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We’ve become a society of drinkers. I’m not just talking about alcohol. Sugar laden coffee drinks or big gulps from the local convenience store have become a bad habit for many people. They’re easily accessible and give us a pick-me-up during our busy on-the-go schedules. Have we stopped to think about how much havoc these drinks are causing on our bodies and mental health, not to mention weight gain? Let’s consider the drinks we love:
1) Soda, INCLUDING diet soda
Diet soda is my biggest pet peeve! I call these chemical cocktails because that’s exactly what they are. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say, “It’s diet so it must be OK.” Seriously? You’re drinking chemicals because that’s what an artificial sweetener is and it’s no different than sugary soda. It tricks your body into triggering insulin which then sends your body into fat storage mode. What does that mean? It means you gain weight! Plus – do you really think it’s good for your long-term health to drink chemicals? That’s like saying – yes, I would like to increase my risk of getting cancer. Whether you drink diet or regular, you should eliminate soda altogether. If you do the math – one can of soda each day equates to an extra 16 pounds of weight each year and four cans equate to 63 pounds! ?
We love our daily iced caramel macchiato (390 calories and 49 g sugar) or white chocolate mocha (620 calories and 75 g sugar). But do we love it enough for the amount of weight being gained? One of these consumed daily converts from 40 to 60 pounds each year and there’s no nutritional value whatsoever, not to mention they leave you feeling lethargic in the afternoon. I understand we may need a boost of caffeine to start our day so if you must have one, change it to an 8 oz version with skim milk and no whipped topping. It’s not preferable because it’ll still leave you with a lot of sugar and sodium (ever feel bloated after drinking one of these?). The best option is to drink your coffee black. I’ll be the first to admit I can’t drink coffee black. I get my “pick-me-up” elsewhere and have cut out coffee altogether (see alternative below). The middle ground option is to make black coffee at home and add 2 TBS organic half & half and a teaspoon of sugar (my husband’s preference). Plus this is much cheaper so will help you find extra money in your budget. ?
An alternative to coffee I discovered several years ago is EBOOST. It’s an energy and vitamin supplement that comes in powder or shot form. It has green tea leaf, essential vitamins and minerals, electrolytes, super-antioxidants and more. It’s non-GMO, all natural with only 5 calories and no sugar (no artificial sweeteners either!). I add a packet of the Acai Pomegranate powder to 12 ounces of water and ice every morning and it serves as my coffee but it’s also considered a pre-workout drink. Coincidentally I also do my workouts in the morning so l drink it while working out. I’ll admit I did not like the taste when I first tried it because it’s made with stevia. Stevia is a sweet herb from South America used as a natural sweetener. It tastes much like an artificial sweetener, even though it’s NOT, so it took me a couple days to get used to the taste. The reason I kept drinking it was because of the way it made me feel. It’s clean energy so you don’t get jittery and you don’t “crash” after drinking it. Another thing I like about it is the high amount of B-12 which has been helpful for my depression.
Needless to say, I haven’t had coffee in a few years plus I don’t take vitamins. I get everything I need from my daily EBOOST.
The only downside is that it’s not easy to find so I typically get it from my local Vitamin Shoppe or online. Here’s a link so you can give it a try:
I used to be a grape juice junkie when I was in my early twenties but I stopped drinking it when it started staining my teeth purple. When I stopped drinking it I became super shaky and didn’t feel very well. I realized I was having a major sugar withdrawal. Each glass has 150 calories (worse than soda) and 36 grams of sugar and there’s not enough nutritional value to make up for those numbers. I then started drinking orange juice thinking it was better for me plus I was able to get a lot of vitamin C every day. Of course I was just telling myself stories because I loved that boost of sugar in the morning with my breakfast. When I started watching my sugar intake I had to cut out juice altogether because one glass almost doubled my daily allotted amount of sugar. The best option is to have an orange rather than drinking the juice. You’ll get more fiber and much less sugar.
4) Alcohol ?
I’m all for a glass of wine from time to time because it helps with my anxiety. However, it can also do the opposite and make me depressed if I have too much. There’s a fine line with alcohol. If you cross the line, it completely destroys your inhibitions. If I drink more than one glass of wine at a time, I then decide I can eat everything in the house, including the sugary things I’m not supposed to have. Many people have a hard time drinking alcohol in moderation. If this is you then you may consider eliminating it altogether. I’ve learned that I’m good with one glass of wine at a time and no more than three a week. Even though I love sugary alcoholic drinks, like a yummy Cosmo or a delicious Lemon Drop Martini, I’ve learned these drinks don’t work for me due to the sugar content so are double whammies on my depression!
Why not keep it simple and only drink water after your cup of “pick me up” in the morning? After about a week, you’ll see what a difference it makes in your energy level though you should be prepared for some horrible withdrawal symptoms the first four or five days. Here’s how to calculate the amount of water you should drink:
Weight in pounds X .67 = number of ounces per day then add 12 ounces for every 30 minutes of exercise.
Do you drink a lot of calories? If so, I challenge you to cut most of it out and let me know how you feel and how much weight you end up losing. I’d love to hear about it. ??