There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to lose those last 5–10 lbs.
You’ve really committed yourself to working out at least three times a week, you spend time packing your own healthy lunches, and you choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible.
Yet all of this hard work seems fruitless each time you step on that scale and don’t see your ideal weight looking back at you.
Are you doomed to carry those extra few pounds forever?
Despite your frustration, that pesky number on your scale shouldn’t be the determining factor of whether or not you need to lose weight. As long as your body weight remains in the healthy BMI range, you should have nothing to worry about.
But if you’re struggling to lose a few pounds to wear a killer outfit for an upcoming event, you may need to shift some of your focus on what you’re drinking instead.
I want to make this clear: weight loss drinks should not be a substitute for healthy eating!
I certainly don’t want you living on a potentially disastrous liquid diet in an attempt to lose weight fast. We’ve all seen what happens to people on a juice-only or detox diet. Cue the mood swings, irritability, and lack of energy.
On the flip side, when these super weight loss drinks are added to your existing healthy diet and workout routine, they’ll help speed up your metabolism and cut cravings throughout the day so you’re torching calories and curbing unwanted cravings.
So without further adieu, here are my top 13 weight loss drinks to help you shed those last few pounds.
H2O to the Rescue
We all know that we should be drinking lots of water each day, yet many of us still fail to do so.
Whether that’s due to the lack of taste or the frequent trips to the bathroom, your love/hate relationship with water has to end, especially if weight loss is your goal.
I’ve already discussed the fact that a mere 17 fl oz of water can boost your metabolism by as much as 30% over the course of 90 minutes, but if you’re not convinced yet, here’s one more reason for you.
Participants in this study who drank approximately 17 fl oz of water before each meal enjoyed a 44% increase in weight loss over the course of 12 weeks!
I don’t know about you, but over 40% weight loss could mean all the difference in shedding those last few unwanted pounds without changing your diet or exercise habits. I’m all for this one small change.
The key is to drink water throughout the day instead of chugging it all at once before a meal. In fact, I’d space out your 17 fl oz to about 20 minutes before your meal so you’re not too full to eat and wind up hungry later.
2. Lemon Water
Ok, now that we got the all-important water convo out of the way, let’s get down to business.
I know water can be bland and unappealing. After you’ve downed almost half your weight in the stuff, forcing yourself to drink more can be a major challenge. That’s why the next few drinks, including lemon water, are a lifesaver.
Instead of reaching for sugar-filled fizzy sodas, opt for lemon water whenever you need a flavor boost.
During your meals, lemon water will help your body digest what you’re about to eat, and it also helps boost your metabolism long after you’ve finished eating.
Who wouldn’t want that after lunchtime?
No more uncomfortable afternoon meetings or late night dinners where you’re too full to go to bed (which, by the way, is a bad idea altogether; you should leave room for digestion before you hit the sack).
And if you start your day with lemon water, you’ll be in even better shape.
By adding a fresh squeeze of lemon to warm water as soon as you wake up, you’ll be jumpstarting your metabolism and your digestion, which are both essential when it comes to weight loss.
I’d even argue that lemon water is better than a morning coffee fix since you’re not left as dehydrated as coffee can make you.
3. Coconut Water
Coconut water is one beverage that most of my clients never consider as a weight loss drink.
For a mere 46 calories per cup, coconut water is a low-calorie flavor swap that also has cholesterol reducing properties according to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.
In that study, rats given small amounts of coconut water experienced a drop in both low-density lipoproteins and triglyceride levels (bad cholesterol).
So if cutting out flavored sweet drinks like soda and orange juice sounds like a flavorless trap, your best bet is to reach for low-calorie coconut water.
I do have to caution that some brands are loaded with sugar and can throw off the health benefits you’re aiming for if you’re not careful. Do your homework to find the best options.
The Skinny on Teas & Caffeine
The latest Instagram obsession with skinny (detox) teas put the healthy, weight loss-promoting benefits of tea on the radar of normal soda and coffee drinkers. But you don’t need to buy a fancy weight loss tea to enjoy these health benefits.
