After completing my weight loss challenge with Mark Johnson, where I lost over 38lbs in 5 months I have decided to write a number of short weight loss tip articles to share some of the ideas I’ve implemented in my life to help me lose weight.

The first tip relates to replacing your drinking calories with alternatives.

When starting my weight loss challenge, I realized that a lot of my daily calories come from drinking pop (soda), such as Coca Cola and similar products.

Many people think that fruit juices you purchase at the store are better, but almost all juices you buy at the store are full of sugar and they are pasteurized which kills almost all nutrients you would get from fresh fruit.

Coffees and teas, sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners are not good either as they either contain sugar or artificial chemicals/sweeteners.

For years now I’ve been trying to get rid of my pop/soda addiction and replace it with drinking plain water, however it’s not that easy to do as I don’t really like the taste of plain water.

There’s just something about a carbonated beverage when you are really thirsty that tastes good and feels like it’s cutting through the thirst.

When I drink plain water, I don’t get that same feeling.

So what I discovered this time around is a machine from a small company called SodaStream that allows you to make your own carbonated water.

A SodaStream starter kit will set you back about $75 and will allow you to create up to 60 Liters of carbonated water with one cartridge. The refills will only cost you about $18 and will produce 60 Liters of carbonated water.

If you were to replace just 2 cans of pop/soda per day with carbonated water instead, that would shave almost 10,000 calories from your monthly diet which is the equivalent of about 2-3lbs of fat per month.

Some people attempt to save those calories by switching from soda/pop to diet soda/pop but the challenge with diet soda’s is that they are sweetened with artificial sweeteners which do more harm than good.

Here are a couple of articles on why I don’t recommend artificially sweetened beverages:

As Dr. states in these articles, artificial sweeteners like Sucralose and Aspartame can have side effect symptoms ranging from dizziness, blurred vision, depression and weight gain in the short term to who knows what kind of long-term side effects on the body if you continue to use them long term.

For this reason I would highly recommend staying away from any kind of “diet” products.

I really like my SodaStream machine and I love drinking the carbonated water. My only complaint against SodaStream as a company is that their flavor packages are artificially sweetened. This is why I don’t recommend purchasing them.

Of course you can flavor your carbonated water yourself by simply squeezing some lemon into it or other natural flavors or even adding in some freshly squeezed juice you made.

The easiest thing to do, however, is to just simply drink carbonated water with no flavor.

At first, the lack of flavor and lack of sugar in the carbonated water may taste weird (bad) to you, but after you drink it for a few days it will actually start to taste really good.

This is one of the little “secrets” I’ve been using during my weight loss – drinking carbonated water instead of pop/soda or any kinds of juices.

You cut out a LOT of calories from your diet with this very simple change and once you get used to the water, you will start to prefer it to sweetened juices and drinks.

Even if you continued to eat exactly what you’re eating right now, just by switching from 2-3 cans of soda/pop/juice to carbonated water you could cut 20-36lbs of fat from your body in just one year!

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