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Give Pounds the Slip by Changing What You Sip

By switching what you drink, you can really keep the weight off.
 
As we all know, a well balanced diet with daily exercise can do wonders for your health.  But what nobody talks about are the hidden calories in beverages that can really pack on the pounds and prevent you from losing that last bit of weight.
 
According to Web MD, the average American consumes 1/5 of their daily calories through beverages alone. An easy way to slim down is to simply switch out what you drink with healthier options by looking for certain ingredients in each one.
 
Soda:

Although the fizz can be found tantalizing, soda is simply a beverage with no health benefits—it’s full of empty calories and tons of sugar.  This is a drink you want to save for special occasions.
 
Juice:
Juice is good for you, right?  That answer depends on the ingredients. Some can have as many calories as a soda; however, juices also offer nutrients such as vitamins and antioxidants.  To make the best decision, look at the nutrition label to make sure that it is 100% fruit juice and look out for artificial sweeteners.  Another alternative is vegetable juice which offers fewer calories and lots of fiber that can curb your hunger.
 
Milk:
Chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Oh my! Be sure to steer clear from flavored milks which are generally saturated with sugar.  The sugar may give you a quick burst of energy, but a crash will follow soon afterwards.  Also, skip the whole milk and stick with 2%, 1%, or skim—this will significantly reduce the amount of fat you consume.
 
Ice Tea:
Texans love their iced tea, but watch out for already sweetened tea! Opt for the unsweetened instead and drink it straight or sweeten it yourself.
 
Coffee:
We all love our mocha frappes, but there is way too much sugar in one drink (34 g of sugar in Starbucks’s mocha frappuccino, with no whipped cream!).  For that same caffeine boost, just order a black cup of coffee and add your own sugar if needed.
 
Water:
There is nothing like an ice cold glass of water.  The best part?  Zero calories.  And the benefits of water don’t stop there!  Studies found that those who drank two glasses of water before a meal ate less; thus taking in fewer calories.  Also, studies have shown that water has a positive effect on metabolism. If you feel bored with water but don’t want to ingest more calories than necessary, you can add citrus such as lemon or lime, or even a package of flavoring like Crystal Light.
 
Sources:
Skinny Sipping Slideshow: The Best and Worst Beverages for Weight Loss
America's best and worst drinks
Soda Alternatives
 

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