Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Smaller Sips to Weight Loss

Food journals have had a lot of good press in recent years as being an effective means of losing weight or maintaining weight loss without necessarily counting calories. I think keeping track of your diet habits is great as a short-term strategy - it definitely works to keep you a little more accountable for what you're putting in your body, and helps you recognize habits or 'treats' which may be hindering a weight loss goal. Keeping a log for a week or two if you have hit a plateau, or want to kick-start a weight loss program is a good move.

One thing I have noticed from reviewing clients' daily logs is that they tend to remain very true to the title of food journal. Very rarely is there mention of any beverages consumed daily, whether it's no-calorie like water or artificially sweetened drinks; or drinks that pack a more caloric punch, like lattes, Gatorade, juice, soda etc.

I'm not suggesting that never having a glass of wine with dinner, or meeting a friend for coffee and getting yours black with no sugar is the best way to lose weight. You have to have a sustainable lifestyle, and caloric drinks should be just like 'treat' foods - okay once in a while, or in moderation, just not present in every single meal or snack.

Remember, 3,500 calories is equal to one pound. If you're drinking a 12oz skim milk latte 5 days a week; drinking 5 alcoholic drinks in a week; an 8oz glass of orange juice every day; and 1 can of real soda in a week, that all adds up to 2,140 calories per week. Alternatively, you could have 1 latte a week, and coffee with skim milk the other 4 days; cut your alcohol intake to 3 drinks a week; eat an orange or an apple instead of the juice every day, and get rid of the soda, and that calorie total would drop to 1,095 calories. Without making any other changes, you would lose just over a quarter of a pound a week. Doesn't sound like much? After 3 months you'd be down 4lbs. And that's only from making very small changes to what you drink. You still have your occasional glass of wine, your latte, and you're eating more fruit - but you're losing weight!

Next time you're keeping a food journal, make sure it's a food and drink journal. See what small liquid changes you can make to your habits to ensure easy, sneaky weight loss.


Post a Comment