One of the first steps I ever made was tough at the time, but in hindsight it is perhaps one of the most influential steps in my weight loss journey. Cutting out soft drinks and other sugary beverages can have enormously positive effects in a short amount of time. In high school I used to chug one or two 20-ounce pops a day. After removing them from my diet I lost 20 pounds within that first year. I didn’t do anything else. Today, I still shy away from soda because I have developed a habit of sticking to water. Additionally, most iced teas and lemonades can be deceiving. In many cases those have even more sugar and calories in them than pop. Sugary drinks can be difficult to avoid, because they taste great, and they’re convenient. However, avoiding them can have great health benefits.
The best alternative is water. Trying to wean yourself off by drinking diet pop isn’t viable. While they don’t have the calories their regular counterparts have, they still contain artificial sweeteners, which can sometimes make you feel hungrier and in some cases become addicting. It’s best to make a clean break from carbonated and sugary beverages altogether. Water is the most thirst quenching drink, but some consider it bland. If you would prefer your beverage to have some taste I have a great tip for you. I recommend squeezing a lemon slice into your water. Not only does it add a nice refreshing and tart taste, but lemon juice also has a number of health benefits like helping digestion, and it boasts a number of vitamins that are great for your body.
I can sympathize with the fact that it is very difficult to wake up one day and decide to lose weight. Over the past two years I have lost over 80 pounds, but I’d be lying to you if I said one change made all the difference. There were a number of times when I got lazy, or I had to get back on track. Each time I had to refocus, I took different measures to lose small amounts of weight I regained or get back into solid workout shape. These measures were often tweaks to my diet or new exercise methods. They are all part of the continual journey that has led to my improved health and lifestyle. If you are looking to start losing weight, or if you are already on the path to improving your health there are many ways to improve your diet and fitness. One relatively simple and effective first step you can make starting right now is throwing out the soda, lemonade and iced teas, and drinking only water instead. You’ll be surprised how fast you can lose weight and feel healthier.