Are Sugar Substitutes And Diet Soda Linked To Weight Gain?

I’ll take a large Big Mac meal and a diet soda.” Sound familiar? Besides that Big Mac, (which has 704 calories- 43 grams of fat- 17 grams of saturated fat- and almost half the sodium and cholesterol you need in just one day) your fake sugar substitute-zero calorie carbonated soft drink you order could be packing you on some pounds too. Endless studies have suggested that drinking just two or more diet sodas a day, overtime, can be one of the reasons why our waist circumference is getting bigger. Up to 6 times bigger over the next 10 years! When saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, and/or acesulfame-K touch your taste buds it signal to your brain that food is coming in- but the body doesn’t get the energy it’s expecting. This leads your body feeling tricked and deprived, as a result possibly leading you to over eat. This is where the weight loss debate begins.

Artificial sweeteners can be 300-12,000 times sweeter than regular sugar, and research suggests that the tastes of sweeteners are mildly addictive – leaving you wanting more every time. Diet soda may be free of calories, but not consequences. Too much consumption of this bubbly sweetness, and you could turn this guilty pleasure into a host of chronic illnesses. Illnesses like high blood pressure, seizures, headaches, stroke, heart disease, vascular disorders, brain disorders, and diabetes. Consuming two diet beverages a day can reek havoc on your blood sugar by spiking it too high, too quick — raising blood glucose levels and exposing you potentially to diabetes. I’ve read equally as many studies done on lab rats as I’ve read on humans over the past 15 years regarding these sugar substitute effects. The results (and outcome) we’re identically the same. In almost all studies, those exposed to fake sugar sweeteners like saccharin and aspartame, ate at least 80% more than the participates who were given natural sugar. That’s a huge difference!

On the other hand, lets say you’re a pretty healthy eater and a moderate exerciser who’s used to drinking three to four regular sugary soft drinks a day. You begin to notice over the past year or so that the number on the scale has been sneaking up on you- slowly and surely. In my opinion, switching to diet soda to help assist in weight loss would be a great idea, as long as it is in moderation. Water should always be your number one choice, boring I know, but our bodies can not function properly without enough fresh H2O flooding through it. Diet soda itself is not going to make you fat, but if you do have the bad habit of picking up the calorie slack in other places, you might want to reconsider drinking soda at all. I’ve always firmly believed that cutting out all sodas is the best possible scenario in kick-starting any weight loss plan.

The best way to maintain a healthy weight is by balancing calories consumed with calories burned. There’s no such thing as one quick fix diet that can last forever, but there are plenty of small adjustments you can make now to create a healthier lifestyle and reach the weight loss number you’re looking for.

So, are you guilty of that diet soda splurge? I want to hear about it! Leave a comment below. 🙂

5 Comments

  1. amber on March 5, 2012 at 12:48 am

    I have a question, Kind of off subject but it has to do with soda.. My friend drinks Mt.Dew everyday and most times more then once a day shes 23 and has been doing this since i dont even no when, Ive tried telling her that its not good for her and when she doesnt drink it she’ll get really bad headaches, so thats her excuse to drink it.. I was wonderig though What is her drinking so much mt.dew really doing to her body? and can it have long term effects?

    • ChristinasFitness on March 5, 2012 at 6:18 am

      Hi Amber, great question. Is your friend drinking regular or diet? Either way, the high fructose corn syrup in regular soda, or the fake sweeteners in diet, is bad. Drinking this stuff everyday can lead to not only weight gain, but diabetes, tooth decay, and insulin resistance which can really mess your pancreas up because of the high glycemic load it has. There are proven studies linking soda (regular and diet) to the onset of obesity and type 2 diabetes (which I’ve already mentioned). Research was done at The Boston University School of Medicine – they studied 3,500 Men and Women and found that if drinking as few as two sodas a day, a person has a 44% higher chance of developing Metabolic Syndrome than those who didn’t drink soda at all. Metabolic Syndrome is a collection of symptoms that include HIGH cholesterol, HIGH blood sugar, HIGH blood pressure, and increased abdominal fat. According to The American Heart Association, 47 million Americans have this – scary! It’s recommended per 2,000 calories we eat, we should only be consuming 10 teaspoons of sugar – that’s not a lot at all. So you can see, we as Americans have a real problem on our hands.

  2. Alice on May 17, 2012 at 2:07 am

    Nice article.

    Allow me to add that in the studies regarding certain artificial sweeteners, it was found that the chemical elements that makeup of most all ‘sugar alternatives’ will chemically bond with the other foods you may have eaten that day and are in the process of digesting. This bonding turns a once healthy digesting food item into a starch-like compound, which in turn digests like a sugar. And we already know what sugar does once metabolized.

    Christina is correct is saying “Diet soda may be free of calories, but not consequences”. Very true. The food industry marketers didn’t lie. The product is in fact zero calorie. What the consumers assume from this no-calorie statement is that it won’t make us fat. And that’s a bad assumption. Because it absolutely can and does add to body fat. The food industry is full of half-truths. 

  3. Alice on May 17, 2012 at 2:07 am

    Nice article.

    Allow me to add that in the studies regarding certain artificial sweeteners, it was found that the chemical elements that makeup of most all ‘sugar alternatives’ will chemically bond with the other foods you may have eaten that day and are in the process of digesting. This bonding turns a once healthy digesting food item into a starch-like compound, which in turn digests like a sugar. And we already know what sugar does once metabolized.

    Christina is correct is saying “Diet soda may be free of calories, but not consequences”. Very true. The food industry marketers didn’t lie. The product is in fact zero calorie. What the consumers assume from this no-calorie statement is that it won’t make us fat. And that’s a bad assumption. Because it absolutely can and does add to body fat. The food industry is full of half-truths. 

  4. […] it doesn’t mean that they are safe. Anyways, consuming too much fake sugar can cause gas, bloating and diarrhea – among other things. So far, Truvia and Stevia have […]

Leave a Comment