Weight Loss Support - Diet soda causes weight gain??

View Full Version : Diet soda causes weight gain??

02-21-2008, 10:19 AM
the other day on Good Morning America there was a piece about how diet soda causes weight gain. i had to dash off to work and i missed the bit. i just don't see how that's possible. diet soda has zero calories. i think they said something about it tricking your body into thinking it got real sugar!! what a disaster!! i'm a diet soda nightmare myself...could that explain some of my weight?? i know it can't explain it all because i'm aware my diet and exercise habits have been horrible over the last couple of years.

has anyone lost weight by stopping the diet soda? i thought it would be one vice that i could keep :( but maybe not?

cdn carebear
02-21-2008, 10:23 AM
I know that when I am trying to lose weight, the caffeine that is in the diet pepsi that I love will make it harder for various reasons. I limit myself to one glass every couple of days or so. I don't know anything about tricking your body....not sure that makes much sense to me. I am also trying to limit it because even without the sugar, it's not the healthiest thing to put into my body.

02-21-2008, 10:29 AM
Check out this thread for a discussion of the study: Study: Artificial Sweeteners Increase Weight Gain Odds (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=134181)

The study that was being discussed on Good Morning America was on done rats that were fed yogurt sweetened with saccharin, so diet soda wasn't actually the subject of the study. Some people find that artificial sweeteners trigger cravings for sweets and lead to overeating but many people don't have that reaction.

It's quite individual, so pay attention to whether diet soda or anything that's artificially sweetened seems to set off overeating for you. If it does, then trying stopping it and see if that makes a difference.

As for me, I lost 122 pounds and have kept it off for almost six years while using artificial sweeteners and drinking diet soda, so it's not an issue (and I am absolutely not giving up my diet soda!!)

02-21-2008, 10:35 AM
I did not see the clip but I personally have given up soda and I feel much better. I have not really lost any weight to speak of. At first i was down one pound but then nothing so I really do not know what it was from. But I do not feel bloated. I have had a few sodas but maybe one a week. I hope this helps.

02-21-2008, 10:43 AM
thanks for the link meg! i was pretty distressed after hearing the intro to the story. i sure do love my diet soda

02-21-2008, 10:43 AM
I remember reading a survey that polled people who had been trying to lose weight, and those that drank diet soda tended to lose less weight then those who drank no sodas at all. Of course, that doesn't mean that diet soda caused them to lose less weight. It may have been that diet soda triggered them to want to eat more (so if you were careful about calories you could avoid it), or maybe the people who gave up all soda just tended to be more serious about losing weight then the diet soda drinkers and that's why they were more successful.

Personally, I like the way that unsweetened green or herbal teas fill me up and don't wake up my sweet tooth the way that diet sodas or artificially-sweetened drinks do. But I do love a Sprite Zero whenever the urge for soda pops up (no pun...) I would suggest you try replacing diet soda ever once and a while with a glass of water or cup of tea and see how it works out for you.

02-21-2008, 10:44 AM
i sure do love my diet soda

Polkadot, the way I see it is that I've given up so much ... there's just no way that I'm giving up 0 calorie diet soda too! :D

02-21-2008, 10:57 AM
I'm one of those who can't use artificial sweeteners. Not Equal, not Sweet n Low, and not Splenda. It sends my blood sugar, triglycerides, and liver enzymes to right on the edge of qualifying as diabetic. I cried the day I threw out my Crystal Light but since then I've lost 16 lbs in 8 weeks and am actually eating more food than I was before. I've made some other switches to more healthy foods as well (nothing with high fructose corn syrup or anything hydroginated - partially or otherwise) so it might be a combination but I do think it's totally dependent on each person's body chemistry. As hard (horrible) as it sounds, you'd have to try giving them up for a couple of weeks to see what happens. I've found I can actually survive long term without my Crystal Light so you can do it for a couple of weeks :D
Maybe you'll be lucky like Meg (I'm soooo jealous) and can keep them in your diet. :crossed:

02-21-2008, 11:08 AM
it's really interesting to think that something with artificial sweeteners could affect someone's blood chemistry in such a way. i read something about that when i read the atkins book as well. i may eventually try a week or two without diet soda but i'm just starting out now and it's the only thing keeping me sane. :carrot:

diet diva
02-21-2008, 11:29 AM
have NOT given up my diet soda either, but have friends that really dog me about it. The sweetner in it is man made and the body was not made to process it. Some people have REALLY bad reactions. I know one lady that was Dx with lupus and it turned out she had a reaction to diet soda, she gave up the soda and no more issues... Personally, everyone has to decide what works for there body! :dizzy:

