end up gaining more weight.
Aspartame which is widely used as a sweetener is rumored to cause cancer, seizures, digestive issues, immune problems and and other health problems.
But what if you are addicted to sodas?
Simple, make your own – combine ¼ cup of 100% fresh fruit juice with club soda or mineral water and a little stevia or monk fruit if you need extra sweetness.
Not a good idea! Fruit juices are loaded with sugar and without the fiber of whole fruit that helps regulate the assault of so much sugar in your blood.
A whole glass of pure fruit juice can contain as much sugar as a soda. Fruit juices add sugar and calories to your food mix real quick.
For example, one glass of orange juice takes two to four oranges would you ever eat four oranges in one sitting? How about ½ a pineapple or five or more apples?
Whole fruit is wonderful and full of vitamins, minerals and fiber, in other words, nutrients.
Nutrients your body can use to build, repair and for your organs to work properly. So try fruits for weight loss.
But fruit contains sugar; some more than others and all fruit contains a specific type of sugar called fructose. You might have heard that fructose is bad news.
Why? Fructose does not stimulate insulin release to bring down the blood sugar – that’s why the fiber in fruit is so important.
To get all the wholesome goodness of fresh fruit eat your fruit whole and don’t over do it.
Leave room for other nutrient rich foods to incorporate into your food mix.
Coffee is the biggest antioxidant in the American diet.
Due to it’s high anti- oxidant content coffee can provide you with a “pick me upper” and also help you burn more fat and improve your health.
However the effect coffee has on you depends on how your body metabolizes coffee.
For some people coffee sends them running to the bathroom for others it has the opposite effect and for some coffee is a stimulator while others end up exhausted and falling asleep at the desk.
Try this for a healthy cup of coffee:
• Use organic coffee beans – coffee is a very contaminated bean.
• Drink it black but if you must sweeten it use stevia, monk fruit or if you can really limit your sugar intake to just one teaspoon or less and you only have one or two coffees per day go ahead and use the “deadly” white stuff called sugar.
• Avoid artificial creamers that are loaded with hydrogenated, artery clogging oils, and corn syrup. Instead use natural coconut creamer for a load of MCT oil which helps burn fat.
You read that right! MCT fats, Medium Chain Triglyceride fats are a special kind of fat that works in a special way in your body and it takes more energy to burn these fats than any other fats.
If this is not your preferred creamer try unsweetened almond milk.
If you’re a Starbucks customer beware, those delicious concoctions are quite decadent and pack on unhealthy calories that kill all the antioxidant goodness of coffee.
For example, the Caffe Mocha with whipped cream is 400 calories, the Venti White Chocolate Mocha contains 580 calories – a lot of those calories come from sugar.
The “healthier” versions like the Mocha Frappuccino without the whipped cream is 200 calories. You love these?
Well guess what these are the decadent treats and treats are to be enjoyed every once in a while.
So why not choose a healthier version.
Frappuccino Without Guilt
Place dairy free vanilla yogurt, such as coconut milk or rice milk vanilla yogurt, in an ice cube tray and freeze overnight.
To prepare your Frappuccino blend the vanilla yogurt ice cubes with almond milk plus a shot of Expresso coffee and a scoop of vanilla or chocolate protein powder. Do not discard this alternative.
It is absolutely delicious, so delicious you won’t believe it’s actually healthy and good for you.
Coffee and Exercises
Drinking a cup of coffee before exercise can give you the motivation you need to do the workout and give it your most.
However for excessive coffee drinkers this energy boosting drink can actually backfire and cause fatigue. I recommend limiting coffee to one or two cups a day, black and no sweetener.
Caffeine like sugar is an addictive substance and moderation is key.
If that is not possible for you, then like all addictions I suggest you work on removing it from your life.
Alcohol contains zero nutritional value and lots of sugar. Our body can’t store alcohol so it must metabolize it immediately.
The liver is in charge of processing the alcohol along with other toxins and drugs.
Alcohol also inhibits the body’s ability to make glucose and maintain adequate levels of sugar in the blood that’s why some people drink alcohol and exhibit dangerously low levels of blood sugar.
So how does alcohol cause weight gain?
1. Alcohol is full of sugar and that means calories. When your body metabolizes alcohol that is all it does it does not metabolize other fats and sugars and these end up stored as fat.
When you drink alcohol you should trade some calories to avoid adding pounds to your body, particularly your waistline, so for example skip the appetizer and go straight to the entrée.
2. Alcohol and food go hand in hand. When we drink with one hand we are usually munching with the other hand and after a few drinks healthy choices tend to go out the window.
3. Drinking at night is particularly because your body slows down during sleep and those extra calories will be stored as fat, this is how alcohol causes weight gain.
