So, do you want a super easy way to lose weight? Easy, stop drinking that sugary drink! “Ah!” I hear you exclaim that you “rarely have soda!”. But that’s where many of us are misled, there are lot more sugary traps than soda alone. We all know that soda is filled with sugar, but it’s time to find out which sugary drink is sabotaging your weight loss and healthy living.
The ‘healthy’ excuse – Fresh squeezed juice
The sweet, refreshing pick-me-up of sugar cane juice freshly squeezed in front of you is so tempting on a hot day. But the calories from one juice can be equivalent to a small snack! We love fruits, they are full of vitamins, antioxidants and importantly a great source of fibre. Fibre is beneficial for digestive health and makes you feel fuller for longer! Unfortunately, many juices remove the fibre. Regularly drinking juices can sabotage your weight loss with unnecessarily high calories, disrupting your blood sugar levels and causing an imbalance in your gut bacteria.
Tip – Even though it’s a highly sugary drink, you can still enjoy a fresh squeezed juice just not every day! Try diluting your juice with half water, half juice to reduce the calories.
Addicted to yummy – Bubble tea
We are totally guilty of the bubble tea allure, but who wants to clean for nearly two and half hours to work off that guilty pleasure? In the one block walk to work, there are five bubble tea outlets, each with alluring new flavours and combinations. But this is one damaging sugary drink for our waistlines. The tapioca really increases the calorie count, meaning you are thwarting your weight loss efforts without realising. The popularised versions of pearl milk tea, with added purees and flavours have really heightened the calories and outweigh the health benefits of the ‘tea’ part!
Tip – Ask for less or no sugar (this includes flavoured syrups and fruit purees). Opt for fresh milk instead of non-dairy creamers. Go plain and minimise the chewy tapioca pearls for less calories.
Science says you need it – The sports drink
Marketing gurus have really nailed the sports drink sell! Let us make it very clear for you, a sports drink is not necessary unless you are training continuously for 90 mins or more. They are designed to replenish your electrolytes and glucose for optimal recovery. But to make them more palatable, they are filled with sugars and flavours that add up to unnecessary calorie overload if you’re drinking them daily.
Tip – Read the label. There are sports drinks available that are low in sugars yet still adequately replenish electrolytes. These are important drinks if you’re working out in hot and humid weather where you sweat a lot.
The antioxidant anecdote – Iced Tea
It’s true, black and green tea have beneficial anti-oxidants known as polyphenols. They play an important role as a prebiotic, setting up your gut with beneficial bacteria which is important for managing your weight and preventing disease. So, what’s the issue with iced tea then? It’s the added sugar and flavours in commercial iced teas that undermine the benefits.
Tip – Try home-made unsweetened iced tea infused with blackberry and mint!
Caffeine fix – Fancy coffee
Don’t worry all of you coffee addicts, coffee itself is not the demon here. It’s all the fancy additions of condensed milk, cream, chocolate or frappes that make them so appealing and so high in calories. Limiting your caffeine intake is also a good idea for your health!
Tip – Save the fancy caffeinated sugary drink for an occasional indulgence and move towards Kopi-C-kosong or Kopi-siu-dai
The trendy order – Café smoothies
We love a good smoothie that is packed with whole fruits and vegetables. BUT it should be considered a meal, not a drink. The issue when ordering a smoothie is the psychology that’s behind it. Just because it comes with a straw doesn’t mean it’s for hydration. Also, be aware of the little added extras when buying from a smoothie bar. Some smoothies may have ice creams, sorbets, sweetened yoghurts or highly sugary drink extras like dates and honey.
Tip – Consider it a meal instead of a drink. Drink your smoothie slowly and listen to your body signals of feeling full.
So, which sugary drink is your culprit for sneaky calorie overload?
Whether it’s sodas, juices, bubble tea, sports drinks, iced tea, coffee or smoothies you can see there are plenty of ways that simply cutting down your intake of these can have a huge impact on the calories you are consuming each day. The simple formula for weight loss never changes, ‘calories in’ need to be less than ‘calories burned’. In other words, less calories and more movement. It’s also important to remember that not all calories were created equal. Meaning that there are loads more health benefits to having a fruit smoothie than there are to having a can of soda.
If you want to learn more about nutrition and avoid diet traps, check out the Active8me programs. The meals and meal plans have been designed by dieticians, doctors and world class recipe developers for your optimal health and weight loss results. Not to mention built in exercise and mindset programs plus access to a coach! Get on it today.