It’s heating up outside and everyone wants to slim down and tone up. There is no shortage of weight loss information but one of the most important, and basic things often gets overlooked. It almost seems too simple. The one forgotten thing to help with weight loss is staying well hydrated. I know, simple, huh?!? We just need to drink more – and by drink I’m not counting.

The amout of liquids you should drink follows a formula, sort of. Take your weight and divide it in half. That’s how many ounces of non-caffeinated liquids you should drink, OR drink until your urine runs clear.

What to look for

The two things to pay attention to with the beverages you drink are:

  1. The sugar or sweetener (or lack thereof) used in beverages is uber important to pay attention to. Every time you drink something with sweetness you are “training” your taste buds to want more sweetness. Start choosing drinks without added sweetness – either sugar or other other sweeteners. You can find them listed under ingredients by the Nutrition Facts. However, if you are in transition OR if you splurge and your drink has a sweetener, here’s a peek of what to look for.

         Acceptable sweeteners are stevia, erythritol, and xylitol, although the latter two are sugar alcohols (indicated by -ol) and may cause some gastric distress such as gas, bloating, or diarrhea.The ones to stay away from include aspartame, acesulfame potassium, and saccharin.

2.  Next is added chemicals that your body has to process. Limiting the amount of chemicals gives your liver a reprieve from processing potential noxious substances. These are often found in sodas and pre-packaged drinks.

Drinks, besides water

When I stopped drinking Diet Coke I realized it wasn’t the flavor of Diet Coke that i liked, it was the fizzy carbonation that I craved.

Flavored, sparkling water can take the place of sodas (be sure to look at the ingredient list to determine if there are any wierd ingredients). It initially won’t taste like what you are used to because they are not as sweet as sodas. But give it a few chances and I’m sure you’ll become a believer. Some of the brands I like are flavored Perrier, Dasani Sparkling Water, Aquafina Sparkling Water, and my fave is LaCroix beverages (coconut flavored, please).

Next, there is sparkling water, which doesn’t have flavor but has carbonation. There are so many different brands of these including San Pellegrino, Perrier, and nearly every store has their version of sparkling water.

If you don’t care for the bubbly, other options are various types of herbal tea such as peppermint tea or hibiscus tea (my personal faves which happens to also be sold in most coffee shops), or even the Bai brand of bottled drinks.

drinkIf you are in to good old fashioned water but want to spruce it up a bit, infusing  good fruits can add just a hint of flavor.  Click here to see some of my favorite blends.

If you need, adding a little stevia to sweeten any of these to give it just a tad of sweetness is acceptable. My favorite brand is Sweetleaf Stevia. It comes plain or in various flavors!

Staying hydrated is an overlooked aspect of being healthy. While water is is the ultimate for beverage, there are other options that can keep you more satisfied and less thirsty.

What drinks do you enjoy to keep things interesting?