When it comes to easy ways to lose weight, stocking up on weight-loss drinks ranks right up there at the top right after sleeping. They’re cheap, they’re easy, they’re effective, and that’s why you need to know about them now.
We checked in with celebrity chef Devin Alexander, multi-time New York Times bestselling author and weight-loss coach, and delved into the latest nutrition research to find you the best options for dropping a few pounds without dropping a lot of cash. "Drinks can be a powerful weapon to help you get or stay fit," according to Alexander — and you have endless opportunities to slip them into your day from that morning green juice to that healthier cocktail at happy hour!
Basically, the drinks you choose can make or break your slim-down success, Alexander says. That's why we found you the best of the best beverages for your weight-loss goals. Check out how exactly they go to work at blasting away that unwanted bulge, and which products pack these powerful weight-loss ingredients. Get ready to sip your way slim!
1. Green Tea
It’s not just for sipping with your sushi anymore! This brew packs a slimming punch thanks to its catechins, specifically a compound called EGCG. EGCG not only blasts fat from your frame but also boosts your endurance, meaning you can go harder and longer during your workouts, amplifying your weight-loss results.
"Green tea contains flavonoids and caffeine that can help elevate metabolic rate, increase fat oxidation, and improve insulin activity," says Frida Harju, in-house nutritionist at Lifesum. All that adds up to a leaner you! And Harju's an even bigger fan of the next drink on our list.
If you thought the benefits of green tea were good, take a look at its concentrated form, matcha. Matcha is a powder made from ground-up green tea leaves, and it packs 137 times more EGCG than regular green tea that you find in bags!
3. White Tea
This mild-tasting tea is actually made from the same plant as green tea, just from its first buds and leaves. Like the green version, white tea is a fat-fighting double whammy. Compounds in the tea calm the gene that makes your body produce more fat cells in addition to prompting the fat cells already in your body, called adipocytes, to ditch the fat they hold.
4. Protein Powder
Yes, it is actually possible to put on muscle and lose fat at the same time! Spoiler: It’s not easy, and there’s a trick. You need to bump up your protein intake in addition to pumping iron and cutting calories, according to a January 2016 American Society for Nutrition study. The easiest way to do that is through protein powder, a serving of which clocks in around a modest 110 calories per 30 grams of the muscle-building nutrient.
Steal one of Alexander's delicious little slim-down tricks by warming a cup of chocolate protein powder at night as a healthy alternative to hot chocolate. Delicious!
5. Black Coffee
Kick your workouts into high gear with a well-timed coffee! One or two cups of joe might be just the jolt you need to give it your all, a study from the University of Georgia suggests. Athletes were able to perform 24 percent longer when given specific doses of caffeine that can be reached through just a couple cups of coffee. Hitting the gym longer not only means more calories burned, and therefore more weight lost, but also more muscle built (depending on your workout routine), which can help you burn more calories even when you’re resting.
A healthy weight may start in your gut, according to researchers, and one of the easiest ways to care for your gut is by consuming plenty of probiotic foods like kombucha. These foods feed the healthy gut bacteria that a study in Circulation Research says might impact not only your weight but also your fat and good cholesterol levels. For the best results, make sure you’re reaching for kombucha with SCOBY — floating pieces with gut health–boosting bacteria and yeast — that hasn’t been pasteurized.
7. Lemon Water
If you’re feeling a bit paunchy, add some lemon to your water. A compound in these sour citrus fruits called d-limonene can give your sluggish bowels a kick, according to the World Health Organization. It’s found in the skin of the fruit, though, so your best bet is to cut slices and let them soak in your water bottle before drinking.
8. Peppermint Tea
While peppermint isn’t going to fight fat, it might just help you slash some extra calories and shed a pound by the end of the week. Participants who sniffed peppermint every two hours reported feeling less hungry than those who didn’t get a whiff of the scent — and their food intake in this study proved it. At the end of the week, they had taken in 2,800 fewer calories. Yep, that’s almost a pound a week just by using your nose!
You might not have heard of or tried this drinkable dairy product, but it’s your best friend if those other pesky products in this aisle give you a bit of bloat. While healthy protein-packed foods like Greek yogurt contain a lot of lactose — a natural sugar that can be hard for your stomach to digest — kefir has lactase, which helps your body work through the sugar without that tummy-expanding side effect.
Devin didn't leave us with just that! She also had some deliciously simple tricks for making it tasty and easy to sip your way slim. Some of these options, like green tea and matcha, can be a bit earthy and too bold in flavor for first-time drinkers. You're not alone! "I don't love the taste of it on its own," Alexander confided to us about green tea, "so I add another fruity tea such as Tazo Passion or one of the super-fruity varieties from Republic of Tea." She also suggested a chocolate tea from The Republic of Tea for blasting away sugar cravings. We included both in the slideshow below so you can stock up quickly and easily.
While happy hour can be a dangerous time — a couple drinks can rack up hundreds of calories, and fast — Alexander has a delicious margarita recipe that's a healthier alternative to the traditional versions. She uses frozen blueberries for natural sweetness and an anthocyanin boost — they're the healthy compounds found in dark red, blue, and purple fruits and veggies — and swaps the sticky-sweet syrups for agave so your blood sugar doesn't go on a roller coaster spike and crash.
Not sure where to start? We tracked down these products for you so that you don't have to comb the aisles at the local grocery store to start slimming down! Scroll through the slides below to see all of the delicious options.
We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.