Over the many years of being a health coach, I have taught people that drinking diet soda is not a good idea for weight loss. In fact, diet soda has been proven to make people fatter, especially in the belly. And, the research shows that storing belly fat (visceral fat) is a big precursor to other health issues like Type 2 diabetes, increased cardiovascular disease, inflammation and even cancer.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, their research discovered some frightening facts that should make us all swear off diet drinks and products.
- Diet sodas raised the risk of diabetes more than sugar-sweetened sodas!
- Women who drank one 12-ounce diet soda had a 33 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes and women who drank one 20-ounce soda had a 66 percent increased risk.
- Women who drank diet sodas drank twice as much as those who drank sugar- sweetened sodas because artificial sweeteners are more addictive and are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar.
- The average diet soda drinker consumes 3 diet drinks a day.
This and other research shows how diet sodas make people fat and sick.
And that diet drinks may be even worse than regular sugar sweetened sodas!!
How does that happen?
Artificial sweeteners are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar, which makes our brain crave more. They also trick your metabolism into thinking sugar is on its way. This causes your body to pump out insulin, the fat storage hormone, which stores more fat in your belly. It also confuses and slows your metabolism down so you burn fewer calories every day. And, It makes you hungrier so you crave even more sugar and starchy carbs like bread and pasta. So, it is not the lack of will power, but a physiological phenomenon.
There is another issue with drinking diet soda and that is the acidity. Regular soda and diet soda contain an ingredient called phosphoric acid. This ingredient has been linked to many health issues, including leaching calcium out of our bones, which might lead to osteoporosis.
I realize that giving up your diet soda might be a huge sacrifice in the short run, but in the long run you can work on finding other beverages that are more beneficial, like green tea, or water with lemons or limes.