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Your 2018 Weight Loss Guide Step 2: The Most Important Change is the Easiest

Timothy Boyer Ph.D.'s picture
Citrus drink is a great alternative to soda say experts

This is the second installment of a 2018 Weight Loss Guide 10-part series on what you should be doing to lose weight. In Step 2: “The Most Important Change is the Easiest,” you will learn the one thing that you can do right now, that scientists believe above all else will make a difference between being fat or thin.


The latest research on sugary drinks confirms what weight loss experts have known all along—that soda remains the largest source of added sugar in the diet and is likely the number one cause of being overweight or obese.

How Many Sodas Makes a Diabetic?

According to recent news, a review published in the journal Obesity Facts, gleaned data from previous older studies and 30 new studies published between 2013 and 2015 has confirmed that sugar-sweetened beverages are associated with being overweight and obese in both children and adults.

"This new, more recent evidence suggests that SSB (sugar-sweetened beverage) consumption is positively associated with obesity in children. By combining the already published evidence with this new research, we conclude something that in many ways should already be obvious: public health policies should aim to reduce the consumption of SSBs and encourage healthy alternatives such as water. Yet to date, actions to reduce SSB consumption in many countries are limited or non-existent."

The authors of the study recommend that the most likely successful way to limit sugar consumption in beverages is to target the food industry and institute a gradual reduction strategy similar to the one used to reduce the amount of salt added to processed food over the past decade. They believe that incremental sugar reduction targets set within a clear timeframe will make a significant impact on how much sugar the public consumes from beverages.

However, to meet your health and weight loss goals, you do not need to wait for the government and the food industry to get their sugar-sweetened act in gear. You can take responsibility for yourself and what you drink beginning today the next time you reach for something to slake your thirst.

Sweetened Beverages to Especially Avoid

Before we touch on some alternatives to what you can drink in place of a sugary beverage, here’s some facts about just how much sugar is in some of your favorite drinks:

Mountain Dew (12 fluid ounces): 46 grams of sugar/20 sugar cubes equivalent
Pepsi or Dr. Pepper (12 fluid ounces): 41 grams of sugar/17 sugar cubes equivalent
Coca-Cola (12 fluid ounces): 39 grams of sugar/almost 17 sugar cubes equivalent
7-Up (12 fluid ounces): 37 grams of sugar/16 sugar cubes equivalent
Arizona Iced Tea (20 fluid ounces): 52.5 grams of sugar/23 sugar cubes equivalent
Starbucks Grande Café Mocha (16 fluid ounces): 23 grams of sugar/14 sugar cubes equivalent

Health Consequences of not Avoiding Sweetened Beverages

If the sugar count is not enough to convince you of just how bad some of the more-popular sugar-sweetened beverages are, here’s a list of potential health consequences of not avoiding them:

• Gout
• Cognitive Decline
• Kidney Disease
• High Blood Pressure
• Cavities
• Insulin Resistance
• Diabetes
• Obesity
• Liver Failure
• Pancreatic Cancer
• Heart Disease

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Recommended Beverage Alternatives for a Healthier and Thinner You

Water should always be your number one choice when it comes to keeping your body hydrated and healthy. However, taste is a legitimate issue and there’s no need to deprive yourself to the point where you will give-up on your dieting. The Internet is filled with low-calorie alternatives that you can try, so here are a few favored choices:

Coffee—Now is the time to become a coffee bean aficionado and learn the subtleties of great coffee. Go for unsweetened coffee, either black or with a small amount of nonfat or low-fat milk if taking it straight is a little too astringent for your taste buds. If you are a caffeine addict from a history of serious soda drinking, it is best not to go through caffeine withdrawals the same time your body is adjusting to less sugar in your diet. Besides, coffee is healthy!

Cold Brew Coffee May Be the Next New Health Drink for Weight Loss

Tea—Loose tea brewed in an infuser is a low-calorie option that allows you to receive the health benefits of tea with flavors that are almost endless. Go to a tea emporium and experiment until you find that blend that makes your soda avoidance not so painful.

Citrus Fix—If you find you are dying for something more soda-like, then choose a citrus fix which is a healthier version of sweetened beverages that is typically made with lemon or lime and a small amount of sweetener. You can start with a glass of sparkling or seltzer water with a few slices of lemon or lime added and a dash of Stevia sweetener.

Another version of a citrus fix is to add fruit juice to seltzer. However, as juice can contain a significant amount of sugar (especially if you drink several glasses a day) go light by mixing one part juice with three parts seltzer to create a light and refreshing beverage and limit yourself to a glass or two per day.

Homemade Flavored Water—Skip the commercial stuff with its hidden sugars and make your own flavored water in a large picture stored in the fridge for all-day drinking. Simply add slices of your favorite fruits such as lemons, oranges, limes and/or watermelon to a picture of filtered water.

And finally…

The whole point to Step 2 of Your 2018 Weight Loss Guide is that if you do nothing else and otherwise do not change your eating habits and activity level, then according to what the latest research has shown, over time you should experience gradual weight loss and better health now that you are no longer under the influence of too much sugar in your daily diet. It’s easier than you think, although most who have gone off their sugar high do admit the first week is hardest, it does get easier afterward as a lifestyle habit.

In the 3rd installment of this 10-part series, we will take a look at more sound advice on what should be your next step to follow in Your 2018 Weight Loss Guide.


“Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Weight Gain in Children and Adults: A Systematic Review from 2013 to 2015 and a Comparison with Previous Studies” Luger M, Lafontan M, Bes-Rastrollo MWinzer E, Yumuk V, Farpour-Lambert N, Obesity Facts 2017;10:674-693.

The sweetest drinks in the US: These bestselling beverages have the most sugar per ounce
Business Insider July 2017

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