Day 4 of your journey to better health and as you clean out that pantry of food, there are a few other items that you should think of removing. Among those are sugary diet sodas hiding in your pantry or fridge. Whether they are regular sodas, diet sodas, or calorie free sodas, they all have something in common, they all have sugar and they have absolutely no nutrients. So ask yourself this question, why would you put empty calories into your body that are actually doing more harm to your health and weight? While you’re at it, you might as well throw out the juice drinks as the nutrition value of them is quite low and the sugar content quite high. Do you have some energy drinks hiding in the fridge or pantry? You may as well get rid of those too as again, high in sugar, low in nutrients.
So what do you drink? Well, if you really want to start putting a dent into your weight loss, start drinking water. Water is calorie free, it helps keep the body hydrated, it’s free, and it’s becoming one of the most popular drinks out there. Don’t get worried that you have to start drinking eight glasses of water per day as this is more of a guideline and not science based. There is however, many reasons why we should be consuming water as our main fluid and here’s why.
1. Keeping Your Calories in Check – the main benefit people see when they switch over from drinking carbonating beverages to water is the decrease in calories they are consuming. Water doesn’t make you lose the weight but it’s a substitution for all the high calories you were taking in before. If you combine your water intake along with water-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and beans, they will be more filling which will help you keep full while trimming down your calorie intake.
2. Energize Your Muscles – as you exercise, you start to lose fluid through your sweat. This water needs to be replaced otherwise your performance will suffer. Muscle fatigue can set in when the cells in our bodies don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes. Make sure that you keep the body hydrated prior to exercise, during exercise, and after exercise. The more you sweat, the more water that needs to be replaced.
3. Maintain Body Fluid Balance – the maintenance of body temperature, transportation of nutrients, digestion, absorption, and circulation are all functions of bodily fluids. Our bodies are composed of about 60% water so without proper hydration, it makes it hard for these functions to take place. When you start to get low on water, you start to feel thirsty. This is your body’s cue to let you know that your water reserves are getting low and to start drinking water again.
4. Relieves Fatigue – since our body is composed of approximately 2/3 water, if we start to lack water, our heart will need to work harder to pump out oxygenated blood to all of the cells. Along with this organ, other vital organs will be exhausted as well and in turn you will experience the same type of fatigue. A common reason for headaches is dehydration so instead of popping some pills to relieve the pain, start by getting your body hydrated again.
5. Detoxify our Bodies – waste removal from our body primarily happens through our sweat and urine. Water is an excellent detoxifier as it flushes out toxins in our bodies and transports nutrients to where they are needed. Without water the content of your colon can dry out and eventually cause constipation. Our kidneys rely on water for filtering capabilities to remove waste products from our blood and eliminate toxins in our urine. Drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day or as your body requires.
Tomorrow’s Task: Throw out the pop and juice in your pantry and fridge and get yourself a re-usable water bottle. Add some lemon, lime, or orange slices to add some flavour or use your favourite fruit. Change up the fruit every day and try something new. You will love the natural flavours of all the fruit.
The most common drink you will see in most people’s hand is unfortunately a soda. It’s actually the sugar in it that is very addictive and it’s a very hard beverage to give up for most as many experience side effects such as headaches, irritability, fatigue and sluggishness, very similar to caffeine withdrawal. If you’re use to drinking a soda a day (many people drink more than 1 soda per day) then start to cut back by 3 or 4 days a week and then to once a week and then eventually you won’t even notice that you’re not consuming it anymore.
Remember, starting healthy habits is not easy but you have to start somewhere. Keep track of your progress and see how far you have come at the end of the month. Giving up sodas is a good starting point for developing healthier eating habits to encourage weight loss. This is a big step for many but a step in the right direction. Remember to take your water bottle with you everywhere you go. Always keep one filled in your refrigerator so you can take it at moment’s notice.
See you tomorrow,
Art & Maureen