Soda gets a bad rep, and for specific reasons. It is one of the worst drinks to consume when trying to lose weight, but it becomes tough for people to avoid because it’s easy to find everywhere and incredibly cheap. Forget the fact that some fast food places let you have free refills during your meal, allowing you to drink as much sugar as you want. The average 12-ounce can of regular soda is on average 130 calories, and it has 12 teaspoons of sugar, which is double the amount found in a chocolate candy bar. Consuming more than one soda a day can cause you to gain unwanted weight.
Cutting out sugar is one of the first ways to reduce the empty calories you consume in your everyday life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most people consume too many added sugars, and those behaviors can lead to serious health problems. The sugar content in soda can lead to an addiction that many people can’t quit, leading to some drinking soda with every meal instead of healthier alternatives.
25. Avoid Alcohol Regularly Even If You Aren’t Trying To Lose Weight
Alcohol is very calorie-dense, and those empty calories can do a number on your waistline. Some beers and drinks can have as much as 450 calories per serving. Add that on top of the food you’re already eating with your beer. Now you’re having a very calorie-dense meal. Beer also hinders the body’s ability to burn fat, a necessary process when trying to lose weight, which is why consuming much beer regularly may end up giving you a beer gut. When you drink alcohol, and it is metabolized in the liver, it is transformed into acetate. When the acetate levels flip a switch, the body burns acetate as fuel before getting to the glucose carbs or fat.
There are other ways alcohol can be the root cause of your weight gain. Drinking too much interferes with sleep and disrupts the hormones in charge of controlling hunger and satiety, which throws your body’s natural rhythm out of whack. Alcohol can also trigger cravings for unhealthy and calorie-dense foods. This behavior can then lead to eating over your allotted calorie intake for the day, and then you will be adding more pounds on the scale.
24. Fast Food Milkshakes Come With Whole Milk And Extra Sugar
Milkshakes can make a great treat, but they should definitely be consumed sporadically. There’s no such thing as a tiny milkshake either, as they’re usually sold in those tall glasses that you feel you need to finish. Trendy monster shakes are over-the-top, and plain ones from fast-food joints are not much better. Eat This, Not That! explains how a large chocolate shake from a popular fast food place weighs in at more than 800 calories with whipped cream. This is almost half of the recommended daily intake! An ice cream-based drink can be made a million different ways, but the candies, desserts, brownies, and other additions all have one thing in common: sugar.
23. Large Blended Coffees Have A Lot of Sugar In Their Syrups
Some people live for coffee. They need that caffeine kick to jump-start the morning before they go to work. Otherwise, they can feel like an absolute wreck and not be able to get through their day. But there is a difference between coffee and then there is basically a caffeinated milkshake. While the beverage may not be the culprit in keeping you from slimming down, how you are taking it may be to blame. Giant 24-ounce drinks that hardly resemble coffee contain sugary squirts and syrupy flavorings. Some can even pack a whopping 560 calories, 14 grams of saturated fat, and 80 grams of sugar per serving. Yikes!
Like other drinks on this list, sweet tea contains high amounts of calories and sugar — 240 calories per serving and about 33 grams. Some experts say that sweet iced tea contains oxalic acid, which, when consumed in excess, gets deposited in the kidneys and causes problems in removing waste from the blood in your body. Too much sugar also runs the risk of raising your triglycerides to unhealthy levels. This is the exact opposite of what tea should be providing to your body: black tea is usually rich with antioxidants to promote your overall health. So adding a ton of sugar is the real culprit here.
The high amounts of caffeine in sweet iced tea can also raise your heart rate. This is the exact opposite of normal tea, which is supposed to improve heart rate and blood pressure. But do not stress. Everything can be done in moderation. There can be healthier ways to dress up a glass of tea and remain true to your healthier lifestyle. A splash of lemon can be a great way to brighten up your drink.
21. Sports Drinks Have Electrolytes, But Also A Ton Of Sugar
Sports drinks are marketed to give athletes and fitness enthusiasts the edge to compete at premier levels. However, sometimes people drink them when they are not necessary. If you are exercising for long periods, the drinks can be good for replenishing essential electrolytes and acting as the carbohydrate source to rehydrate. But not everyone is training for hours on end to get the body they’re looking for. Most people exercise for about twenty minutes before taking a break or giving up and going home. That’s why sports drinks are not the ideal beverages for them.
