We Are What We Eat And We Are What We Drink
Is your weekly liquid intake causing you to gain weight, or preventing you from losing it?
Proven science shows that the calories in verses the calories out (or the energy you burn verses the energy taken in through food and liquids) is the absolute calculation to promoting weight loss or maintaining it (with the exception of people who have medical reasons preventing this from happening).
In our busy lives we can often be trying to focus on eating better and doing more exercise, but we often don’t consider or understand the impact of what we drink and how this can massively tip the scales, not in your favour.
So lets look at four regular sources of liquid intake we have in our week that have calories and sugar we don’t often think about.
You’re thirsty! Its a hot day and you have called into the ‘servo’…you decide to pick a ‘healthy’ fruit juice instead of ‘unhealthy’ soft drink.
Because you know this drink is pure orange you are happy because in your mind you have made the right choice.
But did you know a 500ml ‘Orange Juice’ packs a whopping 45.5 g of sugar along with 212 calories to your day.
Considering we should only be aiming for around 9 teaspoons of sugar in our total daily intake and we should be consuming no more than 2 servings of fruit per day you can clearly see how drinking this can add a chunk of sugar to your weekly eating, not to mention seriously messing up your system as your body works to deal with this sugar overload.
I once worked with a client who was having great success in her weight loss goals. Then suddenly she started gaining weight even though she was still eating the same and exercising. Then through discussion she said how she was loving all the oranges a family member had given her as she had been juicing them and having a large glass of Orange Juice everyday which was “great for bumping up her Vitamin C”. Bingo. Straight away I brought this to her attention and she realised that she was consuming roughly 8-10 oranges a day, just in that one glass. A massive amount of sugar with additional calories. As soon as she stopped this and had the occasional juice she had lost the weight she had been putting on - so this is my point completely. With juices we think it’s healthy therefore its good but in a juice you can defiantly be having too much of a good thing!
Having a daily coffee or a few in your week is becoming the norm in today’s society. I myself look forward to popping into my local coffee shop and starting my day with a cup. There are a lot of really great coffee beans available and it is also the social side of it we enjoy (I certainly know I do). Whether it is just you undertaking your daily ‘coffee habit’ or its catching up with a friend/friends it is defiantly a popular pastime many of us enjoy.
Having a coffee even once a day is not a bad thing as long as it is in balance, I believe, with what you are consuming through your day and how active you are. But if you have it very regularly and are not keeping track of whether it fits in with the right amount of calories you need in your day to support your weight loss or maintenance goals, then it can have a definite impact.
Most people have coffee made with milk and not only get added sugar in the form of lactose but also the choc/sugar sprinkled on top along with any additional sugar you add to your cup.
A large full cream cappuccino has 11.1 g of sugar and comes in at around 149 calories. Have 5 of these in your week and you have said hello to 55.5g of extra sugar and 745 calories all in one drink you have. It’s also very popularly for children particularly teenagers to pop into a coffee shop and buy a cold milky drink such as a tim tam chiller (Gloria Jean’s)….a regular 479mls made with skim milk packs a whopping 425 calories and you can only imagine the sugar kick in this. I have found it even more disturbing to see young adults starting their day with one while on their way to school.
I am not saying don’t have your coffee because I certainly enjoy mine, but if it is very regular consider having a small rather than a large and be mindful it does play a part in your daily energy intake.
One way you can have your coffee without the added extras is to order a long black and then add a bit of milk to it (just like you would have at home). You still get a great coffee but it is not full of milk, calories or additional sugar.
You could also wean yourself onto having your coffee completely black- Zero calories or sugar here.
I was never a ‘black’ drinker. In fact many years ago I used to watch a friend always have hers this way and would say I could never drink mine like that as I didn’t like the taste. Then as I embarked on taking milk mostly out of my diet I went first to black, adding in my milk and then before long I was completely black. This is the way I have now drunk my coffee for many years (but I still add a little milk to my instant variety at home because it is defiantly not the same).
I love the fact that I have my daily pleasure. I enjoy tasting the coffee completely, still getting my social fix while not impacting on my energy or sugar intake at all.
Did you know that even though cans are still readily available more people buy a 600ml bottle of soft drink these days and in that 1 bottle of soft drink, whether it is Coca Cola, Solo, Lemonade, Fanta etc. packs 12-15 teaspoons of sugar in it! Truly tasty but all it does is serve to provide your system with a massive sugar rush, a flood of insulin so your body can try to deal with the extra glycogen and by the end of the day if that surplus sugar hasn’t been used then long story short…the body converts it and stores it as fat.
In terms of drinks, it is out of the four that I am mentioning, the one where you get absolutely no nutrient or health benefit from at all. It rots your teeth and our children are becoming overweight as a result of drinking these kinds of drinks.
Among the list of things including causing diabetes, cancers, nutrition related diseases, liver diseases, cardiovascular disease and mental health conditions to name a few…. “Overweight & Obesity” is also clearly there as an effect of alcohol consumption for 2 reasons.
First alcohol adds calories to the normal diet so if in excess of the bodies daily energy requirement then weight gain will occur.
Secondly consuming alcohol may also increase energy intake and fat storage by further increasing appetite and displacing fat and carbohydrate oxidation.
Statistics from the 2007 National Drug Strategy household survey found that 8% of Australian adults actually drink alcohol daily and around 41% weekly.
While for the most amount they drink has few adverse effects, the research is clear…it is not a good thing to have daily and will contribute to your weight gain if consumed regularly.
So what is in a drink? – Lets look at two favourites; Beer and Wine
1 Pint of Lager= a slice of pizza in calories
Toohey’s New Per 250ml Bottle = Calories: 98
XXXX Gold Per 375ml Bottle = Calories: 109
Victoria Bitter Per 375ml Bottle = Calories: 146
As I always say, it's about having balance and understanding what is in your drink as well as taking into consideration how the rest of your daily intake will work along side this, which is a huge key to ensuring your liquids do not provide a slow and steady creep of weight gain. We cannot have control over everything that happens to us but we can defiantly have the power of choice when it comes to what we put in our mouths.
Work with the 80/20 rule, have a balanced ad holistic approach, be mindful of the choices you make with what you drink…and look forward to a healthier you.
Always your Weight loss Warrior,