Can Diet Drinks Cause Weight Gain?
In the pursuit for weight loss, sugar and calories are among the first things to be cut. Since sugar is full of empty calories, it makes sense to eliminate as much of it as possible. But some people cannot go without their sugar fix, and so they turn to diet drinks to give them that sugary buzz.
But in light of a great deal of research, the question still arises:
Can diet drinks cause weight gain?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes.
Diet Drinks Stimulate the Palate for Sugar
The artificial sugar sources in diet drinks stimulate the palate and make you cave sugar. Unfortunately, the craving does not go away simply through consuming more fake sugar. In many cases, it can only be satisfied by the real thing. In a recent study, researchers discovered that diet sodas did not leave people feeling full, which lead them to eat more than when drinking regular soda. The extra calories consumed easily outpace the caloric intake of a regular soda. The lack of satiety in addition to the craving for more sugar makes it very risky as a diet drink. In “Diet Soda: Can It Actually Cause Weight Gain?,” Fit Day reports that the calories increase over time, and the brain keeps signaling to the stomach that you need additional sugar and food to reach an acceptable level of fullness.
Diet Drinks Slow the Metabolism
Diet drinks unfortunately have been linked to increased weight gain as well through slowing down the metabolism. A study at the University of Texas and published in Eating Well magazine reported that individuals who drank more than 16 ounces of diet soda a day had a “six times greater increase in waist circumference at the end of the 10-year study span than those who didn’t drink soda at all.” The weight gain appears to focus primarily around the belly, one of the more dangerous places to store extra fat.
Diet Drinks Fill the Body with Toxins
At the same time that diet soda is making you crave more sugar and also slowing your metabolism, it’s also filling you body with toxins and leaving you even more dehydrated than before. The aspartame is particularly dangerous in this regard. In a recent study presented at the American Diabetes Association, researchers demonstrated correlations between diet soda consumption and raised blood sugar and increased levels of harmful bacteria. Dr. Steven Greenberg reported in “Diet Soda Tied to Stroke Risk, Though Reasons Still Unclear,” that regular consumption of diet soda leads to increased risks for strokes and heart attacks.
What To Drink Instead?
As boring as it may seem, the best solution is to drink water. Sugar substitutes have a host of negative side effects, both for weight loss and general health. This goes for sucralose, aspartame, and everything else that is not a natural sugar source. Even regular sugar consumption should be limited because of the effect it has on your blood sugar and glucose levels.
The fact that diet soda can cause weight gain is one that is probably quite troubling to many dieters. After all, what is the purpose behind drinking diet soda but to lose weight?
Sadly, the health food industry is not necessarily filled with healthy foods. In fact, it’s risky to just accept health food at face value. Some of it is worse for you than the regular versions! You’ll never believe some of the foods you shouldn’t eat if you want to lose weight.
Water truly is the best choice. Drink it chilled, and drink it with ice for additional cleansing and metabolism boosting effects. Otherwise, you risk increased health problems as well as an increased weight circumference, slowed metabolism, and increased toxin levels. And frankly, none of that is worth the sugar taste.
“Study: Diet Soda Can Lead to Weight Gain,” CBS News, http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505269_162-57359222/study-diet-soda-can-lead-to-weight-gain/ (2012).
”Diet Soda: Can It Actually Cause Weight Gain?” Fit Day, http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/diet-soda-can-it-actually-cause-weight-gain.html (2012).
Amanda Chan, “Ðiet Soda Linked to Weight Gain,” Huffington Post Healthy Living, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/29/diet-soda-weight-gain_n_886409.html (2011).
Marilynn Marchione, “Diet Soda Tied to Stroke Risk, Though Reasons Still Unclear,” Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/09/diet-soda-tied-to-stroke-_n_821058.html (2011).