One of the most commonly asked questions in my experience with health counseling is “how do I lose weight?” Immediately upon sitting down with anyone to discuss their health I always ask for their daily routine: what they eat, drink, physical activity level- etc. Without fail there are always one or two people who eat reasonably well, get some exercise in, and yet still can’t seem to shake the final pounds. Here’s a common reason: iced tea.
Most people know that soda is bad for them, and those concerned about their health don’t drink it. What people don’t often realize is that those “all natural” iced teas in the glass bottle with bits of tea leaves hanging around the bottom, those teas that seem so healthy really are not. While they might be made from more quality ingredients than say, diet cola, they are still chock full of sugars-or worse still- artificial sweeteners. The non-”diet” varieties contain up to as many calories as a small meal! And if you don’t know how I feel already about “diet” drinks, well… let’s just say I’d rather you drink the small meal.
In any case, most people don’t realize that just because something is natural doesn’t make it good for you! Pure cane sugar is natural. It comes from the ground and in moderation (like a teaspoon in your coffee) it’s fine, but not 10-12 teaspoons like those lurking in the all natural sweet teas! It’s no wonder that otherwise healthy people are having difficulties losing weight when they’re drinking many times 30 or more teaspoons of sugar in a day and just not realizing! So ditch the bottled teas and make your own.
Here is a great recipe for sun tea. Sun tea is a slow brewed iced tea that’s made in a large glass pitcher or jug and left by a window (or outside when it’s warm) to steep in the sun. The process takes a few hours but the product is great! You’ll need a clean, dry large glass pitcher or jar, about 7-8 tea bags of your favorite tea (1 bag per cup) and a lid or something to cover your brew with. Place the tea bags in first and then fill the pitcher with filtered, room temperature water. Cover and let it sit in direct sunlight for 3-5 hours. Once the tea is brewed you can sweeten lightly with honey or agave and serve over ice. Try with a little lemon! This tea is simply amazing, easy and you can experiment with all different types of tea. You can even get creative and make blends of different teas!
If you don’t have the counter space or a surface near a window, brew tea and ice yourself. The trick to making a great iced tea is to double the strength of the brew. As the ice melts in it, it dilutes the tea to the perfect potency!
So, if you’re having a hard time shedding pounds, try subbing your sweet drinks for the home made variety. Keep in mind this is NO substitute for the 10 or more glasses of water you should be drinking, but it is a great and healthy way to enjoy a sip of flavor during your day.