CHANGE TWO: WHAT YOU DRINK
Do you drink sweetened beverages? Do you forget to include beverages when you keep a food diary or when you track your calories online? That can be a big problem, because the number of liquid calories you can consume without even realizing is quite astounding.
PUT THE KIBOSH ON COLA CONSUMPTION.
If you drink regular soda, you may be surprised at just how many additional calories you're taking in. For example, for every 20 ounces of Coca-Cola you drink, you consume 250 calories. Drink several glasses a day and you can easily down 1,000 liquid calories!
If you're attempting to consume around 1,500 to 1,600 calories a day in order to lose weight, you've almost blown your entire calorie budget on soda!
When you think about how many calories you eat on average and then add in those empty calories, you'll realize what a waste drinking these sugary drinks is -- literally -- they go straight to your waist!
If you drink a lot of soda, think of how many calories you'll be saving if you trade it in for diet soda or water. Hundreds? Even thousands? Remember, every 3,500 calories saved equals one pound lost!
DRINK UP THAT H20!
I know it sounds like a broken record, but it really is important to drink enough water every day. Reach for the rule-of-thumb goal of eight glasses per day. Plus, drinking water more often will help you with tip #1 . You won't have time to drink soda! You may even find you crave water instead of soda once you begin drinking it more often.
Try going a day or two with no soda and then sit down to a glass; you'll probably be shocked at how overly-sweet it tastes. And if you don't like water, learn to make flavored waters at home that will satisfy both your sweet tooth and your salty cravings.
DIET DRINK DILEMMA
Switching to diet sodas may sound like a sure-fire way to lose weight since they're virtually calorie-free. However, there is a controversial issue about artificial sweeteners' indirect effect on weight loss that might surprise you.
In the mid-1980's -- when the safety of artificial sweeteners was often headline news -- a study was published in a medical journal that suggested artificial sweeteners cause one's appetite to increase.
More recently, some health experts have suggested that artificial sweeteners actually cause cravings for sweet foods to increase. If so, this reaction definitely sets you up for making poor food choices. This can lead to a big problem, particularly if you tend to binge when you eat high-carb and sugar-rich foods.
STICK TO MINERAL WATER
This may go without saying, but they don't call it a beer belly for nothing. Alcoholic beverages are high-calorie and can lead to out-of-control eating. Try to cut down -- or better still, eliminate -- alcohol.