As temperatures warm up and we have more opportunities to get up and active, it is more important than ever to stay hydrated. Some nutritional changes can be time consuming, require preparation, and commitment. Not all healthy choices need to involve large amounts of time, resources, and money!
This week, make a change and clean up the beverages that you are consuming. Did you know that a 20 ounce bottle of regular soda contains somewhere in the ballpark of 250 calories? Or, a medium flavored latte from your favorite coffee shop typically runs between 300-400 calories? Think of all of the nutrition you could be getting out of healthy snacks or meals for those same calories! Soda and other beverages are most often empty calories, meaning they offer little to no nutritional value, yet these drinks often make up a hefty portion of our caloric intake.
This month, clean up your diet in little to no time by trying these simple tricks.
- Drink water. Not only is water a beverage that you can drink all day without concern about calories or sugar, it also keeps you hydrated, nourishes the body, and helps with essential functions. Keep a water bottle with you at all times, and make it a goal to refill it between every class, or whenever you have a break at work! Invest in a fun new tumbler, or purchase a water bottle that marks off drink goals by the hour of the day to keep yourself motivated!
- Not a fan of plain water? Try adding fresh berries or slices of lemon and lime to add a bit of flavor! Place in cold water and allow to sit for a few minutes to maximize flavor. Cucumbers are a great, refreshing option, too!
- Swap out one sweetened beverage per day for water. This is a great way to cut back on extra calories, or alternatively to put those calories from your regular beverage towards a healthy, nutritious snack instead!
- Cut out the extras. If you can stick to making your own coffee or juice, you have much more control over what you are drinking, especially how much cream or sugar is added!
- Say goodbye to soda. There is just nothing healthy about these sweet, sugary beverages. If you are really looking for carbonation, try a naturally flavored sparkling water option, or top regular sparkling water with a splash of your favorite fruit juice.
Are there any tips or tricks that you use to clean up your beverage act? How do you ensure you are drinking enough water throughout the day? We at BLEND would love to hear from you!
Time Pressed Tuesday is a blog series focused on finding new ways to make healthy choices while overcoming the every day struggles and busy schedules of family life. Check back frequently for ideas on how to make healthy choices happen, no matter how busy your day may be!
Mackensey Stang is a program specialist with BLEND.
Her primary roles include managing Safe Routes to School and the Fit Kids Club Series, and collaborating with local schools and communities to further the mission and objectives of BLEND.