If you feel like you have hit a plateau in your weight loss efforts, you are not alone. It is not uncommon to lose several pounds and then suddenly find that those numbers on the scale have turned stubborn. They aren’t moving up, but they aren’t moving down either—in spite of your best efforts to be healthy.
When this happens, it is necessary to look for hidden sources of calories in your diet. Often, the culprit is your beverage choice. What you drink can have a profound impact on how much you weigh.
Proceed with Caution
You may be surprised to learn how many calories your favorite drinks are hiding. That 12-ounce can of soda has 124-189 calories! Love your Latte? The 12-ounce nonfat Caffe Latte at Starbucks has 120 calories. And even fruit juice is guilty: A 12-ounce glass of apple juice will set you back around 170 calories.
Those calories quickly add up. If you are on a 1,500-calorie diet, you can drink away almost one fourth of your daily calories in just a couple of glasses!
The problem is that many people do not stop to consider the calories in their beverages when they are calculating their calorie intake for the day. What this means is that those liquid calories end up being extra and therefore can bring your weight loss to a grinding halt—or worse, reverse your hard work.
The trouble with drinking calories goes beyond a few pesky pounds. The source of the calories in beverages is usually sugar. Many beverages contain sugar. And it’s not just a little sugar; it’s a lot of sugar, to the tune of 10 teaspoons per 12 ounces of both Orange Juice and Coca-Cola classic! And don’t turn to Vitamin Water to reduce your liquid calories; it delivers a surprising 4-5 teaspoons of sugar! Trust me; there are better ways to get your vitamins!
Sugar causes weight gain in a couple of different ways. The obvious way is by slamming your body with extra calories. But there is a more sinister way as well. When you drink that sugar, it ends up in your bloodstream as glucose and thus raises the glucose level in your blood. Your body recognizes this as dangerous, so your pancreas starts working overtime to release insulin to clear out the extra glucose.
But that extra glucose has to go somewhere! And that is why insulin is called the fat-storage hormone. Insulin sweeps the glucose out of your blood and stores it in your cells as fat.
Therefore, if you are drinking your calories, your weight loss plateau may be the unhappy consequence.
The solution is to train your taste buds to enjoy less sugary beverages. Water is the best choice. This summer, try putting slices of lemon or lime in your water. You can also freeze fruit in ice cube trays and let the fruit slowly flavor your water as the cubes melt.
Learn to drink unsweetened tea and coffee as well. Just be patient with yourself—it may take a few weeks for your taste buds to stop complaining and begging for sugar! Decrease the sugar in your drinks gradually, for a painless transition, and get ready to break out of your weight loss plateau!