Here’s a super fast, but SUPER important one. If you’re looking to get leaner, you really aren’t doing yourself a favor by drinking your calories.
So before you give you me the “No Shit Sherlock” Award, let’s really consider this one because it comes up a lot with my clients. While anyone can tell you drinking two liters of Mountain Dew every day isn’t going to serve you, there are a number of liquid calories that can add up in a sneaky way.
Protein shakes may be an exception here if you wish to up your protein intake. Even then, if you’re looking to get leaner by reducing calories, you may do better by just eating more protein sources. As Dr. Mike Roussell reminded me recently, the stomach knows it’s full by volume, not by calories.
“May I please have a grande mocha frappucino
with extra cellulite?”
1) Healthy Drinks- If there’s sugar, it ain’t that healthy. Stop drinking it. Vitamin Water is not a health food. The vitamin content is almost non-existent. Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally delicious, and I’ve been known to enjoy one when I have a hangover, but let’s not kid ourselves. It’s full of sugar water.
2) Sports Drinks- Stop crushing Gatorade; it’s making you fat. Yes, it’s designed for endurance athletes. If you’re going for a jog on the treadmill, particularly if you’re goals are fat loss, Gatorade is not gonna help you. It’s fully gonna hurt your goals.
3) Jamba Juice- Holy crap, Jamba Juice is the king of physique ruiners. Many drinks at Jamba have approximately five gazillion grams of sugars. Yes, I know, it looks so tropical and healthy. But at least in NYC, you’re able to see the calorie and sugar content. Fifty bazillion (wait a minute… didn’t you just say five gazillion) grams of sugars are pretty much never gonna be helpful for you, regardless of your goals.
1) Effin’ Delicious
2) Not Your Friend For Fat Loss
4) Fruit Juice- Same here. I’d MUCH prefer that you just eat the fruit. Then you’ve got the fiber and not just straight up sugar. If you’re actually drinking fresh juice, that’s a little better, but even then, if fat loss is your goal, I don’t know that it’s the best choice. You can drink a small serving if you really want some, but if you drink 12 oz of OJ, you’re consuming about 10 spoonfuls of sugar. YIKES.
5) Coffee- Here’s another place a little bit can go a long way. For the most part you’re ok here with a splash of milk and even some cream. Hell, even a little sugar won’t ruin your life. But if you’re dumping in 1/2 cup of half-and-half and 7 packets of sugar (“What!? It’s BROWN sugar! It’s HEALTHY!!”), you should probably get used to not having a six pack.
And before you get depressed, remember, none of the above beverages are evil. They’re perfectly fine to consume in moderation, but if you’re trying to get leaner, they’re not your friends.
And as a quick side note… if you absolutely MUST consume something with taste, it won’t hurt your fat-loss goals if you have a Diet Whatever now and again. That said, there may be other health risks to consider, so my unsatisfying but honest answer to “can I drink diet soda?” is… my mind’s not made up on this one. It seems there’s not a lot of research that really links artificial sweeteners to health problems. However, the absence of evidence is not the same as the evidence of absence ( *the sounds of brains bursting open* (and no, I can’t take credit for that one)). I don’t believe anything in moderation is ever going to be a huge problem, and I don’t think anything in excess is ever going to be the greatest idea. As always, I encourage you to consider the possible cost and the benefit of any fitness choice (or life choice).
So here’s your takeaway: If you want to get all ab-by, don’t drink your calories!