It doesn’t matter if your fitness routine and dinner plate are on point if you’re unknowingly sipping and slurping your way into the next pant or dress size. Liquid calories are the biggest threat to dieters today. They are hidden in unexpected places, masked behind deceptive health claims, and often forgotten when counting calories at day’s end. Of course, it’s difficult to lose weight when every glass you raise to your mouth is laden with hidden sugars and fats.
The following five beverages are naturally calorie-free. Each one contains zero calories per serving, yet still offers terrific taste and satisfying hydration. Simply swapping out a higher-calorie drink for one of these five figure-friendly options could lead you to a quicker weight loss.
Your daily coffee could be a hidden calorie bomb. Are you hooked on pumpkin spice lattés? At Starbucks, a grande pumpkin spice latté made according to the standard recipe clocks in at 380 calories. Even a simple 12-ounce café latté comes at the cost of 100 calories. Switching from sugary coffee drinks to black coffee could help you to lose as much as 25 pounds this year. Turn it into a hobby by experimenting with different whole beans and grinding them fresh each morning.
Soon, you’ll learn if you prefer a light, medium, or dark roast, and which part of the world makes the best beans for your palate. People who are accustomed to buying pre-ground or instant coffee will find freshly ground beans to be a delicious revelation. Personally, I have found that one specific type of coffee, like Arabica, or Columbian is usually not my first choice. I prefer to blend two or three different kinds for a smoother taste. What do you think Starbucks does?
Once you learn that your favorite matcha latté could have more than 300 calories, you might not be feeling so zen. Green tea has lots of health benefits, like polyphenols that may fight cancer, and compounds believed to combat the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, many of those benefits are reduced, or even negated, by the added sugars in many popular green tea-based drinks.
Switch to pure, whole-leaf green tea to save your health and your waistline. Explore different varieties like earthy Genmaicha, relaxing Sencha, and savory Hojicha.
All my colleagues at work see me walking around with a tall glass bottle with 1 green tea bag inside. I use an eco-friendly, wide-mouth water bottle made from Borosilicate glass that is BPA Free and is leak-proof. Now you wonder, does a tea bag infuse with cold water? Yes! I add it the night before, then by morning, my water is a light green color that I sip throughout the day. I picked up this habit when I was working for Johnson & Johnson and would frequently visit our offices in Shanghai. Every conference room had a pitcher with one or two tea bags, and we would sip this throughout our meetings. Great idea to get your green tea in, and your water.
Tisane or Herbal Teas
Many dieters are unfamiliar with the difference between tea and tisane. In fact, only the former contains any actual leaves from the tea plant. Tisanes, on the other hand, provide other dried ingredients including fruits, herbs, spices, and even flowers. Some tisanes, like chamomile and peppermint, might already be a part of your diet.
However, there are some great new tisanes on the market, including Tazo’s Glazed Lemon Loaf tisane and Celestial Seasonings’ Coconut Zinger. If you’re currently starting your day with a London Fog tea-based beverage, swapping it out for an herbal tisane could see you drop a dress size in just one month. My other favorite is Hibiscus tea, but you have to make sure it is pure and not mixed with added sugars.
Everybody knows that fruit is healthy. Unfortunately, many dieters forget that fruit can also be calorific, especially when mixed with other high-calorie ingredients. For example, a small Amazing Greens smoothie at Jamba Juice packs in a whopping 500 calories, while a 24-ounce fresh-pressed Orange You Glad juice from Juice Bar comes in at 270 calories. Alternating just one of those smoothies and one of those juices each day could cause you to gain 40 pounds in a year. Yikes!
Fruit-infused waters are an excellent alternative for people who love the taste of fruit but can’t afford all those calories. Just throw a few pieces of frozen fruit into your water bottle and enjoy a slightly fruity flavor all day (even when you refill the bottle!). Try mango and pineapple, lemon and cucumber, or mixed berries. My personal go-to combination is ginger, lemon, cucumber, and mint leaves…the absolute best. Another favorite is cinnamon, ginger, and lemon…OMG!
The average American drinks 44 gallons of soda every year. That’s more than 70,000 calories worth of sugar, which could add as much as 20 pounds of fat to your figure every year. Diet sodas aren’t much better, as regular consumption of artificially sweetened drinks links to increased rates of dementia and strokes. The good news is that there is a growing market for naturally flavored sparkling water made with no artificial sweeteners.
La Croix is perhaps the best-known brand in this market, with such flavors as kiwi-watermelon and tangerine. If your local supermarket doesn’t stock La Croix, look for similar products from Aquafina, Dasani, and Perrier. Of course, the other famous brand is Bubly sparkling water with Grapefruit flavor being my absolute favorite. Although the grape is not so bad either.
Put down that Frappuccino and pour out that soda pop! If you want to lose weight quickly, choose one of these five calorie-free drinks instead. You’ll see and feel the healthy weight loss results in no time.