How To Quit Soda For Good

It’s no news that soda can derail your fitness goals. What increases the risk of weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease? If you guessed soda, you’re spot on. (Did the headline give it away?) According to a Journal of the American College of Cardiology report, the bubbly beverage really does live up to its villainous reputation. And if you think you’ve got nothing to worry about because you only sip a can or two per day, you’ve got things all wrong. Researchers had found that drinking just one serving of pop a day can increase the risk of fatal heart disease or heart attack by a whopping 35 percent. No fizzy drink is worth that risk—which is why you should seek out soda alternatives ASAP.

However, diet soda drinkers aren’t safe either, mainly because the beverages are filled with potentially carcinogenic chemicals like caramel coloring (which is present in the regular varieties, too) and artificial sweeteners. “Even though diet drinks are calorie-free, they cause insulin to be released in your gut because their artificial sweeteners are sweet like sugar,” says registered dietitian Miriam Jacobson. “Insulin is your body’s primary fat-storage hormone, so consuming it will cause the body to hold onto any extra fat.”

While your go-to source of hydration throughout the day should be water, it can be tough to go cold turkey if soda’s been a part of your routine for a while. While coffee, detox water, and tea can make the transition to a soda-free life easier, sometimes you just want to grab something with a bit of fizz or flavor that’s ready-to-drink. Thankfully there are tons of new healthy soda alternatives flooding the market that fit that very description, and I’ve got the scoop on the best of them (or so I think).


Spindrift

Spindrift half and half

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Nutrition, per can: 2-17 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0-20 mg carbs, 0-2 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

There are nine different flavors of Spindrift sparkling soda, all of which contain between zero and two grams of sugar. Eight of such flavors all embody delicious fruits, with fruit puree sweetening the fizzy drink. The flavor that sticks out among its counterparts is the Half & Half variety, which is a sugar-free lemonade and iced tea mixture. Fresh lemon juice and brewed black tea are splashed in carbonated water to achieve a refreshing drink.


Pepsi Bubly

Bubly sparkling water

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Nutrition, per can: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

Bubly is Pepsi’s sparkling water brand, and the cheerful cans aren’t the only thing that’ll make you smile. The line comes in 12 different flavors, including grapefruit, apple, orange, and cherry just to name a few. Replace a sugary soda with this carbonated beverage, and your flat belly goals won’t seem as unattainable.


Polar Seltzer

Polar seltzer

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Nutrition, per bottle: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

Do you know what the difference between club soda, seltzer, and sparkling water is? Believe it or not, the words are not interchangeable even though there are only very slight differences between the three. Seltzer has roots in Germany and, at the time, was pulled from a natural spring. While that may not be the case for all seltzer waters you see on the market today, Polar Seltzer water offers a long list of different, refreshing flavors, none of which cost you any calories.


Humm Kombucha

Ginger juniper kombucha

Courtesy of Humm

Nutrition, per can: 25 calories, 0 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 5 g sugar

Added sweeteners: Agave nectar

Kombucha is the bubbly, antioxidant-rich, and probiotic-infused drink that serves as a great alternative to soda. Soda falls under a category of food and drinks called empty calories because it literally provides zero nutritional value, but costs you a good amount of calories and tacks on an inordinate amount of added sugar. Thankfully, Humm, based out of Bend, Oregon, recently released a lower-sugar kombucha, with two flavors including Ginger Juniper and Raspberry Hops.


La Croix Sparkling Water

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Nutrition, per bottle: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

Sure, the cans may look like something that’s filled with the latest boozy drinks coveted by festival-going college kids, but ask anyone who’s tried a can of the stuff (both young and old) and they’ll tell you: LaCroix sparkling water is straight up delicious. The bubbles are light and frothy and the flavor is just intense enough to be pleasing. It’s really no wonder that the drink has assumed a cult-like following.


Bai Lemonade

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Nutrition, per bottle: 5 calories, 5 mg sodium, 6-9 g carbs, 1 g sugar

Added sweeteners: Erythritol, stevia extract

The bulk of Bai’s beverages are made with white tea extract (which has been shown to break down fat) and various fruit extracts, and they’re all addictively delicious. Some of our favorites are the lemonade varieties. Burundi Blueberry, Limu Lemon, and São Paulo Strawberry Lemon make us feel like we’re drinking a far healthier version of a summery lemonade.


Perrier Sparkling Water

Perrier sparkling water

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Nutrition, per can: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

Perrier has been around since 1863, making it the longest standing company on this list. Today, the sparkling mineral water company produces eight different flavors of sparkling water, including green apple, peach, and even a hybrid of lemon and orange cleverly called, L’Orange. You won’t miss the sugar in these bubbly beverages.


Sparkling Bitters

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Nutrition, per bottle: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

While the name may be a bit off-putting (who wants to drink something bitter?!), don’t let that scare you away from this trendy elixir. This drink is made by blending sparkling water with the highly concentrated liquid extractions of herbs, roots, and fruit. (If you’re into craft cocktails, you’ve likely had bitters in boozy drinks like the Manhattan and the Sazerac.) Think of these bottles as the cooler younger sibling of tired seltzer.


Runa Zero Energy Drinks

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Nutrition, per bottle: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 1 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

If you want something that’s totally free of calories and sugar, Runa has got you covered. The company boasts six different flavors of energy drinks, three of which fall under the Zero energy drink category. The blood orange, watermelon, and lime varieties all have zero calories and sugar. What separates this energy drink from others, though, is that they’re all made from guayusa leaves—a plant that’s native to the Amazon rainforest with double the antioxidant capacity as green tea. They also all have 150 mg of caffeine, which is much more than the typical 95 mg a standard 8-ounce cup of coffee houses.


Upruit Sparkling Cold-Brew Coffee

Upruit sparkling cold brew coffee

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Nutrition, per can: 45-60 calories, 5-10 mg sodium, 12-15 g carbs, 9 g sugars

Added sweeteners: Maple syrup

Perhaps the best way to receive a burst of energy instantly (and in a healthy manner) would be to drink a cup or two of coffee. Ditch the added sugar-filled can of soda and opt for a can of Upruit’s naturally flavored sparkling cold-brew instead! We love this drink because you get that desired fizzy of texture along with 100 mg of caffeine, which is equivalent to what you would get in a cup of coffee. The only added sweetener in these drinks is maple syrup, but even then the 11-ounce drink has nearly 4.25 times less sugar than what a 12-ounce can of Sprite contains at 38 grams.


Tickle Water

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Nutrition, per bottle: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

It may be the first-ever sparkling water for kids, but even we are big Tickle Water fans. One staffer who tried the stuff said the cola flavor tasted “like sparkling water with a splash of Coke” but still thought it was a great soda alternative despite the less-intense flavor.


Vertical Maple Water

Nutrition, per container: 15 calories, 10 mg sodium, 3 g carbs, 3 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

Before Maple tree sap is boiled down to the consistency and sweetness of pancake syrup, it’s far thinner and less sugary. So, a handful of companies began pasteurizing and bottling the stuff, which they’ve aptly named maple water. It’s more or less like water, but it’s slightly thicker and carries a hint of sweetness. It carries a bit of added nutrition, too. A bottle provides 30 percent of the day’s manganese, a trace mineral that staves off disease-causing free radicals, reduces inflammation, and helps to maintain proper nerve function. According to the company’s website, Vertical Water is 100 percent pure and is the only U.S.-sourced maple water that is Non-GMO Project Verified.


Hint Kick

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Nutrition, per bottle: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

Hint Water may not be carbonated, cola-flavored, or sold in 64-ounce Big Gulps, but these new(ish) flavored bottled waters do have 60 milligrams of caffeine derived from coffee beans. That’s more than you’ll find in Diet Dr. Pepper (41 mg) or Mountain Dew (54 mg), so you’re sure to get the jolt your of energy your body needs—without having to down a bunch of chemicals or brew up a cup of coffee. Try the Lemon Cayenne Hint Kick (and don’t overdo it, since caffeine can dehydrate you), and you’ll probably never go back to Coke again.


Wtrmln Wtr

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Nutrition, per bottle: 60 calories, 0 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 12 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

One of her albums may be called Lemonade, but Beyoncépromotes another kind of drink, too. Queen B has invested in WTRMLN WTR, a pressed juice with just three ingredients: watermelon flesh and rind, and lemon. Not only is it light and refreshing, but it’s also a functional beverage to boot. In a study of Spanish athletes, researchers found that watermelon juice can diminish post-workout soreness, likely thanks to its high potassium and magnesium content, two electrolytes that aid hydration, muscle relaxation, and restorative sleep. Sure the sugar count in the beverage is higher than in some flavored waters, but all of the sweet stuff comes from fruit. Simply put: Don’t sweat it.


Sparkling Live Drinking Vinegars

Nutrition, per bottle: 15 calories, 0 mg sodium, 3-4 g carbs, 2-5 g sugar

Added sweeteners: Stevia

By combining carbonated water, apple cider vinegar (ACV), coconut, whole fruit juice concentrate, and stevia, Sparking Live has created a gut-happy beverage that’s light in calories yet full of flavor. For years, health foodies and svelte celebs have said that ACV is their flat belly secret—and research published in the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology, Biochemistry explains why. In the study, participants who were given two tablespoons of ACV over a 12-week period lost more weight, body fat, and inches from their middle section than participants that were given just one tablespoon or a placebo. While the results were not terribly dramatic (they only lost about 3.7 pounds), the participants were not given an exercise or diet regimen to follow, which would have helped them shed additional weight.


Zevia Sodas & Energy Drinks

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Nutrition, per can: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: Stevia

This small company, founded by soda-loving parents who wanted something healthier for their children, distributes a variety of classic flavors, from cola to ginger ale to grape, without using artificial sweeteners or colors. Depending on which you pick, some of these sodas have a touch of caffeine. The flavor Dr. Zevia, for example, packs 42 milligrams of caffeine, which is about a little less than half of what a cup of joe would offer. The strawberry flavor, however, doesn’t have a single trace of caffeine, which makes it an ideal option for those later afternoon soda cravings without having to jeopardize your sleep.