02-21-2008, 11:29 AM
I have been wondering if diet soda can make you retain water.. which would seem like you were gaining or not losing as fast as you would without it. This week I lost four pounds and gained one back. The only thing I changed at the end of the week was I drank a one liter of Diet Mountain Dew one day and a Diet Sugar Free Rockstar the next day. I quit drinking diet soda when I noticed the one pound gain so I hope that helps for next weeks weigh in. :smug:


02-21-2008, 12:01 PM
There has been no study done, ever, that indicated that diet soda CAUSES weight gain, or even to suggest it. Cause-and-effect is MUCH harder to prove than a simple correlation, particularly in human populations. As Meg said, this study wasn't about diet soda at all...it was about rats being fed saccharin-sweetened yogurt, which says nothing about humans drinking aspartame or Splenda sweetened sodas.

I also drink diet soda with some regularity (maybe 3-4 a week) and have throughout...it hasn't caused me any noticeable problems.

02-21-2008, 12:08 PM
i think its because people think because it has no sugar or had artificial sweetners than they can drink/eat more, its just like the real stuff everything must be consumed in moderation! just my thoughts....

02-21-2008, 12:22 PM
A little common sense goes a long way. If I have a craving for something sweet and choose a diet soda over a piece of cheesecake - that's using it as a tool to achieve my weight loss goals. If I decide that I can have the supersized value meal at McGreasy's because I'm washing it down with a diet soda - that's denial and self-delusion.

02-21-2008, 12:29 PM
I love my diet soda. I don't even like the tast of regular and I never have. I figure that we're all going to dei someday. I know artificial sweeteners and such are bad for you, but these days BREATHING is bad for you. So I might as well enjoy the soda. I've lost 7 pounds in 3 weeks and losing any faster would be unhealthy and I have been having 1-2 glasses of diet soda every day for the duration.

02-21-2008, 12:55 PM
I agree with peachcake! I don't smoke, hardly drink alcohol. The one bad thing that I love is my Diet Coke. Alot of my co-workers tell me to stop drinking it. I don't want to give it up. I usually have 1-2 cans a day. I still lost weight while drinking it. Again, everything in moderation. I know that I would benefit if I cut it back to 1 can every couple of days but when I'm ready I will.

02-21-2008, 12:58 PM
... that just doesn't seem to die down!

I agree with Meg on this. Although I was a little reluctant to fall back on using artificial sweetners or food items sweetened with artificial sweetners, they have become an integral part of my dieting efforts.

I have to say that being over 100 lbs overweight is very unhealthy. The sooner that I get this extra weight off the better my health will be all the way around. If I have 75-100 calories of something each day that is artificially sweetened (like my Jello or pudding cups) which, in turn, help me to lose weight and satisfy my "sweet tooth" then it is a tool.

I will say though that I have drank a lot (and it is a lot more than anything any one mentioned here) of diet soda for decades. I do often wonder what long term effect that will have on me. However, while I was overeating a lot of really awful food for that time too, I also wonder what that did to my health as well. No one brings that up in these studies. They micro focus on the possible harmful effects of diet soda but don't touch all the fast food.

However, with my strong family history of certain kinds of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes staring me in the face---again, I have to weigh those chronic diseases which obesity has been one of the main risk factors for all of them, over a few non-caloric items I ingest.

Maybe, someday this issue will be settled once and for all. Until then, I will drink it and know that it would be great if I stopped but first things first. I need to lose this extra weight. Once that is done then I can turn my attention to losing the diet soda.

Hat Trick
02-21-2008, 01:31 PM
I don't think a steady diet of soda is a good thing for your body. I don't do artificial stuff - with the sole exception of ice tea and that's because I can't get sugar to dissolve in it. I'd rather have a little of the real mccoy than a lot of the imposter. Having said that, I will once in a while have a birch beer or root beer (don't like colas). I wouldn't drink a can or two a day. But that's just me. Using it as part of an overall plan and drinking it instead of eating something that will sabotage your efforts may be the lesser of the two evils. Keep in mind, this opinion is coming from someone who can down an entire box of Captn' Crunch in one sitting. :) I say, do whats right for you.

02-21-2008, 04:29 PM
I also don't smoke, do drugs or drink (rarely drink anyway). I think at this point in life being overweight is the biggest health issue I have. I will look into working the aritificial stuff out of my diet once I hit goal weight.

