You know this already, but losing weight is no easy task. Eating plenty of fruits and veggies and fitting daily exercise into your busy schedule takes time and discipline. If you’re already doing this, then you’re well on your way to achieving optimal health. Though there’s one aspect you might not be considering — and that’s what you’re drinking.
Watch out for these beverages that are sure to make you gain weight like crazy.
1. Whole milk
Milk’s important for strong bones and teeth, right? Here’s the truth — if your goal is to lose weight, it’s time to leave this cow product in the dust and get your calcium from other sources. Whole milk contains 8 grams of complete protein per cup, Livestrong.com adds, so you might be tempted to indulge. But you’ll also be getting over 200 calories and plenty of saturated fat, which will certainly add to your waistline.
2. Protein shakes
You’re told to get plenty of protein in your diet, especially if you’re working out and looking to gain lean muscle mass. But that protein shake you’re downing after every gym session isn’t helping you keep the scale number down. SFGate reports your average protein shake made with 1/4 cup of your powder of choice plus just 1 cup of skim milk averages about 260 calories — and that’s about as low as it gets. When you take the sugar, carbs, and whatever else you’re throwing in there into account, matters only get worse.
3. Fresh juice
There’s nothing more refreshing than a large cup of freshly made juice. If you get yours from a shop, you can even add kale or other greens to make your beverage as nutritious as possible. That’s all fine and well — until you look at the calories and sugar in these drinks. Nutritionist Catherine Matthews told The Daily Mail consuming juice is “the fastest way to gain weight,” as most people can drink 150 calories of it in a minute or less without realizing. You’ll also have a severe spike in blood sugar because of the lack of fiber in juice, which isn’t helping you either.
What’s not to love about a smoothie? These beverages are full of fresh fruit, yogurt, and whatever other add-ins you’re craving. Unless you’re treating your smoothie like a meal, however, having one for a snack every day is sure to pack on the pounds. Prevention says packaged or made-to-order smoothies can have up to 600 calories in just 16 ounces, especially if they contain nut butters or coconut oil. And if you’re getting this drink from somewhere like Jamba Juice, you could be consuming nearly 1,000 calories in one sitting.
We know happy hour is fun, but you might not realize how much damage your favorite cocktail is doing. Fruity drinks like piña coladas will cost you at least 300 calories and over 30 grams of sugar, Fitness Magazine says. And if you’re into Long Island iced teas, just 9 ounces will run you over 400 calories thanks to the combination of rum, vodka, gin, tequila, and triple sec. Your best bet is to stick with a vodka soda, which will only cost you about 90 calories.
6. Speciality coffee drinks
Most of us are accustomed to drinking a cup of coffee or two in the morning, but don’t be surprised to see an expanding waistline if you’re a lover of specialty coffee drinks. NBC News reports as of 2013, 31% of coffee drinkers were going for gourmet beverages like cappuccinos and lattes. And it doesn’t stop there — many others are choosing blended drinks which are loaded with extra milk, sugar, syrups, and hundreds of calories. If you’re a frequenter of Starbucks, do yourself a favor and stay far away from the Cinnamon Dolce Latte and any of the Frappuccinos, which are sure to cause weight gain.
7. Energy drinks
If coffee isn’t your thing, then you might be one of the many people reaching for an energy drink during your midday slump. You should check the nutrition facts on your beverage of choice before you down it, though — many contain hundreds of calories and obscene amounts of sugar. Arizona’s Rx Energy Herbal Tea, for example, has nearly 350 calories and 80 grams of sugar in one of its big cans, and just one can of AMP Energy contains 220 calories and a whopping 58 grams of sugar. Even the best diet can’t combat these awful drinks.