First and foremost, people don't realize that what they drink is the first step in losing that first 10 pounds. In fact, most people don't know that when they feel hungry, they may actually be dehydrated and they are really thirsty, not hungry. Water is remarkable as well. Over 66% of your body weight is nothing but water. This is also why water plays an important role in weight control.
So TIP #1 is:
Drink plenty of water. It is recommended that you drink 8 glasses per day, but that may take you some time to work up to. Your body needs a whole lot of water. Water doesn't just flush all the toxins out of your body, but it makes you feel better and healthier. When you drink a lot of water you just begin to feel fit and this is the motivation you need to lose weight.
The best thing about water is you can drink as much as you want because it has no calories at all. When you're drinking a lot of water, you eat less as well because you won't feel as though you are starving to death. Remember, if you feel hungry, try drinking a glass of water first and you'll realize you were probably just dehydrated and not hungry at all.
The whole 8 glasses a day rule is really something you should strive for. The best way to do this and to measure your water intake is to buy a jug from the drug store or grocery store that is designed to hold exactly 8 glasses of water. These are great weight loss tools because you can fill them up, freeze them and as it melts throughout the day you have fresh and cold water. Or, if you don't mind your water room temperature you can drink it that way as well. All that matters is that you're getting in the water your body needs.
TIP #2: Start off your day with a fresh, clean glass of water. As soon as you get up in the morning, drink one down. This will help your body to get going because it won't be fighting through dehydration. Also, after you drink a glass of water you won't need to eat such a large breakfast. A glass of water wakes up all the digestive juices in your body and gets it well lubricated. You can always have your morning coffee or tea, but be sure to have a glass of water afterwards. Caffeine dehydrates you and you want to ward off dehydration.
TIP #3: Drink a glass of water before you sit down to eat. Water will naturally make you feel fuller so you don't have to eat as much food.
TIP #4: Have a glass of water while you eat as well. Take a drink after each bite and you will feel full more quickly so you can leave the table feeling satisfied without feeling bloated. Drinking water while you eat will also help your food to settle more quickly, which also helps you to feel full faster.
TIP #5: Do your best to stay away from soda. All sodas are sweetened with lots of sugar. The more you can cut out of your diet the better. Also, diet soda is still soda. It may not have as much sugar, but it has other chemicals and components that are not good for your body either. If you drink a soda, counteract it with a glass of water. Remember, caffeine dehydrates you as well. Decaffeinated sodas still have caffeine in small amounts as well and just as much sugar, so they are not much healthier either.
TIP #6: Fruit juice isn't as healthy as most people think either. Juice actually has a lot of sugar in it as well. If you are craving a glass of juice, drink fresh fruit juice instead of juice that has artificial flavors and coloring. It is even better if you can make your own fruit juice. Just be sure not to add too much sugar which adds to the calories. Instead of drink fruit juice, eat more fruit. Fruit provides your body with much needed fiber as well as vitamins.
TIP #7: Go easy on the tea and coffee. They are pretty much harmless if you don't add a lot of cream and sugar to them. It is the cream and sugar that becomes fattening. Think of it this way, when you have a cup of coffee or tea with cream and two cubes of sugar, you are essentially eating a piece of chocolate cake every time. Now think of how many pieces of cake you are eating when you have a Venti Starbucks Latte – yikes.
TIP #8: If you must have your tea and coffee, try to drink it black. Black tea or coffee actually has health benefits to it as long as you counteract the caffeine in your body with a nice big glass of water. Caffeine is also not good for you because it affects functions in your body, like your metabolism.
Another type of tea that you can drink freely is green tea. Green tea has been used as a medicine in China for over 4,000 years. It aids the digestive system and can help ease an overly full stomach and it has been linked to a reduction in cancer risk.
TIP #9: If you can say no to alcohol, then that is best. Alcohol beverages are not exactly good for you, although a glass of red wine does have heart benefits, most are just fattening. Beer is especially fattening. Cocktails are fattening depending on what they are made of. For instance, whiskey and Coke. The whiskey may not be fattening, but the Coke definitely is. Plus, after a few drinks most people get the munchies and when you're feeling a little inebriated and hungry you won't be able to make rational decisions regarding your diet and it's usually late at night, just before you pass out from a night of drinking, that you overeat. The overall combination is just not a good one.
TIP #10: If you must have alcohol, try dry wine. Dry wine is better than your sweet wines, because sweet wines have more sugar! Dry wines have sugar, but most of it has been fermented away into alcohol and from a weight gaining perspective, dry is better.
TIP #11: Another word on coffee, that is not necessarily bad, but more interesting than anything. Some people have reported that when they drank black coffee before exercising, they lost more weight. There's no scientific proof to back this, but nutritionists believe it may be caused by the body being forced to depend on fat for fuel. Hey, it's worth trying if you can stand black coffee. Just remember to drink plenty of water during your exercise!
TIP #12: Avoid drinking excessive amounts of coffee, as it desensitizes your body to the natural fat burning effects that caffeine has. One or two cups (if the day's really slow to get started) max.