The Daily Meal 6/23/14

Summertime is just around the corner, and right now, we are all striving to get our bodies toned and in shape so that we can show them off at pool parties and the beach. As a physician, I generally promote healthy diet, exercise, and good lifestyle choices in order to encourage people to increase their strength and vitality, not garner attention in a swimsuit, but the truth is that how you look is often a reflection of how you have been treating your body. If you exercise regularly, rehydrate healthily, eat well, and avoid the drinks I mention here, you’ll be that much closer to looking and feelings your best.

Click Here to see the Slideshow for the Best American Cities for Food

You might be surprised how many drinks that you consider generally harmless are actually causing you the most damage. Liquid diets aren't all they are cracked up to be — you can easily imbibe as many calories as you eat, or more, without even realizing it. So listen up if you want to make heads turn in that hot new swimsuit.

One of the worst offenders ruining your body is soda, even (in fact, especially!) diet soda. How can that be if there are no calories, fat, or sugar? Think about all that carbonation, continually bubbling and fizzing. Now think about its potential for bloating hell, making your abdominal area look much more swollen than it should. While the carbonation may be a short-term effect, consider all the toxic artificial sweeteners and colorings that can ruin your beach body for summers to come. Studies have shown that the consumption of these harmful ingredients may be carcinogenic and can also prevent weight loss.

I’ll get into the specifics in a minute, but generally speaking, you should try to steer clear of drinks that are packed with high fructose corn syrup, as well as those loaded with artificial colors and flavors. Not only can these beverages cause weight gain and bloating, but they also ruin the appearance of your skin, hair, and nails, causing everything to look lackluster — and I know that is not how you want to break out into summer.

So take this summer as an opportunity to become even more radiant and healthy: consume plenty of water, and try rehydrating with aloe and coconut water. Make sure you eat a clean diet, mainly based around plant protein, to obtain a lean physique and burn that fat. Incorporate exercise at least a few times weekly to maintain toned muscles, and you’ll be catching everyone’s attention at the beach in no time.

Check out the slideshow above for eight drinks that are killing your diet. Then, check out our friends at StyleList to see celebrities without makeup.

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Tags: Food Report, Healthy, Summer

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