It takes several oranges to make one 6-ounce glass of OJ, but when you drink juice, you consume all the calories from those oranges without the natural fruit fibers that fill you up. It’s why “even 100 percent juice is just empty calories and another blood sugar spike,” Harvest says.
Another thing: Fructose, the natural fruit sugar that makes fruit and fruit juice taste sweet, tricks your body into gaining weight by blunting your body’s ability to recognize when it’s full, says Melissa Rifkin, a registered dietitian at Montefiore Medical Center in New York and a Rise nutrition coach. This makes you eat more, and increases your risk of developing insulin resistance and diabetes.
6. Artificially Sweetened Drinks
Goodbye, diet soda, and every other sweet-tasting drink that mysteriously contains zero calories! “There are some people whose brains are wired in a way that artificial sweeteners induce or enhance cravings,” says Dr. Seltzer. “If drinking a Diet Snapple leads you to the Ben Jerry’s, then you’d certainly be better off with water or water with lemon.” Or sparkling water: It’s calorie-free, but carbonated, which makes your stomach feel full so you end up eating less overall.
7. Cereal Sold in a Value-Size Box
The same goes for super-sized snack packages. People consume up to 22 percent more when they eat from larger packages, according to a study conducted by researchers at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab. When people know there is more food available, they subconsciously let themselves eat more of it. The same goes for food you buy on sale: you’re more likely to consume more when food costs less, according to anotherstudy. That’s not to say you should spend more on food to eat less overall — it’s unsustainable (and silly). If you’re going to spring for a value pack of any packaged food, measure out your serving instead of eating out of the bag so you don’t fall pray to your own mind’s games.
It’s almost impossible to find a weight loss expert who recommends alcohol for weight loss. (Believe me, I tried.) While some cocktails have fewer calories than others, alcohol just doesn’t support weight loss. It contains empty calories that don’t fill you up or provide any nutrients; softens your resolve so you’re more likely to overeat; and impairs your judgement, regardless of your weight loss goals. (It’s why you drunk eat pizza, not salad.) But it gets worse: “When alcohol is present in your body, it’s considered a toxin that your body wants to get rid of, and becomes you liver’s top priority,” says Dr. Caroline Cederquist, MD, creator of bistroMD. When your liver is in hardcore detox mode, it can’t burn fat as efficiently. Because that’s a major buzz kill, skip the buzz altogether if you’re serious about losing weight. Or at least cut back on the booze, big time.
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