It’s time to reassess what goes in your cup
If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s pretty obvious that you’ve got to cross these off your list of go-to beverages. But that’s not all that’s screwing over your plans to get in shape. Even some seemingly-innocent drinks can set you back. “You can literally guzzle down hundreds of calories without even realizing it,” says Karen Ansel, R.D.N., author of Healing Superfoods for Anti-Aging: Stay Younger, Live Longer. That’s because our brains don’t register feelings of fullness from liquids the same way they do from solids, she says.
Obviously, if you’re trying to lose weight, you’re better off getting your calories from actual food rather than drinks. They’ll help you feel full longer, she says. But you’re also a human and drinking water 24/7 isn’t super thrilling at 4 p.m. From your first cup of coffee in the morning to that afternoon iced tea, here is a list of the drinks you should avoid—or at least drink in moderation.
When all you want to do is crash and burn instead of hitting the gym, you might turn to an energy shot or a low-cal, sugar-free energy drink to get amped. But that’s a mistake, says Gans.
You would think that a smoothie made of fruits, vegetables, and little else would be a smart move on a diet, but that’s not always the case, says Ansel.
Whether you’re addicted to your local juice bar or pick up a bottle or two at the grocery store, you should know that even the most natural juices are loaded with sugar. A glass of 100 percent grape juice has nine teaspoons of sugar, a glass of 100 percent orange juice has six teaspoons, and a glass of 100 percent apple juice has seven teaspoons. (Actually, sugar can crop up in a lot of unexpected places. Check out the 10 kid’s meals that have more sugar than a can of Pepsi.)
Almost every kind of pre-sweetened iced tea—from a restaurant or from the bottle—is usually a bad idea.
“Observational research rather consistently shows that consumers of fat-free or 1 percent milk tend to gain more weight over time than those who consume whole, unsweetened milk,” says Ludwig.
Those flavored fraps, mochas, and lattes you crave first thing in the morning aren’t going to help you get to your weight-loss goal any quicker. But that doesn’t mean you have to quit your caffeine addiction—you’ve just got to modify it, says Ansel.