The average person, when on a diet, feel that drinking diet soda is a logical, health-conscious choice. I mean a regular soda can be up to 140+ calories. You look on the back of a diet soda and it says zero, zero, zero. So, how can this not help me lose weight? We get this question all of the time at our clinics.
Here are some reasons we do not recommend you drinking diet sodas:
- Even though diet sodas are calorie-free, it won’t necessarily help you “lose weight”. When you drink a diet soda, you are not taking in any calories-but you are consuming many unnecessary ingredients that can a number of negative effects on your body. Water is always better.
- When the taste of artificial sweetener hits your brain, it sends a signal to your pancreas to begin producing insulin. Insulin is what tells our cells to either use sugar as food or store it as fat, and impacts hunger. So, in some people the brain is registering artificial sugar is the real stuff, making it tough to stick to a diet.
- Any artificial sugar can cause an increase in appetite because of the insulin surge and the subsequent rebound. So although we are drinking calorie-free drinks, we may be more hungry after drinking it vs drinking water or stuff without artificial sweeteners.
- When you are counting calories, drinking a diet soda means you’ve consumed zero calories, but it has also means that in the place of water you’ve consumed to a sodium laden, carbonated drink. For many people this can lead to water retention and stomach bloat. Even though such weight gain isn’t permanent, we tend to eat better when we feel better an “swollen” isn’t a great feeling.
If you drink a lot of soda, we do not recommend you cut it off cold turkey. Unfortunately, if you are used to the caffeine, you may get a headache or other symptoms by not consuming it. Start slowly and exchange the soda for water and you will see a significant difference. An occasional diet soda won’t hurt your progress, but making water your primary source of hydration have many health and weight loss benefits.
If you are not a “water drinker”, try adding lemon to your water or flavored water. Be careful to look at the ingredients if you are drinking pre-flavored water. Make sure the sodium isn’t high so you won’t retain water (It can add up fast).
Please feel free to talk to our providers about substituting sodas from your diet.