Most high schoolers can easily chow down an entire pizza for dinner and still be hungry for a snack by bedtime. Eventually, this sky-high metabolism starts to slow down. The same sort of carefree eating that used to be no big deal as a teenager now leads to major weight gain, so smarter choices are the clear answer. Unfortunately, even the most saintly diet won’t necessarily help you slim down. The culprit could be what’s in the glass next to your plate. A diet of nothing but lean protein and veggies won’t do you any good if you’re washing it down with tons of calorie-laden beverages.
While you might think you can adequately balance your drinks with the foods you eat, the science doesn’t support it. One 2011 review of multiple studies found that liquid calories don’t provide the same satiety as solid food, leading to an overall increase in caloric intake. While some drinks are perfectly healthy to sip often, the list of ones to watch out for is far longer. These beverages are among the worst offenders. Keep these drinks out of your fridge, and you’ll be on your way to a healthier tomorrow.
1. Juice and juice drinks
The juicing crowd likes the drinks for their great taste, but also for the health factor. There’s no denying fruit and vegetable juices offer plenty of nutrients, especially when freshly made. The problem comes with calories and portions. If you drink one cup of grape juice, you’ll get a whopping 120% of your daily vitamin C needs, but it’ll cost you 140 calories. Eating a cup of the whole fruits will give you only a fraction of the vitamin C, but you’ll also only consume 104 calories and end up with over a gram of fiber.
Even sneakier than regular juices are the drinks with additional sugar. Stay away from labels that say “juice drink” or “juice cocktail.” These terms are just a clever way for marketers to trick you into buying something with a lot of calories. Some contain nearly 30 grams of sugar in a single serving.