Bai Bubbles

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Nutrition, per bottle: 5 calories, 10-40 mg sodium, 9-11 g carbs, 1 g sugar

Added sweeteners: Erythritol, stevia extract

Bai Bubbles, which comes in flavors like Guatemala Guava, Jamaica Blood Orange, and Bolivia Black Cherry, are sweetened with fruit juice, erythritol, and stevia and powered by 45 milligrams of caffeine, thanks to the tea and coffee fruit. They’re delicious enjoyed straight-up or as a mixer.


Sparkling Ice

Sparkling ice

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Nutrition, per bottle: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

There are 16 different flavors of Sparkling Ice, all of which pack various different vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A and D and even biotin. These beverages are both fantastic on their own and also make for great mixers!


S. Pellegrino

S. pellegrino water

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Nutrition, per bottle: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

This classic sparkling drink is made purely from natural mineral water. Similar to Perrier, S. Pellegrino has been around for more than 100 years, with its foundations beginning in Italy in 1899. Pop open a bottle of this smooth, fizzy, no-calorie refreshment.


Detox Water

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Nutrition, per bottle: 30 calories, 29 mg sodium, 9 g carbs, 8 g sugar

Added sweeteners: Organic agave nectar, organic stevia

By adding fruits that have detoxifying properties in their flesh and peels to water, you can sip your way slim with the right kind of detox water. What could be more awesome than that? Well, Detox Water comes close by taking the legwork out of the equation. To create their signature beverages, the drink combines water, agave, fruit juice flavors, and aloe vera (a potent skin firmer and fat burner), stevia and vitamins (like 14-18 percent of your day’s vitamin B6 and B12). While it’s more caloric than making a batch of detox water at home, it’s not a bad runner-up if you don’t have time to make it yourself.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section. If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


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The Worst Sodas

Did You Know: Philadelphia is the first major U.S. city to pass a tax on soda—1.5 cents per ounce, which is about $1 more for a 2-liter, Other cities have imposed similar taxes, including Berkeley, CA, San Francisco, Seattle, and Boulder, CO. The truth is that you don’t need to live in these locations to pay the price of drinking soda.

Although we call them “beer bellies,” new science says we ought to call our bloated midsections what they really are: soda bellies. In a study of about 1,000 adults over the course of six years, people who drank soda or other sugar-sweetened beverages gained an extra 1.8 pounds of visceral fat—the fat that sits inside your gut, damaging your internal organs and pushing your belly out into a King of the Hill–style slouch. To put that in perspective, 1.8 pounds is about how much a fetus weighs at 24 weeks. This means you can go from your lean, slim self to looking like you’re in your second trimester just by drinking a daily soda, sweetened iced tea, or fruit punch. (Talk about a punch to the gut!) But instead of carrying a bundle of joy, you’re carrying a bundle of toxic fat; visceral fat has been shown to increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, among other ills.

Why is soda so good at making us who drink it look bad? It’s the sugar. The USDA issued new guidelines in early 2016, recommending no more than 180 sugar calories per day for women (and 200 for men). This is the equivalent of approximately 45 grams of sugar—an amount that many sodas and other sweetened beverages exceed in just one can. And if it’s not sugar, then it’s an artificial sweetener, which can be 180 times sweeter than sugar and just as damaging to your waistline.


 Regular Sodas

sodas

First, I put them by calories, carbs, and sugar. Then, I examined each can’s ingredients and gave demerits to sodas with more chemicals and additives than those that were nutritionally similar. Here are regular sodas ranked from worst-to-best. (Although, “best” still doesn’t mean healthy!)


Fanta Grape

best sodas

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 180 calories, 48 g carbs, 48 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Natural Flavors, Tartaric Acid, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate (to Protect Taste), Citric Acid, Red 40, Blue 1

Liquefy a bag of Skittles and you’d still have to add 6 grams of sugar to equal the sweetness of this can of corn syrup, citric acid, and artificial colors. In fact, that bag of Skittles has the exact same ingredients, including Red 40, which Canadian researchers found to be contaminated with known carcinogens. Even without its unsettling origin story—the Coca-Cola company created Fanta to profit in Germany when Nazis forbade the importation of USA-made Coke—this would still be the absolute worst soda in America!


Stewart’s Wishniak Black Cherry

best soda stewarts black cherry

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 180 calories, 44 g carbs, 43 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, Cane Sugar, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Sodium Benzoate, Caramel Color, Red 40, Blue 1

With more sugar than seven Chewy Chips Ahoy cookies, Stewart’s Black Cherry would be a “Not That!” because of the sweetness alone—it’s the most caloric on this list. And, like many of the soda on this list, it also contains caramel coloring. This additive wouldn’t be dangerous if you made it the old-fashioned way—with water and sugar, on top of a stove. But the food industry follows a different recipe: they treat sugar with ammonia, which can produce some nasty carcinogens. A Center for Science in the Public Interest report asserted that the high levels of caramel color found in soda account for roughly 15,000 cancers in the U.S. annually. Instead, keep the soda-sipping to a minimum.


Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry

dr browns black cherryNUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 180 calories, 45 g carbs, 45 g sugar

 

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Cherry And Other Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), and Artificial Color (Red 40)

With just two fewer grams of sugar than Stewart’s Black Cherry, Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry would horrify most doctors—and not just because of the sugar. Like Stewart’s—and many of the colored sodas here—this one has the artificial color Red 40, which is it ranks lower than our next entry, despite having less sugar.


A&W Cream Soda

best sodas aw cream soda

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 170 calories, 46 g carbs, 45 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Caramel Color, Citric Acid, Yucca Extract, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Caffeine

A&W traffics heavily in the nostalgia of the roadside restaurant—the company created the nation’s first chain of them in 1923. But their cream soda is a car crash of HFCS and artificial colors and flavors. This is not your grandparent’s soda, in the worst way possible.


Mug Cream Soda

best sodas

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 180 calories, 47 g carbs, 47 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sodium Benzoate (Preserves Freshness), Citric Acid, Caramel Color, Calcium Disodium EDTA (to protect flavor)

Speaking of cream, you’d have to down 12 servings of Reddi-Wip to equal the calorie count of Mug Cream Soda (distributed by Pepsi)—and would still need to eat 12 Hershey’s Kisses on top of that to equal the sugar count. That sounds like an easy way to sip yourself to a fat belly!


A&W Root Beer

best sodas aw root beer

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 170 calories, 47 g carbs, 45 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sugar, Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Natural and Artificial Flavors

You gotta love that ingredients list: This American classic might have sugar and HFCS. Throw in two scoops of vanilla ice cream to make a Root Beer float and you have more than two days’ worth of sugar in one chilled mug.


Mountain Dew

best sodas mtn dew

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 170 calories, 46 g carbs, 46 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Concentrated Orange Juice, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Sodium Benzoate (Preserves Freshness), Caffeine, Sodium Citrate, Erythorbic Acid (Preserves Freshness), Gum Arabic, Calcium Disodium EDTA (To Protect Flavor), Brominated Vegetable Oil, Yellow 5

There’s flame retardant in your Mountain Dew. That soda with the lime-green hue (and other citrus-flavored bubbly pops) won’t keep your insides fireproof, but it does contain brominated vegetable oil, a patented flame retardant for plastics that have been banned in foods throughout Europe and in Japan. Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, which acts as an emulsifier in citrus-flavored soda drinks, is found in about 10 percent of sodas sold in the U.S. “After a few extreme soda binges—not too far from what many gamers regularly consume—a few patients have needed medical attention for skin lesions, memory loss, and nerve disorders, all symptoms of overexposure to bromine,” according to an article in Scientific American.


Mountain Dew Code Red

best sodas

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 170 calories, 46 g carbs, 46 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Orange Juice Concentrate, Citric Acid, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Sodium Benzoate, Natural Flavor, Caffeine, Sodium Citrate, Gum Arabic, Calcium Disodium EDTA, Red 40, Brominated Vegetable Oil, Yellow 5, Blue 1

As we said, Europe and Japan have already banned the flame retardant brominated vegetable oil (BVO) out of their bubbly beverages. Code Red! Dudes, to truly get a six-pack, don’t do the Dew.


Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda

best sodas

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 180 calories, 44 g carbs, 44 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Citric Acid, Caramel Color

With more calories than a Mountain Dew (though with less artificial colors, thus its better ranking), this Cream would make even Prince blush.


Dr. Brown’s Root Beer

best sodas dr browns root beer

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 170 calories, 42 g carbs, 42 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Gum Acacia, Citric Acid, Caffeine Free

You know when you add some Mentos to a two-liter Diet Coke and the whole thing explodes? (Don’t try that at home.) That’s thanks to the Gum Acacia in the candy, which also in this soda—it’s a natural emulsifier. Despite its weird name, is probably this most natural ingredient in this sugar juice.


Surge

best sodas surge

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 172 calories, 46.5 g carbs, 42 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Orange Juice Concentrate, Potassium Benzoate (To Protect Taste), Potassium Citrate, Caffeine, Calcium Disodium Edta (To Protect Taste), Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Carob Bean Gum, Blue 1

It’s not uncommon for “sodium and potassium benzoate are added to some diet soft drinks and fruit drinks. Unfortunately—especially because Surge contains OJ—”they can form benzene, which is a carcinogen when combined with vitamin C, the ascorbic acid in juice or soda.


Mello-Yello

best sodas melo yello

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 170 calories, 47 g carbs, 47 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Concentrated Orange Juice, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Calcium Disodium Edta (To Protect Taste), Potassium Citrate, Caffeine, Yellow 5, Carob Bean Gum

This soda is sweetened with inflammatory HFCS which makes for a shocking sugar count. It’s also colored with Yellow 5, a food dye that’s been linked to hyperactivity in children. Luckily, this soda used to contain the preservative sodium benzoate, a potentially cancer-causing substance but has since been removed.


Sunkist

best sodas sunkist

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 170 calories, 44 g carbs, 43 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Modified Corn Starch, Natural Flavors, Caffeine, Ester Gum, Yellow 6, Red 40

What do you get when you combine carbonated water with High Fructose Corn Syrup and a host of hard-to-pronounce chemicals? This citrus-inspired sip. It gets its alluring orange color from Yellow 5 and Red 40. A Neurotherapeutics journal study linked Yellow 5 and Red 40 to hyperactivity in children.


