Don’t Drink Your Calories

water “Eat your calories, don’t drink them.” That’s the first suggestion I gave the Avagliano family this month. Challenge #2 is all about hydration. They’ve been asked to decrease their consumption of sugar-sweetened and caffeinated beverages and up their intake of water.

But don’t be fooled. This challenge isn’t about deprivation. It’s about smart substitutions. You can skip having coffee with sweetened vanilla milk and have coffee with skim or 1% milk instead to save calories. You can avoid fruit juice and instead eat the fruit (with all the nutrients and fiber to boot) to help you lose weight.

Willing to go “cold turkey?” There are plenty of options. Consider unsweetened herbal teas and seltzer. And, of course, there’s plain water. All three are great ways to hydrate your body and keep energy levels high.

If plain water is too boring for you, spice it up by adding some citrus fruit. Orange, lemon, lime or even grapefruit work well. Throw in the slices so you can eat the fruit when the water is all finished. Cucumber, fresh raspberries and mint are also nice. I personally love a cold bubbly seltzer with a squirt of a Meyer lemon to quench my thirst!

What’s your favorite way to add flavor to water? Post a comment and let me know!

Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.