Drinks That Will Not Sabotage Your Diet

Drinks That Will Not Sabotage Your DietDrinks are a crucial element of any meal.  For breakfast, it is common to consume orange juice or coffee; for lunch generally it is soda; and for dinner it varies from beer, wine, or spritzers.  A good beverage can bring out the flavor in most meals and depending on the choice of your drink you may feel invigorated and maybe even a little euphoric.  Regardless of how you feel when you have your drink, take into consideration what you are putting into your body.

Drinks are a major source of empty calories.  One often associates calories with solid foods that you eat, but realistically most drinks have some form of sweetener to influence the taste.  Two of the biggest sources of sweeteners in drinks is from sugar and high fructose corn syrup, both of which you should take caution when consuming.  Drinking your calories is a “weight trap” for many dieters and can really have a strain on weight management, blood glucose control, and fat levels in the body.  Simply put, avoid sugary drinks (and any added sugars for that matter), especially when you are on a diet and exercise plan.  The following section includes some drinks that will not damage your diet.

Drinks That Will Not Sabotage Your Diet Plan

  • Hot Green Tea. Green tea is one of the oldest and most common drinks around, offering an abundance of catechins (antioxidant-like substances for optimal health).  This beverage can come calorie-free if you stray away from the sweeteners (it is recommended to try green tea without sweeteners for at least a month to get used to the tea taste) and has been shown to improve blood perfusion and reduce cholesterol [1].  In addition to these great benefits, consider the benefits if you traded two cans of soda every day for green tea: you would save nearly 50,000 calories.  For basic math purposes, every pound of fat equates to approximately 3,500 calories, therefore, 50,000 calories would be more than 14 pounds in one year.  Imagine the hard work you would need to do at the gym and in your diet to lose 14 pounds?  Consider swapping your sugary soda for green tea soon.
  • Fat-free Milk. Wait, milk has calories, why would I want to drink milk?  One reason is that for one eight ounce glass, you are only consuming 80 calories of fat-free milk.  In addition, a tall glass of fat-free milk will fill you up and will provide ample protein and calcium.  In addition, the protein within the milk will have your body absorbing the nutrients over a long period of time, meaning you stay full for longer, which means you are getting more rewards for only 80 calories [2].  Consider having a glass right before your dinner or as a snack before bed to help benefit your hunger levels stay regulated.
  • Low-Sodium Tomato Juice. Take caution with fruit and vegetable juices.  Some tomato juices can be high in sodium, which means you will retain water and will gain some weight (even though it is water weight).  Low-sodium tomato juice provides nutrients which help protect against cancer, offers ample lycopene, and a great mix of vegetables (in the form of tomato juice) [3].  A six ounce serving provides only about 30 calories and can be a great “pick-me-up” at lunch or following lunch.  Aim to purchase 100% tomato juice and avoid added sugars (the ingredients list will say sugar or high fructose corn syrup if it is added).
  • Cranberry Juice. Similar to the low-sodium tomato juice just described, cranberry juice offers nutrients to keep health optimal and for a low caloric cost.  A typical eight ounce serving will have 140 calories, but it will help prevent gum disease, urinary tract infections, and can make a fine addition with sparkling water for a spritzer.  Avoid added sugars and attempt to purchase 100% juice.



[1] http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/health-benefits-of-green-tea

[2] http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/drink/the-8-healthiest-drinks/?page=3

[3] http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/drink/the-8-healthiest-drinks/?page=6

About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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