More and more people are switching to diet soda every day – in an attempt to lose weight. The problem: diet soda doesn’t actually help you lose weight. In fact, it makes you gain even more fat. Learn why, and what to do.
Consumption of diet soda increased almost 25% in the 2000s, and it’s still on the rise. It’s easy to see why (even though it tastes so much worse). Obesity is growing (punny), and people want to lose weight. Unfortunately, diet soda doesn’t help you lose weight. Diet soda actually makes you fatter. At least it still tastes worse though!
Soda In General
First of all, I should note that drinking soda of any kind is a bad idea. We’ve talked about Real Food vs. Fake Food before, and it’s very clear that soda is fake food of the highest order. If you drink soda of any kind, you’re hurting your health. Period. Soda is hyperpalatable and offers zero nutrition. Those liquid calories make you gain more fat than even the junkiest junk food. It also contains phosphoric acid (a cheaper alternative to citric acid), proven to cause osteoporosis and hypocalcemia (calcium deficiency).
So yea, soda is pretty terrible for your health. You probably knew that. But what you didn’t know is that diet soda is even worse.
Diet Soda Makes You Even Fatter
Research is relatively new in this area, but has already come back with astounding results.
An 8-year University of Texas study found:
- Consuming Diet Soda Doubled(!) Overweight and Obesity
- Diet Soda Drinkers Became 47% Fatter
Not looking good for diet soda so far. The study author’s comments were even more illuminating.
“What didn’t surprise us was that total soft drink use was linked to overweight and obesity. What was surprising was when we looked at people only drinking diet soft drinks, their risk of obesity was even higher.
There was a 41 percent increase in risk of being overweight for every can or bottle of diet soft drink a person consumes each day.”
Did you catch that? Drinking soda makes you fat, drinking diet soda makes you fatter – even just one can per day!
It gets even worse. Study after study shows that diet soda causes fat gain – even without eating any extra calories! That’s right, drinking diet soda makes you gain weight no matter how little you eat. How is that even possible?
How Diet Soda Makes You Fatter
Diet soda packs on the pounds because it tricks your brain into storing extra fat.
The hypothalamus (a region of the brain) controls appetite and metabolism. If your hypothalamus wants you to gain weight, it increases appetite and decreases basal metabolic rate (calories burned sitting still). In its all-out effort to store fat, the hypothalamus will even make you less motivated to exercise!
When you eat healthy food, your hypothalamus works to keep you lean. When you consume hyperpalatable junk like soda, it tries to make you fat. Diet soda takes this even further.
Diet soda is especially fattening because it confuses your hypothalamus. The extra sweet taste makes your brain think that really good, healthy calories are available in surplus – and that now is a good time to store fat. However, since diet soda actually has no calories, your body can’t store anything.
It puts your body into fat storage mode, but doesn’t give it anything to store. Your brain will respond in two ways. First, it will make you hungrier – hoping you eventually eat something it can store. Second, it will reduce your metabolic rate (making you feel tired, depressed, and unmotivated). This keeps more of your current fat in storage, and helps make sure that more of your future food will become body fat.
Diet soda plays a mean trick on your brain, and your brain “pays it forward” by making you fatter.
Diet Soda Also Hurts Your Health More than Regular Soda
Regular soda hurts your health and makes you fat. Diet soda makes you even fatter. It gets even worse. Diet soda actually makes you sicker too.
An AHA study conducted in Minnesota found that diet soda added 37% risk of developing Metabolic Syndrome. This means that diet soda:
- Increased Diabetes Risk
- Increased Obesity
- Elevated Blood Pressure
- Increased Blood Cholesterol
- Increased Heart Disease Risk
Feeling sick to your stomach? I am too. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution.
What You Need to Do Right Now
Never drink another diet soda ever again. Simply switching from diet back to regular will improve your health. This should be easy because diet soda tastes terrible.
Even better, cut the majority of soda from your diet (and all diet soda). You’ll start losing weight today – without making any other changes.
Take soda from an “every day” thing to a “once in a while” thing. If you ever do drink soda, make sure it’s not diet.
Why? Excess sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are terrible for your waistline and your health, but artificially-sweetened diet soda is even worse.
Most of the time: when you’re thirsty, drink water. Try soda water if you miss the bubbles. Unsweetened iced tea is good too.