Updated: Mar 25, 2020
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.