Barq’s Root Beer

best sodas barqs

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 160 calories, 45 g carbs, 45 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate (To Protect Taste), Citric Acid, Caffeine, Artificial, And Natural Flavors

Acacia Barq’s Root Beer falls toward the middle of the pack regarding carbs, sugar and has a slightly less horrifying chemical profile than its competition. It’s better than A&W Root Beer but slightly worse than Mug.


Fanta Orange

best sodas fanta orange

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 160 calories, 45 g carbs, 44 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (To Protect Taste), Natural Flavors, Modified Food Starch, Sodium Polyphosphates, Glycerol Ester Of Rosin, Yellow 6, Red 40

I don’t know about you, but after a long day of hard work and play, I like to sit back and relax and crack open a can of Glycerol Ester Of Rosin. The wood resin is added to many fruit sodas to help the fruit-flavored oils mix better with the water. While it’s not necessarily harmful, let us repeat: you’re drinking oil and water, sold to you by Coke.


Orange Crush

best sodas

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 160 calories, 43 g carbs, 43 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Natural Flavors, Ester Gum, Yellow 6, Red 40

Orange Crush has the same nutritionals as the next soda, Mug’s Root Beer, but we’re docking it points for the Yellow 6, which, as I’ve said, is crushing stuff.


Mug’s Root Beer

best sodas mugs

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 160 calories, 43 g carbs, 43 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate (preserves freshness), Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Modified Food Starch, Calcium Disodium EDTA (to protect flavor), Quillaia Extract

Quillaia extract? The best (and worst) part of researching these sodas in the Eat This, Not That! Food Lab is coming across the weird ingredients soda manufacturers (in this case, Pepsi) add to their concoctions. Quillaia is another tree bark, and it helps your root beer foam up. Be more scared of the sugar here—you’re basically drinking four root beer-flavored Dum Dums mixed with additives.


Wild Cherry Pepsi

best sodas

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 160 calories, 42 g carbs, 42 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Sugar, Phosphoric Acid, Natural Flavor, Caffeine, Citric Acid

Nothing wild here—just the same ingredients as most sodas, and as much sugar as more than three cups of cherries (without containing any real cherries… SHOCKER)!


Crush Grapefruit

best sodas

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 160 calories, 43 g carbs, 43 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Tartaric Acid, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Acacia Gum, Red 40, Blue 1

Our childhood nostalgia is crushed: This kid-favorite brand has no actual grapefruit. On the bright side, it has no BVO.


Mist TWST (formerly Sierra Mist)

mist twist

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 150 calories, 39 g carbs, 39 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Clarified Lemon Juice Concentrate, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Potassium Sorbate and Potassium Benzoate (preserves freshness), Calcium Disodium EDTA (protect flavor)

When it was called Sierra Mist, it was sweetened with sugar and stevia. Now, after being rebranded to Mist TWST, this soda is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup with no natural sugar in sight. This tacked on an additional 30 calories and 10 grams of sugar—far from the pre beverage that we used to rank #1 on this list.


Stewart’s Root Beer

best sodas root beer

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 150 calories, 38 g carbs, 38 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, Cane Sugar, Caramel Color, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Citric Acid, Quillaia Extract, Gum Acacia, Yucca Extract

If you wouldn’t eat three and a half bowls of Apple Jacks then you should stay away from this root beer. That’s the sugar equivalent of what’s in a 12-ounce can.


Cherry Coca-Cola

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 150 calories, 42 g carbs, 42 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Natural Flavors, Caffeine

As we come near the top ten, you’ll notice the oils and artificial flavors disappearing and see some of the most popular sodas for what they really are: carbonated water, HFCS, some acids and little else. This classic—once made with real cherry juice—is, unfortunately, a variation on a common blend. It’s like finding out your cool dad worked in accounting all along.


Pepsi-Cola

best sodas pepsi

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 150 calories, 41 g carbs, 41 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Sugar, Phosphoric Acid, Caffeine, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor

The perennial #2 in the cola wars carries 5 grams more sugar than a 3 Musketeers bar and 1 gram more carbs. Let that sink in: One of America’s most popular sodas has that much sugar. Instead of drinking this, make a weight loss smoothie!


Pepsi Real Sugar

best sodas

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 150 calories, 40 g carbs, 40 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, Sugar, Caramel Color, Phosphoric, Acid, Caffeine, Natural Flavor

Sugar is the master of disguise. Maltodextrin, brown rice syrup, dextrose, sucrose—it’s got more alter egos than the Avengers. But its most well-known costume, as you know after reading this far, is High Fructose Corn Syrup. Pepsi’s hoping you forget it’s all the same sweet stuff, heavily marketing this new brand formulated with sugar and no HFCS. But in a 2014 review of five studies comparing the effects of sugar and HFCS, there was no difference found in changes in blood glucose levels, lipid levels, or appetite between table sugar consumption and HFCS consumption. In other words, your body can’t tell one from the other—they’re both just sugar.


Pibb Xtra

best sodas

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 140 calories, 39 g carbs, 39 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Sorbate And Potassium Benzoate (To Protect Taste), Artificial And Natural Flavors, Caffeine, Monosodium Phosphate, Lactic Acid, Polyethylene Glycol

A “spicy” cherry soda found mostly in the South—or in Coke Freestyle machines—Pibb Xtra contains propylene glycol, a preservative, thickening agent, and stabilizer, also used as antifreeze to de-ice airplanes, as a plasticizer to make polyester resins, and found in electronic cigarettes. The soda ranks well because of its calorie count, but we can’t recommend you drink it!


7Up Cherry

best sodas 7up cherry

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 140 calories, 39 g carbs, 38 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Citric Acid, Filtered Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Natural Flavors, Potassium Benzoate (preservative), Red 40

No caramel color—ranking goes up! Red 40—ranking goes down.


Coca-Cola Classic

best sodas coca cola

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 140 calories, 39 g carbs, 39 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Natural Flavors, Caffeine

The company itself is responsible for the HFCS-filled Sprite, Barq’s, Fanta, Dr. Pepper, Fuze Tea, Powerade, Monster energy drinks and more—not to mention the sugary VitaminWater. Yet the company’s flagship drink is less harmful than most of the soda’s on this list. That doesn’t mean you should drink it. It means you shouldn’t drink soda. For a healthier buzz without the preservatives, drink tea.


7Up

best sodas 7up

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 140 calories, 39 g carbs, 38 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Filtered Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Potassium Citrate, Natural Flavors, Calcium Disodium EDTA (to protect flavor)

The best part of clear sodas: no caramel color. Worst part: They’re still sodas, and otherwise contain the same ingredients as the rest. This classic, now distributed by the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, has lost market share since its 80s heyday but remains a crisp drink that’s not much better than a Coke.


Sprite

best sodas sprite

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 140 calories, 38 g carbs, 38 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Benzoate (To Protect Taste)

Promoted by the coolest athletes, Sprite has the marketing down—and a calorie count slightly lower than the other citric sodas on this list. But we can’t imagine LeBron and friends guzzling a can of carbonated corn syrup before a game.


Canada Dry Ginger Ale

best sodas canada dry

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 140 calories, 36 g carbs, 35 g sugar

INGREDIENTS:*Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Natural Flavors, Caramel Color

Our moms used to give this to us when we had a tummy ache. Now as adults, we get a tummy ache looking at it. Blame Canada. Their tagline is “Real Ginger, Real Taste” but the main ingredients here are carbonated water and HSFC, which won’t help you lose your belly! But with lower calories than the rest, it ranks well on this ignominious list.


Dr. Brown’s Cel Ray

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 140 calories, 34 g carbs, 34 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Extract of Celery Seed with other Natural Flavors, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative) and Caramel Color

The healthiest-sounding soda on this list nearly is. But unfortunately for the fans of Jewish delis everywhere, Cel Ray blends actual celery seed extract with HFCS.


Schweppes Ginger Ale

best sodas schwepps

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 120 calories, 33 g carbs, 32 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Natural Flavors, Natural Colors

Despite being near the top of this list, this soda has as much HFCS-derived sugar as 10 croissants. At least there are any artificial flavors (nor ginger, unfortunately).


Seagram’s Ginger Ale

best sodas seagrams

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 100 calories, 26 g carbs, 26 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate (To Protect Taste), Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate (To Protect Taste), Ginger

This is the #2 least-worst soda, with a big caveat: “High fructose corn syrup, which has been shown to increase appetite and, over time, leads to health problems such as obesity and diabetes,” Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., founder of The NY Nutrition Group says. Yeah, yeah, you knew it was bad, but hear us again: HFCS is bad! Still, Seagram’s Ginger Ale has a lower calorie count than most.

And coming in at #1

Coca-Cola Life

coca-cola life

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 90 calories, 24 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, Cane Sugar, Caramel Color, Natural Flavors, Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Benzoate (To Protect Taste), Caffeine, Stevia Leaf Extract

Although Coke Life is sweetened with stevia, it’s certainly not a “diet” beverage. A can of this still packs 24 grams of sugar and is 90 calories. Still, that’s much less than other traditional colas on the market. And the ingredients are pretty simple, too—sweetened with cane sugar and stevia, there’s no HFCS, which is a bonus. At less than 100 calories a can, this is definitely the best of the regular sodas (although it that still doesn’t make it healthy!)


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section. If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Bloglovin’ :Amanda Explains It

Bumble Bizz: Amanda

Poshmark: AmandaLei

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂


Why Too Much Sugar Is Bad for You

When it comes to sugar we are told it’s bad for us but yet here we are consuming more and more sugar. Today I discuss the nasty side of sugar and why it’s time for you to consider going totally sugar-free or the very least cutting back on your sugar intake.

From marinara sauce to peanut butter, added sugar can be found in even the most unexpected products.

Many people rely on quick, processed foods for meals and snacks. Since these products often contain added sugar, it makes up a large proportion of their daily calorie intake.

In the US, added sugars account for up to 17% of the total calorie intake of adults and up to 14% for children (total added sugar intakes).

