Cut the Sugar from Your Drinks Cutting sugary drinks are a simple way to lose a quick 5 pounds, since sugar is hidden in a lot of surprising beverages -- including milks, non-dairy milks (like almond and soy), and juices (fruit and veggie). Fructose, lactose, cane syrup, corn syrups, agave, honey -- in excess, they all contribute to weight gain, especially belly fat. To reduce your sugar load, Koff suggests going from a large to small latte, replace bottled lemonade and sweetened iced tea with green juice with lemon and ginger, and choose flavored waters like Hint Water and Ayala's Herbal Water, which get their taste from herb and fruit essences, over Vitamin Waters full of added flavors and sugars.
Cutting sugar impacts your metabolism's efficiency, since excess sugar gets stored as fat -- especially around your middle, says Koff. It also affects hormone function and impairs digestion. Though you're saving yourself calories by losing the sweet stuff, Koff says this is more about optimizing metabolic function, since the body will use what it's taking in as energy and not store it as fat. The goal is not to replace your sugars with artificial, non-caloric sweeteners, of course, but if you must add oomph to your morning joe or tea, organic Stevia or Xylitol is fine.
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