Sports drinks are also high in calories, and some even contain added sugar, which isn’t suitable for those who want to lose weight as their ultimate fitness goal. In fact, it will be much easier for them to put on the pounds when they should be losing weight through activity. Doctors recommend water as a way to rehydrate after an hour-long intense workout. This way, you will not undo some exercises you had just put in at the gym or walking around the block.
20. Flavored Water Could Be Lying About How Well It’s Hydrating You
You may be thinking that flavored water could be a safe substitute for drinking tap water. A little bit of flavor cannot be so bad; plus, they are low- to zero calories, especially those that promise to tout natural flavors and other healthy options added in. What could be the problem? However, the additive to make it taste great and the permissiveness of a boost of beneficial antioxidants can create wear and tear on your teeth. A few drops of water additive can be acidic, which will wear away the enamel of your teeth, making them more sensitive and more prone to cavities or damage in the future.
Most of the flavor essences possess citric and other fruit acids, which can cause significant tooth erosion over time. Decay occurs when the enamel on the teeth dissolves over time and then affects their structural integrity. The teeth then become hypersensitive to temperature and are more prone to developing cavities. The natural flavors often have chemicals, such as sucralose, acesulfame potassium, corn syrup, and MSG. These can be considered harmful when you are trying to develop a healthier lifestyle.
19. Fruity Cocktails Hide The Flavor of Alcohol With Sugar
When you want to rest and relax, a fruity drink may seem like just the type of refreshment you need. Mixers like daiquiris, pina coladas, mojitos, and sangria are loaded with sugar. Though they can be okay for an occasional happy hour indulgent dessert, they are definitely not something to put on your regular menu. A pina colada, for example, is the equivalent of eating nine Oreo cookies. Order another one, and there are nine more Oreo cookies on your plate. Can you really see yourself eating that many for one meal and still feeling good afterward? The high-calorie drink can undo any fitness or food intake goal you have set for yourself. There are other and more diet-friendly drinks to consume instead.
The fruity cocktails are also loaded with alcohol, a toxic substance that cannot be stored in the bottom. Unlike carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, these kinds of calories are used for fuel, which decreases the use of other sources of calories. The truth of the matter is if you drink, you will have to work harder to make up for what you consumed. Drinking consistently means you would have to eat less or exercise more to maintain the weight you have.
18. Low-Fat Milk Is Not Bad, But Not Great For Weight Loss
Here is another case in which the name is very misleading. For years, it has been touted that low-fat or non-fat dairy products are a better alternative to full-fat dairy. This is because if the fat is removed, then it’s considered to be more healthy. However, recent studies have questioned this basis, including one that suggests that high-fat dairy products have a much lower risk of diabetes and obesity. That means that you’ve been drinking the wrong kind of milk all along! This research has proven that drinking whole milk will curb appetite and help you feel fuller throughout the day, minimizing your need to snack over time.
Other research states that those who opt for reduced or low-fat milk options are more likely to increase consumption of sugar and carbohydrates to replenish what they are missing from their milk consumption. Your body takes excess sugar and carbohydrate calories and turns them into fat. Reduced-fat and skim milk may have fewer calories, but they also have less saturated fat, raising bad cholesterol and putting you at more risk for heart disease.
17. Chocolate Milk Is Even Worse For You Than Regular Milk
A childhood favorite, a nice tall glass of chocolate milk can be nostalgic and tasty. But they can be more detrimental to your health as you get older. However, much of the fond memories associated with the beverage can be problematic for adults looking to lose weight. Chocolate milk contains one-and-a-half to two times more sugar than a regular glass of unsweetened cow’s milk. An eight-ounce glass has an estimated 21 grams of sugar and other artificial flavors. The high content produces more carbohydrates and sugar for the body to burn, and most people are not as active as they used to be.
There is an alternative way to have your glass of chocolate milk and drink it too while you are losing weight. Because milk is nutrient-rich, you can add chocolate protein powder to help create a more grown-up and healthy beverage to help you reach your weight loss goals. It is an excellent way to incorporate a delicious treat that also fits in with your new lifestyle. And the protein powder will also help you out if you head to the gym regularly. It will provide you with the protein you need to build more muscle, which will, in turn, burn more calories.
16. Hot Chocolate Is Not The Best Thing For Your Health
Some snowy winter days call for a special treat, and nothing can warm the cold soul like hot chocolate. The seasonal beverage can be a toast with the most, but those counting calories should know what is warming up the mug. Hot chocolate is like its other chocolate-based drinks in that it contains copious amounts of calories and sugar. Whether you make it with chocolate syrup or from the powdered mix, you’re still adding many calories to milk or water. You also can’t be sure what exactly is in those powdered mixes.
