6 Drinks That Shrink Your Belly
That ice-cold lemonade may hit the spot on a 90-degree day, but it’s not doing your waistline any favors. A 20-ounce Minute Maid Lemonade contains 250 calories and 68 g of sugar. Fortunately, there are plenty of refreshing summer drinks that you can drink without guilt—and they may actually help you lose weight. Here are six ways to quench your thirst without packing on pounds.
1. Flavored Water : Staying hydrated is important when you’re trying to lose weight. Drinking plenty of water helps your body maintain proper fluid balance, stops water retention (a big cause of bloated bellies), and even increases the feeling of fullness so you eat less overall. But if plain water bores you, spruce it up with fresh herbs, citrus fruits, and other low-cal flavor enhancers (sliced cucumbers work well too) to encourage you to drink up.
Herb-Infused Spa Water
- 6 cups chilled still spring or mineral water
- 12 thin slices cucumber
- 4 thin slices lemon
- 4 sprigs (each 2 in. long) fresh mint, slightly crushed
- 2 sprigs (each 2 in. long) fresh rosemary, slightly crushed
In a 2- to 2 1/2-quart pitcher, combine water, cucumber, lemon, mint, and rosemary. Serve, or cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours. Add ice cubes just before serving.
2. Watermelon Smoothie: As long as they’re made without sugary mixers like sherbet, smoothies are a guilt-free way to hydrate—and watermelon is a terrific, low-cal smoothie base. Not only is it a natural hydrator because of its water content, watermelon is also loaded with nutrients, including cancer-fighting lycopene, as well as an amino acid known as arginine. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that arginine can decrease body fat and increase lean muscle mass, so whip up this 56-calorie metabolism booster and sip away!
- 4 cups cubed, seeded watermelon
- 1 – 8 ounce lemon, fat-free yogurt
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 5 ice cubes
In a blender or food processor, combine yogurt, watermelon, strawberries, honey and ice cubes.
3. Iced Peppermint Tea: This minty thirst quencher is super refreshing on a hot summer day, but it’s also a super-effective belly flattener. Peppermint helps your stomach process fat, ensuring even high-fat foods like burgers and steaks are digested quickly, which helps prevent bloat.
- 4 peppermint tea bags
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- lemon slice (optional)
1. In a 2 quart heatproof pitcher, pour two cups of boiling water over the tea bags.
2. Steep them for 6 minutes and then remove the tea bags.
3. Stir the honey and lemon juice into the hot tea and then add 2 cups cold water.
4. Chill and serve over ice with or without a lemon slice garnish.
5. Chill out and enjoy!
4. Pineapple Frappe: This blended pineapple drink tastes like a beach vacation in a glass—and it packs in two belly-flattening ingredients. A tablespoon of flaxseed oil adds monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), proven belly flatteners, and pineapple itself contains bromelain, an enzyme that helps break down protein, ease digestion, and banish bloat.
- 1 pineapple, peeled, chopped
- 1/4 cup mint leaves
- 12 ice cubes
- mint sprigs, to serve
Place pineapple, mint and ice in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses. Top with mint sprigs. Serve.
5. Green Tea: Besides reducing your risk of cancer and heart disease, green tea benefits the whole body and contains catechins, antioxidants that studies show can help reduce belly fat. If you sip green tea before a workout, these compounds can also increase your fat burn during aerobic exercise.
- 1 (2 inch) piece lemon zest, cut into thin slivers
- 2 teaspoons boiling water
- 2 teaspoons green tea powder
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
Put lemon zest into a large cup or mug. Cover with 2 teaspoons boiling water and let steep for about 3 minutes. Stir in the green tea powder and hot water. Add the grapefruit juice, lemon juice and honey. Mix well and serve.
6. Dark Chocolate Shake: Really? Yes, really. Chocolate—especially the dark kind—helps you slim you down because it decreases appetite and lessens food cravings overall. However, at nearly 400 calories, this shake is more of a meal than a snack. Try it for a quick breakfast to keep your appetite tamed for hours.
- 4 cups milk, soy milk, rice milk or nut milk
- 2 cups ice
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup dark cocoa
- 1 teaspoon nama shoyu or soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Dark chocolate bar with or without nuts
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, preferably a Vita-Mix.
2. Shave off chocolate as a garnish, and sprinkle on top of shake.
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