Is Diet Soda Fattening?

December 17, 2012 | By | 5 Comments

Everyone knows that regular soda leads to weight gain but is diet soda fattening as well? Read on to discover the shocking truth…

By now, just about everyone knows that soda will make you gain weight. After all, when you’re drinking Coke or Dr. Pepper, you’re essentially ingesting large amounts of liquid sugar (high fructose corn syrup, to be exact). It’s the worse thing you can do if you’re trying to lose belly fat. And again, this has become common knowledge.

But here’s something you may not be aware of. Switching from regular pop to diet soda won’t stop you from putting on the pounds. In fact, studies show that it will make things worse.

Now, on the surface, this doesn’t make much sense. A can of Coke has 140 calories. If you drink 3 per day (something that’s very easy to do if you’re a fan of the stuff) you’re adding an extra 420 to your daily total – almost 3,000 more per week! Eliminating those calories should help you lose weight – not gain it.

Sadly, the exact opposite happens and many dieters fall victim to this “paradox”. You see, instead of sugar, diet soda contains aspartame. It’s an artificial sweetener with zero calories. And when it lands on your taste buds, it activates the reward centers in your brain (not unlike when you eat other sugary sweets).

But here’s the difference between aspartame and sugar. In the case of the latter, once those reward centers get activated, calories follow. It’s a natural response and your body expects it. In contrast, with aspartame being non-caloric, this doesn’t happen. So essentially, you’re cheating your system.

However, your body isn’t letting you off the hook that easy. You gave it something sweet so it wants those calories. And it’s going to have them one way or another. Do you know how it accomplishes this? It causes you to crave. And it will continue to make you crave until you take in the calories you basically “promised” it when you drank that sweet stuff.

The end result? You end up snacking throughout the day (and especially at night) consuming far more calories than those you supposedly saved by drinking diet – instead of regular – soda.

And that’s why diet soda is fattening – very fattening indeed. It’s also extremely bad for your health. In fact, aspartame is one of the most controversial additives in existence and has been linked to everything from heart disease and cancer.

You should stay as far away from the stuff as possible. In fact, forget soda altogether. Drink water or unsweetened tea instead. Your body will thank you for it – plus, you’ll enjoy virtually effortless weight loss by making the switch. What better reason do you need?

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Filed in: Dieting Myths & Mistakes

Comments (5)

  1. Pamela

    Can I drink flavored carbonated water. The ingredients are mimic acid, potassium benzoate, (preservative) natural flavors, potassium citrate, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, neotame. Says zero calories, caffeine free no fruit juice.

    • Hi Pamela,

      Sucralose is a hidden sugar.

      On the Cruise Control Diet we recommend water as the best option for beverage. It is what your body needs to function, however, we do understand that water can be somewhat boring.

      You can have tea, hot or iced, any variety, while on the diet. Unsweetened is best, but if you do wish to sweeten your tea we only recommend Stevia as a sweetener.

      You can also have coffee while on the program, again, any variety. If you do add dairy to your coffee, make sure that you avoid any flavored creamers as they are sweetened and avoid whipped cream toppings. Dairy again, is a grey area and some people see results while having it while others can be affected by it. If you are not seeing the results you are looking for while having dairy, try cutting it out and seeing if that was the cause. If you want to sweeten your coffee, the same goes for teas.

      We also recommend flavored seltzer waters, the varieties with no added sweeteners and no calories. They come in a variety of flavors and can help those cravings for something bubbly as well.

  2. Judith McDonald

    My husband will have a hard time with water only as he is a insulin defendant diabetic and drinks diet soda. He also likes whalers light lemonade that you had to a bottle of water but it contains aspartame, is that okay?

    • Hi Judith,
      Yes you can steam veggies in a microwave bag and he can have spinach peanuts and cashews. The Coffee-mate is not recommended but if this is your only “vice” (you do everything else according to the Program) it will not affect your progress.

    • Hi Judith,

      Seltzer, sparking and club soda are all ok. They are not reserved to cheat meals. We recommend adding lemon or lime for flavoring. As for diet soda, more and more research is pointing to its (big) role in weight gain. Here’s what I suggest:

      Squeeze half of a lemon into a glass of seltzer water (not tonic water as it has lots of sugar). If you need to sweeten, use natural stevia.

      And slowly, you can even cut back on the stevia as you get used to not having sweet drinks.

      We do not recommend aspartame because it is one of the most harmful things you can put into your body.

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