Dietary guidelines suggest limiting calories from added sugar to less than 10% per day (What Are Added Sugars?).

Experts believe that sugar consumption is a major cause of obesity and many chronic diseases, such as diabetes.


Ways Sugar Can Cause Weight Gain

Too Much Sugar

Rates of obesity are rising worldwide and added sugar, especially from sugar-sweetened beverages, is thought to be one of the main culprits.

Sugar-sweetened drinks like sodas, juices and sweet teas are loaded with fructose, a type of simple sugar.

Consuming fructose increases your hunger and desire for food more than glucose, the main type of sugar found in starchy foods (Differential effects of fructose versus glucose).

Additionally, excessive fructose consumption may cause resistance to leptin, an important hormone that regulates hunger and tells your body to stop eating ( leptin resistance).

In other words, sugary beverages don’t curb your hunger, making it easy to quickly consume a high number of liquid calories. This can lead to weight gain.

Research has consistently shown that people who drink sugary beverages, such as soda and juice, weigh more than people who don’t (Sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain).

Also, drinking a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages is linked to an increased amount of visceral fat, a kind of deep belly fat associated with conditions like diabetes and heart disease (cardiometabolic risk).

Consuming too much added sugar, especially from sugary beverages, increases your risk of weight gain and can lead to visceral fat accumulation.

May Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease: High-sugar “diets” have been associated with an increased risk of many diseases, including heart disease, the number one cause of death worldwide (Cardiovascular Disease).

Evidence suggests that high-sugar “diets” can lead to obesity, inflammation and high triglyceride, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels — all risk factors for heart disease ( Coronary Heart Disease).

Additionally, consuming too much sugar, especially from sugar-sweetened drinks, has been linked to atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by fatty, artery-clogging deposits ( metabolic syndrome).

A study in over 30,000 people found that those who consumed 17–21% of calories from added sugar had a 38% greater risk of dying from heart disease, compared to those consuming only 8% of calories from added sugar (Added sugar).

Just one 16-ounce (473-ml) can of soda contains 52 grams of sugar, which equates to more than 10% of your daily calorie consumption, based on a 2,000-calorie “diet” (Cocoa Cola).

This means that one sugary drink a day can already put you over the recommended daily limit for added sugar.

Consuming too much-added sugar increases heart disease risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, and inflammation. High-sugar “diets” have been linked to an increased risk of dying from heart disease.

Foods with a high glycemic index, such as processed sweets, raise your blood sugar more rapidly than foods with a lower glycemic index.

Sugary foods quickly spike blood sugar and insulin levels, causing increased androgen secretion, oil production, and inflammation, all of which play a role in acne development (acne vulgaris).

Studies have shown that low-glycemic diets are associated with a reduced acne risk, while high-glycemic diets are linked to greater risk (The effect of a high-protein, low glycemic-load diet).

For example, a study in 2,300 teens demonstrated that those who frequently consumed added sugar had a 30% greater risk of developing acne (Acne: prevalence and relationship with dietary habits).

Also, many population studies have shown that rural communities that consume traditional, non-processed foods have almost non-existent rates of acne, compared to more urban, high-income areas (The blemishes of modern society).

These findings coincide with the theory that diets high in processed, sugar-laden foods contribute to the development of acne.

High-sugar diets can increase androgen secretion, oil production, and inflammation, all of which can raise your risk of developing acne.

 Increases Your Risk of Diabetes: The worldwide prevalence of diabetes has more than doubled over the past 30 years (National, regional, and global trends in fasting plasma glucose and diabetes ).

Though there are many reasons for this, there is a clear link between excessive sugar consumption and diabetes risk.

Obesity, which is often caused by consuming too much sugar, is considered the strongest risk factor for diabetes (Risk Factors Contributing to Type 2 Diabetes).

What’s more, prolonged high-sugar consumption drives resistance to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar levels.

Insulin resistance causes blood sugar levels to rise and strongly increases your risk of diabetes.

A population study comprising over 175 countries found that the risk of developing diabetes grew by 1.1% for every 150 calories of sugar, or about one can of soda, consumed per day (The Relationship of Sugar to Population-Level Diabetes).

Other studies have also shown that people who drink sugar-sweetened beverages, including fruit juice, are more likely to develop diabetes (Intake of Fruit Juice and Incidence of Type 2 DiabetesAssociation between sugar-sweetened beverages and type 2 diabetes).

A high-sugar “diet” may lead to obesity and insulin resistance, both of which are risk factors for diabetes.

First, a “diet” rich in sugary foods and beverages can lead to obesity, which significantly raises your risk of cancer (Obesity as a Major Risk Factor for Cancer).

Furthermore, “diets” high in sugar increase inflammation in your body and may cause insulin resistance, both of which increase cancer risk (The Links Between Insulin Resistance, Diabetes, and Cancer).

A study in over 430,000 people found that added sugar consumption was positively associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer, pleural cancer, and cancer of the small intestine (Sugars in diet and risk of cancer).

Another study showed that women who consumed sweet buns and cookies more than three times per week were 1.42 times more likely to develop endometrial cancer than women who consumed these foods less than 0.5 times per week (Sucrose, high-sugar foods, and risk of endometrial cancer).

Research on the link between added sugar intake and cancer is ongoing, and more studies are needed to fully understand this complex relationship.

Too much sugar can lead to obesity, insulin resistance, and inflammation, all of which are risk factors for cancer.

Consuming a lot of processed foods, including high-sugar products such as cakes and sugary drinks, has been associated with a higher risk of depression (Sweetened beverages, coffee, and tea and depressionDietary pattern and depressive symptoms).

Researchers believe that blood sugar swings, neurotransmitter dysregulation and inflammation may all be reasons for sugar’s detrimental impact on mental health (Long-term inflammation increases risk).

A study following 8,000 people for 22 years showed that men who consumed 67 grams or more of sugar per day were 23% more likely to develop depression than men who ate less than 40 grams per day (Sugar intake from sweet food and beverages, common mental disorder).

Another study in over 69,000 women demonstrated that those with the highest intakes of added sugars had a significantly greater risk of depression, compared to those with the lowest intakes (High glycemic index diet as a risk factor for depression).

A “diet” rich in added sugar and processed foods may increase depression risk in both men and women.

 

 May Accelerate the Skin Aging Process: Wrinkles are a natural sign of aging. They appear eventually, regardless of your health.

However, poor food choices can worsen wrinkles and speed the skin aging process.

Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are compounds formed by reactions between sugar and protein in your body. They are suspected to play a key role in skin aging (Advanced glycation).

Consuming a “diet” high in refined carbs and sugar leads to the production of AGEs, which may cause your skin to age prematurely (The rapid increase in metabolic diseases).

AGEs damage collagen and elastin, which are proteins that help the skin stretch and keep its youthful appearance.

When collagen and elastin become damaged, the skin loses its firmness and begins to sag.

In one study, women who consumed more carbs, including added sugars, had a more wrinkled appearance than women on a high-protein, lower-carb diet (Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged women).

The researchers concluded that a lower intake of carbs was associated with better skin-aging appearance (Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging).

Sugary foods can increase the production of AGEs, which can accelerate skin aging and wrinkle formation.

 

 Can Increase Cellular Aging: Telomeres are structures found at the end of chromosomes, which are molecules that hold part or all of your genetic information.

Telomeres act as protective caps, preventing chromosomes from deteriorating or fusing together.

As you grow older, telomeres naturally shorten, which causes cells to age and malfunction (Nutrition and lifestyle in healthy aging).

Although the shortening of telomeres is a normal part of aging, unhealthy lifestyle choices can speed up the process.

Consuming high amounts of sugar has been shown to accelerate telomere shortening, which increases cellular aging (Effects of nutritional components on aging).

A study in 5,309 adults showed that regularly drinking sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with shorter telomere length and premature cellular aging ( Associations Between Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption ).

In fact, each daily 20-ounce (591-ml) serving of sugar-sweetened soda equated to 4.6 additional years of aging, independent of other variables (Soda and Cell Aging).

Eating too much sugar can accelerate the shortening of telomeres, which increases cellular aging.

 

 Drains Your Energy: Foods high in added sugar quickly spike blood sugar and insulin levels, leading to increased energy.

However, this rise in energy levels is fleeting.

Products that are loaded with sugar but lacking in protein, fiber or fat lead to a brief energy boost that’s quickly followed by a sharp drop in blood sugar, often referred to as a crash (A high sugar, low fiber meal leads to higher leptin).

Having constant blood sugar swings can lead to major fluctuations in energy levels (Effects of high sugar and high fiber meals ).

To avoid this energy-draining cycle, choose carb sources that are low in added sugar and rich in fiber.

Pairing carbs with protein or fat is another great way to keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable.

For example, eating an apple along with a small handful of almonds is an excellent snack for prolonged, consistent energy levels.

High-sugar foods can negatively impact your energy levels by causing a spike in blood sugar followed by a crash.

 Can Lead to Fatty Liver: A high intake of fructose has been consistently linked to an increased risk of fatty liver.

Unlike glucose and other types of sugar, which are taken up by many cells throughout the body, fructose is almost exclusively broken down by the liver.

In the liver, fructose is converted into energy or stored as glycogen.

However, the liver can only store so much glycogen before excess amounts are turned into fat.

Large amounts of added sugar in the form of fructose overload your liver, leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition characterized by excessive fat buildup in the liver (fatty liver disease).

A study in over 5,900 adults showed that people who drank sugar-sweetened beverages daily had a 56% higher risk of developing NAFLD, compared to people who did not (39).

Eating too much sugar may lead to NAFLD, a condition in which excessive fat builds up in the liver.


Other Health Risks

Aside from the risks listed above, sugar can harm your body in countless other ways.


Research shows that too much added sugar can:

Research on the impact of added sugar on health is ongoing, and new discoveries are constantly being made.

Consuming too much sugar may worsen cognitive decline, increase gout risk, harm your kidneys and cause cavities.


How to Reduce Your Sugar Intake

Excessive added sugar has many negative health effects.

Although consuming small amounts now and then is perfectly healthy, you should try to cut back on sugar whenever possible.

