Written by Jimmy Pember
March 23rd, 2010
We’re all told to watch what we eat, yet we forget all about what we drink! Yes, people will monitor what they’re eating to a certain extent, but completely forget or just don’t even realize what they are drinking. For most Americans, 25% of their calorie intake comes in liquid form! Now just imagine how much more calories the average American is consuming daily.
Let’s just say that one person is on a 2,000 calorie diet. Now imagine consuming an extra 25% of 2,000 calories. That’s an extra 500 calories in one day! So if your goal is to lose weight, imagine how much weight a person could lose just by switching their beverage of choice simply to water! In a one week span (7 days), that’s a whopping 3,500 calories saved which is equivalent to one whole pound! 3,500 calories equals one pound of bodyweight.
So in essence, to lose weight you need a total calorie deficit of 3,500 calories. So you must expend more calories than what you consume. Let’s say your normal diet is 2,500 calories and this is the amount of calories for maintaining your current weight. Your goal is to lose 10 to 15 pounds. If you can switch what you normally drink daily to only water (no juice, soda, Starbucks, coffee w/creamer and etc.), this would amount to consuming 500 less calories per day.
In a seven day period, that would equate to 3,500 calories or one pound. To add to this and increase your calorie deficit, let’s say you exercise at a high intensity for one hour three times a week. For the one hour of exercise, that’s approximately 500 to 800 calories expended depending on your intensity level. That would be about 1500 to 2400 extra calories saved in one week. This is about ½ to a 3rd of a pound in addition to the one pound you saved by switching to only drinking water!
So if you could just cut out all the soda, juice, coffee with creamer, alcohol, and etc, and throw in some high intensity exercise three times a week for one hour, you could be losing an average of 1 to 2 pounds per week, which is the ideal and most practical amount of weight to lose. Any more than 2 pounds per week will put your body in starvation mode and will result in gaining the weight back. Once your body begins to consume enough calories, it will hold on to those calories by storing it as fat to prepare the body for fasting again. This is why starving your body is not only unhealthy, but will usually result in gaining back the weight lost and then some.
So if you're trying to lose 15 pounds and you switched to drinking only water and incorporated a one hour high intensity workout program for at least three times a week, in essence it would take you about 6 to 10 weeks to get to your ideal weight. It can be as simple as that!
Now for all you alcoholics, umm, I mean weekend party goers who like to drink socially! Let’s say you go out on Friday and/or Saturday night. Well, for most who like to go out on the weekend, we tend to have quite a few drinks, particularly beer. For the most part, the average beer is about 120 to 170 calories each. So if we have on average six beers in one night, and of course we know some people drink much more than six beers in one night, that’s an average of 145 calories per beer. Add up the total six beers you’ve had in one night and that amounts to a whooping 870 calories!! This is just for one night of a few drinks. Imagine if you do this on Friday and Saturday night, that’s 1,740 calories extra you’re adding to you diet in one weekend! Remember, you need a 3,500 calorie deficit to lose one pound of weight. That's almost half a pound you've gained back in one weekend.
Now if you do this on a regular basis, imagine if you just cut out the alcohol on the weekends. Add in some exercise and cut out all the extra soda, juice, Starbucks and/or coffee with creamer, imagine how much more weight you could actually lose!
I hope by you reading this article, maybe it will wake up some of you. I realize some of you will still want to have a couple drinks on the weekend or the occasional soda or glass of juice or even wine, but if you can begin to cut out all the excess drinks and add in some exercise throughout the week, you’ll see that you can make a difference. You'll make a difference in your appearance, weight, energy, and ultimately how you feel. So by doing this you can steer your path to greater health and fitness!
Jimmy Pember, NASM-CPT, Certified Fitness Specialist
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