This fizzy, pleasantly puckery fermented beverage is made by adding a probiotic-rich bacteria to lightly sweetened tea. More and more research is looking into gut health and how it relates to obesity and weight, finding that the millions of bacteria that live in our guts may play a large role by altering the way we store fat, how we balance blood sugar and how we respond to the hormones that make us feel hungry and full. Fueling our gut with beverages and foods that stimulate good bacteria may make losing weight easier than we ever thought possible. Kombucha is readily available in most supermarkets and comes loaded with probiotics — just be sure to look for brands with less than 5 grams sugar per serving.
Fasting for a day or two is not dangerous, but it can harm the people suffering from chronic diseases. It also harms children and pregnant women. There are also medical fasts that are supervised by physicians. These fasts are perfectly safe for everyone. The regime for fasting also varies, but the basic fast usually allows only fresh juice, any laxative concoction or water. There are also some fasting regimes that include the consumption of few solid foods that provide few or low calories.
If you really want the water you drink to help you lose weight, you should follow the “8x8” rule recommended by most nutritionists: Drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day for weight loss and to maintain an ideal weight. You might need to drink more water if you exercise a lot or sweat heavily, or less water if you drink other beverages like herbal tea (make sure they are decaffeinated).
One thing I noticed was that my weight tended to drift up during the winter, and drift down during the summer. As near as I can figure, my body doesn’t like staying at a steady weight, but prefers to be gaining about a pound or more per week, or losing at about that same rate. It seems that where the turn-arounds occurred in the spring and fall were such that I was gaining for more of the year than I was losing, and that’s why my weight kept increasing over the years.
There is no long-term fasting research yet, but the benefits are promising and the risks low: You can always just quit. A limited-time fast might bump you off a plateau or out of a rut, says Keri Glassman, R.D., who advised our fasters during their diets, though she says that for some, fasting, even short-term, may be too rigid. That hints at the larger takeaway: Perhaps more than for traditional diets, these plans won't work for everyone.
Whether you’re addicted to your local juice bar or pick up a bottle or two at the grocery store, you should know that even the most natural juices are loaded with sugar. A glass of 100 percent grape juice has nine teaspoons of sugar, a glass of 100 percent orange juice has six teaspoons, and a glass of 100 percent apple juice has seven teaspoons. (Actually, sugar can crop up in a lot of unexpected places. Check out the 10 kid’s meals that have more sugar than a can of Pepsi.)
When you decide to “go on a diet,” you’re making the conscious decision that this is a temporary choice. You’re going to go on it, but that means that you’re going to one day—probably sooner than you expect—go off it. That’s the concept of weight cycling (also known as yo-yo dieting), and it’s extremely unhealthy. A 2014 study in the journal Diabetes Care found that a pattern of weight cycling—losing at least five pounds and then gaining it back within two years—resulted in as much as a 33 percent higher risk of diabetes and higher blood pressure.