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Drinking Habits to Avoid for a Lean Body After 40, Say Dietitians

These simple habits may make it harder to meet your weight loss goals.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Sometimes when we try to lose weight, we don't always get the results we hope for. But it's not always because of obvious problems. If you're in your 40s and have been trying to lose weight for quite some time but keep hitting roadblocks, there may be some underlying reasons that you're not aware of yet.

For instance, even when you exercise regularly and change around your diet, small choices throughout the day can still hinder your progress. These habits can be harmful to your process because they can easily go unnoticed. That's why we talked with a few experts to get their take on some of the drinking habits you may want to avoid to get a lean body after 40.

Continue reading to learn about drinking habits to stay away from when you're trying to lose weight. And for more healthy eating tips, make sure to check out 7 Healthiest Foods on the Planet.

Using too much coffee creamer

coffee creamer

There's nothing wrong with putting some delicious creamer into your morning cup of coffee, but registered dietitian Sarah Williams, MS, RD warns that it can quickly pack on the calories.

"Coffee creamers can be a hidden source of excess calories for many people, and I've had clients discover they were getting over 200 calories each day from coffee creamer without realizing it," says Williams, "so instead, I recommend adding a tablespoon of half and half (which has about 20 calories) and using something like stevia as a sweetener."

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Drinking alcohol

drinking cocktails

Alcohol in moderation is usually okay for your health. In fact, some studies have suggested that moderate consumption of red wine (one glass per day) can have positive benefits on your heart health. And many "Blue Zone" parts around the world, areas where the average lifespan is longer, partake in drinking wine on a daily basis.

However, registered dietitian Lindsey DeSoto, RDN, LD, owner of The Dietitian Momma warns that it is far too easy to go past a "moderate amount," which can negatively impact your health goals.

"The typical glass of wine or beer can contain around 160 calories, and this can easily lead to consuming an extra few hundred calories and unwanted weight gain," says DeSoto, "and even low-calorie options can impact your body composition because when you consume alcohol, your body uses it as a source of energy before fat or carbohydrates, which leads to excess storage of lipids and glucose, ultimately being stored as extra fat."

Choosing drinks with excess sugar

sugary drinks

Drinking excess amounts of sugar is of the quickest ways to get off your weight loss track. In fact, a study published in Circulation found that sugar-sweetened beverages (think sodas and sugary processed juices) were directly linked to excess fat around the belly.

"Drinks with excess sugar also cause blood sugar spikes and can contribute to feelings of unnecessary hunger," says registered dietitian Morgyn Clair, MS, RDN, an author at Fit Healthy Momma, "and some of the worst choices are things like margaritas, piña coladas, and cocktails made with heavy syrup and regular soda."

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Drinking too many diet drinks

diet soda

It may be tempting to switch over to diet sodas to avoid the added sugar, but studies, unfortunately, show that these most likely won't help your weight loss goals either.

"Despite having zero calories and sugar, overconsumption of diet drinks can prevent you from having a lean body because artificial sweeteners found in diet sodas can lead to food cravings and excess calorie intake," says DeSoto, "and a study from earlier this year found that diet drinks made with the artificial sweetener sucrose can cause an increase in appetite and cravings for high-calorie foods in people who are obese."

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Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha