Drinking more water is the first place to start when you want to lose weight. Studies show that water increases the amount of calories burned for at least a solid hour after consuming it.
One study that involved overweight children discovered a 25% increase in resting energy expenditure (calories burned while doing nothing) after drinking cold water. In a study of overweight women, it was discovered that increasing water consumption to more than 1 liter per day resulted in an extra 4.4 pounds of weight loss over the course of a year.
Some people swear by drinking lemon water for weight loss, but it’s not so much the drink that makes a difference. It’s whether or not that drink is replacing something else with a lot of sugar, like soda, heavily sweetened coffee, or juice. However, lemon is a mild natural diuretic, which means it can reduce bloating.
Lemons, like all citrus fruit, also contain a lot of vitamin C, which helps to burn fat at the cellular level. C is a required part of the process that transports and mobilizes fatty acids within cells to be used as energy.
Cucumbers are high in both water and fiber, two things that are critical to weight loss. They are also very low in calories, so they don’t add much to your daily total. One cup of cucumber has just 16 calories, hardly worth counting. Studies show that regularly eating foods with a lot of water but few calories is linked to significant weight loss.
Cucumber is also thought to boost metabolism, or the speed at which your body burns calories. It also, like lemon, contains a fair amount of vitamin C and serves as a natural diuretic.
Ginger is a flavorful root that can help to control appetite by regulating blood sugar and serum cholesterol. Spikes and dips in these numbers often lead to overeating, or excessive snacking on unhealthy foods. Ginger can also suppress the fattening stress hormone cortisol and give you a boost of energy. It’s not enough to keep you awake, but you may find that ginger means you wake up refreshed and ready to go.
Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera juice is a useful addition to this beverage because of its laxative qualities. Now, relying on a laxative for weight loss is not healthy, but in this case, we’re using aloe vera juice simply to help keep you regular. Adding fiber into your diet is a smart move, but as your body adjusts, you may experience constipation. Everyone knows how uncomfortable and bloating that is.
Always buy aloe vera juice that is made from the whole leaf, rather than from the gel found inside the leaf. The gel alone is packed with sugar and won’t have the laxative effect you’re looking for.
Parsley or Cilantro
Both of these related herbs (from the Apiaceae family) are high in the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals associated with digestive support. They have been used for years in holistic medicine to relieve inflammation, indigestion, gas, cramps, bloating and stress. Cilantro especially may help stimulate circulation, improve the body’s absorption of nutrients, and relieve constipation by keeping the bowels functioning properly.
Taking It (Further)
The drink we will describe using these ingredients is meant to be taken at night so that it can work while you’re sleeping. Digestion and demand for energy tends to slow while you slumber, so it is especially good to augment metabolism during this time.
However, the body does still use energy during sleep. All of your automatic processes like breathing, heartbeat, and circulation continue. Your brain is also fairly busy during this time organizing the thoughts and memories of the day. So taking in a bit of nutrition, like that in this beverage, can actually help you have better sleep than if you went to bed on an empty stomach. Your body will be primed to burn fat and you will extend that metabolism boost throughout your day.
Okay, ready to make this wonder drink?
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cucumber
- 1 tablespoon of grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon of aloe vera juice
- A handful of cilantro or parsley
- ½ glass of water
Preparation: Add all ingredients and blend until smooth.
This is a very basic recipe, and you are encouraged to play with the portions as desired. Obviously parsley is much milder in taste than cilantro, which some people say tastes like soap. If the flavor of this beverage in general is an issue for you, it’s okay to add a teaspoon of honey for a little more sweetness.
You may not be able to drink all of it in one sitting, and that’s okay. It can store safely in the fridge for the next morning or even the next evening. After that, it’s best to make a fresh batch.
Weight loss is never a total break. Our bodies actually don’t like to burn fat, because they consider this an emergency reserve. That’s an evolutionary holdover that doesn’t match up with modern diets, but luckily we understand enough of the science behind weight loss to make it happen anyway.
Along with drinking this weight loss drink, be sure to manage the rest of your diet so as to take in fewer calories than you burn. As much as this wonderful drink can support fat burning, it can’t overcome a poor diet loaded with sugar and saturated fat. For the health of your heart as well as for weight loss, also try to get in at least 30 minutes of cardio activity each day.