How many beverages do you drink in a day? I probably overdo it, but I love coffee and water — I bet I drink 12 or more pints per day. Pint glasses… of coffee! And lots of water. As I said, love.
A few short years ago, I realized if I wanted to hydrate this much, I needed to reduce my liquid sugar intake. This means no mid-morning juice, which has the same amount of sugar as a soda and none of the fiber of a real fruit. No bottled teas, which are generally loaded with sugar. And certainly no sodapop on any frequent basis, neither diet or regular.
That doesn’t leave us with a lot of commercial options. That’s probably ok — look at this trap:
My sugar-free beverage of choice is black coffee, or espresso if I can find one. Zero sugars in coffee, zero calories (we don’t count calories but it’s good to know). I’m not a hipster with a single cup drip thing, but I do like a nice cuppa, made from fresh-ground beans. Fair Trade coffee makes me feel good for the workers, and organic beans makes me feel better for the planet and my body.
If coffee isn’t your gig, maybe one of the million flavors of tea would satisfy you? Hot, cool, or iced, the variety of flavours of tea is pretty incredible. Passion Fruit Tea is unlike anything I’ve had before. Give it a try.
I dig carbonated water. Cans of La Croix are tasty, and we’ve saved a lot of money using our SodaStream to make carbonated water at home. I don’t need to flavour it with sugary syrup, the bubbles alone help make it stand out. Mixing fizzy water with tea or coffee is not delicious, I’m sorry to report.
Flat water is good as well, of course. This is the standard at our dinner table, plus whole milk for the kids. We were recently congratulated that we had “good water” at our house. Apparently, you can stand a spoon in LA tap water.
A squeeze of citrus such as lemon or orange always adds a nice flavor to water; much of the flavor comes from the citrus oils, a minimal touch from the fruit sugar. It’s an acceptable trade if you’re avoiding soda.
In the evenings I’ll enjoy an adult beverage, but I’ve started to consider the amount of sugars in a beer or wine. I’ve cut back on my drinking, saving it for later in the week when I’m more social. When drinking at home, I try to stick to unmixed hard alcohol to squeeze a bit more buzz bang for my sugary buck. Straight whiskey, yes please!
What can we do to eat healthier and lose weight?
We all want to feel and look more fit, but we’re not always sure where to start. Beverages are the easy-to-identify, low-hanging fruit. Check those labels! Observe the sugars that you’re consuming and search for ways that you can change what you’re drinking. Build a catalog of zero-sugar beverages you enjoy, and drink from that list. Your catalog might include brewed coffee, brewed tea, carbonated water, or flat water. Add a squeeze of citrus perhaps?
Cut back on alcohol, which is an easy path to weight-gain and is also a secret drain on your energy (because it leads to a carb crash). Save that energy and carb intake for later in the week!
And like always, focus on eating Real Food, limiting your carb consumption, and avoiding unnecessary sugars. If you’re making your own meals from real ingredients, you’re in control of the fuel in your body. Fill ‘er up with Premium.
None of this is set in stone. Life needs to be fluid and we need to celebrate when the occasion calls for it. But your overall trend should be to consume fewer carbs and eat more unprocessed Real Food.
The main thing is that you’re taking an important step to evaluate what you’re consuming, and working to change it for the better. Celebrate that, and cheers!