02-21-2008, 05:12 PM
well i can say for sure that diet soda does not bring out any cravings for sweets for me. if anything it keeps me from eating when i want to eat. i think it's more the bubbles that i like than anything else. i guess i could drink bubbly water instead but it just never occurs to me to do that when i'm at the store.

i'm sure that diet soda isn't great for me. i just wanted to know what all the fuss was about in terms of weight. i drink wine about once a month and i don't smoke. i lead a healthy lifestyle with the exception of the fat bit. and i'm working on that. :)

02-21-2008, 05:33 PM
The artificial sweeteners in the diet soda trick the body into thinking that we ate sugar. Therefore it starts to produce insulin for the sugar.
When no sugar comes into the blood, the insulin starts making you hungry!
AND IF you do not give food to the insulin, as bruniQ pointed out in another thread, it will start burning fat.

So you don't have to worry about gaining because of drinking light soda. If that happens, you simply ate more, because it made you hungry.

By the way, pig farmers have known this fact for years. They mix artificial sweeteners into pig food, so the pigs would grow nice and fat.

I am not an artificial sweetener fan, but I don't mind it either. Actually, I think I'm gonna buy myself a box :)

02-21-2008, 09:12 PM
I'm not sure that all artificial sweeteners or all people are created equal in this regard. As I understand the research, not all sweeteners cause the insulin spike, and of the sweeteners that can, not all people experience this to the same degree or at all (some people's bodies may be harder to fool). I believe research suggests that Splenda does not cause insulin release (nor I believe does the herbal sweetener, Stevia, though Stevia may have some health issues of it's own as research has linked it to health problems in lab animals).

I've had cravings occasionally with diet soda, but they've been of the "chips would go good with this," variety. I believe it's just a learned association that sweet "goes with" salty. I suppose it could be an insulin spike and true hunger, but I don't think so, at least not nearly to the degree that TOM or prednisone brings on hunger and craving for me. You want to talk about a substance that causes hunger! Steroids can be miracle drugs but when it comes to trying to lose weight, they are the devil!

02-21-2008, 09:50 PM
my take on it: i don't think it causes me to gain weight, and as far as it being bad for you, it seems to be that everything these days gives you cancer or something so, what the heck, i want my diet coke.

02-21-2008, 10:00 PM
I have to agree. I sometimes get frustrated when people in my life go into lectures on how bad something I'm doing is for me, especially when I know they make some choices I would consider poor.

One of my "favorite" examples, is a former boss who told me that diet soda was going to kill me and I needed to drink orange juice first thing in the morning if I wanted to lose weight (yeah, that's my problem, no orange juice!).

The kicker - they guy considered himself a "health nut," and ran marathons - don't know how because he was a chain smoker, and entering his office you always hit a wall of smokey gray haze.

02-22-2008, 12:32 AM
I quit drinking it about a month ago and I noticed my stomach flattened right out, I had no idea it was causing it to pooch out so badly. I too have read something about it affects your blood sugar somehow, don't remember the technical reasons but it does something, and I've been drinking buckets of it for decades. It wasn't that hard to get off it much to my surprise.

02-22-2008, 01:09 AM
i quit the pop about 5 weeks ago. I have felt WAY better, more motivated.... and less bloated. I don't know if it really has anything to do with the diet coke....but either way, I feel better since quitting. I do allow myself one can as a "reward" on Fridays.... I can't completely give up everything I love. I really like water though, so I think that helped me a lot.

I also quit drinking crystal light---when i first stopped pop, i switched to crystal light... it has 5 cals/serving...but I decided that if i couldn't have my diet coke, I wanted something sweet. BAD IDEA!!! I drank so much of the stuff the nutritionist told me to knock it off. I haven't made a pitcher since. I drink so much liquid in a day (usually 3 to 4 nalgiene bottles of water (1000 mL) a day, plus I was drinking like 1 pitcher of crystal light). ...I just learned I have to watch what liquids I drink.

I'm a pretty big fan of "diet cranberry juice"....basically a very low cal (5) watered down cranberry drink. It hits the spot though when I really want my cranberry juice ---or when I'm craving a pop. and it doesn't take much to satisfy me.

02-22-2008, 01:47 AM
I think the reason why studies show people who drink a lot of diet coke weigh more is because maybe super health nuts wouldn't drink a lot? The more in shape I get and more I lose the less I crave diet coke, I used to drink it a lot. I think it causes bloating personally. I've switched to mostly water, and lots of it, plus green tea and when I need a boost diet Red Bull. Somehow I've justified Red Bull as it's smaller, has vitamin b's and makes me feel better then tons of diet coke all day like I used to.

02-22-2008, 07:03 AM
Diet Coke in my opinion is the only thing that is worse for you than regular Coke.

Aside from the fact that it causes cellulite, like most sweet soda pops do, the artificial sweteners in there are sometimes almost poisons. Aspartame, when heated to a certain degree, makes holes in the brains. And the caffeine makes you lose water.

