The #1 Worst Drinking Habit If You Want to Lose Weight Fast — Eat This Not That

with a whopping 42% of Americans are obese, it is understandable that many people want to take proactive steps to lose weight. While it may seem daunting to change your diet and lifestyle to shed a few pounds, the good news is that simple changes to your habits, and drinking habits in particular, can have a profound impact on your health.

When people are on a mission to lose weight, often the first thing they look at is the foods they eat to determine which options should be limited (or eliminated). But what we drink can affect our weight just as much as what we eat, and in some cases, can have a bigger impact.

Sugary drinks, in particular, can hinder a person’s quest to lose weight quickly.thanks to your lack of ability to promote satietywhich could lead people to eat more calories in the long run.

The #1 worst drinking habit if you want to lose weight fast is drinking regular soda.

woman drinking soda
Shutterstock / Aquarium Studio

From cola to grape to a refreshing lemon-lime, there’s nothing like the fizzy sweetness that regular soda has to offer. But unfortunately, drinking sweet stuff won’t do you any favors in the weight-loss department, thanks to its high added sugar content, low satiety, and incomplete compensation for total energy.

The theory that drinking regular soda contributes to weight gain and does not support weight loss is not simply theoretical. According to the results of a systematic review published in the American journal of clinical nutrition By evaluating 30 studies, the authors made it clear that including sugary drinks like soda in a diet is linked to weight gain.

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Recent data shows that even for physically active people, one serving per day of soda was associated with a weight gain of 0.10 kilograms (nearly a quarter of a pound) per year. Based on these data, people who consume three servings of regular soda a day can expect to gain even more weight, even if they exercise regularly.

A can of soda contains about 150 calories, and all of the calories come from added sugars. Getting over your soda? Expect to take in even more empty, non-satiating calories when you’re drinking your beverage. And since soda doesn’t contain fiber, protein, or healthy fats that can help slow digestion, drinking soda won’t help people feel satisfied or full.

What about other sugary drinks?

The good news is that not all sugar-containing beverages are created equal, and some options are better than others when it comes to weight loss support.

Take 100% fruit juice as an example. Sure, juices contain natural sugars and lack satiating fiber and protein. But they are far from an empty calorie drink, as they contain vitamins, minerals, and natural antioxidants that can help maintain a person’s overall health and fill in nutritional gaps if they are not big fruit eaters.

When it comes to the beloved breakfast drink of orange juice, observational data shows that adults who include this drink in their diet tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) and lower risk of obesity compared to non-orange juice drinkers.

RELATED: Secret side effects of drinking orange juice, says science

But unlike 100% fruit juice, soft drinks are typically devoid of any ingredients that offer a nutritional benefit, while also being loaded with added sugar and calories. That’s why the #1 worst drinking habit if you want to lose weight fast is drinking regular soda.

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The best soda replacements

woman holding a bottle of waterwoman holding a bottle of water

If you’re trying to lose weight fast, the best thing to do is stick to good old-fashioned H2O. And if you need a caffeine boost, a hot or cold cup of green tea can give you an energizing kick with the added benefit of speeding up weight loss thanks to the EGCG catechin that contains this tea.

Can’t live without your bubbles? waterloo sparkling water, OLIPOP low-sugar soft drinkand Drink Plain Sparkling Maple Water all can be satisfying alternatives to add some flavor, fizz, and fun if plain water just isn’t your jam.

If you think swapping your regular soda for a diet alternative is a good option, you might want to reconsider. While some data shows that making this switch is linked to a healthier weight, other data shows that diet sodas may have a similar negative effect on weight loss like regular soda options.

READ MORE: 25 Healthy, Low-Sugar Soda Alternatives

Tips to reduce the consumption of sugary soft drinks

Quitting soda can be a hard habit to break, but cutting back on soda can help reduce your intake of a significant amount of empty calories and added sugars, two factors that contribute to weight gain.

Start small: drink only half a can at a time instead of a whole can, or don’t oversize your drink when you fill up at the gas station.

Over time, you can ditch the sweet stuff and enjoy the fruits of your labor in hopes of seeing the weight melt off your body naturally.

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