This article about drinking habits and weight loss is a guest post from another blogger, Petra from Be Healthy Now.
Many people don’t realise it but by making a few very small changes to their daily habits they can make a big impact on their health. This is especially true when making some small changes in order to lose a bit of weight.
For example, just look at your drinking habits and see what you can do differently to improve them. Here I am not talking about alcohol, although yes, it is part of it what I am trying to make you think about is all the liquids you drink in one day.
The liquids you may be drinking daily could go against your weight loss efforts without you even realising it. So here are some tips on what you can do differently:
Fruit juices are sweet and much tastier than water, aren’t they? They also contain some vitamins such as vitamin C so surely they can’t be that bad for you, right? Wrong!
Unfortunately, these juices are packed with calories due to their high sugar content. Although sugars in them are all-natural (in many of them, not all), fruit juices are drinks you shouldn’t consume in abundance.
Apart from calories, the other issue is that they lack fibre which is important for healthy digestion.
What’s more, many fruit juices you buy in a supermarket today have been heated to destroy bacteria and prolong shelf life. This process unfortunately also destroys some key nutrients found in these juices.
For this reason, you are better off by eating whole fruit which contains fibre and beneficial vitamins and minerals. In this way, you will also consume fewer calories.
Although drinking 100% pure fruit juice still offers some health benefits, the bottom line is: don’t overdo it and instead of drinking your calories, eat them whenever you can!
Tea and coffee
You may be a proper tea or coffee addict not being able to imagine your life without one or the other. This is not necessarily bad as tea and coffee both come with certain benefits, as long as you don’t drink them in excessive amounts.
But what you do need to look at (especially if trying to lose weight) is: how do you drink your tea or coffee? How many cups do you drink daily? Do you add sugar to them or a sweetener? Do you add milk? All these matters and I will tell you why straight away.
First of all, adding sugar to your favourite beverage also adds additional calories. For example, if you add 2 teaspoons of sugar to your coffee, that’s 32 calories. 1 tablespoon represents 48 calories.
This may not sound like much but if you drink 3 coffees a day, then you consume 96 empty calories every day. “Empty”, that’s because sugar doesn’t have any nutrients and it just adds calories to your diet but nothing else.
Let’s say you also love to drink your coffee with a bit of milk. Depending on how much milk you add, you are adding even more calories to your drink.
What about other drinks you consume throughout your day? Fruit juice? Some alcohol? Squash? Before you know it, all the calories from these drinks add up and make up a significant part of your daily calorie intake.
If you want to lose weight, you need to cut down on those calories and one way of doing this is by reducing the amount of sugar you add to your tea or coffee. It’s even better if you don’t add any sugar at all but if you can’t, at least go for a natural sweetener such as xylitol or stevia.
Or, try a different type of hot drink which you will be comfortable drinking without any sugar. You could, for example, try different types of green tea or herbal teas such as rooibos or peppermint.
You may or may not be aware that alcoholic drinks can be loaded with calories. If you love to drink a glass of wine every day in the evening, pay attention! Just think about this: one large glass of red wine has 214 calories and according to Telegraph, an average wine drinker puts on half a stone of fat a year.
Now, do you want to lose some weight and be healthier? Then it’s time you stop enjoying your wine every day or too often. It’s going to be better for your waistline and your health.
It may not be fun to replace wine with something else but you could try some infused water or herbal teas in the evening instead.
And if you love beer, you should know that one pint of beer, for example, has around 180 calories and to burn it off you would have to run for 13 minutes or cycle for 15 minutes (source). Is it worth it?
Now, where do you want to be a year from now on? A person who is half a stone slimmer or heavier? It’s your decision but tackling your alcohol cravings will certainly play a big part.
You may have heard hundreds of times that you should drink more water. Maybe you cannot be really bothered and you don’t drink enough but the thing is you should be aware that drinking enough water is really really important for your health and offers lots of benefits especially if you want to lose some weight.
For example, drinking enough water will help to prevent kidney stones and help you keep your liver healthy. What’s more, by regularly sipping water you will be able to maintain your focus and concentration finally, let me tell you about the weight loss benefit.
Did you know that drinking a big glass of water half an hour before mealtimes helps to prevent over-eating? This habit reduces the number of calories you consume at mealtimes and if you stick with it every day before you know it, pounds will start dropping.
So this is how you lose weight by looking at your drinking habits and identifying what you can improve and do differently in order to reduce your daily calorie intake and be healthier.
Of course, after reviewing your drinking habits and making some small changes you also need to look at other things that could help you lose weight. For example, increasing your activity levels and getting more sleep will also help.
The key is just to get started and slowly introduce more changes over time until you reach your goals.
To read all my posts with tips and experiences of various diets, exercises and lots more check out my comprehensive Weight Loss section.