"Don't eat carbs at night," "Replace one meal a day with a protein shake," "Drink your weight in water."
We've heard all these seemingly promising mantras, but how do we know which ones actually work? If there was only a single weight loss rule to follow, it would be to simply burn more calories than you consume. After all, achieving a caloric deficit is your prime tool for dropping pounds and keeping them off.
But even if you've swapped your daily burger for a slimming salad and crushed your goal to fill more than half of your plate with veggies, seeing significant results on the scale requires looking past your plate. If you forget to factor in liquid calories, you may be unknowingly sabotaging your slim-down plan. In fact, a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that sipping sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda, may be a key contributor to weight gain and obesity due to these drinks' high added sugar content and inability to promote satiety.
That's where choosing the right drinks comes in. Swap your go-to iced tea with some of our slimming picks below for an effortless way to beat belly fat. And if you're looking for more ways to shed the extra weight, don't miss our exclusive report, 100 Best Weight Loss Tips.
It's never been easier to drink more water on a daily basis—just spice up your regular ol' cup of H2O with a fruity infusion! Superfoods such as apples, berries, and citrus fruits are jam-packed with antioxidants that can help you fight free radicals as well as banish bloat along with that unsightly spare tire. To harness these waist-whittling powers, wash and cut your fruits of choice (but don't peel 'em—fruit skins contain a plethora of vital phytonutrients!) and then toss them into a pitcher of purified water. Stumped on which refreshing combos to try your hand at first? These 50 Best Detox Waters for Fat Burning and Weight Loss should provide some inspiration.
Looking to lose 10 pounds? Take Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi's advice and brew a daily cup of tea. While Padma's go-to cup is ginger tea with milk and honey, you can use any of your favorite teas to strip away the pounds. One of our favorite brews is antioxidant-packed green tea because it has been repeatedly shown to boost your metabolism and spur weight loss. In fact, one study revealed that participants who combined 4 to 5 daily cups of green tea with a 25-minute workout (or 180 minutes a week), lost two more pounds than the exercisers who didn't imbibe. You can chalk up these magical effects to the tea's catechins, antioxidants that blast dangerous abdominal fat and speed up our fat-burning capacity.
You've probably heard all the buzz about drinks like LaCroix and Spindrift, but why exactly are they making serious waves? These bubbly sips are made with natural essence and fruit juice, respectively, and contain little to no sugar and calories yet provide a boatload of flavor. And swapping a daily can of Coke with a serving of sparkling water can work wonders on your waistline in no time! Even science agrees: According to a study in the American Journal of Public Health, women who slashed their intake of soda intake by about a can a week gained 0.88 pounds less than those who didn't change their soda habits. What's more, participants who added about a can of soda per week to their diet gained over half a pound more than those who didn't. Not yet discouraged to crack open a cold one? Choose these 12 Sodas That Are Actually Healthy instead.
You know that milk and sugar contain calories, but even if you stir a seemingly negligible amount in your daily morning joe, it can add up to some seriously sabotaging numbers. Get this: If you add two teaspoons of sugar and two ounces of whole milk to your coffee and drink two cups a day, that amounts to an extra 728 calories a week. If you take your coffee black, you can fry a pound of flab in less than five weeks!
From banishing uncomfortable GI issues to boosting energy and increasing immunity, this effervescent bev has been creating a ton of buzz. And we get behind this beverage because it's a potent source of belly-flattening probiotics. Thanks to the fermented drink's SCOBY, or symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, sipping on kombucha can help you balance your body's delicate microbiome by replenishing the good bacteria.
Want to flatten your gut, boost your metabolism, heal your digestive system, and turn off your fat genes for good? You can do just that with the simple push of a button, thanks to our best-selling book, Zero Belly Smoothies! Test panelists dropped an impressive 16 Pounds in just 14 Days when they blended our go-to fat-burning proteins and potent superfoods. The best part? You'll bypass all the extra dishes that make whipping up a nutrient-dense breakfast a chore. Speaking of the metabolism-revving a.m. meal, don't forget to start your day with these 37 Breakfast Foods for Optimal Weight Loss.