Welcome to WEEK FOUR of the Healthy Lifestyle Challenge!
It’s about building healthy lifestyle habits that will last a lifetime.
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This Week's Topic: Healthy Beverages (Drink This, Not That)
Sugar sweetened beverages, soda, diet soda are all bad for us, but what about fruit juice? Juice can have as many calories as soda, but it has far more to offer in the way of nutrients. So, how do you get the vitamins and antioxidants without all of the extra sugar? The safest bet: Look for 100% fruit juice. Steer away from juice that has added sweeteners. Look for the percent of real juice noted on the label. You can also slash calories by drinking water with a tiny bit of juice added. Vegetable juice provides great nutrition and only has about half the calories (but a lot more sodium). Choosing juice with pulp provides some fiber which may help control hunger. Homemade fruit smoothies are a great option but be careful ordering them in restaurants where they often contain ice cream, honey, or other sweeteners that boost the calorie count sky-high.
What about energy drinks? Most sports and energy drinks are calorie bombs like soda. Stay hydrated with water unless you need additional nutrients after excessive sweating and exercise.
When you need a shot of caffeine, coffee is a better choice than soda or energy drinks. It is calorie-free and rich in antioxidants. Studies show that moderate amounts (about 3 to 4 cups a day) may improve mood and concentration, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and several types of cancer. But, stay away from fancy coffee!
Green Tea is another excellent choice. Research suggests green tea extract may stimulate weight loss.
Many of us watch what we eat but not what we drink, when we diet. That’s a mistake. The average American gets a fifth of daily calories from beverages. Choosing the right drinks can tweak your metabolism, curb your appetite, and reduce your calories.
THIS WEEKS BONUS QUESTION: Excessive drinking of sugary beverages has been found to contribute to: (Hint: Harvard Study)
A. Overweight and Obesity
B. Increased risk of Type II Diabetes
C. Increased Risk of Heart Disease
D. All of the above
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Eat healthy, DRINK Healthy and get active!