If the beverage is made with full-fat milk, there could be another reason to keep drinking to a minimum. Hot chocolate is also high in saturated fat, which can negatively affect your cholesterol levels. While it may be true that you shouldn’t be too indulgent in a cup of hot chocolate, you can still enjoy the occasional cup if you remember to balance it out with the rest of your daily intake. Just remember that during the cold months, your body will hold onto calories more readily to keep it warmer.
This is different from sugary coffee drinks just because of how popular they are during the fall season. They seem to be the most purchased drinks when the weather gets cold, which is why it has earned their own space in this article. Starbucks is the pioneer for this drink, and many other unhealthy beverages. This company provides pumpkin spice lattes in several sizes, from small to large. The grande size can have as much as fifty grams of sugar alone, but add whipped cream to the mix, and you’re adding even more sugar to the mix.
Don’t think you can get away from all of these calories by looking for pumpkin spice lattes from other sources. It’s pretty much not healthy wherever you go. So consider the pumpkin spice latte as a treat you should only have once in a while, not a regular part of your everyday. You’ll quickly put on pounds and not know why. Fall only comes once a year, but those pounds may be around a lot longer than you want them to be.
If you need to add more to black coffee, you can add more natural alternatives to your morning caffeinated breakfast. Those who want a healthier lifestyle should look for creamers made with coconut milk or almond milk instead of oils and artificial ingredients. These flavored options may have as low as two grams of sugar per serving, which is definitely much better for your health overall. These alternatives may be a little pricier at the store, but ask yourself: what’s the actual cost of your health?
13. Probiotic-Infused Drinks Do Too Much For Your Gut
The new trend is to focus on your gut flora. More and more people are turning to probiotics to help re-balance the systems living in their guts, which is supposed to better aid digestion and help with overall gut health. So, probiotic-infused drinks jumped into the market to help out with this problem. Unfortunately, they also add a lot of sugar to these drinks in order to make them taste a lot better. This counteracts the health benefits you should be receiving from these kinds of drinks.
For example, a single serving of Tropicana Pineapple Mango Probiotics juice has as much as 29 grams of sugar. That’s as much sugar as a can of Mountain Dew. So are these drinks that healthy? If you really want to focus on adding more probiotics to your diet, there are better ways to do it. Choose kombucha as a drink, or add some probiotic yogurt to your morning cereal to provide you with the added benefits without all of that sugar being involved.
12. Cranberry Cocktail Says To Add Water, But The Sugar Content Is Still High
As stated earlier about fruit juice, there is a lot of sugar involved. However, when you think about cranberries, you may think that since they’re so healthy, that there’s no way they can be just as bad. In fact, cranberries are considered the fruit with the lowest amount of sugar content. Buyers need to beware of some of the concoctions on the shelf, especially if they say blend or cocktail. A healthy fruit can turn rancid fast when it is filled with large amounts of sugar. Cranberries are naturally tart; their distinct taste is often covered up before being bottled and sold to the masses.
One cup of Ocean Spray cranberry cocktail has a whopping amount of 25 grams of sugar inside, cane sugar at that. While the 100 percent cranberry juice is not much better with its 28 grams of sugar per serving, it is sweetened with natural fruit juices. Another option is diluting your sweet beverage with water to help balance and keep the calories in check. It may not taste as great as you’re expecting, but taking care of your health sometimes comes at the cost of making better choices for your health.
11. Tomato Juice May Seem Healthy For Weight Loss, But It’s Not
Tomatoes overall are pretty good for you, and this savory fruit contains many different health benefits. They are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, which is known to reduce heart disease as well as cancer. It also has a lot of vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin K to take care of your health. Nevertheless, the problem with juice is the way they dress it up. Because regular tomato juice does not have as much flavor, several brands have packed them with large amounts of sodium. When consuming too much salt, you are retaining water, leading to fluctuations in the scale. This can make you feel quite bloated at times, and too much salt can actually cause you to have more headaches.
Many people get too much sodium in their diets. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day. A cup of tomato juice can have as much as nearly 700 milligrams, which equals 30 percent of the recommended daily dose. Add that to the other meals you’re having throughout the day, and that salt content quickly adds up. Tomatoes, like citrus fruits, are very acidic and can cause irritations in the stomach lining.
