When we talk about weight loss or dieting we spend the majority of our time looking at what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat.
We focus almost all of our attention on food.
And while food is the major nutritional factor in losing weight there lies a grave danger in neglecting to look at the beverages you are consuming and their effects on your nutritional plan.
- A glass of Cola contains about 180 calories – mostly from sugar
- A beer contains 150 calories,
- A white coffee with two sugars contains 80 calories
- And a seemingly healthy glass of orange juice contains 112 calories
It is clear that these items must be taken into account as a calorie-contributing factor in a nutrition plan or the extra calories could sabotage your weight loss efforts.
Example of a ‘normal’ (bad) day of beverages:
This is an example of what a normal person would consume every day in terms of beverages… These are often ‘unconscious’ calories that aren’t being considered as part of the daily nutritional intake, but they ADD UP!
- Before breakfast: Coffee (white, two sugars) – 80 calories
- Breakfast time: Glass of juice – 112 calories
- Morning tea time: Coffee – 80 calories
- Lunch: Cola – 180 calories
- Afternoon tea time: Coffee – 80 calories
- Arrive home from work: Beer – 150 calories
- Dinner: Small glass of red wine – 125 calories
This works out to around 1000 calories!
That’s more than half of the amount the average woman should EAT in a day. So essentially in this scenario, the person is drinking an extra 50% of her necessary calories.
So what should you drink if you want to lose weight?
Here are 5 suggestions:
1. Black coffee
Black, unsweetened coffee contains only 8 calories per cup. If consumed in moderation (around 3 cups per day or so) to limit caffeine intake, it is totally harmless and actually quite beneficial in terms of antioxidants.
You may not like the taste at first. Give it a while and you’ll learn to like it. After a year or two you’ll actually dislike milk and sugar in coffee.
No, it doesn’t taste nice… It doesn’t really taste at all. That’s not why you need to drink it in the first place.
Water is the best source of hydration for your body because, although all liquids hydrate your body to an extent, water doesn’t have to be processed first. Plus, it’s calorie free.
Don’t get taken in by all of the ‘fancy’ water nonsense like vitamin-enriched water and such things. You should be eating foods that contain the nutrients you need, not wasting money on water with added sugar or flavourants or ‘vitamins’.
Drink a glass when you wake up, and start every meal with a glass of water. Drink one glass before you go to bed. That’s 5 down. So easy.
3. Rooibos tea – Black and unsweetened
Rooibos is wonderful because it’s healthy, virtually calorie-free and caffeine-free too. This makes it a good hot drink for cold evenings as many people struggle to sleep if they ingest caffeine too late in the day.
4. Green tea, Ceylon tea and other herbal teas
Again, black and unsweetened, teas are healthy and almost calorie-free.
They all have different health benefits, so drinking a wide variety of them is good for you, and it keeps the taste of the teas fresh. If you find one that really needs to be sweetened, a drop of raw honey is a good option. Be careful to note which ones are caffeine-free and which are not so as to avoid sleepless nights.
5. Red wine and whisky
Although alcohol is not the best thing to put into your body for weight loss for numerous reasons, reality dictates that most people are going to have a drink from time-to-time.
The best choices of alcoholic beverage are a glass of red wine (dry) or a whisky. These are lowest in calories and sugar content. Red wine also contains some nutrients however using this as a justification for drinking is a tad far-fetched so I won’t get into that here.
The key when drinking alcohol on a diet is not to drink too much. One or two is enough.