Updated: Mar 25
Before I teach you how to use your green tea for better weight loss results, it is important you know about sugar-added drinks to deliver even better results on your weight loss.
This may be the reason why you can't get rid of sugar-added drinks...
We have all heard that sugar-added drinks are bad for our health and lead to weight gain and even obesity. And when I say sugar added drinks.
I am talking about soda, juice, teas, energy drinks, powdered mixers and even the so-called “healthy drinks” such as Gatorade, Powerade and Vitamin Water. So the question on my mind is “Why do we still drink these beverages that are so bad for our health in the first place?”
The answer is clear to me- addiction. That’s right, we are so addicted to the feelings we get from drinking these sugar laden beverages that we lack the willpower to ditch these dirty drinks once and for all. Or, perhaps we have heard these drinks are bad for our health but we don’t really understand the actual consequences of ingesting them on a daily or frequent basis. So what exactly are the implications of drinking so much sugar?
Well many of you are reading this because you want to lose weight...
Therefore, I am going to explain to you just how your sugar consumption is affecting your weight loss or creating weight gain. How many of you have ever heard the saying “calories in versus calories out”? All you have to do is burn more calories than you eat and you will lose weight? Well that sounds pretty darn easy to me! I’ll just eat less and run more. Ok, great, we have a plan. Now let’s talk how many calories a typical person will burn each day.
Food is what fuels our body and we absolutely need a minimum amount of calories for our body to simply function and remain in good working order. For the sake of this article I did some nifty math on myself based on my age, weight, and height to find out how many calories a day that I would burn just by existing. It turns out that I burn about 1,116 calories a day without doing anything.
That’s great news right! I will burn calories and don’t even have to get off the couch! But seriously, if you remain within this caloric range without exercising and eating relatively healthy then chances are you will most likely maintain a “healthy” body weight. Now I want you to take notice that I did not say you will have a toned and tight body, I simply said you would probably stay within a certain weight range.
The next question is - have you ever tried to eat under 1,200 calories a day...?
I can honestly tell you that I have and after a week, I am so tired, hungry, and irritable, that my friends are cancelling plans because they can no longer stand me and even my dog doesn’t want to be in the same room as I am. However, this is a tactic that some may use to try to lose some weight. I am not saying that I support it; I am simply saying that it is an option.
Let’s look at another one, and it was actually my favorite back in the day. I like to eat (a lot) and there is no way I could ever stay under 1,200 calories a day. So this is what I would tell myself as I was drinking a milkshake. “Oh, it’s ok, I’ll burn it off at the gym later”. Perfect, a guilt free milkshake, I can do the work later and enjoy a treat now. I’ll run like 10 miles, do
some squats and some curls, no biggie, I got this.
Ok, now, let’s talk about some exercises that you might do on a daily basis to burn a few extra calories such as walking, running, biking, and weight lifting.
Walking- we all walk every day, unless you have a rather sedentary life, and by sedentary I mean get out of bed, drive to work, sit at your desk, drive home, sit on the couch and watch TV until it is time for bed. You won’t burn very many extra calories a day. A woman of my height and build (5’7, 140 pounds, and athletic) will burn about 70 calories for each mile that I walk. So that’s great, if you have a job where you are walking a few miles a day you get to add some calories to what your body will need for fuel to maintain your weight.
If I run a mile I will likely burn 100-110 calories and weight lifting for one hour will burn around 400 calories for someone like me.
Alright, so now we have an idea of how many calories we can burn in somewhat general terms...
Let’s say I go to the gym in the morning and I lift weights for half an hour and I run two miles. I have a very busy lifestyle and this is all I can fit in my schedule. Based on the information we have I burn about 400-500 extra calories. (I’m sure that’s almost enough to take care of that huge milkshake I drank earlier.)
Ok, let’s back up to what my body is naturally burning (1,116) and the extra calories I burned at the gym (400-500). I am working with about 1,600 calories that I need to consume just to maintain my weight. But if I have a very busy job like personal training, I walk 5-6 miles a day at least and that’s another 400-500 that my body needs to function. So let’s say around 2,000 calories a day. This is a much more manageable caloric intake if you are eating and drinking things that your body needs on any given day now.
But for fun, let’s look at what an average day in my life used to look like. I worked in an off office and most of my exercise came from the gym in the morning. I would burn probably around 300-400 calories each day.
Let’s look at what a typical day might have looked like for me back then…
I went to the gym in the mornings and I would be working so hard! Therefore, according to the Gatorade commercial I was losing electrolytes and they need to be replenished ASAP after that two-mile run or I might die! Ok that’s extreme, but the commercials are quite convincing. So, while I’m at the gym I drink my 12oz Gatorade, just to make sure I can make it through my workday today. That Gatorade is packed with 21 grams of sugar.
Then I would eat breakfast after my workout. I have been told by my friend who is trying to lose weight that a certain meal replacement shake is awesome! So that is my breakfast and it has 7 grams of sugar, but I’m still hungry because the shake doesn’t fill me up so I have two eggs and a glass of Juicy Juice. The juice is a tropical fruit flavor and fruit is healthy so I drink a glass of that, which is a whopping 27 grams of sugar.