10. Kombucha Promises Healthy Benefits, But At What Cost?
One drink that has seen a surge in popularity has been around for centuries — kombucha. This fermented tea is made up of green and black tea, sugar, yeast, and bacteria. The sugar is needed to make the yeast thrive, which is what creates that slightly vinegary flavor. Drinkers have consumed kombucha for thousands of years, and it is believed to have the same health benefits as regular tea. The problem with some brands is the same as many on this list — the added sugar. If the main ingredient is either sugar or sweet additive, then the chances are that it could prove to be something you may want to stay away from.
The adage about too much of a good thing can be applied to drinking kombucha. An occasional drinker would not need to worry, but those who down multiple kombucha bottles every day could be at risk of developing lactic acidosis. It accumulates too much acid in the bloodstream, which could lead to problems with kidney and liver function. Choose kombucha only in moderation, maybe one glass of it a day, to still receive the beneficial properties without risking your health.
9. Energy Drinks Have A Lot Of Extra Stuff On Top Of Caffeine
When people need a pick-me-up in the mornings, they usually go for black coffee. The other alternative is energy drinks. Although these were mostly designed for people who do a lot of working out in order to give them the energy they need, that’s not really how they’re used. Energy drinks have a bad reputation and for good reason. While there are sugar-free versions of these beverages, they are not much better than their calorie-ridden counterparts. Many drinks on the market contain artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners — all aforementioned chemicals that can negatively impact your body. Anything this loaded does not provide many health benefits. They also have citric acid, which can ruin your tooth enamel.
8. Energy Shots Are Just As Bad As Energy Drinks, If Not Worse
If a bigger 24-ounce can of energy is harmful, it is easy to surmise that the smaller version would not be as bad. Smaller sizes mean smaller doses, right? But you are still not downing a shot of liquid death when you consume an energy shot. Most of these shots are filled to the brim with chemicals, including artificial sweeteners and mega amounts of caffeine. It is not exactly the natural source of health. Just because it comes in a small package, it doesn’t mean that they’re “less bad” for you than a regular-sized energy drink. In fact, those tiny bottles make it much easier for you to drink more than one throughout your day, which can lead to addiction problems.
You’d think that taking an energy shot would mean you’re downing a shot of liquid health. However, just like larger energy drinks, the majority of energy shots are made up of chemicals. Most contain those ubiquitous artificial sweeteners, plus mega amounts of caffeine. Sugar-free beverages have also been found to trick your body into expecting sugar and change the way you metabolize other types of calories. You may be more likely to overeat to overcompensate the lack of the expected sweet stuff you are craving.
7. Ginger Ale May Be Good For Bad Tummies But Shouldn’t Be A Regular Beverage For Weight Loss
Drinks with ginger may seem like they could be good for you, but the truth is they are not what you might expect them to be. Ginger beer is not suitable for the waistline since it’s still a carbonated beverage filled with sugar. It is one of the most calorie-dense carbonated drinks you can consume, as the average 7-ounce serving has an astounding 171 calories or about 24 calories per ounce. This is more than the average calorie soda from the vending machine, which is about 14 calories per ounce.
Ginger ales may be refreshing when you have a stomach ache. However, those without sugar are often sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, which metabolizes differently in your body than cane sugar. The sweetener is associated with high-fat production in the liver, changing blood fat levels and causing harmful body fat. When you want to lose weight, you would like to avoid something in your diet that can cause more weight gain in the middle. Save the ginger ale for those sick days when you need the electrolytes, but skip them the rest of the time. Your body will thank you for it.
They can go by many different names, but slushies or ICEEs are drinks to watch out for if you are watching your weight. They can be yummy treats on a hot summer day, but regularly, they could be your downfall. These sweet frozen carbonated drinks are great on a hot summer day because they come in different fruit and familiar soda flavors. Nevertheless, their main ingredient is the problematic high fructose corn syrup. Slushies have a concentration of sweeteners at more than 10 percent. This is extremely high considering that there is no nutritional value in slushies; they are just empty calories.
The Blue Raspberry flavor has as much as 24 grams of sugar per serving. The sugar content and the high concentration of sweeteners can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb and extract the fluid from the drink. The flavors encourage rehydration, which means it tastes so good that you will want to drink it down faster. You may think it is cooling you off, but you are less likely to get the cooldown effects and may drink more to overcompensate the thirst. Stick with water, or choose the smallest size of cups if you really have to have one.
