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Wouldn’t it be great if you could eat a bunch of food, and the calories that you burn digesting the food would be more than the food contains? These are called Negative Calorie Foods, foods the burn more calories digesting than are in the food.
Although the jury is still out on negative calorie foods and they are still being researched, there are certain types of foods that seem to fall into this category.
Foods that are claimed to be negative in calories are primarily the low-calorie vegetables and fruits such as apples, celery, grapefruits, lemons, limes, lettuce, broccoli, and cabbage.
In terms of beverages, be aware of soft drinks incorrectly being advertised as having negative calories. According to scientists, the only negative-calorie beverage is ice water, which contains no calories but requires the body to expend energy to raise the liquid to body temperature.
Obviously, combining these types of foods with exercise will help with your dieting goals.
When constructing a diet plan, the focus is often placed on developing meals that healthfully balance carbohydrates, protein and fat. But – frequently overlooked are the beverages that accompany these meals.
If you find yourself saying, “I’m not worried. I drink no-calorie diet soda!” you may need to reevaluate your verdict. A recent study published by the University of Texas suggests that guzzling multiple Diet Cokes each day may be linked with weight gain. Despite how counter-intuitive that may seem, researchers have found that the artificial sweeteners common in diet beverages may cause the body to crave the additional calories it tastes, but is actually missing.
So, if Diet Coke doesn’t cut it – what ARE the best beverages for dieting?
Hands down, the best drink for dieting is water. Why? Water makes up approximately 60% of our body weight. Water aids almost all bodily functions – from cleansing your body of toxins built up in the kidneys to aiding the transmission of neurons in the brain. Not only does water help our body function – it just might help you lose weight. A study published in Obesity suggests that overweight women who escalate their consumption of water experience an increase in metabolism and weight loss. There is not an official consensus on the effects of drinking water on weight loss. However, recent research implies that drinking water makes you feel full, consequently causing you to ingest fewer calories. There is no known harm in drinking water – so drink as much as you need to feel full and energized before exercising.
Do you know how beneficial water is, but still find yourself craving the bubbles that only carbonation can provide? Despite rumors surrounding the negative effects of sparkling water, sparkling water is just that – water that sparkles! Nutrition experts agree – the positive effects of drinking sparkling water are identical to those of regular water. Basically, sparkling water is regular water, with carbonation. Carbonation is not known to affect weight – so if you want the benefits of drinking water, swig all of the sparkling water you want!
First brewed over 4,000 years ago, green tea has been long been a staple in Eastern culture. While drinking green tea has voluminous benefits, one major advantage is its effect on weight loss. Containing a combination of caffeine and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), green tea increases metabolism. A randomized placebo-controlled study found that moderately overweight adults who sipped 1,900mg of green tea daily lost an average of 2.64 pounds in 90 days (without working out). Drink a cup of hot green tea each day – or swallow it cold – to help lose weight!
One-Percent Reduced-Fat Milk
Drinking a glass of milk isn’t as bad as people might think. One cup of one-percent reduced-fat milk carries similar nutrition contents as a small, healthy meal. An average glass has about 110 calories, 8 grams of protein and 13 grams of carbohydrates. A study published in the “Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism” (2010) found that increased consumption of one-percent reduced-fat milk may aid weight loss in overweight women. Having a glass as a snack may make you fuller longer, while still giving you the energy you need to exercise and feel great.
Making the Right Choices
When creating your healthy eating plan, don’t forget to assess the beverages that you consume. You may be thwarting your weight loss efforts with unhealthy drinks. Before drinking, ask yourself: Does this drink have calories or artificial sweeteners that might negate my diet? Rather, does it have nutrients or elements that might help accelerate weight loss? Allowing yourself to enjoy your favorite drinks is important, but make sure that your overall beverage consumption does not repudiate your weight loss.
When we think about weight loss and dieting it is not necessarily our daily beverages that come to mind. Though there are, without a doubt, many benefits and drawbacks of certain drinks pertaining to weight loss. So the next time you decide to try going on a diet, remember that your drinks can have just as much effect on your success as the food you eat.
Everybody has heard that the human is supposed to consume at least 64 ounces of water a day, and that is a minimum. Your body craves water and the benefits are undeniable, while the drawbacks nonexistent. Just drinking a full glass of water when you think you feel hungry will ultimately lead to you eating less since your stomach will be full already. For those of you who don’t prefer water, you could try using a wedge of citric fruit like lemon, lime, or orange to liven up that glass of boring old water. The truth is that we should all be drinking water daily whether trying to lose weight or not.
Choice # 2 – Black Coffee
Coffee is a great way to get a calorie-free pick me up. It is high in antioxidants and is a, by far, better choice than any sugary energy drink. It is not until we start adding sugar and fat to our coffee that it becomes a hindrance for weight loss. If you can’t drink it black then just try reducing the amounts of what you add a little bit at a time. The flavor of the coffee itself may just grow on you.
Choice # 3 – Tea
The word tea covers a broad spectrum of drinks. Though there are a couple known to stimulant the metabolism or even block fat absorption. The first one to mention is the now common, green tea; which we all know it is a natural metabolism booster full of antioxidants, and it even has a nice herbal f
lavor all by itself. That was just a few of the many benefits of drinking green tea. The other tea I wanted to suggest is a very flavorful and healthy choice. Peppermint tea helps you burn calories by promoting digestion, as well as being quite tasty. Those are just my personal favorites though there are many more types of tea out there that can be equally beneficial.
Choice # 4 – Fruit Juice
Fruit juice is probably the best healthy drink where you aren’t sacrificing taste. Though you don’t want to just buy juice from a store; due to the high sugar content and other additives, you would have be very careful what you get. The best way to get natural fruit juice would be to juice it yourself. You can buy a juicer, which are affordable and easy to use, and extract your own fresh fruit juice. Get creative with it and you are sure to discover it’s not only healthful and delicious, but fun too.
Choice #5 – Vegetable Juice
For those of you more geared toward the savory, give fresh vegetable juice a shot; and just as with the fruit juice, I would not recommend buying it at a store. Instead, invest in a blender or food processor and get crazy. The possibilities are endless, try making carrot juice, tomato juice, or beet juice. You can mix vegetables and use herbs to add different flavors. Make some magic in your blenders that will promote success in losing weight and get more vitamins and minerals in your daily diet.
Any of the choices above are sure to encourage weight loss and increase your body’s health naturally. So the next time you reach for a soda or pour a couple of ounces of cream in your coffee remember that they are just empty calories. The more calories you are drinking means the less you will be able to eat without exceeding your desired daily caloric intake.
by Ashleigh Nicole
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