Cutting calories and exercising is the best way to lose weight. However, many dieters make the mistake of swapping out high sugar drinks, like soda, with soda with zero-calorie sweeteners. Diet soda may seem like it’s the healthier swap when you are trying to cut calories, but it may also be contributing to your lack of weight-loss.
Yes, diet sodas are sugar-free. Instead of sugar, these sodas are sweetened with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, or sucralose. So, one would assume it’s the better choice when it comes to soda. However, studies have shown that diet soda intake is associated with long-term increases in waist size.
That’s not all. More studies have suggested that drinking diet soda can stimulate hunger hormones and make you crave more sweets. Artificial sweeteners taste about 180 times sweeter to as much as 13,000 times sweeter than sugar! So by opting for diet soda, you are inadvertently training your taste buds to crave sweeter drinks and foods.
Diet soda consumption has been associated with an increased risk of a wide range of medical conditions such as:
- heart conditions (heart attack and high blood pressure)
- metabolic issues (diabetes and obesity)
- brain conditions ( dementia and stroke)
- liver problems (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease)
Don’t worry, there is hope. If you are addicted to soda, it’s time to find a viable alternative. If you are a fan of carbonation, try switching unsweetened or naturally flavored seltzer water. If the appeal of soda is in its sweetness, skip it and eat whole fruits instead. Fresh fruits offer a dose of natural sugar without many of the health risks of soda. Plus, they are loaded with fiber which will help you feel full longer.