Fortunately, simply focusing on eating whole, unprocessed foods automatically decreases the amount of sugar in your diet.


Here are some tips on how to reduce your intake of added sugars:

  • Swap sodas, energy drinks, juices and sweetened teas for water or unsweetened seltzer.
  • Drink your coffee black or use Stevia for a zero-calorie, natural sweetener.
  • Sweeten plain yogurt with fresh or frozen berries instead of buying flavored, sugar-loaded yogurt.
  • Consume whole fruits instead of sugar-sweetened fruit smoothies.
  • Replace candy with a homemade trail mix of fruit, nuts and a few dark chocolate chips.
  • Use olive oil and vinegar in place of sweet salad dressings like honey mustard.
  • Choose marinades, nut butters, ketchup and marinara sauce with zero added sugars.
  • Look for cereals, granolas and granola bars with under 4 grams of sugar per serving.
  • Swap your morning cereal for a bowl of rolled oats topped with nut butter and fresh berries, or an omelet made with fresh greens.
  • Instead of jelly, slice fresh bananas onto your peanut butter sandwich.
  • Use natural nut butters in place of sweet spreads like Nutella.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages that are sweetened with soda, juice, honey, sugar or agave.
  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, focusing on fresh, whole ingredients.

In addition, keeping a food diary is an excellent way of becoming more aware of the main sources of sugar in your diet.

The best way to limit your added sugar intake is to prepare your own healthy meals at home and avoid buying foods and drinks that are high in added sugar.

Focusing on preparing healthy meals and limiting your intake of foods that contain added sweeteners can help you cut back on the amount of sugar in your “diet”.

Eating too much added sugar can have many negative health effects.

An excess of sweetened foods and beverages can lead to weight gain, blood sugar problems and an increased risk of heart disease, among other dangerous conditions.

For these reasons, added sugar should be kept to a minimum whenever possible, which is easy when you follow a healthy “diet” based on whole foods.

If you need to cut added sugar from your “diet”, try some of the small changes listed above.

Before you know it, your sugar habit will be a thing of the past.


 Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section. If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Bloglovin’ :Amanda Explains It

Bumble Bizz: Amanda

Poshmark: AmandaLei

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂

 


Worst Things About Chocolate

Sorry, but filling your sweetie up with gross additives and tons of nutrient-deficient calories doesn’t sound so sexy to me does it sound sexy to you? Although it’s true that dark chocolate is full of anti-inflammatory antioxidants and has been shown to provide mental and cardiovascular benefits, these bonuses don’t extend to the low-quality candies you mindlessly pick up in a drugstore on your way home from work.

It may appear like a well-intentioned gesture, but your loved one isn’t going to be happy with you once they read these nasty facts about certain Valentine’s Day candies. My vote that you stick to the flowers, spa treatments, and homemade cards instead.

Most of It Is Made With Alkalized, or “Dutch,” Chocolate

cocoa spice

Cocoa powder is naturally acidic, and this can be a major flavor turnoff for many people’s palates. Thus, most American candy manufacturers process their cocoa with alkali, a process known as alkalizing or “Dutch processing” the chocolate. This results in a more mild-tasting, neutral cocoa. There’s just one problem: this technique significantly reduces levels of the main antioxidant that lends its anti-inflammatory properties to chocolate. And when we say significantly, I’m talking a nearly 90 percent decrease in these flavanols, according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. So don’t try to justify another piece by referencing chocolate’s known benefits.


Sorry, but Chocolate Is Probably Not an Aphrodisiac

couple in bed sad

Unless you’re eating super dark chocolate, which may help turn you on, don’t rely on that box of wax-coated chocolates to be a libido-booster. Most factory-made chocolates are low in the antioxidants that can increase your energy and sexual desire, and chocolate isn’t the magical aphrodisiac we think it is. In fact, according to a 2006 study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, when adjusted for age, women who reported high chocolate consumption had similar levels of sexual desire and satisfaction than those who reported low chocolate consumption.


White Chocolate Is Barely Even Chocolate

various chocolates

White chocolate is a little like white, refined flour: they’re both over processed and devoid of nutrients. The only “chocolate” part of white chocolate is cocoa butter (the rest of the treat is milk solids, milk fat, and a sweetener), and even that ingredient typically loses any traces of antioxidant properties during a “deodorizing” step. Without the dark cocoa solids, white chocolate doesn’t contain any antioxidant flavanols or gut-healthy prebiotics, which help reduce inflammation and fight weight gain. It also lacks the ability to stimulate the euphoria-inducing chemicals that real chocolate does, including serotonin.


Chocolate Triggers Loss of Consumption Control

godiva chocolate heart valentines box

Don’t worry, you’re not alone in feeling out of control when gifted a chocolate box. It’s a combination of construction and the nature of chocolate itself. First, the variety of flavors entices you to try each one and eat more than you had planned. Second, the combination of sugar and cocoa in chocolate make it hard to stop yourself from going back for seconds. According to a 2011 Drexel University study, this dynamic duo is extremely addictive, and just tasting chocolate can trigger feelings of euphoria, just like addictive drugs can. As a result, you may feel a loss of control when gifted with a box. Even if a food is considered healthy, portion control is still key.


You May Get a Stomachache

woman holding stomach

You didn’t plan for this to happen, but as we just explained, it’s almost too easy to overeat those creamy chocolates. Whether it’s because they’re bite-size, downright delicious, or we get caught up in the holiday-esque moment of Valentine’s Day, many of us can miss certain satiety cues that we’ve eaten enough. As a result, you could suffer from the post-overindulgence stomach ache of pain, gas, and indigestion.


You Might Experience Acid Reflux if You Eat Too Much

man holding chest in pain

It’s unfortunate but true. Chocolate is one of a group of foods that causes your lower esophageal sphincter (a muscle that normally works to keep the acid down in the stomach) to relax. As a result, it causes the acidic stomach contents to travel back upwards and gives you a burning sensation in your chest, aka heartburn. It’s all thanks to two compounds in chocolate, caffeine, and theobromine, which weaken your lower esophageal sphincter. Something tells me having chest pains wasn’t on your checklist of sexy V-day activities.


You’re Eating More Sugar Than Chocolate

sugar spoon

After looking at all the popular Valentine’s Day candy sold in drug stores, we found that the average serving size of chocolate contains over 21 grams of sugar. Although serving sizes range from one piece to three, when I took a look at nutritional information per gram of candy, most pieces of chocolate were made up of more than 50 percent sugar. In other words, you’re eating more sugar than you are chocolate. That’s not so sweet if you ask us.


High-Sugar Chocolates Can Harm Your Immunity

sugar sick valentines

Since chocolate is so bitter, manufacturers love adding sugar to it. But sometimes, they go a bit overboard. Consider this: If you eat just 10 pieces of Ghirardelli’s Dark & Strawberry squares (three times the recommended serving size, but hey, it could happen), you’ll be consuming just shy of 100 grams of sugar. It sounds extreme, but a 2015 study found that consuming this amount of sugar could drastically decrease the number of white blood cells (your immune system’s first responders) in your body. Even if you don’t eat a whopping 100 grams in a single sitting, just eating the three squares will set you back 29 grams of sugar or 58 percent of your recommended daily intake of added sugars per day. Too much of the sweet stuff can lead to issues that range from dental cavities to insulin resistance and metabolic disease.


You’ll Consume a Lot of Calories

woman eating chocolate bar

Thanks to being high in fat and sugar, chocolate is usually very high in calories. And you know the drill: eat more calories than you burn and you can pack on the pounds. That being said, one day of indulgence isn’t likely to break your clean-eating streak.


You May Be Consuming a Carcinogen

palm fruit oil

Palm oil, a vegetable oil that contains mostly saturated fats but also polyunsaturated fats, comes from the palm fruit. Although a well-researched 2015 review published in the journal World Journal of Cardiology found that palm oil can be consumed as part of a healthy, balanced diet without concern of its limited effects on cholesterol levels, a different conclusion was reached by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA, similar to the U.S.’s FDA). In May 2016 and after reviewing a study published in the world-renowned journal Nature earlier that year, the organization claimed that palm oil “generated more of a potentially carcinogenic contaminant [palmitic acid] than other vegetable oils when refined at temperatures above 200 degrees Celsius.” The EFSA did not recommend consumers to stop eating it—yet—and are now looking into the potential risks.


Or a Banned Substance

chocolate candies

A few V-day heart-shaped boxes (like those from Russel Stover and Elmer) still list partially hydrogenated oil (PHO) among their long list of artificially-manipulated ingredients. In this case, you can see the heart-shaped box as a sign that you should watch your heart health. PHO is a type of man-made trans fat that the FDA has banned from being used in our food beginning in 2018.


You’re Not Eating Quality

hershey chocolate valentines day triple

If your standards are high for your partner, you should at least maintain those high standards for the candy you’re about to gift him or her. Candies like York Peppermint Patty Hearts and Hershey’s XOXO bars contain an ingredient called PGPR in their bite-size candy bars. Instead of using high-quality cocoa butter as a fat and emulsifier, lower-grade candy bars use PGPR (Polyglycerol polyricinoleate): a yellowish, viscous liquid of fatty acids. It’s cheaper to manufacture the candy with this ingredient than to use the real stuff, so the quality gets sacrificed for quantity in this situation. 


You Could Be Eating Insects or Mouse Poop and Hair

mouse eating

Excuse my language, but yes, the FDA actually allows mouse poop in your food—although, they do use a pretty scientific term for it, “mammalian excreta.” According to their guidelines, trace amounts of the brown stuff, up to 10 mg per pound, can be found in cocoa beans. At least you can take solace in knowing there are over 450,000 milligrams in a pound, so that’s a very small fraction. Additionally, you’re only allowed a single rodent hair per 100 grams. That’s comforting—I guess. Want to be grossed out even more? The FDA has a pretty lax upper limit on insect pieces: 60 insect pieces per 100 grams of chocolate. Apparently, an average chocolate bar contains 8 insect parts. Yuck. Part of this gross fact makes sense, though, since cocoa beans are harvested and then fermented on-site outside in large wooden vats.


