Beverages And Weight Loss
This is an important part of weight loss regimen especially among Americans who get one fifth of their daily calories from beverages. Drinking the right beverages can improve your metabolism, prevent food cravings and reduce calorie intake.
Take note of the following beverages which can either worsen or improve your weight-loss regimen.
Sweetened juice contains as many calories as soft drinks. To minimize calorie intake, do not use additional sugar or drink only 100% fruit juice. Check the nutritional label of packed juice products to check how much sugar they have. You can also reduce the calories per serving by adding water to sweetened juice.
A bottle of soda has hundreds of calories. If you really cannot forgo soft drinks, choose low-calorie brands, however, it is uncertain if doing so would help you reduce weight. Some studies showed that diet soda can be beneficial in the short run. Other studies reported that diet soda could lead to weight gain. If you are eating more than what you are burning inside, switching to low-calorie soft drinks won’t do.
A healthy lifestyle requires drinking plenty of water. Water is indispensable whether you are in a diet or not. Water can help you feel full, so you can curb your appetite by drinking a lot of water. Research also showed that water can improve metabolism. If you’re a heavy soda drinker, replacing your favorite beverage with water would dramatically cut your calorie intake.
Vegetable juice is as nutritious as fruit juice but with fewer calories. A 12-ounce glass of tomato juice only contains 80 calories, compared with 160 calories in orange juice. Adding pulp extract makes vegetable juice fiber-rich. Taking foods or beverages high in fiber is an effective way of controlling appetite.
Milk is rich in calcium which may help prevent weight gain. Although recent studies suggested that calcium had no significant role in burning fat contrary to earlier studies, it has been shown that lack of calcium could lead to fat accumulation. Anyway, choose non-fat or skim milk to meet your calcium requirements without increasing your calorie intake.
Turn bananas, blueberries and strawberries into smoothies for a refreshing and nutritious beverage packed with vitamins and minerals. Home-made smoothies are generally healthier than commercially-made ones. You can control the amount of sweeteners and additives in home-made smoothies to comply with your dietary restrictions. Smoothies in restaurants, on the other hand, may contain high-calorie adds-on and ingredients like honey, high-fat milk and ice cream.
Coffee is a better source of caffeine than energy drinks or soda. Black coffee has many antioxidants and no calories. Research showed that drinking 3 to 4 cups of coffee every day can improve concentration and mood and reduce the chance of getting cancers and type 2 diabetes.
If you do not want caffeine, go for green tea. Drinking green tea twice a day could also aid in weight control. The low-calorie drink could stimulate fat metabolism through its phytochemicals. Scientific findings suggest that these compounds could enable the body to metabolize more fat, though this increase in metabolic activity seems to last only for few hours.
Adding syrups, ice cream and whipped cream to black coffee ruins its nutritional balance. These adds-on contain a lot of sugar and fat. A cup of specialty coffee may contain more than 500 calories, which is more than what you can get from a single meal. If you do not like the taste of black coffee, just add some skim milk and low-calorie sweetener.
Regular beer has 150 calories per serving. If you’re in a party or hanging out with friends in a bar, choose light beer instead which has 30% fewer calories.
A shot of cocktail contains fewer calories than wine. However, adding soda or cream can break the calorie threshold. An 8-ounce glass of white Russian cocktail mixed with light cream contains 715 calories. For a low-fat alternative, mix vodka or rum with diet soda.
Wine coolers seem light but they are actually high in calories. A 12-ounce wine cooler may contain 190 calories and 22 g of carbohydrates. A five-ounce glass of regular wine generally contains 100 calories, so you won’t save yourself much calories if you switch to it. Wine spritzer is a better alternative.
Energy drinks, like soda, contain a lot of calories. The vitamins and minerals in energy drinks can be found in many low-calories foods, so it is hard to justify the consumption of these products. Drinking water is still the best way to keep the body hydrated.