Deepa Desa lists 21 natural drinks, from juices to teas, that can help you stay trim and fit
Watching what you put in your glass is as important as what’s on your plate. If you’re counting calories and watching your diet, you’ll be pretty pleased with the drinks we’ve lined up for you.
Here are 21 super easy drinks, which you can make at home in less than 5 minutes to start your day on a healthy note.
These include belly fat melters, effective detoxifiers, and liquids which help quicken your metabolism, helping to result in a more toned and fit you.
Here’s our list of 21 drinks to help you shed a few kilos:
Water claims top spot on our list. 60% – 70% of your body constitutes water, meaning that the clear, calorie-free liquid plays a role in just about every bodily function. Research point out that the more hydrated you are, the more efficiently your systems work at tasks that range from thinking to burning body fat.
Drinking two glasses of water before a meal may also help you feel full faster, so you won’t eat as much. It can help speed your metabolism, too.
Replacing sweetened soft drinks with water will cut hundreds of calories from your diet each day.
Science suggests that water can help with weight loss in a variety of ways. It may suppress your appetite, boost your metabolism, and make exercise easier and more efficient, all of which could contribute to beneficial results on the scale.
Studies also reveal that water drinking increases the metabolic rate, i.e., thermogenesis, which in turn augments the daily energy expenditure (you burn more calories). Thermogenesis triggered by water can be responsible for increasing body metabolism by 30% in adults, within 10mins and for up to 60 mins.
How to drink it: So, if you’re on a weight-loss journey, you might want to give drinking water (500ml) on an empty stomach a try. And aim for a minimum of 2 to 3 litres of water per day.
2. Lemon water – Warm lemon water
Lemon water can be greatly effective for those who are trying to shed some pounds. Drinking warm lemon water, the first thing in the morning will help detoxify your system.
Warm lemon water will make sure that your digestive system functions smoothly. The citric acid present in lemon interacts with the other essential enzymes in your stomach to help stimulate the secretion of gastric juices.
Lemon water also balances your pH levels and reducing acidity helps negate digestive and inflammatory disorders.
This said, sipping room temperature lemon water (with a few fresh, crush mint leaves), through the day, helps a detox and rewards you with more energy.
Be cautious about erosion of tooth enamel, which is one of the downsides to drinking lemon water. Also don’t overdo it, a moderate approach will show good results.
How to drink it: Since Vitamin C is unstable in heat and light sensitive, it gets denatured, and weakens in potency; it’s thus advisable to use lukewarm water (not hot), with your freshly squeezed lemon drink.
3. Green Tea
Green tea an excellent choice when you’re looking for a little boost. Not only is it calorie-free, but some research suggests green tea extract may help with weight loss. It’s not clear exactly how, but caffeine and micronutrients called catechins may each play a significant role.
The benefit appears to last only a few hours, so it may help to enjoy some green tea at least twice a day.
Fresh mint is a fast – working digestive and combined with green tea it speeds up your metabolic rate and effects more thorough digestion.
Fresh lemon and lemongrass also work in synergy with the benefits of green tea for detoxification leading to weight loss.
How to drink it: Use water that is off the boil ( wait for 2 minutes); add to green tea leaves and herbs/ spices/ of your choice. Let it steep for 2-3 minutes. Drink this twice a day
4. Chia seeds water
Scientists have only recently begun studying the potential weight loss benefits of chia seeds. Some of these studies have shown promising results, but the data are far from conclusive.
However, chia is a super food for good reason, it has proven to reduce obesity and while you can sprinkle dry chia seeds on almost anything you eat, it makes sense to curate a detox drink with chia.
There are groups who will vow it is effective on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning. And there is another perspective that touts its efficacy before bedtime.
Whenever you choose to have the drink, know that it will definitely benefit you.
Since the seeds form a gel when mixed with a liquid (they can hold up to 10 times their weight in liquid), they digest slowly, making them a powerful force against the munchies—which is great news for those looking to cut down on their portions.
How to drink it: Combine 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. Let the seeds soak overnight, add a squeeze of half a lemon and slurp it down in the morning. Some folks also add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon powder for that added boost to the metabolism.
