As you start up working your fitness or weight loss program, one thing that you must make sure you’re doing is paying attention to the beverages that you’re drinking on a regular basis. Many people put a great deal of time and energy into watching the foods that they consume on a daily basis, but then fail to take into account the beverages they’re having as well.
If you want to see optimal results from the hard workouts you’re doing at the gym, you absolutely must be tracking calories. Calories are what will make or break your weight loss efforts, and drinks can add up.
Let’s go over the do’s and don’ts of fat loss beverage selection.
First things first, most people already know that they should be drinking more water on a daily basis. Water is calorie free, will cleanse the body, ridding you of toxic build-up, and will help to boost your metabolism when you’re adequately hydrating yourself.
Those who don’t drink enough water on a day to day basis are more likely to find that they suffer fatigue throughout the day, so this really can take away from the effort they give when working out hard at the gym.
On the don’t list, don’t drink fruit juice. Most people think that this is a healthy choice – after all, it’s real fruit, but that’s far from the truth.
Fruit juice is loaded with sugar and will only send your blood glucose levels soaring.
Plus, you’ll miss out on the fiber that eating real fruit would provide, so that’s yet another reason why this is not your best bet.
If you want fruit, have the real deal.
The next beverage that you should be taking in on a regular basis is green tea. Green tea contains powerful antioxidants that will help to prevent free radical damage in the body and can also stimulate your metabolic rate so that you burn more calories each and every day.
Green tea can also help to calm your appetite, so is perfect for those on calorie reduced diets.
Just be sure to avoid using too much added sugar or honey when serving up green tea or you’ll be taking in simple sugars you don’t need.
Next up on the list of don’ts is gourmet coffee. It’s vital that you are avoiding drinking coffee that comes complete with cream, sugar, whip cream, or any other high calorie add-ins.
Gourmet coffee will quickly put a dent in your calorie budget, often contributing up to 300-400 calories per cup.
Just stay away – that’s your best bet for success.
Many people often believe that they should be avoiding milk on their fat loss diet plan but this isn’t the case at all. Good quality cow milk and good quality almond milk are great choices.
In fact, cow and almond milk can actually help you see faster progress as it’s going to provide calcium that might accelerate fat loss.
Plus, milk also contains protein, which is the primary nutrient most women fall short in. If you are just finishing a workout session, chocolate milk with some whey protein can actually serve as the perfect post-workout beverage to have to help you make a quick recovery.
Finally, the last of the don’ts for beverage selection is fruit smoothies. If you’re in the habit of going to your regular smoothie bar and ordering up a large thinking you’re doing good since they’re made with real fruit and yogurt, you may want to think again.
Many of these smoothies are nothing much more than glorified milkshakes and will come with milkshake level calories to boot.
If you want a fruit smoothie, prepare your own using skim milk, whey protein powder, frozen fruit, and a small amount of healthy fat such as peanut butter or coconut milk added in.
This will be a beverage that will actually supply your body with what it needs, not set you up for potential weight gain.
So there you have the main points to remember about your beverage selection as you go about your weight loss program at your gym. Remember that just like with your food intake, you must track the number of calories in the beverages you’re having as well as they will contribute to the results that you see.
Jack Wheeler is a personal trainer and owner of 360 Fitness in Red Deer.