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Tea & Weight Loss

Tea and weight loss go hand in hand. Why? Simple, loose leaf and bagged tea, that is NOT sweetened with sugar, has NO calories. As such, you can drink tea all day long and not gain weight. Note - this does not apply to instant iced teas - which can have anywhere from 0 to 100 calories per 8 ounce cup, depending upon how you make it and what the tea is sweetened with (if anything).

One of the "greatest mysteries" among dieters is why they stil gain weight - or at least can't lose it - despite eating such minimal quantities of food that it would barely fill a bird, let alone a human. The "mysterious reason" is because calories can be obtained through two ways - from what you eat and from what you drink.

Yeah, you're probably thinking. So what - I drink diet sodas - you may say. Well, that's nice - even though most diet sodas taste like, well, some things are better left unsaid. Let's take a closer peek at the amount of calories you can consume through the myriad of beverages that are available. After looking over this list, I think many dieters will have a better understanding of why, despite eating virtually nothing more than an occasional Weight Watchers TV dinner, they still gain weight.

Beverage Serving Size  Calories 
Coke 12 ounces  110
Gatorade 8 ounces 50 
Orange Juice 8 ounces  122 
Chocolate Milk 8 ounces 226 
Milk - Whole 8 ounces 156 
Milk - 2% 8 ounces  122 
Leomonade 8 ounces  131
Instant Coffee with Sugar 8 ounces 50 - 110
Coffee - No Sugar or Add-ins 8 ounces  2 - 5 
Beer 8 ounces 96
Table Wine 8 ounces 184 
Snapple Tea 8 ounces 117 
Cream Soda 8 ounces 128 
Cappuchino with 2% Milk 16 ounces 195
Starbucks Cappuchino with 2% Milk 16 ounces 150 
Small McDonalds Milk Shake --  318 

In short, it is ALL too easy to gain weight not through what you eat - but from what you drink. This is especially so since, while you may only eat 2-3 times per day during your diet - you will likely consume beverages throughout the day. Remember, simply having a non-diet soda at lunch, a glass of 2% milk at breakfast and some wine at dinner will add on more than 400 calories to your caloric intake! And if you throw in some orange juice at breakfast, another soda during the day to stay alive at work and perhaps a beer to wash down that dinner - well, guess what - you have just taken in more than 700 calories during the day through beverages alone!

I suspect coffee is probably one of the biggest surprises to people. Americans drink a TON of coffee. And if all they drank was coffee - by itself - there would be no problems beyond too much caffeine potentially.

However, if you are like most people, you most likely add a touch of cream, or a pack of sugar, or some milk to your coffee. If all you drink is one cup of coffee per day, this would not be a huge deal. However, when you add in a sugar packet, you essentially have added 50-100 calories to the coffee. Drink that coffee four times a day, and presto - instant 200-400 calories extra.

Or how about sodas? This is my particular weakness - I love Mountain Dew. Yet, one can (and who buys cans these days - its all in 20 and 24 ounce servings now), consists of 120 calories. If you drink a few Dew's per day, you can really pack the weight on without really trying.

And then there is one of my favorites - milk. I love milk - could drink it all day long. Unfortunately, it comes with a steep caloric price. Even skim milk - which tastes pretty bad - can still load on the calories.

And then lastly, we have a staple in America - instant iced teas. Instant iced teas come in a wide varieties. Instant ice tea, without sweetener, can be drunk all day. Howevert, as soon as you start adding in sweetener - the calories really begin to take hold. Sweetened instant iced tea will have 50-150 calories per cup, depending on how much sweetener you use.

All in all, despite America's obsession with weight loss, I suspect the reason that many diets fail is not because of what people eat. It is because of what people drink. If you cut out the calories from your beverages, the caloric intake you take in per day can be significantly reduced - improving your chances of actually losing weight.

Herbal Tea Books

Herbal Teas: 101 Nourishing Blends for Daily Health & Vitality : This guide to blending and brewing healthful herb teas includes easy-to-make recipes and anecdotes from several renowned herbalists. Readers will find teas for the head and throat, digestion, nervous system, lungs, bones and joints, skin, and more.

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