5. Tomato Juice
One cannot deny the number of health benefits you can derive from the juice of tomatoes. Rich in lycopene. Tomatoes are relatively low in calories and carbohydrates and have high water content. This means they help to fill you up for few calories, encouraging an overall lower calorie intake.
Tomato juice could also help simply as a lower-sugar, lower-calorie alternative to fruit juices or soft drinks.
The juice of tomatoes also helps reduce the resistance of leptin, which is an appetite-controlling hormone. This, in turn, helps signal to the body the appropriate point at which it should stop eating food and thereby control overall calorie consumption — which makes it a potent fat fighter.
How to drink it: Use 2 or 3 tomatoes, cut and deseed. Grind the tomatoes add some water to make a fine juice. Add 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, ½ tablespoon black pepper. Drink tomato juice daily as an aid to weight loss.
6. Coconut water
If you live in a place where you have easy access to fresh coconut water, then perhaps you should make sure you have a glass every morning! As it is packed with bio- active enzymes, which speed up the metabolic rate, you burn more fat drinking coconut water.
Though it’s good to sip coconut water during any time of the day, consuming it during certain times of the day might help. Drinking it early in the morning on an empty stomach can add to your weight loss efforts.
It also provides a host of other health benefits, including boosting your immunity, giving your metabolism a boost, fight dehydration and constipation.
How to drink it: Ask your naaryal pani wala! Mine told me to consume it within two hours of him cracking it open and every morning before breakfast.
7. Fennel Seed / Saunf Water
Fennel or saunf has diuretic properties and drinking fennel seed tea can help remove toxins from the body, which in turn, may contribute to weight loss.
Fennel is a rich source of fibre, which helps you stay fuller for longer, further preventing you from cravings and overeating. This leads to less calorie consumption, resulting in weight loss.
Saunf water also contains a plethora of antioxidants like phosphorus, selenium, zinc, manganese, choline, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, all of which are known to protect your body against free radicals that are known to cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress in the body can lead to obesity and diabetes like conditions.
Consuming saunf water may help reduce fat by improving vitamin and mineral absorption in the body.
The volatile oils like estragole, fenchone and anethole present in fennel seeds and released when you add boiling hot water to them, help kick-start digestion by promoting the production of gastric enzymes.
An upbeat digestive system is the key to lose weight, the healthy way.
How to drink it: Pour a cup of boiling hot water over a teaspoon of saunf and let it steep for 5 minutes before sipping it. Do not boil this tea as fennel loses its nutritive qualities with boiling.
8. Cumin ( Jeera) Water
When jeera is soaked in water, it swells up. The nutrients in jeera get into the water and turn it pale yellow in colour.
Experts say that it is thymol, a compound in cumin seeds, that stimulates the enzymes, which enables better secretion of digestive juices. This leads to better digestion and avoids bloating. Hence jeera water for weight loss is an effective remedy.
How to drink it: Soak a tablespoon of jeera in water overnight. Boil the soaked jeera in water the next morning. Before drinking, squeeze a few drops of lemon juice into the water.
Jeera water for weight loss will be more effective when it is consumed early in the morning on an empty stomach.
You can also add equal amounts of saunf to your jeera pani to reap the benefits of both seeds.
9. Carom seeds (Ajwain)
It is said that ajwain, like jeera, has many therapeutic properties due to the presence of the essential oil called thymol. This oil helps promote weight loss by boosting your metabolism, improving digestion and relieving acidity.
How to drink it: Soak 25 grams of ajwain seeds overnight in a glass of water. Next morning, strain the ajwain and drink the water on an empty stomach. You can add a teaspoon of honey in your ajwain water if you wish. You can have this water regularly for 15-20 days to boost your metabolism and lose weight.
10. Black coffee
When you need a shot of caffeine, coffee is a better choice than soda or energy drinks. Black coffee is calorie-free and rich in antioxidants.
