My First Change: A commitment to water

How Soft Drinks Impact Your Health
How Soft Drinks Impact Your Health

This video poignantly presents the obesity epidemic as a result of our sedentary lifestyle and calorie consumption, not because of the individual choices we make in where our calories come from. The Coca-Cola Company is right that every calorie counts, but cutting calories is not the key to reducing obesity! If you drink a soda, you’re slowing down your body’s ability to process anything else that you may ingest. Consequently, you won’t walk off the soda because your body’s reaction to it is a lot more complex.

My strategy: Cut out all drinks but water. You’ll feel a whole lot better, especially after the first two-weeks of adjusting. For the first day or so you can also put greens in water, like a cucumber slice or sprig of mint, if you strongly dislike plain water – but eventually your taste buds will adapt to its non-sweetened flavor.

Non-caloric and natural alternatives to water include tea and coffee with no additives, particularly decaffeinated versions (caffeine may negatively impact you, I’ll post more on that later). Strive to completely eliminate other drinks from your diet. Drinks you may perceive as healthy, like fruit juice, still have lots of sugar (I’ll be debunking myths about fruit juice later this week). Alcoholic beverages are not only harmful to you because they lower your inhibitions but also because your liver and pancreas have to work overtime to metabolize the alcohol. Furthermore, drinking too much can lower your immune system.[1] Also it’s good to avoid better-for-you drinks like milk, protein shakes, Kefir or Kombucha for the first two weeks because they will not fill your belly like solid food.

As The Coca-Cola Company says about the obesity epidemic, “finding a solution will take continued effort from all of us.” This simple drinking adjustment will help you reduce the number of calories you consume daily without the negative effects of drinking soda. Keep in mind, though, that this is just one part of being healthy.

As a side note:

The Atlantic published an article this week about American’s beverage choices and the chart below, it’s nice to see that people are increasingly choosing to drink water over other drinks. (click on the chart for the full article)

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