Whenever I want to drop a few vanity pounds, the first thing I do is look at what I am drinking. I have a tendency to drink my calories. I eat about the same volume of food every day, but it is always the caloric intake from drinks that cause me to gain weight. My beverage of choice? Something with both caffeine and sugar.
Small choices add up!
It often starts as a small choice – a glass of juice or a small cup of coffee (with cream and sugar). But when you add an extra 200 – 300 calories to your daily diet from drinks, it is inevitable that your weight starts to creep upwards.
Your exercise routine can absorb 300 calories and maintain your weight, but ONLY on those days when you exercise. The problem is that it becomes “normal” to continue drinking it on a daily basis (even on days when you do not exercise).
Let’s do the math on caloric intake from drinks
So if my daily coffee (or glass of orange juice) is 200 calories, then at the end of the week, I would consume an extra 1,400 calories (almost half a pound!). If I exercise 4 days a week for half an hour (assuming I average 300 calories per session since I burn more calories during cardio days vs. strength training days), then I only burn off 1,200 calories each week. This leaves 200 calories that will probably be shuttle into my fat cells.
200 extra calories per week does not seem like much right? Well, after 52 weeks the extra calories become an extra 10,400 calories at the end of the year. This translates roughly into 3 pounds of weight gain per year. And you are exercising for half an hour 4 times a week the entire time! Wow!
And what happens to those weeks when you cannot exercise 4 times? Drinking my calories and lack of sleep explains my slow weight creep since November of last year. I am up 2.5 pounds. Not much to send alarm bells ringing, but enough for me to take notice.
Don’t start if you can’t handle the treat
Some things are best not to start. I can often kick the coffee habit for months at a time. But I love the smell and taste of coffee. And living with someone who must have at least two cups a day is really hard. But I am going to start this Friday. By the time Monday rolls around, the withdrawal symptoms from the caffeine should be under control. Just that I feel kind of sorry for my co-workers this Friday.
Until next time and thanks for stopping by Small Steps to Health.
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