Studies show that drinking moderate amounts of coffee (about 3 to 4 cups a day) may improve your mood and help your concentration. It could also lower your chances of type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
How to drink it: The health benefits of instant and brewed coffee are the same. So have your coffee the way you like it – but make sure you don’t add sugar or milk.
11. Green coffee
Chlorogenic acid in green coffee is the wondrous compound which can help you with weight loss. Daily consumption of instant coffee containing high amounts of CGA significantly decreased VFA, TFA, BMI, body weight, and WC, without severe adverse events. Chlorogenic acid, the main ingredient in green coffee beans, is thought to affect how the body processes metabolism and blood sugar Chlorogenic acid in green coffee can melt unwanted fat in the body, aiding weight loss. What’s more is that chlorogenic acid can help in increasing Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which can reduce release of glucose from liver into the bloodstream. Instead of glucose, the body begins to burn excess fat, and this ultimately helps you weight loss.
How to drink it: Add a cup of beans to a pot, now add 3 cups of water and simmer on medium heat for 10- 12 minutes. Strain the coffee and drink. Or, follow the instructions on your manufacturer’s label.
12. Black Tea And Its Types
Abundant caffeine in black tea can be a fat-decomposing assistant, which can dissolve the stored fat in the blood and amplify the fat-burning ability.
Caffeine also stimulates the kidneys, dilates blood vessels, increases water metabolism, and removes excess water and waste to create a good body condition for your weight loss plan.
The flavonoids found in black tea have been shown to lower visceral fats and triglyceride levels, as well as inhibit inflammation-induced obesity.
Studies show that black tea, along with the assistance of a specific mechanism through the gut microbiome, contributes to weight loss and good health. This mechanism is entirely different from the one practiced by green tea particles. The study also revealed that black tea decreased gut bacteria associated with obesity and increased gut bacteria associated with lean body mass.
Typically, Black teas from China seem to have a more compelling case to aid weight loss. Chinese black tea leaves are fermented by microorganisms and aged for a very long period. The result is a tea that has a different flavour and a different set of flavonoids.
According to researchers, Chinese black tea extract is better when it comes to losing fat in the body in comparison to those who didn’t drink the concoction. The observation was made in a study published in the Nutrition Research Journal in 2011.
Pu-erh tea (leaves fermented and compressed to resemble a brick), weight loss benefit is obvious because it has a strong effect on diminishing lipids and protecting your abdomen. Drinking it without other additives can bring a better result. Pu-erh tea is most beneficial if drunk half an hour after the meal.
Oolong tea weight loss benefit mainly comes from tannin. It is the key for decomposing lipid. A professor at Taiwan’s Cheng Gong University published a study in “The Journal of Obesity” and said that people who regularly drank oolong tea had lower body mass index and fat content than those who drank less.
How to drink it: Taking black tea as part of your weight loss regime should not be overdone. You should also make sure to keep the drink as pure as possible and shove aside anything fattening or sugary.
Pour boiling water over a teaspoon of black tea leaves. Let it steep for 3 to 4minutes. Drink it in the daytime or before work out; 45 mins to an hour after meals; and drink it hot.
13. Ginger Tisane
Ginger is traditionally used to ease stomach pain, and reduces bloating and inflammation.
The current evidence for the effects of ginger on certain weight loss markers is promising but mixed. According to a 2017 review, compounds called zingerone and shogaols in ginger may help with weight loss. These compounds may be beneficial in the complex bodily processes that burn and store fat.
Overall, ginger intake reduced the participants’ body weight, waist-to-hip ratio, and some markers that reflected blood glucose metabolism.
How to use it: Add fresh root ginger or powdered ginger to make tea, by boiling it in water for up to 5 minutes. Avoid ginger chai with milk and sugar of you want to lose weight, instead add a spoon of honey to sweeten your ginger tisane
14. Rooibos Tisane
Rooibos tisane is made from the leaves of the “red bush” plant, grown exclusively in the small Cederberg region of South Africa, near Cape Town.
Rooibos is a caffeine-free alternative to black tea, with a sweet, delicate and rich, earthy flavour.
