Are Diet Drinks Good For Weight Loss?
I get asked this question a lot. This is the simplest way I can answer it: In the short term, yes. In the long run, no.
Since all diet drinks have 0 calories, they will definitely help you consume less calories every day which could in turn, help you lose weight in the short term.
There are a few very important things you should know about diet soda though that could cause more harm than good to you.
First of all, most diet beverages are sweetened with either one of the following artificial sweeteners:
- Sucralose (Splenda)
- Saccharin (Sweet’N Low)
- Aspartame (NutraSweet and Equal) – contains 4 calories per gram
- Acesulfame-K (Sunette or Sweet One)
- Stevia (Truvia)
So what? If most of them have 0 calories then who cares right? WRONG!
The problem is that these sweeteners are up to 600 times sweeter than sugar! This means that over time, your taste buds actually become accustomed to these flavors and you start to crave MORE of it.
You’ll find yourself craving more and more sweets and junk foods like candy, donuts, cakes, etc. Not to mention that diet soda has a huge bloating effect. Look at your midsection before and after you drink a bottle of it.
Diet drinks can also provide you with a false sense of being healthy. You might figure, “well this has 0 calories, so I can go ahead and get the bigger size of fries too.” That’s a poor example because you shouldn’t be eating fast food anyways but I hope you get the point. I’ve known many a people that actually end up eating more food and gain weight while still drinking diet drinks.
Another widely debated topic is how safe these sweeteners are for you. With hundreds of different studies, there still has been no solid evidence. But that’s also because these products haven’t been out that long (with the exception of Sweet’N Low) so it’s impossible to determine the long-term effects of consuming these sweeteners.
One more thing of concern is that these sweeteners are chemically made, however a few of them, like stevia, are derived from a plant so the companies are able to market it as “natural.” Acesulfame-K can’t even be properly broken down and digested by the body and it is excreted in the same form as it entered.
If you have the willpower, all you should be drinking when trying to lose weight is water. That’s it. Not flavored water, vitamin water or any of that other bullshit “enhanced” water.
So yes, initially diet drinks will help you with your weight loss goals but they should really be used as a crutch to wean yourself off of the non-diet drinks that are nothing more than empty calories. They should eventually be left alone and you should only drink water.
However, if you continue to use diet drinks in the long run, you will eventually succumb to the negative effects it has on your taste buds, which definitely does not outweigh the fact that it’s 0 calories.