Spring is finally upon us. Its time to clean.
No, I'm not referring to that old storage closet or pile of junk in the garage. I'm talking about a fitness and nutrition clean up. I may speak for myself, but beach weather will soon be here, and I'm not planning on missing out this year.
So, here's what I propose. Each week we'll take 1 bad habit related to health and fitness and toss it away. Start small, one step at a time. I'm going to be posting my own clean up goals, but feel free to make your own.
Week 1: Hello water, goodbye sugar.
I'm going to start with, what I believe to be one of the simplest yet most important dietary changes many of us can and should make: Drink plenty of water. No more sodas or sugary juices here, just straight up crisp and refreshing water. It may come as a surprise to some, just how many calories you can save by simply drinking water instead of sodas and juices. Not only does drinking water help prevent the intake of empty calories but it may also help provide consistent energy through out the day as you will be eliminating some of the sugar induced crashes.
Lets look at the numbers for a moment. (1) 355ml can of soda contains on average 160 calories. Most, if not all of these calories come from sugar. How much sugar? About 9 teaspoons per can. I encourage anyone to go to the kitchen and actually measure out 9 teaspoons of sugar. Look at all the sugar, and let it really sink in. Now, if you drink 2 cans of soda per day, which is not unusual, I want you to consider this: 2 cans of soda x 10 days = 3,200 calories. That's right. 3,200 calories. Eliminating those 2 sodas per day will result in a weight loss of almost 1 pound per 10 days. That could be almost 3 pounds per month just by eliminating sodas and sugary juices. Think about that the next time you reach for a can of your favourite sugary beverage.
Forgetting the weight-loss aspect of replacing sugary drinks with water, we should also, probably more importantly, look at the health perks. We've all heard of diabetes before right? How about heart disease? Not very nice diseases be diagnosed with. Drinking just one or two sugary drinks a day may be over doubling your odds of developing these disease. And don't forget about bone-loss and tooth decay. That, for me at least, is reason enough to say goodbye to sodas and sugary juices and say hello to cool, refreshing water.
If you're one of those weirdos who doesn’t like water (just kidding) you can jazz it up with a splash of lemon or lime juice. Or, you could just suck it up and get used it! Which, you will actually do quite quickly. Before you know it, you'll soon begin to appreciate the simple, refreshing nature of water.
Now, I'm not saying you can't enjoy a glass of soda or juice every once in a while, but lets try to make them treats instead of staples.
Now, go pour a glass and drink up.