7 Drinks to Avoid If You’re Trying to Lose Weight

If you’re making an effort to lose weight, you may be trying to cut certain foods out of your diet. No matter how strict your regimen might be, you could feel like something is holding you back from reaching your goals. As it turns out, certain drinks that seem innocent enough can hinder your results just as significantly. Here are 7 drinks dietitians claim should be avoided at all costs.



Soda | Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

We all know soda is bad for you. Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD, pointed out exactly why it will keep you from losing weight. “No surprises here; soda is loaded with unnecessary sugar and calories, and it doesn’t even fill you up,” the New York City-based dietitian told PopSugar.

“If you’re drinking a soda with a meal, you could be doubling your calories, depending on the size of the drink. Seriously, it’s not worth drinking the stuff for anyone trying to lose weight. If you’re having a hard time dropping the soda habit, try a flavored seltzer, like LaCroix.”

Diet drinks

From diet soda to diet iced tea, you should avoid it altogether. “Unfortunately, recent research indicates that artificial sweeteners may increase feelings of hunger,” according to Rizzo. “With that, drinking diet soda may actually cause you to overeat calories and hinder your weight loss.”

Sweetened tea

That being said, you shouldn’t go in the opposite direction in terms of tea, either. Sweetened tea can rack up about 100 calories and more than 20 grams of sugar per drink, which just isn’t worth it. If you’re going to go down the tea route, try an unsweetened option.

Sweet coffee drinks

Starbucks iced coffee

Starbucks iced coffee | Chris Hondros/Getty Images

A sweet coffee drink a few times a week from Starbucks might not feel like the end of the world. However, Rizzo strongly advises against those tempting options on the menu. “Things like vanilla lattes or caramel macchiatos are the furthest thing from coffee,” she says. “The syrups that give the drinks flavor are more sugar and calories than some desserts. If you’re trying to lose weight, skip the trip to Starbucks or opt for a regular coffee with some milk.”

Fruity cocktails

Any alcohol can easily hinder your weight loss efforts. However, fruity cocktails seem to work overtime. “Fruity summertime cocktails, like daiquiris, piña coladas, mojitos, and sangria, have one thing in common: sugar,” Rizzo pointed out.

“Unfortunately, some of them can have as much sugar and calories as a soda. While you probably drink them less often than a soda, they don’t fit well into a weight-loss plan. Skip the fruity drinks and opt for a glass of wine or your favorite spirit on the rocks with a twist.”

Sports drinks

Sports drinks can be essential after a tough workout, but in any other scenario, they should be avoided. According to dietitian Jillian Kubala, MS, RD, “Oftentimes, people drink sports drinks when they really aren’t necessary.”

She told PopSugar, “Sports drinks often contain high amounts of added sugar, which isn’t good for health and can contribute to weight gain and over time.”

Pre-made fruit smoothies

While fruit smoothies may boast the benefits of filling you up with good foods, they aren’t always as healthy as they seem. “Pre-made fruit smoothies sold at grocery and convenience stores are usually loaded with sugar,” according to Kubala. “Drinking one or two of these smoothies per day could sabotage your weight-loss efforts.”

She added, “To avoid the sugar shock, make your own smoothie at home. Stick to one cup of fruit then add in greens and a protein source like protein powder, and mix with unsweetened almond milk for a nutritious and delicious alternative to store-bought smoothies.”