7 Drinks That Hinder Weight Loss and Are Best Avoided ...

You know you have to count the calories in your food for weight loss, but there are so many drinks that hinder weight loss too. They can really add to your total calorie intake and are best avoided. It’s easy to forget that many drinks contain calories, so you chug them down and wonder why you can’t shed those stubborn pounds. Knowing more about drinks that hinder weight loss is so beneficial because you’ll be able to balance your favorite beverages with your meals so you aren’t getting in the way of your own success.

1. Soda

There’s a reason I put soda first on the list. When you grab a bottle or fountain cup of soda at the gas station, you’re drinking way more than one serving, which can translate to hundreds, even thousands, of calories. It’s a little heart stopping, isn’t it? A can of soda now and then isn’t as likely to harm your weight loss efforts, but several every day can. Diet soda is another on the list of drinks that hinder weight loss. It doesn’t have any calories, but it can leave you craving real sugar, leading to a binge session when you see a plate of cookies or brownies. It’s best to avoid any type of soda if you’re trying to drop weight.

2. Sports Drinks

Really, the only time you need a sports drink is after strenuous exercise for an hour or more. Otherwise, plain water is your best bet. I know that many sports drinks taste good, but that yummy flavor comes from a huge amount of sugar, which means a large number of calories. If you must have a sports drink, stick to a small one and dilute it with water.

3. Vitamin Water

You might feel virtuous downing a bottle or five of vitamin water every day. It’s so easy to fall into the trap that these products are healthy. Plain, unflavored water is great, but the ones with fruity flavors are usually packed with sugar and calories. Just like diet soda, diet waters can make you crave real sugar and treats that get in the way of healthy weight loss.

4. Sweet Tea

Tea is touted worldwide for its health benefits, but the sugar in sweet tea can counteract those benefits. Not only are you loading yourself up on calories, but too much sugar increases your risk of insulin resistance, which can contribute to diabetes. Unsweetened tea is the angel to sweet tea’s devil, though, and you can drink it up all day. Free of fat and calories, plain tea is a great choice for a weight loss diet and my personal choice. Flavor it with lemon or mint for a refreshing drink that you can really feel good about.

5. Alcohol

No, alcohol isn’t a free food. It contains calories too. The occasional beer or cocktail is fine, but if you tend to have a few every day, you could really be hindering your weight loss goals. Each gram of alcohol contains about 7 calories. It might not sound like a lot, but it can add up if you have a couple beers or glasses of wine. Stay away from those fruity frozen drinks too, some of which contain nearly 1,000 calories, half the calories you're supposed to eat in an entire day.

6. Smoothies

What could be bad about a fruit-filled smoothie? A lot, as it turns out. Many are made with sherbet or high-calorie frozen yogurt, which translates to hundreds of calories before you even factor in the juice and fruit. Smoothies can be a great meal replacement for a weight loss plan, but you need to be sure you’re choosing one that is made with fruit, low-fat milk and ice to keep calorie and sugar content reasonable.

7. Fruit Juice

Yes, 100 percent fruit juice counts as a serving of fruit. That doesn’t give you license to chug it all day though. It contains calories, which can add up if you have several glasses every day. Factor one glass per day into your meal plans, so you can still lose weight while enjoying a favorite beverage.

It’s hard to pass up a soda, but I’ve learned that avoiding it on most days really helps with losing a quick few pounds. I won’t say I never have one, but keeping it moderate is good for me. What’s your trick for weight loss?