It may be what you’re drinking rather than eating that’s making you put on weight.
Enjoy your favourite drinks in moderation or they could hinder your body shape and training goals.
Juice can be full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. However, not all juices are created equal. A freshly squeezed juice gives you all the sugars from the fruit, whilst leaving out the fibre. It takes several pieces of fruit to make a small cup of juice which adds up to a significant portion of your daily calories. This is not ideal if you are watching your weight, or have high insulin levels. Buy cold pressed juices, or use a blender that blitzes the whole fruit, go for a ratio of 2 veggies to 1 fruit, drink in moderation and remember to count your juice as part of your calorie intake.
Alcohol contains empty calories. There is no nutritional benefit for that 355kj glass of champers you enjoyed. You also tend to throw caution to the wind and make less healthy food choices after a few drinks, as well as the next day. Your liver has the job of metabolising alcohol, as well as generating energy. You won’t have the best exercise session at 6am if your liver is still dealing with alcohol from the night before. Enjoy a couple of drinks a night, avoid high calorie beers and mixers and keep 3 days per week alcohol free, especially before training.
How do you take your coffee – if it’s 7 cups a day, with milk and sugar and make-it-a-large habit, you may need to re-think. Many nutritionists agree a coffee per day won’t do you any harm and may actually have some health benefits. However, bear in mind the calorie content of what goes into your coffee. Also, ensure you do not skip meals, using caffeine to give you energy when what your body really needs is nutritious food to fuel it for the day’s activities.
The huge amount of sugar in soft drinks causes a massive blood sugar and subsequent insulin spike with all excess calories stored as fat. And don’t even get us started on the chemicals. The problem is fizzy drinks are addictive.
They increase dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centre of your brain. Choosing diet aft drinks gets rid of the calories, but research suggests artificial sweeteners tend to make you crave more sugary food and can therefore contribute to weight gain and you are still getting a big concoction of unwanted chemicals. There’s only one strategy here – keep your soft drinks few and far between.
By Rachel Livingstone Personal Trainer & Owner of The Health Hub www.healthhub.net.au