Six ways to Sip Smart for a Slimmer Body

July 25, 2016
Lyndall McAlpine

There can be are a lot of misconceptions about beverages when trying to lose weight, lets go through 6 of them with some tips on how to improve on them.

1 – Soft Drinks

We should all now know that drinking soft drinks pumps our body full of sugar and artificial additives.  Soft drinks can be acidic as your car battery – not good!!! As well as increased risk of diabetes, Harvard researchers have calculated each additional soda consumed increases the risk of obesity 1.6 times. Here is also a great read on how soft drinks change your body.
  Replace with sparkling water and you will avoid 10 teaspoons of sugars!!!! Add lemon, lime, mint or your favourite fruit – my favourites is Pelligrino with lime or mint. There are great water bottles out that have the compartment for the fruit – wonderful!
 If you just can’t resist that coke just yet, start by adding a dash soda water and keep increasing this each time. Ask for lots of ice to reduce content.

2 – Sports Drinks

A sports drink is not necessary unless you are training continuously for 90 mins or more. They are designed to replenish your electrolytes including glucose, often containing two-thirds or more sugar than soft drinks typically in the form of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). So you will just ruin all the hard work have just done of burning calories with exercise. Not to mention most sports drinks are very acidic and something that strong in colour CAN”T be good for you!
  A much cheaper and healthier electrolyte replacement is to add a pinch of Himalayan salt to your water. Unlike processed salt, this natural salt contains 84 different minerals and trace minerals.
Coconut water is one of the highest sources of electrolytes. (I use coconut water with Rev3 sachet for an excellent healthy sport’s drink).

3 – Energy Drinks

Energy drinks are not only high in calories, acidity and can contain dangerous ingredients, they are usually high in caffeine which acts as a diuretic – meaning it will actually dehydrate you leaving you to want to drink more. Read more here 

I really love Usana’s Rev3 – both surge green tea sachet (I love adding this to my shakes for a chai tea flavour) or for those who want more of the red bull feel Rev3 Energy can (I like this for workouts). They are packed with natural energy enhancers including green tea, ginseng, rhodiola, L-carnitine, Co-enzymeQ10, Vitamin B, magnesium complex, are low in sugar. This is a Usana’s Rev 3 Red Bull and other energy drinks

4 – Fruit Juices

Unfortunately, thinking we are doing the healthy thing by choosing a bottled fruit juice is a misconception. Even fresh fruit juices have had the fibre taken out so the sugar content and GI is very high, spiking your blood sugar and being full of calories. One 340ml glass of orange juice has about eight teaspoons of sugar.

When juicing look for vegies for the majority ingredients, it will be packed with nutrients without the sugar rush – my favourite is celery, carrot, ginger with ½ an orange… delicious!!!

Use your fruit juice like a shot of cordial and top it up with still or sparkling water

EAT your fruit! The included fibre in whole fruit will lower the GI level and is still a great nutritious way to hydrate.

5 – Iced Teas

You may think you are choosing a healthy option but commercially bought iced teas can have a whopping 41g of sugar in a 500ml bottle.

 Try making a fruit based herbal tea – T2 has some yummy natural flavoured varieties or experiment with teas like raspberry or ginger. Or just brew your own regular tea and pop in some lemon juice and maybe a touch of stevia, pop it in the fridge to chill and add some ice cubes 

5 – Flavoured Milk & Smoothies

A small 300ml chocolate milk alone has 34g of sugar, not to mention the colouring.

Creamy bought smoothies often have high sugar yoghurt sweetened sorbets and/or loads of honey included.

 Make an ice cold treat by mixing a teaspoon of cacao powder in a little hot water until dissiolved, then top up with lots of ice and milk or better still coconut milk. Add a pinch of stevia if you need

 Ask exactly what is in your bought smoothie, ask for only the ingredients you want and add some spinach, avocado (increase satiety) or similar veggie to reduce sugar content.

Go for berries for first choice, they are the lowest sugar content fruit

6 – Alcohol

I am not going to try to pretend most of us are going to drop alcohol just like that, even though we know the extra sugar and calorie consequences…. along with all the other dangerous health hazards.

Alcohol has more kilojoules per gram than carbs or protein, it is high in sugar content and will spike your blood sugar. It also weakens your willpower, often leading to scoffing down all those foods you’ve so proudly resisted all week.

Here is a calorie comparison of some popular alcohol drinks:

Beverage Average Bar Serve  Calories
Vodka with soda (4%) 30ml spirit plus 150ml soda 64
White wine (11.5%) 150ml 70 – 120
Sparkling wine (11.5%) 150ml 70 – 120
Red wine (13.5%) 150ml 100 – 120
Full-strength beer (4.8%) 425ml schooner 155
Gin and tonic (4.5%) 30ml spirit plus 250 ml tonic 200
Rum and cola (4.6%) 375ml can 248
Premix gin and tonic (4.5%) 375 ml can 320
Piña Colada (13%) 150ml 290-480

Were you surprised about G&T? I was when I learned this! A common misconception is that tonic is a type of soda water. It’s actually full of sugar so G&T is not a great option for a low calorie drink. 

Refraining from alcohol altogether is of course the best option if you are trying to lose weight or just be healthier. This can be hard to do when socialising, with peer pressure and the “Aussie” way. Here are a few tips I use to reduce my intake when socialising:

If drinking white wine, ask for ice to the top, and also a large glass of ice. Continue to add ice as you drink.. you won’t even notice the change of flavour and may even prefer the next glass diluted with water also. You will increase your water and decrease you alcohol intake and spend less so it’s a win, win, win!

I love swapping beer with ginger Kombucha and wine with hibiscus Combucha. Kombucha is a fermented drink that is so good for your gut bacteria. Some do have a little sugar but for the benefits it gives and the negatives it does provide, I think it is worth the swap!
Sneak to the bar and ask for top up of soda water into you beer bottle – they usually won’t charge you and no one has to know so no peer pressure!
 Don’t get into rounds – you can slow your pace down and do above tips much easier when not obliged to keep up with everyone

 Not for everyone but I love a Virgin Mary with lots of tabasco, Worcestershire and lemon (you can even fib and say it’s a Bloody Mary)

 This is a great link if you are in to cocktails: Skinny Cocktails


PS – Artificial Sweeteners

(ok not a drink but it’s important)

Chemical artificial sweeteners may cause insatiability of the blood glucose levels, which will lead to hypoglycaemia and thus make you crave carbohydrates even more” (Exert from  “You could have syndrome X” by Dr Sandra Cabot).

This 25-year long Study showed consuming diet sodas was linked to subsequent increases in waist size and increased likelihood of becoming overweight during the next seven to eight years. Another study showed Saccharin and aspartame induced greater weight-gain than sucrose in rats.

Diet soft drinks are  not only mess with your blood sugar response and insulin response, they are highly acidic and oxidising causing free radicals to destroy your cells. “It is thought that the regular consumption of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, will increase the risk of fatty liver. Aspartame is toxic to the liver where it is broken down in methanol (wood alcohol) and formaldehyde” (Dr Cabot). Here is one study showing aspartame as carcinogen (cancer forming).

 Stevia is a natural sweetener, low Gi and calories, is able to be safely processed by the liver. It is very concentrated so don’t over do it or it will become bitter rather than sweet.

Feel free to continue reading further with my blog Post Why Water works for you Weight, Energy & Beauty


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