Dear Fitness Coach,
We just had our annual health fair at work: Got weighed in, and I can’t believe I gained 22 pounds since last summer! According to the charts, I am now officially fat (they say obese) Now what I don’t get is that I am eating pretty healthy, don’t eat fast food at all, and have totally cut down on pasta and white bread. I may have a couple of drinks at night to wind down, but that can’t be it, can it? I am not the gym junkie, but I play a couple of pickup games a week - and home and yard work keep me active on the weekends. I am only 36 years old and not ready for that middle-age spread. Maybe you can help.
Sounds like on paper you are doing what you should be doing: lifestyle habits such as being active and eating healthy, though unfortunately sometimes that is just not enough. One of the things you may want to look at is your overall calorie consumption. You may be taking in more calories than you think, and those calories could be coming from not what you are eating but what you are drinking. A calorie is a calorie, so you have to be aware of liquid intake as well.
Just to put things in perspective a pina colada has almost as many calories as a loaded-up Big Mac. So many drinks are so loaded with sugars and calories that you can be packing on the pounds without even knowing it. Let’s run through the average guy's daily liquid intake to pinpoint where those cals are coming from:
- On the way to work, you stop by Starbucks : You order what you think is a healthy Tazo Green Tea Frappuccino Blended Creme - no whip - Nonfat Milk… but that choice is a whopping 290 calories.
- Around 10am, you are thirsty and grab a Snapple Half and Half from the vending machine... add on 210 calories.
- With your lunch, you have a small Dunkin’ Donuts Strawberry Coolatta… add on 230 calories.
- You get home from work and relax with a couple of Coronas... add on 300 calories.
- To round off the day, you have a 10oz glass of cranberry juice cocktail with dinner... add on 200 calories.
By the end of the day you have added an additional 1,240 liquid calories. That’s more than 8,500 calories a week or 2.5 pounds of weight gain! By just cutting out your morning Frappuccino and Coolatta, you will start to lose about a pound a week (and you can still have those after-work beers!)