Does Diet Soda Help You Lose Weight?

by Dr. Tunis Hunt | Follow Him on Twitter HERE.

does diet soda help you lose weight

If you are someone who enjoys drinking sodas but are concerned about your weight- you most likely have indulged in drinking some diet sodas.

These beverages, as you know, were designed for the “health and weight conscious” consumer who wants to enjoy the taste and enjoyment of sodas without the guilt of adding a bunch of sugar into their bodies. But do these beverages actually help you lose weight?

According to Time magazine a new research study might just prove it:

“The small study, funded in part by the American Beverage Association, divided 300 diet soda drinkers into two groups. One group could go on drinking the sweet stuff, while the other cut out diet soda entirely.

The study found that the drinkers, with intensive coaching, lost an average of 13 pounds over 12 weeks, while the abstainers, with the same coaching, lost only 9 pounds…

‘The most likely explanation was that having access to drinks with sweet taste helps the [artificially-sweetened beverage] group to adhere better to the behavioral change program,’ concluded study author Dr. Jim Hill…”

Now, before you get too excited about this information we must take a closer look at what the data is actually saying.

First and foremost, who actually paid for the research? It was the American Beverage Association, the very people who make billions of dollars annually off the purchases of diet soda.

Secondly, there is absolutely no information on what the participants ate, drank (other than some were told not to drink diet soda), or if they exercised. In other words, there are a million variables of why those who didn’t drink diet soda lost 4 lbs less than those who did.

According to the own study’s author, those that restrained from diet soda could have replaced it with higher calorie beverages or foods which could have accounted for the difference in weight loss.

Thirdly, in both groups, the diet soda drinkers and the non diet soda drinkers, it is not clear whether or not the “intensive coaching” was the difference maker in allowing these groups to lose weight.

Just maybe if a group of regular soda drinkers were put through the same “intensive coaching” they would have lost 13 pounds over the 12 weeks?

In other words, the “intense coaching” could be the responsible agent for the weight loss versus the beverages the groups were drinking?

As you can see this is nothing more than pure “junk science” paid for and promoted by the very industry that makes billions by selling diet soda. To make a claim that diet soda promotes weight loss based on this study requires a huge leap of faith and imagination.

The worst result of this study, however, is that it falsely encourages individuals to continue to consume a product that has been proven in many studies to have negative effects on your health.

It has been repeatedly shown that artificial sweeteners can be very dangerous for human consumption. Studies show increases in diabetes, heart disease, stroke, myocardial infarction, and cancer.

In fact, diet drinks have been proven to be more dangerous than non-diet drinks.

Check out this study about aspartame and cancer:

American Journal of Industrial Medicine December 2010; 53(12): 1197-1206

And as far as losing weight, there are many studies that prove diet sodas cause more weight gain than non-diet sodas!

Here is a sample list:

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As you can see, diet soda is a far cry from a weight loss promoting beverage. In fact, one of the first things I encourage my patients to do is to eliminate all diet and regular sodas from their diet.

These are just empty calories with hunger promoting chemicals that are doing nothing to help you lose weight. By simply replacing the sodas with water many of my paitents notice 10-15 lbs of weight loss and an overall improvement in their health.

So if you are currently drinking diet soda, let me encourage you to put down the fat and disease promoting beverage and “jump start” your weight loss by replacing it with water- a substance your cells were designed to operate on!

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