A 2,010-Calorie Shake?!?! (and Other Shocking Drinks to Avoid)

Americans have a drinking problem—we simply consume too much nutrient-empty, calorie-full liquids. 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 fats. 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 around 23 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. Here are the top 4.

4. 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. All of this is part of a troubled history of serving up deleterious drinks at Baskin-Robbins, which came to a belt-snapping climax earlier this year when they began offering the 2,600-calorie Oreo Cookie Shake. After deriding it as the Worst Drink in America on the Today show and in this very blog, we’re happy to say that the folks at Baskin-Robbins have snapped to their senses and eliminated the weapon of mass construction, along with the rest of their so-called premium shakes. They're starting to offer some healthier varieties, too.

Drink This Instead!
Cappuccino Blast Original (small)
310 calories
12 g fat (7 g saturated)
42 g sugars

3. 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 Latte (15 ounces)
210 calories
7 g fat
21 g carbohydrates

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 made to help people gain weight and that's the only reason it's not our official worst drink in America. 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. THE WORST DRINK IN AMERICA
Cold Stone Creamery Gotta Have It PB&C Shake
2,010 calories
131 g fat (68 g saturated)
153 g sugars

Is this the worst drink on the planet? All signs point to probably. First off, it has more sugar than 12 Fudgsicles, as much fat as a stick and a half of butter, and more calories than 37 Oreos. Oh, it also has 3 days’ worth of saturated fat. Need more proof? Let’s hope not.

Drink This Instead!
Sinless Oh Fudge Shake—Like It
490 calories
2 g fat (2 g saturated)
110 g carbohydrates
44 g sugars

Check out 15 more drinkable disasters here. And don’t stop with the beverages. Here is the current list of the 30 Worst Foods in America. (Prepare to be shocked!)

It’s not all bad, though. Check out the 125 Healthiest Supermarket Foods in America.

To learn the truth about diet soda, energy drinks, and discover the best no-diet weight loss solutions on the planet, check out all of the eye-popping lists at eatthis.com.

Want a flat belly fast? A lean, sexy body can be yours--fast! Try the new Men's Health iPhone app! It's like having your own personal trainer 24/7!

And please share your nutrition and weight-loss tips and tricks with the rest of us.

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Health Highlights: March 26, 2014