Diet Sodas Spell Doom for Weight Loss

People trying to lose weight or maintain weight loss often look to diet sodas as a means of cutting calories. Unfortunately, new research shows that zero-calorie sodas have the opposite effect and can actually cause you to gain weight by throwing off your metabolism.

diet sodas can cause weight gainA new report published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism notes that diet sodas can affect the way the body processes regular sugars. Although the drinks themselves have no calories, the sweet taste tricks the body into thinking that it has taken in both sugar and calories, triggering the release of certain hormones.

“Those same hormones are thought to have direct effects on satiety,” lead author Susan Swithers, of the department of psychological sciences and ingestive behavior research center at Purdue University, told Over time, if the body continues to receive a sweet taste without receiving the calories and sugar, the body may stop responding the way it’s supposed to, Swithers notes. Without the hormones to trigger satiety, people who drink zero-calorie beverages may actually be inclined to overeat and also experience consistently higher blood sugar levels, which could potentially lead to the onset of Type 2 diabetes, according to Swithers.

Aspartame, the most common sweetener in diet sodas, also may cause even worse long term health outcomes. Aspartame allegedly was listed by the Pentagon as a biochemical warfare agent–how it was allowed into the food supply is still a mystery–and there have been more reports to the FDA for aspartame reactions than for all other food additives combined. The artificial sweetener has been linked to a host of serious side effects, from severe headaches and blurred vision to mood alterations and hallucinations.

Regardless of whether you have had weight loss surgery, the best beverage for cutting calories is plain old water. And, of course, water has a host of positive side effects, from helping you to feel full between meals to helping your organs absorb nutrients better and moisturizing your joints. In one clinical study, research participants who drank water before meals lost about 5 pounds more in 12 weeks than those who did not have water before a meal.  If you need a little flavor boost for your beverage, try adding slices of lemon or lime to a glass of water, or make unsweetened raspberry iced tea.

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