The sun is out and weddings are about this 2009 summer season.  Which means that brides and grooms are looking to look their best by the time they say I do.  Well, one of the easiest and economical thing that can be done is wathing what we drink throughout the day.  It is so easy to pick up a soft drink or a “pick-me-up” beverage instead of drinks that will help us reach our goals of being slim and lean. 

Well, here is an article that I found on MSN.com that I thought you might be interested in.  So without further ado….

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Americans have a drinking problem. We simply consume too much nutrient-empty, calorie-full liquid. Blame food marketers for the ever-expanding serving vessels, chock-full of cheap sugar substitutes, a variety of hard-to-pronounce chemicals, and tons of fat.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. It turns out, those liquid calories are the easiest kind to cut. And a recent study from Johns Hopkins University found that people who cut liquid calories from their diets lose more weight, and keep it off longer, than people who cut food calories. In fact, cutting those calories in half could mean you could drop almost 23 1/2 pounds in one year!

Two years ago, Eat This, Not That exposed the 20 Unhealthiest Drinks in America. The list was bad in the scary, jaw-dropping sense: Belt-busting beverages that tipped the scales at over 1,000 (and sometimes, 2,000) calories; hundreds of grams of blood glucose-spiking sugar, and a slew of unnatural and exotic-sounding additives.

The good news is that many of these beverages have since disappeared from menus and grocery aisle shelves. The bad news, of course, is that even worse monster-malts and Franken-shakes have popped up in their place. That’s why, in our all-new book, Eat This, Not That!: The Best (and Worst!) Foods in America, we’ve updated our list of the absolute worst drinks to avoid, and offered sensible alternatives, so you can still enjoy your meals and beverages, but lose weight anyway.

 

10. WORST FUNCTIONAL BEVERAGE

Snapple Tropical Mango Antioxidant Water (20-ounce bottle)

  • 150 calories
  • 0 g fat
  • 30 g sugars

Here’s the thing about sugar: It has only one function, and that is to make you fat. Of course, bottlers of the so-called functional beverages try to hide this fact behind a flurry of healthy buzz-terms, such as antioxidants (read about the 18 worst packaged food lies here). Too bad two out of three antioxidants in this bottle are actually vitamins A and E, both of which are fat soluble, making them difficult to absorb in a fat-free beverage. If you want flavored water, just make sure it comes without calories. If it’s more vitamins you seek, increase your fresh fruit intake or pop a multivitamin.

Drink This Instead:

Hint Mango Grapefruit (16-ounce bottle)

  • 0 calories
  • 0 g fat
  • 0 g sugars

9. WORST ENERGY DRINK

Rockstar Original (16-ounce can)

  • 280 calories
  • 0 g fat
  • 62 g sugars

Americans spent $4.2 billion on high-octane elixirs in 2008. Even with dozens of brands found in the cooler, Rockstar stands out as the most sugar-loaded of the various and sundry energy drinks. Compared with its closest competitor, it has 20 extra calories, which is just enough to make it the worst possible choice for instant energy. And with research on the long-term effects of taurine and guarana still cloudy, you’re better off getting your buzz from coffee, a proven source of antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients. But if you must grab a can, you can’t get better than the low-carb concoction below.

Drink This Instead:

Monster Lo-Carb Energy (16-ounce can)

  • 20 calories
  • 0 g fat
  • 6 g sugars

8. WORST BOTTLED COFFEE

Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino (13.7-ounce bottle)

  • 290 calories
  • 4.5 g fat (2.5 g saturated)
  • 46 g sugars

Add one of these to your diet every morning and you’ll add about 28 pounds of flab to your body in a year. (Think choosing a diet soda is the better way to go? Think again: Read our story on the truth about diet soda.)

Drink This Instead:

Java Monster Lo-Ball Coffee + Energy (15-ounce can)

  • 100 calories
  • 3 g fat (2 g saturated)
  • 8 g sugars

7. WORST HOT CHOCOLATE

Starbucks Venti 2% Salted Caramel Signature Hot Chocolate (20 ounces)

  • 760 calories
  • 37 g fat (22 g saturated)
  • 85 g sugars
  • 380 mg sodium

Since when did hot chocolate require salt and caramel to meet the expectations of consumers? Seems a bit gratuitous, no? Thanks to Starbucks’ monstrous creation, the classic winter comfort beverage is now sullied with more than a full day’s worth of saturated fat and as much sugar as nearly 4 Hershey’s chocolate bars. (Check out our story on the most sugar-packed foods in America.)

