Things you’ll learn in this blog
We’re all looking for ways to cut calories in any way we can in preparation for our next holiday or family and friends get-togethers. Being mindful of our sugar intake is an essential part of that process. Replacing fries with a salad or eating fruit instead of a sweet treat are great ways to substitute calorie-dense food with healthy low-cal options.
When it comes to drinks, we often go for a sugar-free or low-sugar option, whether it’s skinny, sugar-free lattes or artificially sweetened beverages. We know that water is the best option if we’re looking for zero calories, but our taste buds need a pickup now and again, and a soda is a far tastier option.
Diet sodas have been around since the 1950s and were initially introduced for those with diabetes, but it wasn’t long before companies could see the appeal of selling to those looking to control their weight.
Marketing claims often suggest that diet soda is healthier than regular soda and is great for people trying to lose weight. As a result, many people see diet soda as a better choice.
But are they a healthy option for those looking to lose weight and consume a healthy, nutritional diet?
What’s in diet soda?
Diet soda does its best to emulate the taste of a regular soda but with less or no sugar. The manufacturers achieve this by using artificial sweeteners such as saccharin or sucralose, which gives it a sweet taste.
Diet sodas also contain acids, such as citric, malic, and phosphoric acid, which are used to add tartness, and there also tend to be artificial flavors and colors added too. Diet sodas also tend to contain no real nutritional value.
However, they are cleverly marked with labels such as “no added sugar,” meaning they contain natural sugars but no additional ones.
Are diet sodas good for weight loss?
On the face of it, it is a no-brainer. Lower sugar levels are a better option than a higher one. But it’s not quite as simple as that. There are other factors at play here that may well have a knock-on effect on your dietary plans.
For example, research suggests that diet soda won’t hydrate you in the same way as water will and, as exercise is an essential part of your weight loss efforts, this will have a negative effect. Your body will still process high-intensity sweeteners, just like sugar. Artificial sweeteners have been known to affect the body negatively.
If you’re thinking of drinking diet soft drinks regularly, there are several adverse effects that you should consider. Although there are few or no calories in diet drinks, the problem is that the additives, such as natural sweeteners, can be pretty addictive, which means you are likely to consume more than you anticipate. Even without sugar, sweeteners contained in the drink can make us crave more sugary items, which, in turn, will add more calories to our diet.
For example, Diet Coke contains no sugar or calories but has many additives and artificial ingredients, including sweeteners. These ingredients are packed with unnatural chemicals that can cause your body to crave more high-calorie food. So, when we reach for a low-calorie soda to stop our sugar cravings, it can have the reverse effect due to the taste and addictiveness of the sweeteners it contains.
As there is no nutritional value to drinking diet soda, it tends to make us crave what we’re missing in our diet, which can have us reaching for snacks to try to overcompensate. Studies have found that drinking high amounts of diet soda is associated with health problems, such as an increased risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome.
Getting enough sleep is essential if you’re following a weight loss plan, and as some sodas contain caffeine (often in high amounts), they are likely to play havoc with your sleep patterns and stress levels. If you’re not getting enough sleep or feel overly stressed, you might start reaching for sugary snacks to pep you up.
What’s a good alternative to diet soda?
The sensible choice is to drink water, but sometimes our taste buds require something tastier to keep us going.
Instead of drinking a diet soda and all of the additives contained therein, why not try to make your healthy alternative, such as adding fruit to water to give you that sweet taste but without the cravings?
There’s nothing wrong with a diet soda now and then, but our advice is to limit the amount you consume and make water your primary beverage source. A high volume of diet sodas is likely to negatively affect your diet, especially as you may start missing out on essential nutrients to keep you moving in the right direction.
The sweeteners in diet soda can overstimulate your sugar receptors, heightening your sugar cravings and steering you in the wrong direction from your weight loss plan.
If you’re serious about weight loss, we strongly advise that you keep your consumption of diet sodas to the minimum and concentrate on making healthy choices that will benefit you over the long term. Making small changes can make a big difference, so if you think you’re drinking too many carbonated drinks- diet or otherwise- it’s time to make that change.
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