Tag Archives: soda and weight gain

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Too Sweet to Be True: Diet Soda May Stall Weight Loss

If you’ve made the switch to diet soda in an attempt to lose weight, you’re not alone. Approximately one-fifth of the U.S. population consumes diet drinks on any given day; however, diet soda, which replaces sugar with artificial sweeteners, may be doing more harm than good. Instead of promoting weight loss, that sweetened no-calorie beverage might be working against you.

Not So Sweet

Artificial sweeteners are really sweet – a lot sweeter than regular sugar. In fact, some artificial sweeteners are hundreds to thousands times sweeter than sugar. When you drink diet soda on a regular basis, you numb your sweet taste buds a bit. This means that foods that are naturally sweet – like fruit – don’t taste that sweet to you, and as a result, they become less satisfying. Instead, you crave really sweet foods like ice cream and candy to get your fix.

Artificial sweeteners may also increase your appetite. A study in the “Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine” reported that it doesn’t matter if you consume sugar or calorie-free sweeteners; either way, taking in that sweet flavor all day long makes it more likely that you’ll consume more calories during the day. Another study in the “American Journal of Public Health” found that overweight and obese adults who regularly drank diet drinks consume 88 to 194 extra calories each day, on average. This may not seem like much, but an extra 200 calories per day translates to a weight gain of 1.7 pounds per month.

There is also evidence that fat tissue contains sweet receptors and when you consistently take in artificial sweeteners, it triggers your body to make new fat cells, which can lead to weight gain. The University of Texas reported that diet soda drinkers have a 70 percent increase in their waist circumference than people who don’t drink soda.

What to Do?

When it comes to quenching your thirst, water is your best bet. It’s okay to treat yourself to a sweetened beverage once in a while, but it shouldn’t be a regular part of your routine. Instead of drinking diet soda every day, keep things interesting by kicking your water up a notch. You can squeeze in some fresh lemon juice – or add some cucumber slices and mint leaves. If carbonation is your thing, swap out flat water for sparkling water with no added sweeteners or artificial ingredients and throw some strawberries or raspberries in the mix.

soda

Beyond Weight: Why Soda Is Bad For You

This sentence is probably not going to come as a big surprise: soda is bad for you. Most people are aware of this fact, and yet it’s estimated that nearly 50 percent of Americans still drink soda at least once a day.

One of the major problems with this, and another statement that’s probably not a surprise, is that drinking soda doesn’t just stall weight loss, it can very easily contribute to weight gain. Drinking just one can of soda per day can add 200 additional calories per day or 1,400 calories per week. Keep this up, and you’ll gain about a pound every two weeks or so.

Soda is also high in sugar and devoid of any nutrients that help keep you full or promote health in any way, which around here, we consider a losing combo.

It’s not just its high sugar and calorie count that makes soda a no-no, though. The sweet drink can damage your health in other ways too.

Increased Risk of Diabetes

A study published in the journal “Diabetes Care” reported that people who drank one to two servings of sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda, each day were 26 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who rarely, if ever, touched the stuff. Drinking soda is also associated with an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome – a non-specific condition that describes a group of risk factors that increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is characterized by high triglycerides, high bad cholesterol, low good cholesterol, high blood sugar, high blood sugar, and a large waist.

Brittle Bones

Regularly drinking soda may also decrease your bone mineral density, which in turn, can increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. Most sodas contain a flavoring agent called phosphoric acid. According to Dr. Thomas Weber, who is an osteoporosis specialist at Duke University, drinking a lot of soda may expose your kidneys to more acid than they can handle. In response to this, your body needs to figure out how to neutralize the acids with substances called buffers. Calcium is a common buffer and if there isn’t enough available in your blood, your body may pull it from your bones, which weakens them in the long-run.

Bad For Your Teeth

Regularly drinking soda is also one of the most significant contributors to the development of cavities. The sugar in the soda serves as a feeding ground for the natural bacteria in your mouth, while the phosphoric acid can soften the enamel on your teeth. This two factors together can weaken the tooth structure and contribute to tooth decay.

Is Diet Soda the Answer?

It may seem like the solution to these problems is diet soda. After all, it contains no sugar and no calories, so it has to be harmless, right? Not so fast! Diet soda comes with its own set of issues.

Your best bet is to save soda for very special occasions and to switch to water instead. If its soda’s bubbles that you crave, try sparkling water with a squeeze of fresh lime or orange in place of plain flat water.