This not that

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There is a great series of books on the market. “Eat This Not That,” “Drink This Not That” and “Cook This Not That.” They feature the calorie content of popular items that we love to throw in our shopping cart. The killer ingredient is sugar and sodium. But we knew that, right? The books are billed as the no-diet weight loss solution.

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I found that one of my favorite drinks, Simply Lemonade, was on the “not that” side of the page. Each eight ounce serving contains 120 calories and 28 grams of sugar and only contains 11 percent juice and the rest of the bottle is pure sugar water. The book recommends Lakewood Organic Lemonade. I’ve seen this on sale at Whole Foods sometimes for $1 a bottle. Lakewood is 86 calories a serving with 19 grams of sugar. However, the lemonade is sweetened with grape juice and agave nectar.

The books are written by David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding. They frequently appear on the “Today Show.” We have to read these labels as the grams of sugar per serving is astounding. I love Welch’s Grape Juice but an eight ounce serving contains 39 grams of sugar. Just to put that in perspective, there are four grams of sugar in a teaspoon.

I have started to follow these books. They have saved me from reading every label while I’m in the store. These books are small paper backs and can range from $15 to $20 depending on where you purchase them. I have found them on sale at Target and the book department at major Giant Eagle stores. If you buy at Giant Eagle you’ll get your fuel perks.

You might be wondering why you can’t shake the weight when you think you’re making healthy choices. Read that label or better yet check out these books. How about Vitamin Water for focus, Kiwi Straw­berry flavor, sounds healthy, something to help you focus. Well focus on this, 125 calories and 32.5 grams of sugar in a 20 ounce bottle. You know you are going to drink the whole bottle. Adding just one of these to your daily intake will put 13 pounds on our body in a year. Can you say OMG?

Vitamin water has a new “10 line” that replaces sugar with rebiana, a no- calorie sweetener from the stevia plant. A 20 ounce bottle has 25 calories and 7.5 grams of sugar, a much better choice.

Sugar is listed in the book as public enemy number one. They say if sugar were a drug, then we’d be a nation of junkies. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Americans consume 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day. That is 330 unnecessary calories.

I’ve been following “The 4 Day Diet” by Dr. Ian Smith. He’s also the author of the “Fat Smash Diet” and appears on “Celebrity Fit Club.” The big item missing from his diet is sugar. It only took two days for me to notice a difference on the scale. I added in jumping jacks, walking and dancing. I’m not much for aerobics but I love to dance to some old school funk.

By making a few changes we can knock off some weight. Whatever works right?

(E-mail the columnist at deb­bie­norrell@aol.com.)

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