Your Sugar-Free Chocolate Can Be a Laxative

bathroom stall

Think you’re safe having just one more of those sugar-free chocolates? Think again. Because chocolate is already high in calories thanks to the energy-dense cocoa butter or vegetable oils added to emulsify the cacao solids into a creamy bar, many manufacturers opt to include zero-calorie sweeteners like maltitol. When eaten in excess (which can be likely when you think a food is “healthier” for you since it doesn’t have sugar), this sugar alcohol effectively acts as a laxative and can cause stomach pain, excessive internal gas, and flatulence. That just put a damper on your night.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section. If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

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What Causes Gluten Sensitivity

Welcome if you’re new and welcome back if you’ve been with me for a while. In yesterdays post I talked about how certain allergies environmental and food could cause for your weight gain. In that post, I mentioned Gluten Sensitivity. I’m sure I missed some key facts sorry.And finally, I want to say that this is for Gluten Sensitivity and not Celiac Disease. And like always if you believe you may have Celiac please go to your doctors for proper testing. And if you think you may have sensitivity I don’t believe there is a blood test I got put in the direction of a food intolerance test and gluten came up high (3) on that test.

If you want to take a food intolerance test you can purchase this one and if you are looking for a more in-depth intolerance test that test over 100 different foods and drinks you can click here. 


 

It’s not clear at all whether gluten really causes gluten sensitivity

wheat bread

 

 

When talking about the health condition that many clinicians now call “non-celiac gluten sensitivity,” it’s easy to focus strictly on the gluten protein. After all, it’s gluten that leads to intestinal damage in celiac disease, and so it didn’t seem like a major stretch, when this new condition was first described, to assume gluten was to blame for symptoms here, as well.

In addition, the gluten-free “diet” is well-known largely because people can remember that gluten is the problematic protein in celiac disease. Therefore, if someone gets relief from symptoms by following the gluten-free “diet”, but that person does not have celiac disease, it’s still fairly logical to assume that the person is reacting to gluten.

But what if the culprit causing the symptoms of “gluten sensitivity” isn’t gluten? What if, instead, it’s some other compound—or even multiple compounds—found in the gluten-containing grains wheat, barley, and rye, and possibly even in other foods, too?

This is an idea that’s getting some attention. Possible problematic compounds found in those grains include fructans (a complex carbohydrate that can cause symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome) and amylase trypsin inhibitors (which are proteins), in addition to the protein gluten.

Here’s what the research shows on all of the three-grain components, and how they might be related to non-celiac gluten sensitivity.


Gluten Is the Primary Suspect

This is the grain component on which most people focus. Gluten is a protein that grain plants use to store nutrients for the next generation of plants. It’s found in the seeds of grain plants — the part of the plant we think of, and use, like food.

The initial research on non-celiac gluten sensitivity fingered gluten as the problem in the newly described condition. That study said gluten made some people’s intestines leaky and inflamed without causing celiac disease. The researchers concluded these people were reacting to gluten in the foods they ate.

Since that initial study, there have been several more studies that used pure wheat gluten to try and induce symptoms in people who believed they were gluten-sensitive. These have had mixed results.

One study, for example, removed all gluten grain-based foods from 37 subjects’ diets, and then fed them with pure wheat gluten (the subjects didn’t know when they were eating gluten and when they were eating a placebo). The people in the study didn’t experience digestive symptoms while eating pure gluten, but some of them did get depression.

Another study used the same technique to “challenge” people who said they were gluten-sensitive with gluten and found that some of them did react to pure gluten. In that study, 101 people said their digestive symptoms improved when following a gluten-free diet, and 14% of those got worse when they unknowingly ingested gluten as part of the study.

The bottom line: Some people who say they’re sensitive to gluten grains do seem to be reacting to gluten, but many others don’t react when fed pure gluten unknowingly. More research on this is needed.


FODMAPs Is a Problem in IBS

It’s possible that the problem with wheat is its fructans. That’s what one of the recent studies on gluten sensitivity—the one with the 37 people who didn’t get digestive symptoms from pure gluten—concluded.

Fructans are a complex carbohydrate that ferments in your large intestine, potentially causing gas, bloating, cramping, pain, diarrhea, and constipation. This particular study fingered FODMAPs (fermentable, oligo-, di-, monosaccharides and polyols), which are sugars found in wheat grains and multiple other foods when the people in the study did not see their intestinal symptoms worsen with pure gluten.

 FODMAPs seem to cause digestive symptoms in many people with irritable bowel syndrome, and a low-FODMAP diet is proven to reduce symptoms in nearly three-quarters of those with IBS. But it’s far from clear whether the problem in “gluten sensitivity” is really the FODMAPs, and whether the solution is a low-FODMAP diet, rather than a gluten-free diet. Again, more research is needed.

Amylase Trypsin Inhibitors Are Drivers of Inflammation

There’s a third component of modern gluten grains that scientists have identified as a potential problem: amylase trypsin inhibitors. These proteins are actually natural pesticides — they’re made by the plant to protect itself from insects.

Amylase trypsin inhibitors in gluten grains actually make it difficult or impossible for bugs to digest the starches in the grain kernel. Modern wheat has been bred to have lots more of these proteins.

The problem is, amylase trypsin inhibitors in wheat (and possibly other gluten grains) seem to cause inflammation in some people, both in their intestines and elsewhere in their bodies. Researchers studying these proteins speculate that they could play a role in celiac disease, in non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and possibly in other conditions that are driven by inflammation.

 Amylase trypsin inhibitors may contribute to or even cause what people call non-celiac gluten sensitivity. However, right now they’re the least studied of these three possible causes.


Gluten Sensitivity And Intolerances Causes Are Unclear

It’s nowhere near clear right now what might cause the condition we’re calling “non-celiac gluten sensitivity” or (NCGS).  It could wind up being gluten, FODMAPs, amylase trypsin inhibitors, some combination of the three, or something else entirely.

If gluten isn’t to blame but something else in gluten grains is, then people who have the condition might need to follow a “diet” free of all components of wheat, barley, and rye … not just gluten.

Research over the next several years should tell us more about what causes non-celiac gluten sensitivity and how many people have it. That, in turn, should help us figure out how to diagnose and treat it.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section. If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

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Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂

 


Allergies And Weight Gain

Welcome if you’re new and welcome back if you’ve been with me for a while. If you missed yesterday’s post you can click here to learn how to workout indoors while it’s raining outside.When it comes to Environmental allergies you wouldn’t think it could cause weight gain. I am here to tell you that it is possible if you suffer from some common allergies. Today I talk about my top 3 Allergies that might cause you or someone you know weight gain.

 DISCLAIMER: If you think you may have food allergies please talk to your doctor and get an allergy test done. I know some doctors do *food allergy testing and some will give you a referral to an allergist.

 Gluten Sensitivity IS NOT AN ALLERGY!

 Gluten sensitivity or intolerance also is known as (NCGS) (Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity) is a condition that causes a person to react after ingesting gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Symptoms vary widely and can include gastrointestinal problems, joint pain, fatigue and depression. The same symptoms are associated with celiac disease, so it’s important to get the correct diagnosis.

I have a few Gluten Free related posts coming really soon this month so make sure to keep an eye out because I will be discussing the difference between celiac and non-celiac a bit deeper.

I also have a few posts coming up for all of my followers that are or may know someone that suffers from food allergies or sensitivities I will be giving tips, tricks, and recipes.


Type B Food Allergies

Craving and overeating particular foods may be the sign of a Type B food allergy. While a Type A food allergy will cause an immediate, often dangerous, physiological reaction, such as the anaphylactic response often generated by allergen exposure in people with shellfish ( I am deadly allergic to shellfish) I have to make sure I stay away from it at all costs. or peanut allergies, Type B food sensitivities can cause more long-term, delayed reactions, including weight gain, fatigue, and aching joints. Delayed food allergies may not cause an inflammatory response until three days after ingestion, and continuing to eat the triggering food can cause cumulative effects. Current food allergy testing techniques can help identify many Type B food allergies, as can eliminating foods one by one from the diet for an extended period of time. 


Hay Fever

Common hay fever, pollen, dust, and pet dander allergies can make you fat—not because the allergies themselves cause weight gain but rather due to the over-the-counter and prescription antihistamines commonly used to treat the itchy red eyes and runny noses that characterize these allergies. Chronic use of antihistamines increase the appetite and particularly create cravings for carbohydrates. Antihistamines are so effective at increasing hunger that they are prescribed to anorexic patients as an appetite stimulant. If ongoing daily allergies require you to engage in chronic antihistamine treatment, consult your doctor regarding potential alternative treatments with lower weight-gain effects.


Gluten Sensitivity

Gluten sensitivity, or grain allergy, in its most severe form comprises celiac disease, which creates serious health impacts, including unintended weight loss, and requires lifelong abstention from wheat, rye and barley products. However, only a small percentage of people with gluten sensitivity demonstrate this classic clinical presentation, many more individuals with gluten sensitivity have episodic stomach cramping, bloating and weight gain (that’s me). Fatigue and joint pain are also related to gluten sensitivity and can lead to additional weight gain by discouraging vigorous physical activity.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section. If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Bloglovin’ :Amanda Explains It

Bumble Bizz: Amanda

Poshmark: AmandaLei

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Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

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Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂

 


Exercises For Rainy Days

I don’t know about you but I am the type of person that when It rains I really don’t feel that working out. I rather make myself a cup of tea and watch myself a horror movie while I admire the cloudy gray sky (now you know my favorite type of weather). I know If I want that six pack (ABS) that I need to work out or the very least get a good sweat sesh in.
You can do all of these workouts In 30 minutes or you can add reps or weights and go for a longer time so you get a really good burn in and you will burn those calories or the third option is that you can follow the time listed in the section for that workout. If you want to know some rainy day indoor workouts that you can do right in your living room then please keep on reading.

 Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks are a great cardio exercise to get the blood and oxygen going. Start with your hands at your side and your feet together. While jumping in the air, spread your arms and legs, then end with them back by your side as you land again.

Jog In Place

No treadmill? No problem! If you are a jogger, or even if not, you can get some good cardio is to jog in place. Jogging in place strengthens the heart, the lungs, and is a great way to burn calories.

