6 Hot Drinks to Help You Warm Up and Slim Down

Recipe posted in: Shakes, Smoothies & Drinks

A warm drink can make you feel cozy, sure, but it can also help you feel less heavy once winter is over—consuming a hot liquid 60 minutes before a healthy meal has been shown to help dieters consume fewer calories when it’s time to eat.

But if you don’t like plain black tea, or coffee makes you jittery in the evening, you can still enjoy these weight loss benefits—try one of these six delicious, low-calorie winter drinks to warm up and slim down. And there’s a bonus: Each drink has an additional health benefit hidden inside.

And once you’ve checked out these cozy cups, try our Almond Joy Hot Chocolate or our Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, both equally delicious and totally guilt-free!

1) Minty Low-Calorie Hot Cocoa
Commercial hot cocoa mixes are hiding a secret: sugar. The average hot chocolate from the grocery store has more than 25 grams of sugar. This minty alternative has none—and the mint could be beneficial for weight loss. In a study from a university in West Virginia, dieters who took a sniff of peppermint every two hours consumed 1,800 fewer calories over a five-day period compared to when they didn’t inhale the scent.

Ingredients:
1 cup unsweetened almond milk with added protein
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 drop mint extract
1/2 packet natural sweetener

Directions:
Heat milk and water until near boiling. Stir in cocoa, mint and natural sweetener.

Servings: Makes 1 serving
Counts As: 1 PowerFuel and 1 Extra

2) Two-Ingredient Fruity Green Tea
Green tea protects against multiple types of cancer, lowers bad cholesterol, fends off tooth decay, and helps with weight loss: In one study, those who drank 2 cups of green tea each day lost 2.6 more pounds over 90 days than those who didn’t drink it. But it can be … well, boring. Add a shot of even more antioxidants—and guilt-free fruity flavor—with just a spoonful of frozen berries.

Ingredients:
Green tea bag of your choice
1/4 cup frozen mixed berries
Enough boiling water to fill your cup

Directions:
Place berries on the bottom of your cup. Pour in boiling water and steep with tea bag for 3 minutes. Remove tea bag and spoon off berries.

Servings: Makes 1 serving
Counts as: Free food

3) Easy Homemade Chai
This simple and healthy chai recipe’s slimming secret: Almond milk instead of whole. Using almond milk saves a pile of calories: One cup contains fewer than 40 calories, while a cup of watery skim milk can contain 90 or more. But the thickness of the almond milk means this warming drink still tastes rich.

Ingredients:
3 cups unsweetened almond milk with added protein
6 black peppercorns
3 bags of black tea (your favorite)
1 Tbsp honey
5 whole cloves
1 crushed cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp ground ginger
OPTIONAL: Star anise to taste
1 cup water

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, bring the water, almond milk, and spices to a boil. Remove from the heat, add tea bags, and wait 5-8 minutes. Strain and serve.

Servings: Makes 3 servings
Counts as: 1 PowerFuel and 1 Extra

4) Orange Spice Tea with Ginger
Ginger has long been a staple of natural medicine, used to treat stomach ailments, inflammation, nausea, and others. And science backs up many of its claims, including the treatment of arthritis: In a study of 261 arthritis patients, those who took a ginger extract twice per day had less need for pain-relieving pills and felt less pain overall. Even if you don’t have arthritis, you can reduce inflammation in your body—or just enjoy the taste in this spicy orange drink.

Ingredients:
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 stick cinnamon
Peel from half an orange (use a vegetable peeler and avoid the white pith)
1/4 cup juice from half an orange
3 black tea bags
3 full tea cups of boiling water

Directions:
Steep the tea, ginger and cinnamon in the water for 5 minutes. Add the orange juice and orange peels. Stir and enjoy.

Servings: Makes 3 servings
Counts as: Free food


5) Spiced Lemonade
Lemonade is a summer staple, but fresh lemon is a miracle in tea and hot beverages. And the fruit is, of course, packed with vitamin C. But it’s the cinnamon in this drink that provides the bonus benefit, and it’s for your blood sugar: In a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, when subjects had a drink with cinnamon, they increased sugar metabolism by a factor of 20 at the next meal.

Ingredients:
1 lemon, sliced thin
1 tsp honey
1/2 cinnamon stick
shake of nutmeg
Enough boiling water to fill your cup

Directions:
Steep the lemon slices and spices for 5 minutes. Then stir in the honey, using the cinnamon stick as a stirrer.

Servings: Makes 1 serving
Counts as: 1 Extra

6) Peppermint-Fennel Green Tea
You’ve already heard about the benefits of peppermint and green tea, but the fennel in this refreshing drink pulls its weight when losing weight, too: The celery-like plant can aid in digestion and has antibacterial properties. But its best benefit in this drink? It will make your breath smell incredible.

Ingredients:
Enough boiling water to fill your tea cup
1 bag of your favorite plain green tea
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp dried mint leaves
OPTIONAL: 1/4 tsp coriander seed
OPTIONAL: 1/4 tsp cumin seed

Directions:
Steep all ingredients in the water for 3-4 minutes, then strain out the spices and remove the tea bag.

Servings: Makes 1 serving
Counts as: Free food

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