Drink This Instead:

Grande Nonfat Vanilla Crème (16 ounces)

  • 270 calories 
  • 7 g fat (4.5 g saturated)
  • 38 g sugars

6. WORST COCKTAIL

Red Lobster Traditional Lobsterita

  • 890 calories
  • 0 g fat
  • 183 g carbohydrates

Lobsterita means a lobster tank–size glass filled with booze and high-fructose corn syrup. You’d have to drink 4 regular on-the-rocks margaritas to outdo the massive calorie load. Pair that with a dinner and you might be pushing a full day’s calories in one meal. If you want to get drunk, take a shot. If you want to enjoy a cocktail, make sure it doesn’t start with a bottle of mix—your body and your taste buds will thank you.

Drink This Instead:

Malibu Hurricane

  • 200 calories
  • 0 g fat
  • 36 g carbohydrates

5. WORST FLOAT

Baskin-Robbins

Large Ice Cream Soda with Vanilla Ice Cream Float (32 ounces)

  • 960 calories
  • 40 g fat (25 g saturated, 1.5 g trans)
  • 136 g sugars

If you’re going to have a float, it’s best to limit yourself to one small scoop of ice cream and a reasonable pour of soda, yet Baskin-Robbins’ smallest portion is 32 ounces! Unfortunately, if the ice cream mogul doesn’t begin offering smaller sizes, your options are limited. Either split a small float or cut the soda out of the equation.

Eat This Instead:

Vanilla Ice Cream Scoop (4 ounces)

  • 260 calories
  • 16 g fat (10 g saturated, 0.5 g trans)
  • 26 g sugars

4. WORST ICE-BLENDED COFFEE DRINK

Così Gigante Double OH! Arctic (23 ounces)

  • 1,210 calories
  • 19 g fat
  • 259 g carbohydrates

How does Così’s coffee creation reach such abysmal heights? By dropping a giant Oreo cookie into the blender with a flood of chocolate syrup and then sticking another Oreo on top. The only thing stronger than the massive caffeine jolt will be the sugar crash to follow. “Blended coffee drinks” is a troubled genre in need of a name change; we think “caffeinated milk shakes” is a more apt description.

Drink This Instead:

Grande Latté

(15 ounces)

  • 210 calories
  • 7 g fat
  • 21 g carbohydrates

3. WORST MILK SHAKE

Cold Stone Creamery “Gotta Have It” PB&C Shake

  • 2,010 calories
  • 131 g fat (68 g saturated)
  • 153 g sugars

The PB&C is intended to denote peanut butter and chocolate, but the more accurate translation might be potbellies and cardiovascular disease. After all, this one drink does pack more calories than a dozen ice cream sandwiches and more saturated fat than nearly 20 large orders of McDonald’s French fries. And what’s even more depressing is that no shake on Cold Stone’s menu, not even the small sizes, falls below 1,000 calories. Choose a small ice cream and use the 1,640 calories for something with at least a trace of nutritional value.

Eat This Instead:

Peanut Butter Ice Cream “Like It” Size

  • 370 calories
  • 24 g fat (13 g saturated, 0.5 g trans)
  • 28 g sugars

2. WORST SMOOTHIE

Smoothie King’s The Hulk, Strawberry (40 ounces)

  • 2,088 calories
  • 70 g fat (32 g saturated)
  • 240 g sugars

To be fair, this smoothie is designed to help people gain weight. The problem is that we live in a nation in which two-thirds of us are overweight, and the number of professional body builders doesn’t constitute a significant demographic. Plus, if you really want to put on some pounds, just eat 9 Odwalla Super Protein bars. That’s how many it would take to match this caloric load.

Drink This Instead:

The Shredder, Strawberry (20 ounces)

  • 356 calories
  • 1 g fat
  • 41 g sugars

1. WORST DRINK IN AMERICA

Baskin-Robbins Large Chocolate Oreo Shake

  • 2,600 calories
  • 135 g fat (59 g saturated fat, 2.5 g trans fat)
  • 263 g sugars
  • 1,700 mg sodium

Is this the worst drink on the planet? All signs point to yes. First off, it has an ingredient list that reads like an organic chemistry final. Those 70-plus ingredients conspire to pack this shake with more sugar than 29 Fudgsicles, as much fat as a stick and a half of butter, and more calories than 48 actual Oreos. Oh, it also has 3 days’ worth of saturated fat and, most bizarre of all, as much salt as you’ll find in 9 bags of Lay’s Classic potato chips. Need more proof? Let’s hope not.

Drink This Instead:

Small Chocolate Chip Shake

  • 540 calories
  • 21 g fat (14 g saturated, 0.5 g trans)
  • 72 g sugars

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So take a few moments and think about what you may want to change with your drinking habits…

talk to you soon,

peter