Rooibos contains polyphenols, including flavonoids, which are directly linked to combatting obesity. What makes rooibos tea particularly good for your belly is a unique and powerful flavonoid called Aspalathin.
According to South African researchers, polyphenols and flavonoids found in the plant inhibits adipogenesis–the formation of new fat cells–by as much as 22 percent. The chemicals also help aid fat metabolism.
How to drink it: Add boiling water to a teaspoon of rooibos leaves. Let it steep for 3 minutes. Rooibos is naturally sweet, so you won’t need to add sugar.
15. Yerba mate
This South American super-beverage is made of the steeped leaves and twigs of an indigenous plant, which has been providing locals with a natural pick-me-up for centuries.
Yerba maté tea is known for its powerful thermogenic effects—meaning it turns up your body’s calorie burning mechanism—and can also promote weight loss by improving insulin sensitivity.
A study on Yerba maté found that its consumption decreased body fat mass, percent body fat and WHR (Waist-Hip- Ratio).
Additionally, this brew is like green tea on steroids, with up to 90 percent more powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants, a cache of B vitamins, and plenty of chromium, which helps stabilize blood-sugar levels.
How to drink it: Here is the link for those who enjoy the traditional ritual of brewing tea. https://yerbamatero.com/blogs/guides/how-to-prepare-yerba-mate; Yerba mate invites you to experience a journey of tea brewing.
For others, you can purchase the tea bags or tea balls and pour boiling water; steep for a few minutes and savour each sip!
16. White Tea
Often overlooked by its green and black counterparts, white tea could actually be one of the most waist-friendly teas around.
Floral and delicate, white tea is made using the same leaves as black or green tea, but it has lower levels of processing, resulting in a purer beverage, known for its slimming abilities.
Studies indicate that white tea has one of the highest levels of polyphenols, micronutrients that are packed with antioxidants. It has also been found to inhibit the formation of new fat cells, mobilising fats and stimulating lipolysis, the breakdown of fats.
Much like black and green tea, white tea is full of caffeine, stimulating the central nervous system, which then sends direct signals to fat cells and helps them break down.
How to drink it: White tea leaves are delicate. Boiling water can ruin the delicate flavour of white tea. Most experts agree that the ideal water temperature for white tea is – 76 to 85 C.
For best results, bring the water to a rolling boil and let it sit for up to one minute, then pour the water over the leaves. Enjoy this fragrant delicate tea!
17. Watermelon Juice
It’s full of antioxidants, vitamin B, potassium and lycopene which reduces inflammation and will give your body a nice, healthy kick. Watermelon juice is also 97% water, which keeps you hydrated and thanks to the fruit’s natural sweetness, this juice doesn’t need any added sugar.
A study conducted at the University of Kentucky found that drinking two glasses of watermelon juice every day for eight weeks helped people lose weight — especially belly fat — and didn’t reduce muscle mass.
The magic component may be the amino acid arginine. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that adding arginine to the diets of obese mice decreased body fat by 64 percent in only three months.
How to drink it: Blend the fruit so that you retain the fibre as well. Store in a jug and drink through the day.
18. Roselle Tea
The hibiscus plant includes roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) and its extract plays a significant role in inhibiting obesity and fat accumulation.
Hibiscus sabdariffa or Roselle is medicinal plant with a worldwide fame. It contains phytochemicals, and is well known for its nutritional and medicinal properties.
Extracts from Roselle have shown that Hibiscus sabdariffa derived bioactive compounds are potent in the treatment of obesity with an evident reduction in body weight, inhibition of lipid (fat) accumulation, and suppression of adipogenesis (fat cells).
In fact among the many studies undertaken on the efficacy of Hibiscus sabdariffa or Roselle in weight loss; the one as recent as 2019 confirms, that consumption of Roselle reduced obesity, abdominal fat, and improved liver steatosis (fatty liver).
Hibiscus sabdariffa could help in preventing obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver.
How to drink it:
You can go online and order Roselle, but for those of you who have access to this wondrous plant, here’s the best way to drink it:
- First, collect the hibiscus fruits and wash them clean, and air dry or dry them in an oven at 70 degree C for 3 days.
