I recently had a patient say this: “I am addicted to Mountain Dew….is Diet Mountain Dew that much better for me….do diet drinks really help you lose weight?” This has become a hot topic recently.
There have been conflicting studies and reports on diet drinks recently in the news. Some studies have suggested that diet soda actually make you gain weight. The thought here is that if you drink a sweet-tasting beverage, including those with artificial sweeteners like diet drinks, it may trigger something that makes you want to eat more sweets…causing you to eat more calories. So, it’s not really the diet soda causing the weight gain — it’s the calories in the extra foods you eat to satisfy your craving for sweets. That said, there is still little scientific evidence to prove this.
If it helps you decide, the American Diabetes Association supports the use of no-calorie sweeteners to restrict calories and sugar intake.
Keep in mind, however, that diet drinks alone is not enough to counteract overeating when trying to lose weight. The best way to lose or maintain a healthy weight, is to balance the calories consumed with those you’ve burned.
For those of you trying to lose weight who drink mutliple regular sodas, changing to diet is a good start. Decreasing the number of “empty calories” — those that are not providing any nutritional value — is a nice first step in helping decrease total daily calories when trying to lose weight. As with everything, however, moderation is key….so once you get past the regular-to-diet swtich, then you can work on decreasing to total number of sodas you drink in a day.
Here are some links if you’re interested: