Rethink Your Drink to Redefine Your Health

January 2, 2015

Howdy- Chances are we haven’t met, yet. So, I am extra grateful that you have decided to “begin” your 2015 health and wellness journey with me, right here on this blog. If this is your first read, take a second and go back to the introduction to better understand what will happen right here during the month of January. Now let’s get started and begin with Food Strategy 1- Rethink Your Drink!

Seriously, I know you have heard this a thousand times, but your liquid calories are the number one cause of added sugars and unnecessary calories. It is literally shocking how many calories some take in daily through the glass, bottle, tap, or straw. Rethinking what you drink is the easy, most effective way to begin a health and wellness transformation.

Look how easily beverage calories add up. Extention.org did a great info-graphic.

A-day-of-beverages

Do your own math to add up how much extra you may take if you drink one or more of these beverage servings daily. See, it’s overwhelming, but it is actually the easiest nutrition fix, if you’re willing.  Here are my recommendations that don’t totally deprive you of your beloved beverages.

Drink Unlimited: Water, unsweetened tea, unsweetened green tea, or unsweetened coffee.
Drink Sparingly: low-fat milk , no more than (2-3) 8 ounce glass, daily
Limit to One: Diet soda, or aspartame sweetened beverage, daily
Limit to One: Sugar sweetened beverage, soda, fruit juice, sweet tea, flavored anything, coffees, daily
Limit to One: Alcohol beverage, daily
Limit to One: Protein shakes or fruit smoothie for a quick meal, snack or refuel after exercise, daily

Notice, I didn’t say zero of nothing! Obviously, if you currently only drink water, avoid alcohol, and sweetened beverages don’t start chugging sodas, or popping tops! This guide is to meet you where you are at right now, and make compromises that are best for your health. Do not take the limit to one as a have one a day, motto. Again, these recommendations are a tool to allow you to set boundaries that best fit your beverage preferences and adjust accordingly.

Look at the impact a few tweaks in your beverage consumption can make. Info-graphic from Extention.org.

370-day-of-beverages

Personally, I am a warrior of water, but on occasion will enjoy a diet soda, or glass of wine, daily.  Do these guidelines make sense? If you’re confused, reach out with questions.

The alcohol can be a stinger for some of you (not all of you). I understand it may be your coping mechanism for a hard day (I’ve been there). But, the body doesn’t know how to use alcohol calories so they are 100% metabolized as fat, regardless the day you had. I understand that limiting it down to 1-2 may seem impossible, at least do your best with the other guidelines and you will still see improvements. But, compromise with me somewhere. And, I challenge us all to find healthier ways to manage stress.

Artificial sweeteners- They are a hot topic of debate. Truthfully, there is not definitive scientific evidence yet that makes me jump on either side of the fence. I will argue some are more natural, and potentially safer than others. Stevia, made from a plant, is my go-to choice. If you are currently a blue, yellow, or pink packet person, I encourage you to try to reduce and replace with stevia. Never should your artificially sweetened beverages outweigh the plain water you drink.

But before you give me the argument that regular sugar is better than anything artificial, just beware of how much sugar you are eating and drinking. Sugar, of all kinds, cause increased risk of being overweight, diabetes, and some cancers. The natural way doesn’t always mean healthy or low-calorie, that certainly holds true for sugar.

rethink-your-drink

 

Ultimate Goal: Minimum, drink half your body weight in plain water ounces, daily!

PS- If you are already rocking this strategy then don’t just by pass this challenge. Encourage 5 friends, family, or co-workers to join in and pay it forward. You can be the guiding light they need to succeed. Health is a choice. Choose healthy by rethinking your drink!! You can do it! I believe in you! Let me hear from you. Connect with me here in the comments, or online at Facebook or Twitter.

Debbie Martin January 2, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Ha! This is the one health category that I was actually successful with last year. Gave up Crystal Light & Diet Coke for just plain water. Now I find that I actually crave or have a real thirst for water and drink much more than I ever did before. Occasionally I will have a diet coke when eating out, but water is usually my go to drink. This year, I’m going to work on healthier snacks…seriously, I could live on sweets as a meal! My name is Debbie & I have a problem…SUGAR! LOL!

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