Is Your Drink Making You Gain Weight?: The Truth Behind Your Calories
Thinking of having a smoothie for breakfast? Before you bring out the blender, stop and think about the drink’s actual health benefits. While some smoothies may be good for you, others may not be as beneficial as you originally believed. The wrong kind of smoothies, as well as other presumably “healthy” beverages, might end up wreaking havoc on your waistline. To help you get started, here is a list of some commonly-believed “healthy” drinks and the real truth behind them.
Many people start their day off with smoothies. Depending on what you use to make them, some can contain plenty of vitamins and nutrients that are good for the body. For example, adding strawberries and bananas is a great way to satisfy your daily nutritional intake of vitamin C and potassium.
However, if not careful, smoothies might end up containing as many calories as a main-course meal, while also having excessive amounts of sugar. To prevent loading up on calories that cause weight gain, try to limit the amount of fruits that are naturally high in sugar (e.g. bananas), and use sweeteners (e.g. honey, agave syrup) sparingly.
Like its cousin, juice is similar to smoothies in that it can be store-bought or homemade, and also packed with plenty of vitamins and nutrients. Juicing has become a popular trend nowadays as a way for one to lose weight or cleanse the body, especially following a huge food splurge the day before.
However, like smoothies, juice might be high in calories and sugar, as well as not contain enough protein to keep one full for long periods of time (which could contribute to overeating because of spiked cravings). Juicing machines also tend to be very expensive, running between fifty to four hundred dollars. To save money (and also your waistline), a simple blender will be good enough to whir together your fruits and veggies. Using a blender will get you the whole fruit or vegetable, so your body can get both the nutrients and the fiber. Just make sure to limit the sugar content, so that you the drinks don’t catch up to you.
Yogurt drinks (such as kefir, dhalla, and lassi from the Middle East and East Asia) have been known to have plenty of fruit and calcium in each serving, but are also filled with high amounts of sugar, calories, and fat. Many of them also have beneficial probiotics, which aid in digestion. Choose selections that are low in fat, or contain no fat. Be careful though: if a label says “low fat”, make sure that they haven’t added extra sugar to make up for the change in taste.
Sometimes it’s nice to come home from work, pour yourself a glass of wine, and crash onto the sofa. Lucky for you, many studies have shown that this alcoholic beverage, especially red wine, contain ingredients that have been associated with reduced risks of heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes.
At the same time, though, too much of wine might work against those health benefits, as well as lead to weight gain. Since wine tends to increase appetite, it could lead to weight gain from overeating. A single serving of wine, occasionally, can give you the health benefits without spiking the health negatives. One glass equals about 5 ounces, so limit your consumption to one glass a day, two to three times a week.
Bodybuilders, as well as those who want to bulk up, often rely on protein shakes to enhance their fitness. The problem is that drinks do not directly increase muscle mass, but they help the muscle recover more quickly after intense workouts. Through recovery, only then will muscle growth occur. Containing the essential whey protein, these shakes provide a substitute for protein consumption in whole foods (e.g. chicken, steak, fish) when one wants to increase muscle, without needing to eat excessive amounts of meat.
Likewise, consuming too much protein can lead to problems such as kidney disease, chronic dehydration, and excess fat storage. Make sure you know exactly how much protein you need to receive daily, and be careful not to overload with it. Moderate amounts, along with proper exercise to build the muscles will lead to the maximum benefits possible.