Crunches

Crunches work the upper abdominal muscles. They are similar to regular sit-ups, but rather than coming up to a sitting position, only raise up to lift your chest off the floor.

Bicycle

If you can’t bike outside, then bike inside. On the floor with legs in the air, bicycle your legs for 30 minutes. It may not be as fun, but you’re getting the same great exercise.

Shoulder Touch

Don’t forget about your arms. You can help keep your arms toned by holding them out to the side and repeatedly bending your arms at the elbow to touch your shoulders. Repeat 20-25 times.

Push Ups

Push-ups tone your chest, triceps, and shoulders. While on the floor face-down and feet together, push yourself up by bending your elbows, then lower yourself back to the ground.

Squats

If you love want to get a toned butt and legs; you’ll love what squats can do for them. Start in a stand-up position with feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down until you are just over your knees, then stand again.

Lunges

Lunges help strengthen and tone the upper thigh. With feet together, lunge forward into a big step. You can either step back and repeat on other side or lunge on down the hall.

Leg Lifts

Leg lifts tone your quads. Lying on your back with arms to your side, and legs stretched out in front, lift both legs off the floor. Raise them several inches and hold the position 5-10 seconds.

Stepping

If you have steps in your home, turn them into a great butt and leg toning exercise. Using one step, step up and down for 15-30 minutes.

Scissor Kick

For more shapely outer thighs, lie on the floor with your legs in the air. Scissor kick your legs back and forth for 15 minutes.

Windmill

Windmill your waist into shape by standing with your legs apart and bending side to side with arms out-stretched.

Calf Raises

With legs together, lift up onto your toes to stretch and tone your calves. 20-25 calf raises can give them a good burn.

 Dance

You really can get fit while having fun! Try cranking up the music and dancing around the room for a good, cardio exercise. You can burn a lot of calories by dancing for just 30 minutes.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section. If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Bloglovin’ :Amanda Explains It

Bumble Bizz: Amanda

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Steller: AmandaLei

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Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂

 


Easy Exercises

I know the title says Easy Exercises. I want to tell you that this post is part of my lazy or a.k.a easy something series. This series is designed for busy people who may not have the time to work out or eat right or just, in general, take better care of their health in the easiest but most effective way possible.

If you missed yesterday’s post click here and if you have any questions about the ketogenic “diet”, health, fitness or nutrition you can reach me at any of the links plus my email that I left at the end of today’s post.

Exercise sounds great and all, but when it comes to actually have to do it, that’s another story. Because most of the time, if you’re lazy, you can’t be arsed. It’s either too cold to run outside, too hot to run outside, too windy to run outside, or you can’t afford a gym membership.

And especially when you’re just starting off your pursuit of being an exercise queen, your fitness doesn’t tend to be tip-top. It takes some getting there. So we’ve compiled the lazy girl’s guide to getting yourself fitter, without it feeling like a complete ball ache.


Stick to 10s

Try to do just 10 push-ups and 10 sit-ups every day, even if they aren’t consecutive. Because something is better than nothing, and after a while, when you feel yourself finding the sets of 10 too easy, you can up it at your own pace.


Stand up at least every hour

We’ve all read about how sitting all day is bad for you, being hunched over a keyboard and not even getting out for lunch because we’re too busy. But enough is enough! Make a conscious effort to get up at least once an hour – go to the toilet, make a round of tea, or even just go and say hello to a colleague. Yeah, that’s right, having a chat at work is good for your health and wellbeing.


Walk for at least 20 minutes a day

It’s no longer the bleak mid-winter, which means no excuses to get public transport literally everywhere you go. Use the legs you were given and get moving; even just 20 minutes a day will be an improvement for your health. It’s easy to fit it into your daily schedule, and won’t have you gasping for breath. Jump on the bandwagon started by charity Living Streets, which is encouraging people to #Try20 by walking for just 20 minutes per day for a month to see how much difference it makes to both health and happiness. This is the perfect excuse to get a dog, really.


Don’t even leave the house

Yup, you read that right; you don’t even need to leave your house, or even the sofa, to get a solid workout in. There are many accessible exercises and home workouts you can do from your living room, that won’t require you to make the commute to the gym. Do some tricep dips and some lunges, and work those abs – all from the comfort of your own home.


Use Tabata

If you only have five minutes, download the Tabata timer app for a super speedy workout. Guiding you for 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off makes for a great high-intensity workout that has both fitness and weight-loss benefits. Run for 20 seconds and then walk for 10, or skip for 20 and lay down for 10. You can do burpees, mountain climbers or even the plank (if you’re brave enough), Tabata training will raise your metabolism and heart rate immediately and you should start seeing the benefits in no time.


Switch off

It’s not all about exercise – our daily lives have a real impact on our health and wellbeing. Getting enough sleep is crucial to being fit, and the 628482 devices you own which distract you on the daily aren’t helping.  So power down all the technology you’ve got coming out your ears at least an hour before going to sleep, and you should find you start to have a better rest.


Don’t worry about how long your work out lasts

The quality of your workout doesn’t depend on how long it is, which is quite frankly music to our ears. Any exercise is great and the most important thing when first starting out is to just get moving in the first place. Don’t try and climb a mountain before you can even walk, if you know what we mean. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t do a full hour, or if you couldn’t run for as long as you wanted (ahem, only managed to run around the block once). The fact is, you’re doing something, and that’s what that matters.

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 Run for just one song

Instead of being too ambitious and then feeling awful when it doesn’t all come together, tell yourself to run just the length of one song. Make it a good one and you won’t even notice when the 3.5 minutes are over. So basically, download Beyoncé’s new album and you’ll find yourself volunteering for the marathon no problem.


Spend time in bed

Let’s face it; some forms of exercise can be fun and sex is one of them. Research conducted by scientists from the University of Quebec in Canada found that sexual activity can be just as effective at burning energy as moderate intensity exercises. GREAT stuff. Women can burn up 90 calories during a sex session, which is just under half the amount you would burn in a 30-minute jog. I think I know which one you’d rather pick…


 Work out during the adverts

Lazy people like to watch TV. So why not combine this with exercise, and time your mini-workouts to be just as long as the ads. Unless you’re watching Netflix, of course, where there are no adverts. If you do a five-minute circuit of lunges, burpees, jogging, skipping and squats during the ads, then you can reward yourself by lounging on the sofa and finding out if Britain really does have talent. Leave the Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer, though, if you want to make any kind of difference.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Bloglovin’ :Amanda Explains It

Bumble Bizz: Amanda

Poshmark: AmandaLei

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂

Warning Signs That You Might Need To Change Your “Diet”

When you’ve eaten way too much ice cream and get a stomachache immediately after, it’s pretty obvious what you’re eating had an effect on your body.

But sometimes, the body communicates in more subtle ways telling us that our bodies aren’t loving what we’re eating. INSIDER spoke with several medical professionals and nutritional experts to determine what signs your body may be giving you to change up your diet.

 Weight gain isn’t the only indicator of an unhealthy “Diet”. Our “Diet” has a much bigger influence on your body than you may think. Obviously, what you eat affects your waistline, but it also makes or breaks almost every aspect of your body as well. What you decide to add to your diet has an impact on everything: your productivity, memory, even your skin clarity.

 


 Your Skin Is Dry

Your skin is dry.

A lack of water could explain your dry skin problems, according to Dr. Shah. Water is an essential part of the body and, in the midst of a busy day, many people forget to drink enough of it, he added.

Your skin depends on adequate water intake in order to maintain its health and elasticity, and for many, inadequate water leads to dry skin, he explained. If you find that your skin appears dry, keep track of your water intake throughout that day and make sure you drink enough.


You Constantly Have To Pee

You constantly have to pee.

A classic sign of a diet that is high in sugar is frequent urination, according to Ghazarians. This is due to the effect the high glucose levels in the blood have on your kidneys, which remove extra water from your blood to produce urine.

If there is too much glucose in the blood, it can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys making the filtering process less efficient and causing you to pee more.


You’re feeling anxious

You're feeling anxious.

Another issue that can arise from improper nutrition is anxiety. This is usually the result of too much caffeine, but a B12 or magnesium deficiency could also be the culprit.

This is often common among those following a plant-based “diet” and not getting enough proteins and amino acids in their “diet” along with B12 to make up for the nutrients they are missing from eggs, honey and meat,.

Of course, anxiety affects everyone differently, so it’s best to talk to your doctor or a mental health professional first.


You’re Gassy All the Time

Woman holding stomach cramps digestive problemsConstant bloat is a major indicator of a bad diet. If you notice that you’re constantly bloated and gassy after drinking milk or eating cheese, you might be lactose intolerant. Many people have a mild intolerance to dairy and don’t even realize it, so make sure you’re reading the signs your body is sending you.


You’re Constipated

Weight gain
Having some trouble on the toilet? Constipation and other irregular bowel movements are a big indicator of something being wrong in your “Diet”. If you’re having constipation issues, you probably don’t have enough fiber in your “Diet”. Fiber regulates your digestive system and makes everything run smoothly, so it’s important to keep have a balanced “Diet” with tons of fiber. Foods like beans, oats, and whole grains are great sources of fiber.


You’re Always Hungry

Hungry woman looking for food in fridge
You keep telling yourself that you’re ready to go on a diet, but by the end of the day you crack and eat a whole bag of chips and a pint of ice cream. Although your willpower does have something to do with this, your diet may also be the root of the problem. Binging is your body’s way of responding to not getting the nutrients that you need—it’s a biochemical response and signal from your brain that you’re not giving it what it needs.


You’re Cutting Out Food GroupsA healthy diet should never cut out whole food groups, unless for medical reasons (like lactose intolerance or celiac disease). Each food group is essential for providing all of the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy and fit. That doesn’t necessarily mean if you are vegetarian or vegan that you have to start eating meat products, but make sure you get your essential nutrients from elsewhere that fits into your “Diet” (beans are a great source of protein for veggie lovers!).


