Sure, fruit juices offer more nutrients and vitamins than any soda, but they’re still loaded with sugar. For example, a glass of orange juice often contains 24 grams of sugar. What’s more is your body won’t have to expend any energy (calories) to digest it and will process it as just that… sugar. You’d be better off eating the orange whole that will have fewer calories and sugar. The whole fruit will also contain a few grams of fiber and require your body to expend more energy digesting and processing the food. My number one rule for weight loss is to avoid drinking your calories. Calorie filled drinks go down way too easily, rarely help us to feel full, and are easy to drink in large quantities. Sticking with whole foods washed down with plenty of water is going to yield much better results.
Your Protein Shake
Protein shakes can be very beneficial , but more so detrimental if one is not careful. There are a lot of supplements out there with flashy labels and nutrition shop salesmen who like to talk such products up. Somebody looking to lose weight shouldn’t need anything more than straight whey protein with 25-30 grams of protein per scoop with no more than 130 calories, a gram or two of fat, and zero sugar. Anything more will either be more fitting for somebody with bulking goals or offers nothing more than filler content with unnecessary added calories.
Look to get your carbs from a source that will offer your body a little more bang for your buck in the way of nutrients. I personally prefer one of three proteins mixed with water. Isopure, Gold Standard, or Jay Robb. My carb source for post workout is typically a handful of berries, watermelon, an apple, or a kiwi. Berries tend to mix well and help add flavor though if you’re using a blender and making a smoothie.
Yogurt is a classic health trap in that so many brands play tricks on us. Many offer zero sugar while the fat content is fairly high while others go the opposite route and boast the fat-free feature while loading up on sugar. Others load up on both making for a sugary, fatty, and caloric nightmare. Regular yogurt is also pretty low on protein quantities. Plain Greek yogurt is going to be your best route thanks to its lower calorie, fat, and sugar counts and high protein, but truth be told, it doesn’t taste all that great. If you’re aiming to lose fat and really want yogurt to be a staple in your diet, find a good flavored Greek yogurt and eat it as a pre-workout or post-workout meal so your body makes the most of those sugars. Some of the flavored Greek Yogurts also mix well with protein powders in a blender and some ice/water to make a great smoothie!
It’s good to be a health nut, but there can be too much of a good thing. While nuts and nut butters offer the healthy, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, their calorie count is still fairly high, making it easy to get out of control. If you’re eating almonds, try not to exceed the serving size (or a small handful). Peanut butter and almond butter fans should pay attention to the serving sizes. Usually two tablespoons is plenty.
We see it daily. Commericials with professional athletes with six-pack abs and amazing muscle definition drinking some sort of sports drink. The reality is, these too, are also filled with unnecessary calories and sugars that the body doesn’t need. The average person with weight-loss goals doesn’t need more processed sugar. Even the low-calorie sports drinks, while being an improvement from the regular drinks, still have little to offer and still contain processed sugar. Keep yourself hydrated with plain water. If you really want a “performance” drink, look into Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs). You can buy these at any supplement shop or online and they taste great. What’s more is they contain 0 calories and offer enhanced muscle recovery, which can lead to less muscle soreness as well as an energy boost. My personal preference is Scivation Xtend’s Watermelon or Green Apple.