The popular root beer float is another summer treat that should be the occasional indulgence instead of a common beverage. Soda is problematic to drink regularly anyway, and adding ice cream is like putting sugary fuel onto an out-of-control fire. You can’t begin to imagine how much exercise you’d have to do to get rid of the calories of a root beer float. Root beer has 46 grams of sugar in a 20-ounce bottle, and a scoop of most commercially made ice cream is full of sugar and fat. The extra calories from combining both of these can add many calories to your daily intake.
The extra calories are incredibly counterproductive if you are trying to live by a calorie deficit. One tip for eating ice cream and remaining committed to your healthier lifestyle is to reverse the portions of ice cream to toppings; if you’re choosing healthy toppings like nuts and fruit, then your ice cream treat can be a little more nutritious for you. The bottom line is if you enjoy the occasional root beer float if made with low-calorie vanilla ice cream or another bowl of ice cream, you can stay on track if you indulge in moderation.
4. Apple Cider Is Great For The Fall But Not Year-Round Weight Loss
Another seasonal drink synonymous with fall is apple cider, but like other drinks on this list, this drink is packed with sugar unless you’re making it yourself. One serving can have at least 28 grams of sugar, and that does not include refills or the sugary sweet doughnut that you may have while taking in the incredible autumn scenery. The empty calories can push your calorie intake and blood sugar into overdrive and make you crave even more.
If you want to find alternatives to this seasonal favorite, you can always either drink half a serving or dilute the drink with water so that you can get the full flavor without that guilt. Another great option would be to eat an apple instead. The water and fiber from the whole natural fruit will be able to keep your blood sugar levels and make you feel fuller longer. The temptation is strong, especially when the temperatures start to drop, but you’re better off for it by not making it a regular part of your meals every single day.
3. Bubble Tea Puts A Lot of Empty Calories Into Your Body
Bubble tea is a trendy drink that can be found in stores all across the country. Typically this sweetened tea has popping tapioca balls known as boba that rest on the bottom of the container. Bubble tea also allows you to express your individuality while personalizing each cup to your own taste. The downside is that these teas are high in sugar, and they can be troublesome if you are trying to commit to a low-calorie diet. Many people get addicted to the taste. Others find satisfaction with the popping sensation of the bobas in their mouth. Either way, having bubble tea every single day isn’t that great for you.
The boba in the bubble teas does not have many health benefits. It’s made from tapioca, which is a starchy root. While the calories and the carbohydrates may boost energy, it is more likely a sugar high. Too much of a good thing can lead to a host of metabolic disorders and unwanted weight gain. Too much can lead to long-term health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. So skip the bubble tea and go for a tasty black or green tea instead.
2. Vitamin Water Proclamations of “Health” Aren’t Great For Weight Loss
Vitamin Water is a popular beverage that sounds like it could be too good to be true. Following the product’s name, it is vitamin-filled water that comes in a variety of different flavors. The problem with the drinks is that while they have “water” in their name, their composition is more closely related to regular calorie soda. There are 31 grams of sugar in a 20-ounce bottle. Furthermore, it is mostly from fructose, which is linked to a whole host of health problems. While there is a Zero version with no sugar, the beverages use artificial sweeteners for taste. Because the body does not compensate for liquid sugar calories, you can be more likely to consume more calories and gain more weight.
The vitamins in Vitamin Water include 50 to 120 percent of the recommended dose of Vitamin B and 50 to 120 percent of the intake of vitamin C. There are also smaller amounts of vitamins A and E as well as the minerals potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and chromium. Vitamins B and C are water-soluble and hardly ever lacking in a person’s diet. When you consume excess amounts, your body does not store them but instead excretes them out through urine. You are drinking Vitamin Water for vitamins you are already consuming.
There are so many beverages to avoid losing weight, but there is one drink you can guzzle to help you reach and maintain your goals. That magical beverage is water. So much of what we do day in and day out contributes to how we feel about ourselves. Science has suggested that water can help with losing weight in many ways, including suppressing your appetite, helping you get through your exercise routine, and boosting your metabolism. All of these can add up to a more successful trip to the scale.
Water is an essential part of any successful weight loss plan. Making sure you are hydrated should be a top priority. For example, often, when we feel we are hungry, we may just be thirsty instead. Mild dehydration can be mistaken for the need for a snack. The amount of water you drink each day depends on how much you weigh. Changing your relationship with water and putting it into your routine could help you reach your goals. Talk with your doctor to find out more about what you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.