You’re trying to drop a few pounds (or more), so soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks are a no-no. But what about the diet variety? After all, it says “diet” right in the name – what harm can it do? Actually, evidence suggests diet sodas and other “diet” beverages (“zero calorie,” etc.) can derail your weight-loss plans.
Here’s a few reasons why, suggests recent research:
Sabotages your diet: Consume diet beverages and the percentage of your daily calories derived from foods high in salt, sugar, fat and cholesterol increases – the more diet drinks you consume, the higher the percentage of calories from the “bad stuff.”
Gives you a false sense of security: 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?
Whets your appetite: Research also associates diet beverage consumption with increased calorie consumption. Why? Because the artificial sweeteners in many diet beverages are so sweet that your body craves the calories that normally accompany foods that sweet. What’s more, you get used to the super-sweet taste, which can make it harder to eat low-calorie, low-sugar foods consistent with your weight-loss goals.
Sacrifices nutrition: 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.