Unless you are planning to go for a long run before bedtime quit drinking a few hours before your head hits the pillow.
I realize that giving up social drinking is not on most people’s list of things to do. It’s certainly not on my list so here are a few tricks to help you enjoy social drinking while still keeping your waistline.
1. On nights that you know are going to involve some drinking keep a check on calories to make room for those coming into your body from alcohol alone.
Skip the bread, pastas and desserts, focus on clean lean proteins and vegetables instead.
2. The kind of drink matters. Fruity drinks and mixed drinks that use mixes like margarita mixes or sodas like rum and coke are loaded with sugar.
Margaritas can count for as much as 500 calories and 80 or more grams of sugar that is 20 teaspoons of sugar!
Now Margarita is my favorite drink and I have searched for the perfect mix and … I am yet to find it. Have you found it? Please, please, please share it below in the comments section.
In the meantime, if you also love Margaritas try my latest homemade mix. It has some of the “deadly” white stuff but I can assure you it’s a fraction of what you’ll get on those Margarita mixes.
Delicious Low Sugar Margarita Mix
1 – 2 fresh squeezed limes
¼ cup warm water
2 teaspoons sugar
Make your sugar water by mixing sugar and warm water then add lime juice.
In a Margarita glass combine 1 shot of your favorite tequila, your homemade lime mix and soda water to taste for a mild fizzy sensation.
If you like it a little sweeter go ahead and add a little more sugar, I guarantee your mix will be so much lower in sugar than the ones you find at the store.
What about wine?
You’ve probably heard about the health benefits of resveratrol in red wine and it’s antioxidant power. This is all true but to gain the real benefits of resveratrol you’d have to drink a LOT of red wine.
However red wine also has less sugar than other alcohol drinks including white wine and a study in 2012 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that dry red wine helps promote healthy bacteria in your gut.
Now I haven’t talked about gut bacteria on this article but trust me that’s a good thing. So you might be thinking, lets load up on red wine! NO NO NO.
Although red wine may be a super-healthy choice it’s still an alcoholic drink and it should be enjoyed in moderation.
I love beer but do you love your beer belly? A beer, depending on the size can pack around 150 calories and because of its lower alcohol level we tend to drink more of it.
Drinking beer translates to adding calories to your mix. Most beer bellies come from drinking too much beer.
Drinking in moderation is perfectly acceptable in a healthy diet.
If you are trying to lose weight alcohol should not be part of your mix for alcohol means empty calories – calories with zero nutritional value – and nutrition is key for weight loss.
Why Green Tea Helps With Weight Loss
When green tea is consumed, it increases thermogenesis or the rate at which your body burns calories. This means that you can do the same level of activity but burn more calories throughout the day.
In one study, participants were given green tea on a daily basis, but made no changes to the food they ate or exercise they did.
At the end of 90 days, participants lost an average of 2.64 pounds, ¾ inch from their waistline and reduced their body mass index—not bad considering that no dietary or exercise changes were part of the study.
In another 12-week study, participants were placed on a diet where they were provided three meals per day.
All the food was prepared for the participants.
Half of the group consumed green tea. Those in the green tea group lost significantly more weight—24 pounds—over the 12-week period.
Aside from weight loss, there are many health benefits to drinking green tea, including preventing cancer, reducing inflammation, and overall heart health.
Selecting Green Tea
Selecting green tea can be confusing because there are several different forms, including matcha, tea bags, and tealeaves.
Your best option is to use matcha, which is a more concentrated, powdered form of green tea.
You’ll also want to be sure to choose matcha with caffeine, as studies show that green tea containing caffeine is more effective at supporting weight loss.
One cup of green tea made with matcha powder has the same nutritional value as drinking 10 cups of regular brewed tea.
Preparing Green Tea
If you’re using matcha green tea powder, simply add 1 teaspoon of the matcha powder to a teacup.
Then pour hot water that is just under a boil into the tea cup. (You never want to use boiling water when making green tea.) Stir and enjoy.
If you would like to sweeten it, add 5 drops of stevia or a bit of raw honey. Drink the tea immediately, as it will get bitter if it sits for a while.
What about other teas
There are many good teas out there.
Dandelion tea is great for digestive health. Nettle tea is great for your joints, Chamomile tea is calming and soothing and the list goes on.
I love tea and I highly recommend it. Find one that resonates with you and add it to your mix.
I hope this article helps you make better liquid choices to incorporate into your food mix and may also answer your question about ‘what to drink to lose weight’.
I am all about food, real, wholesome food to help you lose weight, gain energy, look good and feel good.
Have you tried any of the above drinks to lose weight or have any more drinks to share which can help in reducing weight then please feel free to share in the comments section.