Does Diet Soda Affect Weight Loss

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Does Diet Soda Help With Weight Loss?

As far as clothes go, Ive nearly cut my waistline in half! Going from a size 14, all the way down to a size 8 The other day I turned 30 and I can confidently say, this is the best Ive ever felt 310 will always be my success story!

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What Researchers Found About Carbonated Beverages And Weight Loss

What they determined was that regardless of what type of sweetener the beverage actually contained, the regions of the brain that impact the way that we detect sweetness lit up brightly when carbonated beverages were consumed. The researchers concluded that carbonation could be behind the leveling of the response playing field between sugar and artificial sweeteners.

According to a professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine from UCLA, Catia Sternini, MD, Carbonation seems to change the way that we detect sweetness. She went on to say that It looks like it tricks the brain.

What Is Diet Soda

Diet soda is a zero-calorie, sugar-free version of a carbonated beverages. For example: to give the diet soda its classic sweet taste, Diet Coke contains aspartame and Splenda, both of which are artificial sweeteners, which contain no actual sugar or calories.

That said, artificial sweeteners can be between 200 to 600 times sweeter than table sugar, says Schapiro. So while diet soda is calorie[ and sugar-free, it can still taste sugary.

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Diet Soda Increases Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

A 14-year study of more than 66,000 people published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that both sugar-sweetened and artificially-sweetened beverages played a significant role in increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes. In this study, women who consumed just under 2.5 cups of diet soda a week were at an equal risk of developing diabetes as women who consumed sugar-sweetened sodas.

Another study published through the American Diabetes Association showed that people who drank diet soda daily were at a 67% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and a 36% increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome.

People typically develop diabetes after long periods of eating too many foods that are too high in refined carbohydrates and sugar. That said, research suggests that even relatively small amounts of diet soda seems to produce the same effects on the body as high sugar foods.

OK! So the research is there linking diet soda and type 2 diabetes, but what the heck does diet soda and type 2 diabetes have to do with weight gain and belly fat?

Type 2 diabetes and belly fat are very, very close cousins!

Week Four: The Cravings Were Definitely Lessening

Do Diet Sodas Cause Weight Gain

As I neared the end of my month sans DC, I realized my cravings for it had definitely decreased.

They hadn’t completely disappeared, though it was often when I saw someone else drinking some, or heard that gloriously satisfying sound of a can being opened, that I found I suddenly wanted one.

I didn’t cave, but I was drinking squash at an alarming rate.

I considered buying bottled sparkling water thinking that it would be better health-wise than an artificially sweetened beverage, but I felt too bad about the plastic, so I resisted. I concluded that for the health of both the planet and myself I should really just drink water from the tap.

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Does My Body Process Artificial Sweeteners Just Like Sugar

Another concern of drinking diet soda rests on the idea that your body processes high-intensity sweeteners as it would normal sugar.

The argument states that these sweeteners are so sweet that they fool your body into thinking its consuming actual sugar.

After drinking diet soda, your body responds as it would after consuming normal table sugar: by dumping out insulin. This slows down the fat-burning process.

Thats the gist of it, more or less.

Is it true?

Do high-intensity sweeteners trick our bodies into releasing hormones ?

Again, the studies on this are mixed:

  • The high-intensity sweeteners sucralose and saccharin were both shown to provide a small insulin response in men.
  • Aspartame does not appear to elicit the same hormone response.


This isnt a HUGE deal. Of all the things to worry about with regards to weight loss or getting healthy, this doesnt hold the top spot on the list.

While hormones do play a role in weight loss, the main determining factor will always be an energy balance .

Since most diet sodas have next to zero calories, Id say the insulin response of high-intensity sweeteners isnt that important for your weight loss journey.

There are far better targets in the quest to eat healthy, like eating lots of vegetables and eating enough protein at every meal.

Your Diet Soda May Not Be What’s Affecting Your Body

An increasing body of evidence indicates that diet soda intake is associated with an elevated risk of developing a variety of medical problems, including heart failure, high blood pressure, metabolic conditions like diabetes, dementia, stroke, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disorder. “However, few trials have adequately accounted for other contributing factors for serious health problems, such as obesity or a sedentary lifestyle,” explains Linda Khoshaba, NMD, founder of Natural Endocrinologist Specialists in Scottsdale, Arizona. “As a result, might overlook the reality that individuals who consume soda might have an increased risk of developing health problems regardless of their beverage selection. For instance, an individual might be consuming diet soda in order to lose weight if they have a high body mass index.” Also, she says, people who drink diet soda may be more likely to eat foods that may pose health risks, like these Popular Foods Proven to Cause Lasting Damage to Your Body, Says Science.