- Peel off the calyx and store them in air-tight containers.
- To make tea, simply take 2 grams of the dried calyx, and crush them into small pieces using a wooden roller.
- Put them in a tea bag or a net, bring out your favourite mug, add 200ml of boiling water, steep it for 2-4minutes. Add a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon and honey if desired.
- You can also refrigerate the drink.
19. Psyllium Husk
Psyllium husk for weight loss is a popular natural remedy for those looking to lose weight by adding more fibre to their diet. When it is mixed with water, it thickens to a gel.
Psyllium fibre also suppresses appetite by forming a gel-like substance in the gut to help you feel fuller for longer and these increased satiety levels may promote weight loss
Additionally, a 2017 review examined the effects of water-soluble gel-forming fibres like psyllium husk in the small intestine, the study suggested that gel-forming fibres may help facilitate weight loss as a result of improved metabolic health.
Most people are able to tolerate psyllium well. However, people may notice some cramping, gas, or bloating.
Also, psyllium could delay the absorption of certain medications; therefore, doctors often recommend that people avoid taking it with other medicines.
Although uncommon, some allergic reactions, such as rashes, itching, or trouble breathing, can result from ingesting or handling of psyllium.
How to drink it: Add 5- 10 gms to room temperature water and drink immediately as the granules start becoming a gel like consistency which is difficult to ingest.
20. Cinnamon Bark / Dalchini Water
Cinnamon bark (Dalchini in Hindi), known from ancient times in the Mediterranean region, Sri Lanka and India, has been used for cooking to provide flavour to curries and other food items.
The water-soluble polyphenol compounds present in cinnamon reveal antioxidant, catechins and epicatechin, which all help rev up metabolism and fight fat cells in the body.
Further, certain polymers in cinnamon enhance the breakdown or hydrolysis of dietary fat molecules
A significant decrease in body weight, total fat and abdominal fat has been noticed with the use of 3 gm a day of cinnamon.
How to drink it: You can simply pour boiling hot water over a cinnamon stick or 3-5 gm to cinnamon powder, and drink anytime through the day.
The combination of lemon, honey and cinnamon is also good for weight loss – squeeze a fresh lemon in it and add some honey to it and voila you drink is ready.
21. Pineapple Juice
Pineapple (Ananas comosus) fruit is rich in nutrients which include calcium, potassium as well as vitamin C and vitamin A.
Fresh pineapple is rich in bromelain, an enzyme which may act as anti-inflammatory.
Interestingly, pineapple fruits contain eight phenolic compounds. These phenolic compounds exhibit an antioxidant activity and anti-inflammatory function as well as play a significant role in obesity and dyslipidaemia (dyslipidaemia is an abnormal level of cholesterol and other lipids, also called fats, in the blood) treatment.
Studies suggest that pineapple juice could be an actual anti-obesity candidate with no obvious harmful effects.
How to drink it: Blend the fruit and drink 200ml (with the fibre) per day.
The 21 drinks picked by us are to be used in conjunction with healthy lifestyle habits such as; yoga, walking, any form of exercise, a balanced diet, no smoking and moderate alcohol.
We also suggest you take the drink in moderation. Excess always leads to unwanted side effects.
Don’t make the mistake of taking way too much caffeine because it will lead to dehydration.
Do note that black tea has tannins, and too much of it can upset the stomach and cause nausea and vomiting.
The above drinks are tried and tested natural drinks that help you keep healthy, but its best to give it a break after 21 days. Restart after a week or two.
The best part is to be a little adventurous (health and medication permitting); and try out the drinks according to the season. For instance, in summer, you can have slightly refrigerated roselle, green tea, pineapple, watermelon juice, and in colder weather hot ginger tisanes, hot black tea, etc.
If you are on any medication of experiencing any form of illness, please consult your doctor before embarking on the drinks-for-weight-loss journey.
Finally, the outcome of the research and studies cited here clearly state that no single drink or combination of drinks can be a miracle or magic potion. These are suggested as an aid to help with weight loss, and individual metabolic parameters need to be given due consideration.