By: Debbie Lui
Do you have a habit of giving up halfway on your weight loss journey because you just aren’t seeing results? The problem might lie in what you’re drinking! When it comes to weight loss, we often pay careful attention to what we eat but tend to overlook the calories in the drinks we consume on a day-to-day basis. The little things matter, so let’s take advantage of this TLS® Tip + look at some of the worst drinks for weight loss!
Drink, Liquid Calories, + Weight Loss
Most of us are aware that alcohol and soft drinks aren’t helping nudge us along our weight loss journey, but you might find it surprising that some of these options can also lead to weight gain! It’s worth it to take the time to look at the nutritional label of your favorite drinks to really analyze information such as:
- & Sugar
A good rule-of-thumb is to look for drinks that contain less than 5 grams of sugar and no more than 1.5 grams of total fat for every 100 mL/half cup.¹ Depending on your location, the requirements for claiming that a product is low-sugar and low-fat may differ, so be sure you’re looking at the numbers on the nutrition label! Of course, you’ll need to account for the flavors, sweeteners, and creamers you add to your beverages as well. Every little bit counts when you’re trying to lose weight!
Worst Drinks for Weight Loss
If you’re really trying to keep an eye on body composition and the number on that scale, the drinks below might be worth crossing off of your grocery list for good:
It is no doubt that soft drinks are the #1 worst beverage to choose when it comes to weight loss, and for your body in general! They’re loaded with chemicals, dyes, and corn syrup, none of which are healthy. In fact, one regular can of Coca-Cola contains 150 calories and 39 grams of sugar! If you are wondering why you have been putting a few extra pounds on your waist, your mid-afternoon pick-me-up might need the boot.
What About Diet Drinks?
For many reasons, some opt for diet drinks instead of the full-calorie versions. But, low and zero calorie drinks are rarely a good idea for those who want to be living healthier lifestyles! Yes, diet drinks do contain fewer calories but that’s because the sugar has been replaced with artificial sweeteners which have linked to negative effects. Recent studies have even shown that diet drinks are associated with weight gain!² The bottom line? You’re better off avoiding soft drinks in general. If you are craving the carbonation, choose sparkling water instead. It gives you the fizziness without the calories or the aspartame!
We learn from a young age that fruit is good for our bodies, so why would fruit juice be on the list?
While eating whole fruits are a healthy snack option, fruit juice can’t make the same claim. The difference comes down to fiber! The fiber content of whole fruits helps with satiety and promotes digestive health. Unlike whole fruits, fruit juice is low in fiber content. When you remove the fiber and add the sugar, you’re left with a very high Glycemic Index (GI) food.
If you’ve been loving and living the TLS® Lifestyle, you’ve learned that foods that are high on the GI charts cause your blood glucose levels to spike. This causes the body to secrete more insulin to level the blood glucose back out, sending your body on a blood glucose roller coaster. These rapid changes can cause us to crave another quick fix from a high-GI food, doing us no favors in the weight loss department.³
In addition, most of the fruit juices found in the market are not made with 100% fruit but are filled with processed sugar and corn syrup which have no place in a healthy lifestyle! As always, check the nutrition label and ingredients on the bottle so you can make the informed decision to avoid sugary drinks.
Specialty Coffee + Handcrafted Drinks
Who doesn’t like a cup of coffee to brighten up their morning? You aren’t alone! Coffee has become a popular beverage around the world, and there are countless varieties depending on your preference. Unfortunately, many of us aren’t ordering black coffee from our local shop, opting for more caloric options such as Mochas, Cortados, Lattes, and blended beverages.
While these fancy drinks are perfect for your Instagram feed, they’re less-than-perfect for your meal plan considering the surprisingly high calories. The average frozen, blended coffee beverage has a whopping 550 calories and about 90 grams of sugar!
In a perfect world, you might be able to quit cold turkey but some of us may have to baby-step our way to a cup of good old-fashioned Joe. Next time, try beginning the process of taking small steps such as kindly refusing whipped cream, reducing the amount of syrup, or use skim/coconut alternatives to whole milk!
If you have a habit of drinking energy drinks to get you going in the morning or past that afternoon crash, you’ve probably chosen one that has a sweet taste you enjoy. So it is no surprised that one of the main ingredients of this drink is sucrose or sugar! Again, we know is definitely not doing us any favors.
There are many alternatives to keep ourselves awake, especially with the number of healthier energy alternatives on the market now! Developing healthy eating habits and adding exercise into your day is also a good way to help keep you feeling energized and refreshed without needing to reach for the next can!
Sure, there may be health benefits of drinking alcohol in moderation. However, if you want to succeed in a weight loss program then alcoholic drinks are one of the beverages you should try and avoid! Like many of the other sweet drinks we’ve mentioned, alcohol is empty calories that packs anywhere from 80-100 calories per serving (keep in mind a serving of alcohol can range from 1.5-3.5oz)! Especially if you’re ordering out at a restaurant, this can add up to almost twice the amount of empty calories found in your soda.
Avoiding sweet cocktails as much as possible, whether liquor or wine, is a good general rule. They tend to have more sugar, which means more calories per ounce. If you do plan on having a drink, try to have a healthy meal first to keep you from drinking in excess or allowing your attention to shift to dessert. In addition, it can help to stick with drinks that are lower in calories such as dry wine or classic cocktails.
We are what we eat, and we are what we drink. Remember to always read the ingredient lists and don’t be afraid to ask your servers or bartender what ingredients are included before deciding on your order!
What is your favorite healthy drink for weight loss?
Share your thoughts or recipes with us in the comment below.