I gave up Coke a looong time ago... But in this recent period of gaining 20 pounds back, I went to McDonald's quite often, and I had Coke. It's not as fabulous as I remember... I had no problem switching back to water and teas. I put a tsp of muscovado sugar in my tea, and it's more delicious than Coke!

02-22-2008, 12:48 PM
Aside from the fact that it causes cellulite, like most sweet soda pops do, the artificial sweteners in there are sometimes almost poisons. Aspartame, when heated to a certain degree, makes holes in the brains. And the caffeine makes you lose water.

Do you have references for these? Lots of things we eat, if you heat the heck out of them, degrade into toxic substances...but our bodies only get things up to 98.6 (maybe 101 if you have a fever :rofl:) so high temperature degrading isn't really an issue in the human body. I guess if you were baking with aspartame it might be an issue, but it would depend how high a temperature causes the degrading...

The cellulite thing I've never heard of, for regular or diet soda.

All I know is that some people seem to be able to drink diet sodas and be just fine...others have negative reactions...some are in between (like me, I have an aspartame allergy but Splenda is a regular part of my life and has been as long as I've been on this journey, and even before that). In moderation, I don't believe there is much evidence that artificial sweeteners cause people problems.

02-22-2008, 02:46 PM
The cellulite thing has been known for ages.. the first time I heard of it was in high school pharmacology classes. And I read it in several articles about weight loss. And then the slimming doctor I went to FORBID me to drink anything sweetened with bubbles.

It's a widely known thing over here. Common knowledge. Maybe the soda pop companies pay for that inofmation to be witheld from the general public there. A little conspiracy to hold the people addicted to soda :)

I'll look up some info on it.

Just so you know I didn't make it up, here's a post from a forum I've never even heard of, from a user called summer.

Sorry about the confusion. That was me talking about soda and cellulite. I did read it once in a journal, but it was related to the high caffeine content, and sorry to say this KareBare, that means Coke. There was this theory that the gas in the soda would create spaces withing the fat layer underneath the skin and causes the rippling or 'orange skin' effect that we see in cellulite. It was in the papers and magazines a lot, so somebody did a study of it, which basically said it's not due to the gas in the bubble, which is theoretically impossible, but the caffeine and sugar content of sodas which is the more probable culprit. It's basically more pronounced in people who drink more sodas..but there are multifactorial factors, which is too many to enumerate. They did find that once people cut down on the sodas, they tend to drink more water, which theoretically, gets rid of more toxins from your body. One of the results is a decrease in the appeaarance of the cellulite.

In summary, there's no short cuts in life. Lead a healthy lifestyle, and hopefully, everything will change for the better!

02-22-2008, 03:07 PM
Based on some preliminary research...




And this paragraph in particular from the article linked below:

You may have heard that drinking too many carbonated beverages or eating lots of bread may cause cellulite, that hubbies or yeast can actually create that cottage cheese. Not so, explains Janet Helm, MS, RD, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "Because cellulite is nothing more than regular fat, no foods cause it particularly, or can help reduce it," she says. "Fizzy drinks don't cause it. Excess calories in general are the cause--and some people are more prone to cellulite than others."


"Widely known" doesn't always mean accurate...lots of things are "Widely known" in the diet world that don't make a whit of difference to lots of people...like not eating after a certain hour, which isn't necessarily a pre-requisite for weight loss as many of the site's biggest losers prove.

Bottom line, I think, is that we are all individuals when it comes to whether we are affected by diet sodas. If they affect you negatively, don't drink them. Being unaffected, though, I'll stick with my moderate consumption.

02-22-2008, 03:43 PM
from my cold dead hands.......you can take my Diet Pepsi!!!

02-24-2008, 05:16 PM

I hate the taste of artificial sweeteners and I just don't drink soda, diet or otherwise. About once a year I get a craving for a real Coca-Cola and I'll go to the fountain and get one. The last time I did that, (a few months ago), it tasted all chemically to me too and I honestly don't know if I'll ever want a soda again. Yay! LOL

I can't eat yogurts or anything that is artificially sweetened. I can't stand the chemical after taste. If I want to sweeten my iced tea I just use real sugar and allot for the 15 calories or whatever it is. I also use real sugar in my coffee every morning. My main drink is plain old water and I feel lucky that is what i like best because I watch my friends struggle to get in their water and try and ditch their sodas.

02-24-2008, 07:04 PM
I know artificial sweeteners and such are bad for you, but these days BREATHING is bad for you.

No kidding!!! EVERYTHING is bad for you these days. Most things are going to "give you cancer". That's what they keep telling us.