Most people know by now that you can make a lot of progress toward your weight loss goals by ditching soda. (And soda sales are dropping year by year, so we’re getting pretty good at this!) While sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) like colas, fruit juices, and sports drinks account can add hundreds of unnecessary calories to your diet (according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention), and lead to weight gain, certain low-calorie drinks can help you do the opposite: like increase your metabolism, stabilize blood sugars, and control cravings. Now, these refreshments are in no way miracle brews that will accelerate your progress overnight. But if you’re planning to lose weight through other lifestyle changes as well, these 15 healthy drinks could give you a boost on your journey.
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You might think that water is a no-brainer because, duh, it has no calories! But H2O has even more qualities that make it extremely useful for weight loss. Researchers have found that your resting energy expenditure (or the amount of calories burned while being still) can increase up to 24-30% within 10 minutes of drinking water. It also helps the kidneys and liver do their thing, and staying hydrated also helps to satisfy your appetite. In fact, many people confuse hunger for thirst. Next time you think you need to grab a snack, try downing a glass of water first and see how you feel.
Green teas have two major ingredients that aid in releasing weight: caffeine and antioxidants. Caffeine is a stimulant known to increase calorie expenditure and to improve performance during exercise. A cup of green tea contains 24-40 mg of caffeine. Green tea also contains a powerful antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)—another metabolism booster—which can help break down excess fat in the body.
Lemon water has not been proven to increase metabolism or detoxification. But dropping some lemon juice in your water is a great low-calorie option to flavor—what many consider to be—a boring beverage. So if you’re having trouble downing enough water during the day, try squeezing this fruit into your drink. Lemon juice is also packed with vitamin C which can improve your immunity, increase iron absorption, and help reduce your risks of certain cancers.
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