Everyone knows how to stay slim – eat less and exercise more. But, as the years pass, maintaining our girlish figures becomes harder and changing our eating and exercise habits becomes more and more challenging.
There is one thing we can do that will help us stay slim without increasing our exercise or changing how we eat. That is changing what we drink.
The rule is: Drink Only Water
Cut out soda and other soft drinks. Instead, drink plain water or fizzy water if you like the bubbles. And that includes eliminating diet drinks. Even though diet soda may have few or no calories, the sweet taste convinces our bodies that they are getting calories, so there is less need to burn fat. We learn this from world class athletes like marathoners. They need energy, but do not want to put anything in their stomachs lest an upset tummy harm their performance. Instead, they just rinse their mouths with a sweet beverage for a burst of energy.
Cut out fruit juice. It is not a reasonable substitute for the actual fresh fruit. In fact, some doctors are saying that juice, like soft drinks, should not be available in schools because it contributes to childhood obesity.
Juice contains all the sugar and calories in the fruit, but none of the fibre and it is so easy to drink. A ‘small’ bottle of juice purchased at the deli can contain all the calories of four or five pieces of fresh fruit. You would never eat more than one, or at most two, fresh apples or oranges at the same time, but we can all easily consume a bottle of juice.
Fruit and vegetable juices may contain some vitamins and minerals depending on their age and preparation, though not as much as the fruit itself. So, if you want the vitamins and minerals, follow dietitians’ advice. Eat the fruit and drink water.
Exchanging juice and soft drinks for water is relatively easy, but what about coffee and tea; the hot beverages around which so much of our social and even business lives revolve? Here is the good news. Tea and coffee count as water, but if, and only if, they have no sugar or other sweeteners (caloric or not) added and are served without milk, cream or other lighteners. So enjoy a plain black coffee or an espresso. Just avoid the fancy barista creations that can have as many calories as a typical lunch. Learn to drink tea without milk, perhaps switching to Chinese or herbal teas to which milk is not traditionally added.
And now for the real bugbear – alcohol. For many of us, giving up a cocktail before the evening meal or a glass of wine with dinner is a pretty drastic change. Going out for drinks can be as much a part of our social lives as going out to eat. How do we handle this?
Instead of thinking of wine, beer and other alcoholic beverages as drinks, think of them as fancy sweets or desserts. Both are high in calories. Neither have any significant amount of nutrition or fibre. Both are consumed for pleasure. They are treats and we all need treats.
So have a glass of wine or a martini, recognizing it for the treat it is and really enjoy it. Just as you would not have more than one rich dessert at one sitting, avoid having more than one alcoholic drink at a time. Instead, switch to a fancy designer water with bubbles and a piece of lemon to maintain the party spirit.
And when all your friends complement you on your trim figure and ask how you manage to stay slim, it is up to you whether you tell them your secret.
7 Surprisingly Unhealthy Diet Foods will give you more tips on staying trim.
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