Weight loss can be a simple and even enjoyable process if you approach it from the right perspective. Start by setting a realistic target (any weight loss is to be celebrated), and follow that up by making relatively minor tweaks to your eating habits in order to encourage the pounds to drop off, slowly but surely.
With that process in mind, today’s guest on Healthy Enough recently suggested one simple minor tweak to me that alone could be enough to grant you the weight loss you desire.
Introducing Steve Kamb
Steve Kamb is the founder of Nerd Fitness, which is the nerdiest health and fitness blog on the planet (and unashamedly so). He has been helping nerds across the globe to get healthier and fitter since 2008 and specialises in realistic and practical advice for ‘normal’ people.
As regular Healthy Enough readers will recognise, the Nerd Fitness ethos aligns closely with my own, which is why I was so keen to get Steve’s response to a simple question: what he thought the single biggest change the average person can make to positively affect their health and fitness was. His answer was deceptively simple:
Cut out liquid calories. Stop drinking soda, stop drinking sugar-loaded juice. Naked Juices might as well be sugar water. Stick to water, tea, black coffee.
While Steve’s answer may seem obvious, stop for a moment and ask yourself this simple question: do you drink liquid calories? If the answer is yes, how obvious you consider Steve’s answer to be is irrelevant – you’ve still got work to do.
Why You Should Give Up Liquid Calories
There are generally three reasons why people want to (or are happy to) drink liquid calories (alcohol aside, which is a topic for another day):
The first reason isn’t good enough – after all, you can get caffeine from all sorts of non-calorific sources (as demonstrated in this awesome chart, which I originally saw in this post on Nerd Fitness).
The second reason represents a lack of appreciation for how many liquid calories you are consuming (in which case I’ll refer you back to the aforementioned chart).
The third reason is somewhat understandable, but ultimately an issue of perspective.
I mentioned at the top of this article that any weight loss is to be celebrated. So, let’s say for a moment that you wanted to lose just ½lb per week, which is roughly equivalent to around 1,750 calories per week or 250 calories per day. A 500ml bottle of Coca Cola is 210 calories. Cutting out that bottle a day would lead to a deficit (over your existing diet) of 1,470 calories per week, equal to approximately 0.42lbs per week. By just cutting out those liquid calories, you can theoretically lose nearly ½lb per week without doing anything else.
Even if you really enjoy your Coca Cola, you can replace it with Diet Coke. Although it may not taste quite as good as what you’re used to, you will find that your taste buds adjust over time (mine certainly did). There is almost always a good zero-calorie substitute for whatever liquid calories you are currently consuming.
Follow the Easiest Route to Weight Loss
When it comes to cutting out liquid calories, it’s a case of the pros outweighing the cons dramatically. It’s just liquid folks. If you’re going to pile the pounds on (not that I recommend you do), at least do it with real, solid food!
Cutting out liquid calories is one of the first things I tell people to do when it comes to weight loss, as it is for Steve too. The weight loss benefits are simply too great to ignore, especially when compared to the relatively trivial sacrifice that you have to make.
Try dropping liquid calories today – you may never look back.