You’re trying to lose a few pounds (or more), so soda and other sugary drinks are off limits. But what about the diet drinks? After all, it says “diet” right in the name – what’s the harm in that? Actually, evidence suggests diet sodas and other “diet” beverages (“zero calorie,” etc.) can blow up your weight-loss plans. Here’s are a few reasons from the latest research:
- Increases your cravings: Consuming diet beverages will increase the percentage of your daily calories derived from foods high in salt, sugar, fat and cholesterol – the more diet drinks , the higher the percentage of calories from the “bad” sources.
- More likely to cheat: Evidence suggests drinking diet beverages may make dieters more likely to “cheat.” After all, you’ve been drinking diet soda all day – what’s the harm in eating something on the non-diet side?
- Increases your appetite: Research also associates diet beverage consumption with increased calorie consumption. The artificial sweeteners in many diet beverages are so sweet that your body craves the calories that normally accompany foods that sweet. You become used to the super-sweet taste, which can make it harder to eat low-calorie, low-sugar foods consistent with your weight-loss goals.
- Less nutritional foods: No matter how “low-calorie” or “no-calorie” diet beverages are, one thing’s for certain: They contain minimal to no nutritive value. The more diet drinks you consume, the more you miss out on the chance to fill up on high-quality food that nourishes your body and helps burn fat.
The bottom line: Whether you’re trying to eat healthier, lose some weight or accomplish both, diet beverages aren’t the way to go. In fact, the majority of processed “diet foods” aren’t going to provide the balanced, whole-food nutrition your body needs. Talk to your doctor about how to lose weight the right way.