Chapter 20 Watch What  You Drink

From now on, for the rest of your life, you will not drink soda. It doesn’t matter if it’s “diet,” “zero calorie,” or what ever other term they use to trick you into consuming their product, sodas are bad for you. They will make you fat and sick, and may even thin your bones.

  So, I’m sorry, but soda is out. And so are any other artificial drink like sports drinks, energy drinks, or anything that is sweet and not water.

              Oh, and fruit juice is also out.

              “Fruit juice?” you’re protesting.

 Yes, fruit juices are full of “natural” sugar. Remember, sugar is sugar. Once we strip all the fiber away from fruit, we are left with sugar.

 It doesn’t matter how pure, organic, and healthy that juice is, it is a sugary drink. In fact, apple juice has more sugar in it than a soda.

 So what other drinks can I take away from you? How about milk. Remember, lactose is a sugar, and milk has a lot of it. If you must have milk, choose whole milk, or even cream. This way you’ll get some good fat with that sugar.

But in general, limit your milk consumption.

While we are talking about beverages, I often get asked the question, “well what about coffee?”  Since coffee seems addicting, we could easily think it would be bad for us.  To the contrary coffee is a natural food that contains a small “pharmacy” of agents that seem to help with the problems of insulin resistance, obesity, and diabetes.  These antioxidants can be loosely called “chlorogenic acids” These agents appear to slow down the absorption of calories from our gut by stimulating enzymes from our liver.  They inhibit the release of stored energy.  The drinking of coffee is associated with a decline in disease prevalence from Parkinson’s disease to colon and rectal cancers. 

A recent study from the French scientific literature demonstrated a 5.7% weight loss in subjects that took a green coffee supplement during a 60 day trial.  Subjects who took a placebo pill only lost 2.7% of their initial weight.  And it wasn’t due to a caffeine effect as this botanical substance had been decaffeinated. 

If you do not drink coffee, there is no need to start.  But if coffee is part of your daily life, continue to enjoy its rich aroma and sense of wellbeing.  But the big warning is, no sugary Frappuccino, Carmel, you know the drill.  Just add whole cream or drink it straight.  

But the best liquid? It will always be water.  With zero calories, and so many benefits, there will never be a better choice.  After all, most of your body is made up of water. Unfortunately, most Americans spend their days in a state of dehydration.

 Drinking lots of water is especially important if you are switching to a higher protein diet. Your body is going to be converting a lot of fat cells to energy, and it will need water to do this effectively.

 How much water should be drinking? Enough to keep your urine clear during the day. Start a practice of keeping a water bottle with you all day.  And whenever you go to the bathroom, use it as a reminder to drink another glass of water.  Many of us need to dehydrate ourselves in the evening to make sure we get a good night’s sleep, so load up on water in the morning and during the mid-day.   

 Very few of us will drink too much water. Think in terms of quarts instead of cups. The good news is that all that water will fill your stomach. You’ll have fewer cravings throughout the day.

 And while we’re talking about beverages, let’s address alcoholic ones briefly. Strictly speaking, alcohol does not contribute to weight gain, the exception being beer.  That’s right, spirits like vodka and tequila do not spark insulin production. Wine does have sugar in it, but relatively little. Surprising, white wine is better for weight loss than red wine. But beer is, by nature, sugary thanks to malts. So cut out the beer. For weight loss, limit your wine.  Of course, too much alcohol consumption puts stress on our livers, which are already stressed by all the carbohydrates in our diets. So while there are studies suggesting that conservative drinking may be healthy, we do have to be careful.

 If you are going to drink alcohol while attempting to lose weight, spirits are your best bet. Just realize that just because spirits have no net carbs, there are still other issues associated with alcohol consumption.  We are trying to use our “front brain” to help control the “hind brain” which seems to have a “mind of its own”, so if you are going to use alcohol of any type be cautious and moderate.  Alcohol blunts the “front brain” activities.  Water is our best and safest liquid.

 In conclusion, water is your friend. If you find water tiresome, consider a twist or squeeze of lemon or lime. You will find that the more water you drink, the more you’ll enjoy it. Trust me.