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When trying to lose weight or improve blood sugar levels, it’s common to focus on food and food, only. In fact, drinkable calories tend to be downplayed or even unnoticed since they don’t seem as substantial as solid food, but nothing can be further from the truth. Calories and sugar from beverages can add up even more quickly than calories and sugar found in foods since drinking to quench thirst can result in a great deal of ingested liquid in a short amount of time. Also, sipping on sweetened beverages throughout the day or with each meal will add up to hundreds of calories and grams of sugar which is unfavorable for weight loss and type II diabetes management and prevention. For example, if one drinks an orange juice in the morning, a flavored iced tea with lunch, and a soda at dinner, he/she will have consumed 460 calories and 96 grams of sugar. Keep in mind that the maximum daily recommended intake for added sugars is 25 for women and 37 for men.
Before I cover the drinks that are best for weight loss, I want to briefly touch on the ones that are the worst for weight loss. Of course we all know that soda is a major culprit with 39 grams of sugar in one can, but there seems to be confusion about fruit juice. One cup of orange juice contains 21 grams of sugar but there are some opinions that the sugar found in fruit juice is natural so therefore, it isn’t harmful. This is incorrect! The sugar found in fruit juice is fructose and fructose affects our blood sugar almost in the same manner that table sugar does so if you’re trying to lose weight or improve blood sugar levels, it is best to avoid fruit juice. You can find vitamin C in low sugar fruits such as bell pepper, tomato, and berries. Sports drinks are also marketed as “healthier” but at 36 grams of sugar in a 20-ounce serving, these drinks should be eliminated as well. Enough about what we shouldn’t drink--let’s have a look at the large variety of beverages that are suitable for you goals.
I know this is an obvious one and it can be thought of as “boring” but drinking good old H2O as a primary beverages is one of the key staples to staying healthy. Aim to drink eight cups per day, with eight ounces in each cup. If you like something with a bit more flavor than water, I have more options for you!
2. Sparkling Water
Sparkling water may excite your taste buds a bit more since the bubbles are similar to those in soda. Also, there are many zero-sugar flavored options of sparkling water such as lemon, lime, and mixed berry.
3. Fruit Infused “Spa Water”
If you have ever treated yourself to a spa treatment, you may have noticed that the water provided there tastes extra good! Fruit infused water is easy to make and it tastes quite different than plain H2O--try chopping some of your favorite fruits and let them sit in a pitcher of ice water in your refrigerator. The natural flavors from the fruit will seep into the water and give it a whole new flavor; my favorite combination is cucumber, orange, and mint.
4. Unsweetened Coffee and Tea
If you need your caffeine, coffee and tea are weight-friendly beverages, but try not to dump packets of sugar in them. If you need something to smooth out the taste of black tea or coffee, adding a little milk or cream will lightly sweeten them via the lactose found in dairy.
Yes, you can still drink wine in moderation if you’re trying to lose weight. Many tend to think that wine is packed with sugar but that’s not the case. One glass of red wine has one to two grams of sugar and one glass of white wine (not a sweet variety) has three to four grams of sugar. If you like a glass or two of wine with your dinner, you can still reach your goals!
Soda and other sweet beverage habits are hard to kick so try taking baby steps to achieve your goals. For example, if you drink three sodas per day, lower your intake to two sodas per day and stick to that for a few weeks. Once you’re used to two sodas per day, try lowering it to one and then eventually, you can go down to zero. If you need a delicious replacement for your sweetened beverages that are low in calories and sugar, check out our large variety of shakes, cold drinks, and hot drinks here: https://doctorsbestweightloss.com/collections/shakes-drinks