Rethink Your Drink!
By Jacqui Zimmerman, RD, LDN
Are you hydrating in a healthy way? Americans are drinking more sugary drinks than ever. In fact, beverage calories have more than doubled since the 60’s and it may be contributing to weight gain and obesity.
Consider that it can take on average, about 2 to 2 and ½ miles of walking to burn off the calories in one 20 ounce bottle of soda. The problem with sugary drinks is that they don’t satisfy you the same way as food. Most people drink their calories and eat them too.
It only takes an extra 100 calories a day to gain 10 pounds in a year and most sugar-laden drinks contain 2 times that amount or more. So how can you kick the habit? Gradually reduce the amount of drinks with added sugar until it becomes what it should be: an every once-in-awhile indulgence rather than a daily habit. Ideally you should replace those drinks with water. Here are some tips for getting the same amount of enjoyment from your new beverage of choice:
- Float frozen fruit in your glass of water instead of ice cubes. Your water will look pretty and taste good too!
- Freeze 100% fruit juice in ice cube trays and add a couple to your water. They will add a little color and flavor as they melt.
- Make every day a spa day with “infused” water. Place fresh fruit, cucumbers and/or herbs in a pitcher of water in the refrigerator overnight. The resulting water will have a hint of flavor and the combinations are endless. Try chunks of melon and cucumber slices for a very refreshing treat!
- If fizz is what you crave, then try some sparkling water. Look for plain or varieties with a hint of flavor. Avoid varieties with added sugar or sweeteners. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime to flavor it yourself. Or try a refreshing mojito inspired beverage by adding sliced limes and mint.
- Keep a reusable water bottle with you at all times to make it more likely that you will drink. Look for BPA free for the safest drinking. Stainless steel, insulated or double-walled types will keep your water cooler which also might help you drink more.
How will you rethink your drink?