I recently made a very simple yet intriguing discovery about my underestimated sugar intake -a discovery that needs to be shared with the masses! If you have a few pounds to lose, I highly recommend you keep reading for two very impactful switches to your daily routine that will work wonders in maintaining a heathy body weight. My discovery happened about a month ago. I began a commitment to workout regularly in addition to my already established routine of getting a fair amount of fruits and veggies (love my salads) and drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
After adding four 40 minute strength and HIIT workouts, you’d think I’d start moving the digits down on my scale. But my scale didn’t budge. My weight stayed the same. I spoke to my doctor; is it my thyroid? Is it stress related cortisol holding my fat cells hostage? Seriously doc, what gives? He said its simply a matter of calories in and calories out and most importantly, cut down on sugary foods and junk foods. I don’t eat sugar aside from my coffee -not enough to cause concern nor do I eat junk food, I scratched my head.
Keep a food diary and measure every spoonful
I decided to keep a digital food journal through the MyFitnessPal app to track all my calorie intakes in case there was something I had missed -I even kept an eye on my macros with this nifty app. I started drinking more coffees than usual to support my workout sessions since black coffee aids in stamina and weight loss. But I can’t do black coffee. I drink a regular; one itty bitty cream and one spoonful of sugar -barely enough calories to interrupt my intermittent fast or disrupt my weight loss plans.
My morning routine consists of making two to three Keurig coffees and nothing else until 2:00pm when I break my fast. Aside from water, coffee is my go-to drink. When I started logging my coffee with the cream and sugar, I had a ah-ha moment when I went a step further and actually measured out the sugar and cream I was adding to my cup. Turns out my single teaspoons are more like two and my single cream was triple what I should have been logging.
Let’s do the math on these hidden calories
Let’s calculate the real nutritional values in my 3 cups of joe with two teaspoons of white granulated sugar per cup and three tablespoons of coffee cream.
2 teaspoons of sugar = 32 calories per cup plus 10 grams of carbs
3 tablespoon of 10% coffee cream = 45 calories per cup
That’s 96 calories and 30 grams of carbohydrates from the sugar and a whopping 135 calories from the creamer I was incorrectly measuring as only one tablespoon!
For perspective; you might as well have a McDonald’s cheeseburger to start your morning with 300 calories and 32 grams of carbs, it’s a mere 70 calories difference but at least the burger has 15 grams of protein!
Sugar & cream in your tea or coffee will cancel out your intermittent fast
Logging and measuring food portions are vital to any weight loss plan because its quite common and easy to miscalculate how much when you’re eye balling portion sizes and not using a proper measuring tool. Cutting out sugar is paramount to sustainable weight management. You cannot out-run a bad diet. Added sugar will sabotage any weight loss plans you have going for you. And interrupt a fasted state.
My intermittent fasting consists of a 19 hour fast and a 6 hour eating window or 19:6. Technically, you can have 50 calories to keep your body in a fasted state -that’s a splash of coffee cream or a teaspoon of milk in two cups of coffee. So I really wasn’t fasting at all, I was feeding my body with 230 empty calories and 30 grams of carbs every morning. Not good.
Rethink what you’re adding to your black coffee
I decided I had to make the switch to black coffee for my health. It was a matter of changing my palette over a couple weeks of time. I call myself a coffee lover but was I? No, I was a sugar addict. It took a week to adjust (wean) myself off the 25 grams of sugar I was accustomed to every morning. I got headaches, my stomach grumbled. I didn’t like the black coffee taste. I had to pivot. I started adding Stevia on day 3 of my black coffee trial run. Stevia is a sugar substitute made from the leaves of the stevia plant. It’s about 100 to 300 times sweeter than table sugar, but it has no calories and no carbohydrates. I also ditched the cream and opted for 2% milk instead – careful to measure it with an actual tablespoon measure. On day seven, I was down 3 pounds!
I was down another 3 pounds by day 14. I didn’t even workout in these two weeks nor did I change any other aspects of my diet. I wanted to single handedly assess the effect that my sugar addiction and coffee creamer had on my weight loss goals.
A 6 pound weight loss over two weeks was enough to wake me up and out of my sugar addiction. I am still using Stevia and a splash of milk -black coffee is the best way to go and its so simple to just brew and go -no measure spoons needed. But at this point, I’m much happier and healthier with my new morning java routine and don’t expect to lose much more weight from this simple diet change but it will definitely set me up in the long run against developing a range of sugar related health issues including type 2 diabetes, accelerated skin aging, cancer and more.
Plus, I feel better knowing I can have occasional sweets such as cake and desserts guilt free on birthdays and special occasions. It’s all about balance. I invite you to skip the sugar and creamer in your coffee (or tea) for a week or two while intermittent fasting and see the results for yourself. Comment below any experiences you’ve had cutting out sugar from your diet.
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