Here is some “well, duh” advice that is easily overlooked from my friend Tom Gifford:
The #1 Rule For Cutting Calories
Recently I started training a new client who has coming to the gym 5 days a week but was not losing any weight whatsoever. In fact, he had been plateauing for 2 straight years!
I have a lot of respect for the guy to be coming to the gym for 2 years in a row without making any progress. He was doing a lot of the typical workout stuff that most people do that pretty much destroys their chances of making progress.
He was putting in lots of time walking on the treadmill at a slow pace followed by using the strength training machines. We quickly modified his routine to making it take a lot less time and make it more effective.
But the BIGGEST change came when he lost 13 lbs in the first 2 weeks. Believe it or not, this was not from the exercise routine. The new routine we started was in fact pretty basic. Some cool functional moves followed by some interval training.
He is definitely getting stronger, but the 13 lbs came about by making such a small change.
When I first looked at his food log there was one thing that jumped out at me. His diet wasn’t the best in the world but wasn’t the worst I have seen either. The part that really struck me was what he was drinking! Regular Coke, Yuengling Lager, chocolate milk, coffee with cream and sugar, and sweetened iced tea were among the beverages he was drinking on a daily basis.
For the next two weeks he only drank water, green tea, and unsweetened iced tea.
13lbs in 2 weeks.
Lesson: Don’t drink your calories!
This goes for all the beverages listed above as well as some of the “surprise” drinks that are bad for you. Gatorade and Vitamin Water are both that are loaded with sugar. A lot of green tea drinks are also full of sugar too.
Be sure to read the nutrition labels on everything you drink. If possible, just drink water. If you need caffeine, use black coffee or diet soda. Diet soda certainly isn’t healthy, but at least it will help you cut out all the calories from regular!