When we think about improving our nutrition habits, we often think about food. However, what we drink can be just as important, and sometimes it can even be what’s holding us back from losing weight or just becoming healthier overall. Paying attention to what we’re drinking every day can help us with finally achieving the body composition changes we want, or even just speed up our progress.
Of course, the best thing you can drink on a daily basis is plain old water. Water hydrates us without any additives or calories, allowing you to save your calories for more nutritious food. Not all other drinks are necessarily “bad”, but it’s important to pay attention to your drinks to see if perhaps they could be affecting you and your progress towards your goals. Before you choose a drink you can ask yourself “Is this drink adding value to my diet? Does it improve my health, performance, and recovery?” Often, if you’re drinking a lot of high calorie beverages, the answer will probably be “No!”. In fact, if you’re drinking a lot of alcohol, soda-type drinks, or high calorie “dessert” drinks like those huge coffeehouse mochas, the answer may be that they are actually affecting you quite negativity, including making you feel worse on a daily basis! By cutting out these drinks and replacing them with something better, or best yet, water, you can make some big improvements in your health.
Of course, you never have to go all or nothing. Instead you could just be mindful of what you’re drinking every day and try to make some small changes. Do you have a giant sugary mocha every morning? Start by getting it with just a half, or a quarter of the chocolate. When you get used to that, you could even go for a latte or just a plain coffee. If you drink multiple sodas or alcoholic beverages, start by replacing one of those drinks a day with a big glass of water. Even these little changes can start to move you in the right direction.
Want to try something a little more extreme (you know, just for fun)? ;) Try drinking only calorie-free drinks for a week or even two! Pay attention to how you feel and if you’re trying to lose weight, see if you notice any changes at the end of that time. You could very well notice some big changes you weren’t expecting, and end up feeling better along the way too!