In the fat loss journey we will all eventually hit one or several pesky plateau(s), trust me you are not alone. It is very common to start into a fitness program and results seem to come very quickly, that unwanted fat is beginning to be removed from the body and every assessment you complete reinforces the process. Then without warning results come to a screeching halt! You are doing everything right inside and outside of the fitness facility but it is not rendering the same results as the previous assessments.
You have come to the cross roads of the infamous plateau!
When the plateau appears in your fitness journey, and it happens to all of us, you will need to trust the process and use your coach. As fitness professionals we will start to evaluate nutrition first, because most of the time the resistance training and cardio activity are sufficient to overcome the plateaus. Many times we will see the client try to do more and more activity thinking that this will be the secret to overcoming the plateau, but it typically does not work.
When faced with the fat loss plateau you will want to really start to fine tune your nutrition and find out where your calories are coming from. You will need to dial in your macronutrients and find out if you have any hidden sources of calories. Many times your hidden source of calories will be in the form of a beverage. What you drink can have a significant impact on your fitness journey.
Many people will be surprised to learn how many calories are hiding in their favorite drinks.
If you look at that 12 ounce can of soda it has 124-189 calories, the 12 ounce latte from your local Starbucks has 120 calories, and many of us forget about the fruit juice. If you gulp down that 12 ounce glass of apple juice it will cost you about 170 calories.
You see what I am getting at; when you really start to dial in your nutrition those calories quickly add up. If you are on a 1,500 calorie diet, you can drink away almost one fourth of your daily calories in just a couple of drinks.
One main issue is most people do not stop and consider the calories in their beverages when they are tracking and calculation their calorie intake for the day. If this is happing, it might be one of the reasons your fat loss has slowed. You could be totally missing the calories you are consuming from liquids. This can slow things down and sometimes reverse all the hard work you are putting in lifting weights and performing cardio.
Another issue we see with drinking your calories may go beyond slowing your fat loss journey. One of the main sources of calories in liquid beverages is sugar. If you take your time and understand food labels you will see that 12 ounces of both OJ and Coca-Cola have around 10 teaspoons of sugar. That is a lot of sugar to be taking in for 12 ounces. You also want to watch out for Gatorade and Vitamin Water to reduce your liquid calories because Gatorade has around 5 teaspoons of sugar and Vitamin Water has around 5 as well.
Taking in all that sugar can cause some problems with your fat loss. The obvious way is by adding excess calories you may not be aware of. Another problem is when you drink that sugar; it ends up in your bloodstream as glucose and raises the glucose level in your blood. Your body recognizes this as dangerous, so your pancreas starts working overtime to release insulin to clear out the extra glucose.
The extra glucose in the blood has to go somewhere, and the insulin sweeps the glucose out of your blood and stores it in your cells as fat. This is why insulin is called the fat storage hormone.
Therefore, you must be aware of your calories from beverages. If you are drinking your calories, your fat loss plateau may be the unhappy consequence, and you really need to monitor the amount of sugar that is being consumed in your beverages.
One option to help prevent calorie consumption from beverages is to make habit modifications. You will need to break the cravings you have for sugar.
The solution is to train your taste buds to enjoy less sugary beverages. Water is the best choice. This summer, try putting slices of lemon or lime in your water. You can also freeze fruit in ice cube trays and let the fruit slowly flavor your water as the cubes melt.
Learn to drink unsweetened tea and coffee as well. Just be patient with yourself because it may take a few weeks for your habits to change and your taste buds to stop begging for sugar! Decrease the sugar in your drinks gradually, for a painless transition, and this may help with your fat loss plateau!