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The Case For Diet Soda: It Gets A Bad Rap But The Research Tells A Different Story

The nutrition community doesnt like diet soda. Of all the groups that make dietary recommendations, I cant find one that lends full-throated support. Limit low-calorie sodas, says the American Heart Association, and stick to water. The Center for Science in the Public Interest says its best to avoid artificial sweeteners. The Canadian dietary guidelines discourage them. The U.S. dietary guidelines are . Although added sugar is a top public health concern, diet soda is consistently met with something between distrust and hostility.

Ill try to answer that, but we have to begin with what is arguably the most important thing to know about low-calorie sweeteners: You consume them in teeny tiny quantities. Take sucralose, the ingredient in Splenda. The Food and Drug Administration has determined that the Acceptable Daily Intake is 5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. If you weigh 150 pounds, that means you can eat 340 milligrams, the amount in 28 packets of Splenda, every day.

The important number there is 340 milligrams about a third of a gram. If it were sugar, that would be one-third of a quarter-teaspoon.

Yikes! I asked him about those dangers, and the first thing he said was none of them are proven. Then he added, its all plausible. When I told him my read is that the evidence was practically nonexistent, he nodded vigorously.

This Isn’t The First Study To Connect Diet Sodas To Weight Gain But It Is One Of The Most Definitive

Can Diet Soda Help You Lose Weight?

Previous studies found an “association” between drinking diet soda and weight gain, though it’s been admittedly difficult for scientists to claim a causal link between the two.

One 2015 study found an association between drinking diet sodas and increased belly fat. The San Antonio Heart Study also followed diet soda drinkers from 1979 to 1988 and found that people who drank diet soda three times a day were twice as likely to be overweight than those who did not.

What scientists do agree on is that diet sodas can confuse the body, Purdue University scientist Susan Swithers, PhD, told NPR, and they may put you at risk for developing metabolic syndrome. “You are supposed to get sugar after something tastes sweet. Your body has been conditioned to that,” Swithers explained. But when the expected sugar never arrives, your body’s overall response system gets confused.

The sweetness of diet soda makes our bodies believe that we’re drinking real sugar and consuming calories. But because diet colas don’t have any calories, the body’s insulin receptors get tricked into making more insulin. This can lead to increased blood pressure and weight gain, not to mention an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

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Carbonation Doesnt Affect Weight Loss But Soda Does

I get really tired of people saying that carbonation affects weight-loss, when I cant find a single shred of evidence to support this.

Lets be clear, though, soda will inhibit weight loss . Diet-soda can also inhibit weight loss if you drink more than about 32 ounces a week .

But the carbonation itself? No way.

3 years ago I was drinking 100oz or more of Coke Zero every day, and I was gaining 2-3 pounds a month at the same time. . I was able to get off it completely, eventually, and as soon as I did, I stopped gaining weight. .

The diet soda itself wasnt the sole culprit in my weight gain, obviously. But it wasnt helping, either.

Anyway, long story short, I switched to carbonated water.

Carbonated water goes by a lot of different names: sparkling water, seltzer water, club soda, soda water.. but its all exactly the same thing. Water + Co2.

So thats mostly what I drink now. Over 100oz a day of pure, clean, cold soda water!! And Ill have words with anyone who says you cant lose weight when you drink carbonated beverages, since Ive lost almost 100lbs with that as my go-to beverage.

If youre trying to give up soda, give it a shot, but dont mix in any those flavor enhancers. Theyre loaded with artificial sweeteners, and then you might as well be drinking diet-soda.

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Why You Should Avoid Drinking Natural Flavors

  • Each natural flavor may contain up to 100 ingredients, including synthetic chemicals such as the solvent propylene glycol, the preservative BHA, and GMO-derived ingredients .
  • The ingredients in natural flavors are considered proprietary and not disclosed either on the label or to a customer who inquires so you have no clue what is in them.
  • Natural flavors can be derived from anything in nature, including animal parts. The only difference between natural and artificial flavors, is that natural flavors are derived from things found in nature .
  • They can also legally contain naturally occurring glutamate by-products that act like MSG, which is an excitotoxin. Excitotoxins make food irresistible to eat but can cause stroke, Alzheimers Disease, Parkinsons Disease, obesity, migraines, fatigue, and depression.
  • Flavors are designed to have addictive qualities and increase food cravings, contributing to what David Kessler calls a food carnival in your mouth. They trick your mind into wanting more and more. The Big Food Companies are hijacking your taste buds one by one, and lining their corporate pockets at the same time as we buy more products with these addicting synthesized flavors in them. If you are having increased food cravings while guzzling down drinks full of natural flavors, you may want to take a closer look at what you are drinking.

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Can Diet Soda Lead To Weight Gain

While scientific evidence has not yet confirmed a direct link between diet soda or artificial sweeteners and weight gain, there may be some indirect associations.