You’re Fatigued

If you’re constantly tired, your “Diet” may be causing your sluggishness. Harvard University noted that a bad “Diet” can lead to a feeling of tiredness all of the time due to lack of vital nutrients to get you through the day. Make sure your “Diet” incorporates all of your essential nutrients, like healthy fats, proteins, and complex carbs, to keep fatigue at bay.


You’re Constantly Cold

Woman cold drinking tea
If you need a sweater in the summer, chances are that you’re “Diet” is off-balance. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition shows that a low-carb diet can have a negative effect on your thyroid, which regulates your body temperature—a slow thyroid will make you constantly feel chilly Instead of ditching all carbs, make sure you’re eating complex ones that come from whole grain bread, pasta, and other baked goods.


You’re Breaking Out

Woman with problem skin
Acne and wrinkles are two major indicators of an unbalanced “Diet”. A review published in the journal Dermato-Endocrinology found that a diet lacking in vitamin A can impact your skin. Vitamin A plays a crucial role in regulating retinoid production, and a deficiency in this crucial nutrient could also lead to dry hair and brittle nails. Consume foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and winter squashes to make sure you’re getting your daily intake of vitamin A.


You’re Depressed

Tired man in bed
If you’ve been feeling down, what you consume on a daily basis may be the reason. The Indian Journal of Psychiatry found that a deficiency in vitamins, minerals, and/or Omega-3 fatty acids can actually lead to depression and other mental illnesses. They also noted that taking nutritional supplements containing folate and vitamin B12 helped patients boost their mood and combat their mental illnesses.


You Can’t Remember Anything

Man holding his head
Even your memory is affected by the things you eat. According to a study by Annals of Neurology, women who consume more saturated fats scored lower on memory and thinking tests in comparison to those who avoided these fats. Keep your memory sharp as a knife by ditching the fast food burgers and fries and going for something low in saturated fat, like a salad or whole wheat avocado toast.


You’re Always Sick

Woman sick cold
What you eat influences your immune system. If you’re on a low-protein diet, you may be compromising your health. According to a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery, protein helps strengthen your immune system; when you have a lack of the essential nutrient in your diet, your immune system weakens and makes you more prone to illness. To keep your body healthy and away from viruses and bacteria, make sure you’re eating protein-packed foods like lean meats, beans, and dark leafy greens.


You Have No Energy

Tired woman with laptopIf it takes too much effort just to get ready for the day, your diet is probably lacking in iron. One of iron’s many duties is to help boost energy levels by transporting oxygen throughout the body. But when you’re not ingesting enough iron, your body isn’t making enough of those essential red blood cells that transport oxygen and keep you energized for the day. One of the biggest symptoms of anemia (when your blood is low in iron) is low energy levels and sluggishness, according to the Cleveland Clinic Center for Continuing Education. If you have anemia, take iron supplements and incorporate some of The Best Iron Rich Foods into your “Diet” to pump up oxygen flow and energy into your body.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

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How To Get Back On Track After You’ve Broken Your New Year’s Resolutions

PLEASE READ: I have been thinking that I wanted to do something different for my blog next year and that Is more content that you want to see. I know that at the and of every post I ALWAYS ask what you would like to see. I MEAN I REALLY want to do more content related to what you want to see. It can be “Diet” related, fitness, nutrition or even advice posts. I post what I post because It means something to mean I won’t post something if I didn’t believe in it. I want to take this blog to the next level and I want you all of my followers (friends) to be apart of the ride. So please don’t hesitate in reaching out with any and all suggestions. You can find all of my links at the end of every post in the “Thank You” section and in the section “Where You Can Follow Me”. 


So January 1 is (here), and you started the year off with a clean slate—a fresh perspective to set and tackle your goals, and make 2018 your best year yet. But a few weeks went by and you found your motivation waning and yourself sliding back into your old habits. After all, willpower can only get you so far in achieving your goals.

When the excitement wears off is where the real work sets in. If you promised yourself you’d get back in the gym, finally lose those 20 pounds, get more sleep, or drink more water, here’s how to make sure you stay on track, even if you’ve veered off in the last several weeks.

Set Specific Goals Rather Than Broad Ones

woman thinking

Keeping your goals focused can help keep you focused on your goals, too. Knowing exactly why you want to achieve your goals is the first step to crushing them. “Identify your why and really go into detail, Not like, I want better health. I don’t know what that means. Maybe it’s, I want to keep up with my two dogs or not get tired when I walk.  Post it everywhere and emotionally connect to it. Because let’s be honest: Pizza is going to taste better than chicken any day of the week.


Overcome Your Weight Loss Plateau

Woman tying shoes

The key to losing weight is to exercise intelligently and to truly challenge your body every time you hit the gym. If you do the same workout all the time, you won’t make progress,” says Dan Roberts, celebrity trainer and creator of Methodology X. Once you switch up your workouts and challenge yourself, such as by adding a HIIT routine or using heavier dumbbells, you’ll drop the pounds faster and continue losing weight.


Finally, Enjoy Cardio

treadmill intervals

There’s a reason the treadmill is also known as the “dreadmill”—the seemingly endless run is definitely not something we’d consider fun. Amp up your workout without spending an extra minute on the dreaded machine with one simple trick: All it takes to torch 15 percent more calories on the treadmill is a little incline. The stronger adrenaline boost and higher calorie burn is a great way to get you back on the cardio track sooner than you thought!


Log More Shut-Eye Hours

woman sleeping

According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night to function properly. Inadequate shut-eye hours can lead to a decrease in leptin levels, which, in turn, increases your appetite and derails your weight loss efforts. Motivate yourself to get to sleep earlier by changing your environment. If you have trouble sleeping, don’t force it. Get green sheets, as the color provides the best relaxation benefits for sleep. Tart cherry juice contains natural melatonin, and wearing socks to bed keeps body temperature regulated to help you fall asleep faster. I also suggest taking a detox from electronics right before bed since the blue light delays your melatonin production.


Stop Drinking Your Calories

girl sipping soda

Cut out sugary drinks, soda, juices, and especially alcohol. These drinks cause weight gain, bloat, and pack on extra pounds. By simply substituting caloric drinks for water, you can see immediate changes and lose weight over time. If you find water boring, jazz it up with some sliced lemon, lime, oranges, mint or cucumber.


Sign Up At A Gym

hotel gym

Did You Know?: 12% percent of all gym goers sign up in January and it takes 24 weeks for most members to quit, according to the Fitness Industry Association, Whether it’s because the gym is too far or usually too crowded, you can beat the statistics with a few simple tricks. Shop for a gym like you’re shopping for a car. Ask for a free trial and make sure the people at front desk are happy and enthusiastic enough to attract you in. If you’re making the investment to join a gym, you should let it keep you there. Also, ask for free personal training sessions and talk to members to find out what they like about each spot,


Go To The Gym More Often

assortment of gym accessories

If you’re already a member of your local gym, you might set goals to frequent it more often come the new year. To increase your chances of actually sticking to your goals, why not try adopting effective rituals, such as packing a gym bag the night before and placing your sneakers on the side of your bed. Having your workout gear in plain sight and ready to grab and go will make it much easier to pursue your goals.


Drink More Water

drinking water at gym

If you want to stick to something, you have to make it as simple as possible. Complexity is the enemy of execution. Tell yourself, Today I will drink a cup of water before dinner.’Starting small and set a simple goal will make it easier to accomplish.


Sculpt A Six-Pack

woman abs workout

It’s not a myth—abs are definitely made in the kitchen. Protein- and healthy fat-rich foods like lean fish, eggs, beans, and leafy greens into your “diet” will help keep you full while revealing those abs! Replace refined carbs and processed foods in your pantry with these staples to ensure you incorporate them into your “diet”.


Stay Motivated to Work Out

happy woman outside

Before breaking a sweat, take a moment of gratitude for your health. Doing so completely changes the energy of your workouts and can inspire you to push yourself harder.


Clean Up Your Diet

woman buying produce

Diets don’t work, but behavioral change does. When you want to create a meal plan that works, stick to addition rather than deprivation. If (thefood)goes bad, that means it’s good for you. When you go shopping, avoid the bulls-eyed zone, as it is eye level with shoppers. This is where leading brands place items that can run up your food bill. Instead, save money and look up and down for local- and smaller-named brands, which will help the savvy shopper stay within budget.


Cook More Meals At Home

older couple cooking

There Is Good News: cooking a nutritious meal at home doesn’t require hours of slaving away in the kitchen! Even if you have less than a half hour to spare, you can still sit down to a healthy lunch and dinner. The key is to stock up on healthy and nutritious foods that are easily thrown together.  It starts with a store-bought rotisserie chicken, which saves loads of time, and it’s made up of any odds and ends you may have in the fridge.


Unplug and De-stress

yoga man

Vow to “unplug from technology for an hour a day and spend that time reading a real book (yes, they still exist), doing yoga, taking a walk, meditating—whatever relaxes you and makes you happy! The constant attention-grabbing chirping that our phones, tablets, and computers make has an impact on our stress levels, sleep, and perspective. And since stress and sleep both plays a role in health and weight loss, powering down can help you stay trim, too.


Eat More Veggies

gardening vegetables

We all know that vegetables are packed with fiber and essential vitamins and nutrients, but most of us still don’t get enough of the stuff on a daily basis. In fact, according to Health Day, only one in ten Americans eat the daily recommended amount of veggies.


Cut Down On Added Sugars

reading food label grocery store

The sweet stuff has a stealthy way of sneaking into the most healthy-sounding foods (think of: granola and whole-grain bread). So if your sweet tooth kicks in, cutting back on desserts like cookies and ice cream may not be enough. Make sure to actively scan nutrition labels of foods that don’t even taste sweet. Sugar is hiding everywhere—even bacon has sugar in it!  You’ll be able to eat all your favorite foods and strip away unnecessary sugars—losing weight at a rate of up to one pound per day, while still enjoying the sweeter things in life.


Reach Your Step Goal

couple walking dog in nature

If we can sit less and walk more, it’s possible to make great physical improvements. Thankfully, there are so many ways to move more throughout the day: Take the stairs, park your car farther away from your destination, get a standing desk or walk around while you talk on the phone. Get an activity tracker and aim for 10,000 steps each day.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️