On the surface it sounds logical. Fewer calories in your body should equal fewer pounds on your body, right? Wrong! Unfortunately, when it comes to diet soda less is actually more. Here is the bad news straight – drinking diet soda (without making any other changes) will not help you lose weight. Read on to learn why.
Diet soda contains harmful artificial sweeteners
Many of these chemical concoctions are actually more harmful than helpful. Researchers have found that diet soda drinkers are more likely to experience metabolic syndrome. That is to say they are highly susceptible to conditions like diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
Diet soda drinkers frequently weigh more
More than one study concluded that diet soda drinkers are likely to weigh more than regular soda or non-soda drinkers. Researchers believe this is the case in part because:
· Artificial sweeteners interfere with brain signals that would help diet soda drinkers recognize and limit sweet, high calorie foods. The sweeteners may even contribute to cravings for more sweet foods.
· Diet soda drinkers may believe they can take in extra calories with other foods because of a perceived savings of calories with the soda. They may then take in too many calories.
· Diet soda isn’t necessarily calorie free. Over time, excessive consumption of diet soda adds up to too many extra calories.
· Diet soda drinkers may consume the beverages without modifying any other behavior. For example, they may not exercise or they may continue to consume more calories than are needed for their gender, size and activity level.
If your goal is weight loss, it will not be accomplished just by drinking diet soda. Instead, cut back (and eventually eliminate soda). Drink more water and green tea. Green tea is a good option because it is hydrating (dehydration slows metabolism) and contains catechins, which give your metabolism a boost.
Also, when you take away the soda don’t forget to add exercise. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Choose something you love and involve friends or family when you can. Getting the gang together provides a layer of accountability, plus exercise feels social and fun instead of like a dirty chore.
Finally, be mindful of your caloric intake. You are most likely to successful with weight loss when you combine diet and exercise. Choose whole foods – think fruits, vegetables, lean protein and complex carbohydrates – rather than packaged, convenience or fast foods.
Don’t fall for the diet soda trap. It is not a silver bullet for weight loss. In fact, you will likely find that you experience weight gain. This is one time when it pays to take the long road. When it comes to weight loss, short cuts are the fastest way to put the pounds back on.