I’ve been on a diet for what seems like a lifetime and for the past year or so Coke Zero has been my drink of choice with Diet Coke used as an alternative ONLY if my CZ isn’t available.
That being said, I just read about two studies which claim that while diet soft drinks may have few or no calories, they can still have a major impact on your waistline.
We fatties can’t win for losing! *sigh*
Two Diet Soda studies were recently presented during a meeting of the American Diabetes Association in San Diego. Researchers tracked 474 diet soda drinkers for over a decade, measuring the subjects’ height, weight, waist circumference, and diet soft drink intake every 3.6 years.
They found that the waistline of those who drank diet soft drinks grew 70 percent more than those who avoided the artificially sweetened stuff; people who drank two or more servings a day had waist-circumference increases that were five times larger than non-diet-soda consumers.
“On average, for each diet soft drink our participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41 percent more likely to become obese,” said Sharon Fowler, who was a faculty associate in the division of clinical epidemiology in the Health Science Center’s department of medicine at the time of the study.
How does something with no calories cause weight gain?
Another study, presented on Sunday, found that after three months of eating food laced with aspartame (which is also found in many diet soft drinks), mice had higher blood sugar levels than rodents who ate regular food.
The aspartame triggered the appetite but did nothing to satisfy it. That can interfere with the body’s ability to tell when you’re full, leading a person to eat MORE in the long run.
Your senses tell you there’s something sweet that you’re tasting, but your brain tells you, ‘actually, it’s not as much of a reward as I expected,'” Dr. Martin P. Paulus, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego and one of the authors of the study states.
So you chase that no-calorie soda with something more caloric, like a salty snack. The sweet taste could also trigger your body to produce insulin, which blocks your ability to burn fat.
So to drink or not to drink (Diet soda)…???
Well, according to Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D., the nutrition editor for EatingWell Magazine, the decision all lies in your motive.
It’s hard to make a blanket statement on whether or not you should drink diet soda.
At the end of the day what I think it comes down to is how are you using diet soda—is it truly a substitute for a higher calorie beverage or is it just an excuse to order the fries with your burger or a cookie for dessert?
If it’s the former, go ahead. If it’s the latter, perhaps think twice. But no matter how the soda is sweetened, it is an empty calorie food. It delivers no nutritional value whatsoever and so should only be consumed in moderation.
So all you fellow diet soda/crystal lite drinkers out there…. if you’re serious about minimizing your waistline, you may be better off drinking the real thing! Especially if you’re only gonna eat cake too…