One of the first topics we tackle with our medical weight loss clients is the issue of sugar and what it does in our bodies. A diet with excess sugar will trigger inflammation, impairs the immune system, is linked to a number of chronic health conditions, and causes weight gain. And so, one of the best things you can do for your health and weight loss is to kick your sugar habit to the curb.
But of coure, that’s much easier said than done. Many of us depend upon sugar for its sweet flavor, and often sugar is hidden in foods and drinks in levels we wouldn’t expect. Drinks, in particular, are problematic, because you can guzzle hundreds of calories without any satiety. So if you’re still dependent upon sugar-laden drinks, try these creative solutions to lower your sugar intake.
Soda. Soda is perhaps the worst offender on this list, because many people view it as a staple rather than an occasional treat. Some of you might even drink several sodas per day! But just one 12-ounce serving contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar and 140 calories. Switch to a mixture of 10 ounces of club soda with two ounces of fruit juice, and you’ll cut out most of the calories.
Iced coffee. Did you realize that your favorite ice coffee beverage, topped with whipped cream, packs about 400 calories? Try iced coffee with just one tablespoon of half and half, and two teaspoons of sugar, to reduce that caloric content by about 345 calories.
Sports drinks. Those commercials featuring sweaty, super fit people sipping sports drinks probably lead you to believe they are all healthy. But many brands are packed full of sugar! Swap it out for plain water, which is perfectly acceptable for most casual exercisers. Or, dilute three ounces of your favorite sports drink in about eight ounces of water for a lower sugar option.
Sweetened tea. Many people sweeten their tea by taste, and don’t really track how much sugar they’re adding. Use a teaspoon so that you can become aware of how much sugar and calories you’re adding to your tea, and cut back by a teaspoon a week so that you can adjust your taste buds to less sweet taste. Or, simply go cold turkey and learn to enjoy unsweetened tea.
It’s always best to simply drink plain water. But the above tricks can help you enjoy your favorite beverages sometimes, but without sacrificing your medical weight loss goals. For more tips and tricks, let’s dicuss your favorite foods and drinks at our next appointment. We can help you learn creative ways to enjoy your favorites.