There is a lot of emphasis that the media seem to place on what we eat and the healthy diet; telling up to cut down on this and concentrate on that. This is all very well but we need to be equally vigilant about what we drink. This is something that we may not pay as much attention to.
Researchers have found that in the past couple of decades, the amount of calories that we consume by way of liquids has doubled, while a proportionate cut in the caloric intake from solid food was not made.
So we are eating more today by way of what we drink – the sodas, the lattes, the glasses of wine or the exotic cocktail; they all count. To drink right keep the following in mind –
1.Learn to recognize thirst. Very often thirst signals are misinterpreted as hunger signals and we end up eating unwanted food.
Experts say that rather than following that eight glasses a day rule blindly, it is important to recognize thirst and satisfy that. Remember you get a lot of water from consuming other liquids as well.
2.When you do feel the thirst try and quench it with water. If plain water doesn’t enthuse you, try sparkling water or skim milk.
3.When it comes to sodas, don’t imagine that diet sodas will help you curb calories. The artificial sweeteners in sodas tend to actually create craving for real sugar and so the diet sodas may actually end up making you consume even more calories.
4.Sports drinks are something else that may masquerade as ‘healthy’ but may in fact be packed with sugar and unhealthy levels of caffeine. For most of us who are not training for any particular competitive activity and who typically engage in physical activity of an hour or less in a day, no sports drink is really required.
The loss of salts and electrolytes is not so much that replenishment is required. Just plain water is the trick of proper hydration.
5.When it comes to fruit juices they may certainly be easier and more convenient that actually eating the fruit but the latter option is better for a number of reasons – the actual fruit tastes better, it has more nutrition and it is more satisfying and sating to eat it.
However if fruit juice is all you can manage, look for the ones that say 100% fruit juice and which have no added sugar, preservatives and so on – fruit juices are notoriously high in sugar calories.
6.As for alcohol, consider options such as light or low calorie beer. Research shows that a glass of wine before dinner may actually be a good idea because drinking in moderation is known to reduce the appetite and keep people from packing on extra pounds.
7.Nutritionists often advise us to eat mindfully and the same applies to drinking as well. We need to be aware of when and what and how much we drink. We need to savor and drink mindfully so that our senses get sated with what we consume.