Sunday, February 26, 2006

Liquids and your diet

Over the years, I’ve been on a large number of diets. I’ve lost a lot of weight and gained a lot of weight back. Over the past few months, I’ve been slowly losing. Naturally there have been a few bumps along the way, weeks where I gained instead of losing, but I have a plan to lose the weight and keep it off.

An important component of that plan is controlling what liquids I drink. Here are some tips that have helped me and may help you fight and win the Battle of the Bulge.

1. Drink water. Lots of water. Most diets recommend that you drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. This has been shown to function as an appetite suppressant.

Most people discover this is harder to do than they think it would be. I find putting a teaspoon of lemon juice or orange juice in 24 ounces of water (a sports bottle) helps me drink enough water. Cool water is naturally easier to drink.

When you eat out, try to drink a full glass of water before your meal arrives. Drink at least one glass of water at every meal.

Besides being good for your waistline, drinking enough water has also been found to combat blood clots in the legs as well as aiding people with liver and bladder problems.

2. Avoid caffeine. Caffeine does increase your metabolic rate, which leads to increased calorie burning. However, it also increases your appetite as well as interfering with sleep patterns. Several studies have shown that people who regularly drink diet sodas have more problems with bingeing and craving than those drinking water alone. Coffee and black tea have been found to increase appetites.

3. Avoid drinking more than a cup of fruit juices a day. Supermarket orange and grape juices, while containing the important Vitamin C, are loaded with sugar. If you must drink orange juice, look for fiber added with no sugar added or juice your own. When purchasing grape juice, look for the unsweetened brands.

4. Avoid sports drinks. Most sports drinks are loaded with sugar and other quick energy boosters that increase appetite. They are formulated for athletes working at their peak. Unless you’re in a major workout, stick with water.

5. Avoid artificial sweeteners. Studies have found that artificial sweeteners increase the craving for sweets. Other hotly contested studies have linked artificial sweeteners to various cancers, Crohn’s disease, nervous disorders, bladder and liver diseases, arthritis, migraines and irritable bowel disease.

6. Switch from whole milk to 1 percent. You might have to slowly work your way down to it by mixing it with whole milk at first, but eventually you will adjust. Just by doing this, you will shave pounds off your weight over a year’s time.

I hope these tips help you like they’ve helped me.


Anonymous said...

Well, I'm doing everything all wrong apparently. Well, not everything. I do #3, #4 and improved on #6 by taking it all the way down to skim milk.

You're right, it is harder than one thinks. I've been trying to up my water since the last post about water consumption. Maybe an IV...

Michelle said...

I think cutting back on Caffeine was the hardest for me. I used to drink coffee everyday. 2-3 cups of it. Now, I limit myself to a cup or two on the weekends. I also stopped with the diet soda. I know the taboos of bottled juices. most of the weight I gained in my pregnancy, was due to the fact that I would guzzle about a gallon of the stuff everyday.

jaime said...

The only problem with the liquids is the peeing. Always with the peeing! Most mornings, I pee once an hour. I'm thinking of installing a porta-potty in my office.

Trixie said...

Jaime, just think of all the exercise that goes with the peeing!

Tech, excellent points about water. I find myself so dehydrated these days that I crave water. I've never been a big supporter of bottled water but I started buying it by the 24-pack. I put a few bottles at a time in the fridge to make it easy to grab one and go -- I find myself drinking a lot more. I've always resisted paying for bottled water while having a good municipal water supply, but over the past few years my home water supply has been rusty because the city is replacing water lines. Makes the bottled water much more palatable to me!

I don't know if I can give up my Diet Coke yet, but I can sure cut back.

I've had no problem making the change to skim milk. I did that years ago, just decided to do it cold turkey and quickly got past the difference. Same with changing to whole grain breads.

I still have major areas to work on.

brainlesionssuck said...

Thanks for the tips. I've started slowly this week. But one thing I've done is if I'm going to have a cookie, I'm going to drink a glass of water too. It gets me to the point where I stop and think maybe I don't want any more. That's a big step for me!
Kathie at

Anonymous said...

That's not a bad idea, Kathie. At least the water will keep me from a second cookie! :)

AmberClear said...

Try a tiny water glass and refill it often. Trying to drink a full 8 oz at a time is sometimes overwhelming and will make you feel bloated. If you're taking herbal energy, watch out for "guarana and "yerbe mate." They are both caffeine. Water not only hydrates the body but carries away toxins. Much better for them to go out through the kidneys than show up through the skin!

AmberClear said...

Another little tidbit about sodas: The phosphorus binds with the calcium in the body and makes it unusable. Anyone looking at osteoporosis should not be drinking sodas!