Consumption of these non-nutritive sweeteners and others, such as acesulfame K and saccharin, have been linked to heightened sugar cravings, weight gain, higher BMI’s, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease, and increased risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes, Schapiro says. Yet, it is unclear whether diet soda is the sole cause of these negative effects, she adds.

These hyper-palatable sweeteners can disrupt and over-stimulate your sugar receptors, says Schapiro, and, as a result, diet soda drinkers may experience heightened sugar cravings and choose less nutritious foods.

People With Obesity Are More Likely To Be Affected By This Diet Soda Effect The Research Showed

Diet Sodas &  Losing Weight: Is Diet Coke Good Or Dangerous ...

The study found that participants who were categorized as obese also saw greater appetite stimulation.

“We found that females and people with obesity had greater brain reward activity” after consuming the drink containing artificial sweetener, study author Katie Page, MD, told NPR.

That’s because women and obese people experienced a decrease in the amount of leptin, the hormone that inhibits appetites, after drinking the sucralose beverage, Page explained. “I think what was most surprising was the impact of body weight and biological sex,” Page told the outlet. “They were very important factors in the way that the brain responded to the artificial sweetener.”

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Its Linked To Preterm Delivery And Childhood Obesity

Drinking diet soda while pregnant has been linked to some negative outcomes, including preterm delivery and childhood obesity.

A Norwegian study in 60,761 pregnant women found that intake of artificially sweetened and sugar-containing drinks was associated with an 11% higher risk of preterm delivery .

Earlier Danish research supports these findings. A study in almost 60,000 women found that women who consumed one serving of diet soda per day were 1.4 times more likely to deliver preterm than those who did not .

However, recent research in 8,914 women in England did not find any association between diet cola and preterm delivery. However, the authors admitted that the study may not have been big enough and had been limited to diet cola .

Its important to note that these studies were only observational and offer no explanation of exactly how diet soda may contribute to preterm birth.

Furthermore, consuming artificially sweetened drinks while pregnant is significantly associated with an increased risk of childhood obesity .

One study found that the daily consumption of diet drinks during pregnancy doubled the risk of a baby being overweight at 1 year of age .

Further research is needed to analyze the potential biological causes and long-term health risks for children exposed to artificially sweetened sodas in the womb.

The Research Part : The Rat Studies

When Purdue researchers Susan Swithers, PhD, and Terry Davidson, PhD, published their first studies in rats designed to test their theory that artificial sweeteners alter the bodys ability to regulate calorie intake, they were not prepared for the press attention their research received.


Frankly, we were stunned, Swithers tells WebMD. It really was a small study.

In the first study, two groups of rats were fed sweet, flavored, cola-like liquids. For one group, the liquid was always sweetened with sugar so there was a consistent relationship between the sweet taste and calories. In the second group, the sugar-sweetened liquids were alternated with liquids sweetened with the artificial sweetener saccharin, so that the relationship between the sweet taste and calories was inconsistent.

After 10 days, the rats were given a sweet, high-calorie chocolate pudding. Those exposed to the caloric and non-caloric sweet beverages ate more of the pudding.

In another study, rats were fed high-calorie chocolate pudding or chocolate milk with their regular food. At the end of the month, the chocolate milk group had gained significantly more weight.

The first experiment suggested that by breaking the connection between sweet taste and calories, artificial sweeteners interfere with the bodys natural ability to judge calorie content, Swithers says. The second, that the body is less able to recognize energy delivered in liquid form.


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Your Tooth Enamel May Be Damaged

You know that the sugars in soda and other sugary beverages can give you cavities, so you may think switching to diet beverages is the answer. Well, sugar-free drinks may cause the same amount of dental erosion as their sugary sisters, according to a study in Operative Dentistry. Researchers found that diet sodas contain phosphoric acid, the same acid found in sugary soda that can weaken tooth enamel and cause decay over time. The pH of saliva ranges from 5.5 to 6.5. The acids in diet sodas can drop saliva pH to below 5.5, the threshold at which more rapid demineralization of enamel occurs, say researchers. Sipping soda through a straw and rinsing your mouth with water will help protect teeth. So will brushing, but wait an hour after drinking sugary or diet sodas to allow your saliva to return to neutral pH before brushing, dentists say.

Is Drinking Soda Bad For Weight Loss

Are Sodas Really Bad for You?? How Soft Drinks Affect Weight Loss

Find out if regular or diet soda is OK to drink when you’re trying to slim down, plus what to drink instead.

If you’re trying to lose weight, soda is not your best beverage choice. Regular soda is high in sugar and calories and studies show that diet soda might not be great to gulp down either, despite the fact that it has 0 calories.

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