You do, however, need to reach for specific pound-shedding teas that help you banish bloat and rev up your metabolism.
4. White Tea
White tea is one of my favorites thanks to its light flavor; it’s the complete opposite of black tea in this regard.
While black tea can be bitter, white tea is more subtle in taste. That’s why I always recommend that newbie tea drinkers start with white tea. Although black tea is what you’re more likely to find in restaurants, white tea is easier on the palate.
Researchers found that white tea actually breaks down fat and prevents the formation of fat cells.
Probably one of my favorite things about white tea – aside from its weight loss benefits and high antioxidant count – is the fact that it’s not as processed as some other varieties.
Plus, when brewed using only hot water, it’s a calorie-free option, which is perfect for anyone looking to cut calories without sacrificing flavor.
5. Oolong Tea
Oolong and Rooibos are two types of teas that most people don’t tend to gravitate to, but this shouldn’t be the case, especially since they’re so great when it comes to weight loss.
A study conducted by Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center and presented in LiveStrong examined the effects of oolong tea consumption over the course of three days. Researchers found that those who drank 4 cups of tea (as compared to 4 cups of water) saw a 3% higher energy expenditure and burned 67 more calories than their water-drinking buddies.
If those benefits aren’t enough, the study also found that the tea group showed 12% more fat oxidation, which means you’d be crazy to pass on oolong tea next time you have the option to burn some fat.
Don’t let the complicated name fool you. Rooibos tea is just as easy to make and carries similar weight loss benefits as oolong tea.
Unlike white, green, oolong, and black tea (which all come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis), rooibos is actually an herbal tea that comes from the rooibos plant.
However, rooibos does share one thing in common with green tea in particular: it contains beneficial flavonoids. These are essentially a type of antioxidant that help fight off free radicals caused by issues like poor diet and pollution.
Rooibos tea also contains another antioxidant that just so happens to be connected to weight loss: catechins.
During one study, researchers examined the effects of catechins from tea drinking and found that daily consumption resulted in “significantly lower” body weight, BMI, waist circumference, body fat mass, and subcutaneous fat in participants.
And these fat-melting catechins are not only found in rooibos tea. They can also be obtained by drinking oolong and green tea too.
7. Green tea
Thanks to the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) compound found in green tea, users reported 33% fat oxidation when drinking it, according to a study presented in an article by Dr. Mercola.
Here’s what else Dr. Mercola says about green tea’s benefits for weight loss:
- It may increase our metabolism
- It could prevent the development of fat cells
- It helps increase fat excretion
What’s not to love here?
Green tea also has a small amount of caffeine, which could be another reason it’s so helpful with speeding up our metabolisms.
Let’s switch gears to a tea with a bit more flavor: mint tea.
8. Mint Tea
Have you ever had a sip of orange juice right after you just brushed your teeth?
It’s not tasty, that’s for sure.
Well, that’s similar to how mint tea works. It changes your palate to get rid of those pesky cravings that usually come knocking on your door after a meal.
According to research published in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Medicine:
“People who sniffed peppermint every two hours lost an average of 5 pounds a month. The mint flavors send signals to your brain that it’s time to stop eating”.
Now, you may look a little crazy sniffing peppermints all day, so stick to mint tea to help you lose the extra weight without looking too weird at the office.
Enjoy mint tea after a meal like lunch or dinner to keep afternoon and pre-bedtime cravings at bay.
I’ve never been the type of person who needs coffee every morning. But I know others who can’t function without it.
Maybe they’re onto something because when it comes to weight loss, coffee is actually worth considering.
As registered dietitian Kathy Taylor mentions:
“Some studies have shown that drinking coffee with caffeine may slightly increase weight loss or in actuality prevent weight gain by suppressing the appetite or the desire to eat”.
Taylor continues that coffee:
“May also help with calorie burning by stimulating thermogenesis – our body’s way of generating heat from metabolizing food. Ultimately caffeine acts like a diuretic causing us to have water loss so there is a temporary decrease in body weight”.
