Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"What is the single best thing one can do for weight loss?"

This is a question on one of my homework assignments in a nutrition class. And do you know what the answer was?
Stop drinking sugar sweetened beverages.
This was shocking to me. There has to be a better answer than that, right? We can't possibly drink that much soda, do we?!
"For the average American sugary drinks are the #1 source of calories in the diet AND the only food directly linked to obesity."
Most of us know that sodas are bad for us and some of us even avoid them entirely. However, we are fooled into drinking other things because of their deceptively healthy image. Many of these drinks are sweetened with sugar. Most of them have just as much IF NOT MORE sugar than sodas!!
{{fructose, cane syrup, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose. Whatever they want to call it- it's sugar!}}
Don't be fooled by these guys:
sports drinks
vitamin waters
sweetened teas
*Now of course if you juice your own fruits or  make your own smoothies you can control the ingredients and sugar added. But even healthy sounding smoothies ordered at a chain or restaurant can be loaded with added sugars.*

Do we really think we can trust fast food companies when they say a product is healthy?

So if you shouldn't drink those, then what is left to drink? Great question!
*Tea. Tea is the most amazing drink if you can learn to leave the sugar out. I recently switched to unsweet tea. I was bored with the non-flavor but found that adding some lemon helped me make the switch. Now it doesn't bother me that it doesn't taste like something. I think of it as water with caffeine and antioxidants. There are also tons of fruit and herbal teas. These can have a range of flavors from mild to bright. There are also some pretty fancy designer teas. These can get pricey, but holy cow they are a delicious treat.
*Coffee. Everyone is always asking me if coffee is healthy. Coffee is not unhealthy, but if you have to drink a pot a day to funtion it becomes unhealthy. Just don't load it down with fat and sugar.

*Water. Our bodys are mostly water and many of us would feel so much better if we were drinking enough. Some of us don't realize that we are feeling run-down because we are not hydrated.
*How much water should you drink? About 1 milliliter for every calorie that you eat. For example if you consume around 2,000 calories a day, then you should drink around 2,000 ml a day or 2 Liters.*
There are lots of things to do to spice up water. With flavor packets, such as crystal light, you can make pink lemonade, sweet tea, fruit punch, or peach mango green tea,  and all of them are made with artificial sweeteners.
If you prefer to go natural you can make your own flavored water. Just slice up whatever you like and add it to a pitcher of water. Let it sit for a couple of hourse or overnight to absorb the flavors and get chilled.


Some combinations that I have heard are:
-sliced apples and a cinnamon stick
-sliced cumcumbers and melons
-oranges and lemons
-watermelon and blueberries
-peach and pineapple
-spearmint and peppermint
The options are truly limitless.
I'll leave you with this to consider:
8 oz of orange juice is 122 calories and 29.5 grams of sugar
1 medium sweet tea is 130 calories and 34 grams of sugar

if you started every morning off with an 8 oz glass of orange juice and had a medium glass of sweet tea every day, you would drink 252 calories and 63.5 g of sugar a day.
Assuming that you ate all your recommended daily calories from foods and these drinks were added calories...

you would gain a pound every 2 weeks OR 26.5 pounds in a year!!!
(Heaven forbid you started off every morning with a 400 calorie latte at starbucks!!!)