Then I have a peach tea with lunch because tea is healthy- 26 grams.
3:00 pm rolls around and I need a cup of coffee in the afternoon because I am so tired that I cannot get through the day without it. However, I must have creamer, and it fall so they have that really yummy pumpkin spice flavor that everyone is going nuts for. But I only use a little, so it’s ok. When in reality many people don’t realize that they add around 3-5 tablespoons of creamer to their cup of coffee- this adds up to 15- 25 grams of sugar.
Then you get home and it’s been a crazy day at the office I need a glass of wine (or two) to relax after a long day. I plan to have Salmon and veggies to ensure I am eating healthy and a nice glass or two of Chardonnay - which adds up to about 3 grams of sugar.
That is an example of what I used to drink when I was trying to lose weight. Now, let’s look at the amount of sugar I consumed in a day. That totals up to 130 grams of sugar!! Just in what I drank!
The recommended intake of sugar for someone like me is only 25 grams per day. Not to mention that 130 grams of sugar is 520 calories!!
But that’s totally fine because I went to the gym this morning and I burned... 400-500 extra calories for the day. Based on the amount of sugar I consumed and the amount of calories I burned I just about broke even. No wonder I wasn’t losing weight! As you can see, all of these drinks with added sugar add up really quickly and can absolutely contribute to weight gain or inhibit weight loss depending on how much you are consuming.
Now, as I said before I don’t want you to obsess about calories.
There are other reasons that sugary drinks contribute to weight gain aside from the calories...
Sugar that is added to many of these drinks in the form of table sugar, or strait fructose, and in the form of high fructose corn syrup. HFCS is 20% sweeter than table sugar and cheaper to manufacture. It is also highly addictive and leaves you wanting more every time you consume it.
A study at the University of California revealed that your body can safely metabolize around six teaspoons of added sugar per day; everything else consumed is metabolized into fat. Not only that, it damages your liver in a similar way that alcohol does. It forces the liver to perform excess work leaving it unable to detoxify other chemicals and toxins, which can also lead to weight gain and cause other diseases in the body.
It tricks your body into gaining weight and affects your insulin and leptin signaling. Meaning your brain is no longer able to tell you when you have eaten enough.
It causes metabolic dysfunction. Eating too much sugar causes symptoms like weight gain, abdominal obesity, decreased HDL and increased LDL, elevated blood sugar, elevated triglycerides, and high blood pressure.
Sugar has been linked to many diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer, diabetes, heart disease and dementia.
I know we are discussing weight loss, but I want you to think about something. If you are sick and unable to care for yourself, how important is weight loss going to be in your life. Not very.
Now that we have all this information about the harmful effects of the excess amount of sugar in the drinks you are consuming, let’s talk about ways that you can cut out these sugary substances. Keep in mind that sugar or fructose is addictive and you may not want to give up your favorite products. So what can you do when you find yourself fighting at 3pm when you need your coffee and creamer?
Here are the solutions to get rid of sugar-added drinks and how to use your green tea to lose weight...
Drink water at the gym.
Ditch the artificial shakes, eat real food, and have hot tea with breakfast.
Drink water with lemon at lunch and have your afternoon coffee black or with almond or coconut milk instead.
When dinner rolls around drink even more water; it nourishes and hydrates your body better than any other drink you could consume.
If you find that you are still stressed when you get home after work, drink another hot tea. It will relax you a sooth your stress.
Try eating a handful of nuts like pecans or walnuts nuts. These contain healthy fats that will often times curb that sugar craving.
Make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day. Sometimes when we feel like we are hungry, we are sometimes just thirsty. If we wait too long to drink water we will experience uncontrollable thirst and often times we will grab whatever is handy often times this is a beverage that is going to do very little to nourish your body, such as a soda. So drink a lot of water!
Another tactic is to try to identify why you want that drink in the first place. Are you tired, bored, sad, happy? It seems as though we eat or drink when we feel any emotion regardless of need. Try to address the reason behind the emotions you are feeling and embrace the feeling instead of masking or celebrating with something to drink.
Also, quit buying things that you know you are not supposed to drink. Don’t keep it anywhere that is handy like your house or office. It is much more difficult to get in your car and drive to the grocery store when you are craving a Pepsi than it is to reach into the fridge.
And lastly, give yourself time to think about why you really want that drink. Question your thoughts, don’t argue, but ask yourself meaningful questions such as what is this going to do for my body? How am I going to feel after I drink this soda? Is there something that is better for my body that would satisfy me instead?
And when all else fails, don’t be too hard on yourself. Know that you are human and you are doing the best that you can, but don’t give up! You must train your brain like any other muscle. When you begin a new habit it is not easy, but the more you make the right decisions the easier it becomes.
Custom Body Fitness is located in Glenwood Springs CO and Carbondale CO