Now, this is not a free pass to live on coffee alone since starving yourself of important nutrients can actually slow your metabolism down. But it is a green light for one cup a day if water weight is weighing you down.
Keep in mind: for every cup of coffee you drink, you’ll need to add one cup of water to combat possible dehydration.
Flavor Packed Alternatives
10. My Super Fat Melting Drink
I understand that sometimes you need a little more flavor than water or tea can provide, and that’s where my fat melting drink comes in as the perfect addition.
Check out the link to learn what makes these ingredients work together so well for maximum weight loss.
11. Chia Fresca
Due to my obsession with chia seeds, I’ve found plenty of ways to use these nutritional powerhouses in everything from chia pudding to this ancient Mexican energy drink known as Chia Fresca.
The Huffington Post tells us that Chia Fresca can be used as an awesome pre-workout drink too.
Plus, the ingredients are pantry staples that most of us already have on hand:
- 2 c of water or coconut water
- 1.5 tbsp chia seeds
- ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
- Natural sweetener to taste (maple syrup or honey is great here)
Here’s how you make it:
- Add the chia seeds and water to a jar or glass. Stir well. If your chia seeds sink to the bottom, you may want to use a jar with a lid so you can shake everything up.
- Let mixture sit for 10 minutes.
- Add lemon juice and sweetener to taste.
The chia seeds will actually expand in your stomach, which keeps you full and wards off unwanted cravings, and the lemon juice gives your metabolism a nice little boost.
And if you use coconut water as your base, you’ll be hitting those last few pounds with a triple punch of fat burning power.
12. Aloe Vera Juice
We talked about the great benefits of aloe vera before, and when it comes to weight loss, aloe vera juice is the perfect secret weapon.
Obesity Research & Practice published a study that examined what would happen when obese rats were given plant sterols found in aloe vera over the course of 35 days. The results showed the rats’ body composition actually improved.
And what about in humans?
A smaller study using obese participants who already had diabetes or were considered prediabetic were given a placebo or an aloe vera gel complex over the course of eight weeks. Those who consumed the aloe vera “lost more weight and body fat than those not given this supplement”.
But before you go rushing off to buy all the aloe vera you can find, there is one thing to consider.
Aloe vera is a natural laxative, which may seem great for weight loss, but can actually cause an unhealthy loss of fluids and electrolytes.
Plus, some users have reported adverse effects such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps, so it’s best to go easy on this one.
13. Vegetable Juices
It should come as no surprise that I’m recommending vegetable juice when it comes to weight loss since veggies are so important for our bodies.
One study found that “adults who drank at least 8 ounces of vegetable juice as part of a diet lost 4 pounds over 12 weeks, while those who followed the same diet but did not drink the juice only lost 1 pound”.
Additionally, “the vegetable juice drinkers also significantly increased their intake of vitamin C and potassium, while decreasing their overall carbohydrate intake”.
Now, I’m all for the latest juice craze, but keep this info in mind before you spend tons of money on an all-juice diet.
First, not all juices are good for you.
Freshly pressed ones can be great, but they may be loaded with too many fruits, making them high in sugar.
Remember, you should only have about two fruit servings in any given day, yet some of the juices on the market contain as many as 5 different ones per serving. This amount of sugar in one day is way too much when it comes to weight loss.
You also should be careful when juicing since the edible, fiber packed skins are usually tossed aside.
Fiber is essential for keeping us full and regulating our digestive tracts so you’d be missing out if you discarded the skins every time instead of eating them.
I’d also be wary of store bought, concentrated versions of vegetable juice such as V8 since these may not be as healthy as they’re promoted to be.
Can you see why supplementing a healthy diet and exercise plan with these 13 weight loss drinks can help you get the results you want?
Now that you have this list, you should have no problem tackling those last few stubborn pounds. You’ll be at your goal weight in no time!
Which weight loss drinks on my list have you tried? I’d love to hear your favorites in the comments below!
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