Weight Loss Support - Question re: diet soda's

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03-25-2008, 02:16 PM
Has anyone ever cut diet soda out of their diet to help in losing? I know WW says it's okay to have stuff like diet coke, and I'm wondering if my love for the DC is prohibiting/discouraging progress. I don't go crazy... maybe 1 can per day when I know I'll have a decent water intake, but on the weekends i tend to chose that over water. Bad bad I know... but I just wondered what anyone else thought on the subject.... Soda or no Soda?

To make matters worse, it's stocked non-stop for free in the fridge at work!! :(

03-25-2008, 03:13 PM
This question comes up a lot here. If you search, you'll find dozens if not hundreds of threads. You'll find a lot of people for, and against, and for different reasons. Some people do notice weight loss improvements after giving up diet sodas, others don't. Some people don't care even if it does slow down weight loss a little bit, because diet sodas are their one sweet indulgence, and dieting would be miserable without it (that's me).

I would say if giving soda up would feel like a major deprivation, don't even worry about it. If though you want to know whether it affects your weight loss, and you're willing to give it up (at least during the few weeks it would take to find out), then conduct your own experiment. Though if you decide to, realize that one week or even four probably isn't enough to judge because coincidences like your monthly cycle and variations in your diet could be responsible for any changes you see in your weight loss pattern.

03-25-2008, 03:29 PM
I'm one of the "will not give it up" people. :)

I have cut back significantly and limit myself to one can a day (part of my afternoon pick-me-up). I haven't noticed that it's made any huge difference one way or the other. I will say that I notice when I drink more diet soda, I drink less water ... and when I drink less water I feel sluggish and ... well, icky.

If I don't drink enough water I get headachy and bloated and my skin starts to feel dry. It could be partially psychological .. but I do think it's partially physiological as well. My body is used to being well-hydrated and subbing soda for water just doesn't cut it for me anymore.

YMMV and all that.


03-25-2008, 04:04 PM
I was all in favor of diet sodas with weight loss until last night. I was reading Jimmy Moore's blog and he linked to this woman's site: http://myaspartameexperiment.com/

Where she decided to find out for herself what sort of effect aspertame might have on someone. Her family was drinking a lot of diet soda, so she wanted to see because she was concerned. She set up an experiment with a control group and experiment group and decided to give them a dose comprable to the amount the USDA says is "safe" for humans. Some of the medical problems her experiment group rats had that the control group didn't are SCARY. I decided last night that Aspertame is never passing through my lips again. I have 1/2 a 2-liter of diet Pepsi left and once it's gone, it's gone.

03-25-2008, 04:22 PM
Frankly, most people here seem to have worse problems than whether to drink diet sodas... ;)

I drink them. I like the Splenda-sweetened ones if I can find them. It doesn't seem to make much difference to me. Pay attention to how your body reacts to them--that will tell you.


03-25-2008, 04:31 PM
:eek: I just read that article, that's scary. I used to drink a lot more diet soda, but then I just stopped. Not particular reason, I just started drinking more water. I like water.

I used to have a diet soda as a treat, but I always told myself I couldn't drink it until I had drank 8 glass of water a day. After drinking all that water I didn't want to drink anything else. It worked for me.

I still have diet soda once in a great while, but most of the time I just drink water.

03-25-2008, 04:55 PM
I have a love hate relationship with diet coke. I love it, but it makes my body go a little crazy.

If you quit diet soda, your appetite will probably decrease. The study that I read said that you can't trick your body into thinking it's getting something sweet and not giving it any calories. The body backlash causes cravings. Vicious cycle.

I substituted S. Pellegrino for Diet Coke and am much happier.

03-25-2008, 05:01 PM
Has anyone ever cut diet soda out of their diet to help in losing? :(

I excluded all soda from my diet. Very rarely, I drink cranberry pop but I mix it with water 1:2. I figured I better off with a bit of sugar than with aspartane.

03-25-2008, 05:05 PM
I have had pet rats, and I learned the hard way that they are very prone to the conditions she photographs. My first rat had to be put to sleep at about 20 months old, because she had throat or stomache cancer. My vet advised me, and I later read more, that domestic rats are extremely prone to tumors and cancers (in fact they were originally bred specifically for that trait for research purposes). I find it nearly impossible to believe that none of her control group exhibited any of these very common conditions (My rats were never fed aspartame). I also wish she had reported the average life expectancy in each group. As the average life expectancy of a rat is only 2 years, yet her experiment time frame was 2 years, 8 months. It would be interesting to know the life expectancy differences between the two groups.

At any rate, I did a bit of a google search and found some very compelling arguments against her research design. The most compelling from a toxicologist who argues that aspartame could (because of it's known properties), like many dietary components, contribute to folate deficiency, which is known to cause the tumors she photographs.

On one hand it seems like a slim distinction. Aspartame can contribute to folate deficiency and folate deficiency can cause tumors, therefore aspartame can contribute to tumors via folate deficiency. However, these tumors would not occur, even in the presence of aspartame, if sufficient folates are included in the diet. It is an interesting piece of research, but still a very small part of the picture. All I've concluded after reading her research is that it might be especially important to eat your vegetables or take a daily vitamin if you're drinking a lot of diet soda.

A study of 108 rats is an extremely small study in the scheme of things. It is also important to realize that the researcher did have an agenda, she already suspected aspartame before she started the research. I'm not calling in to doubt her intentions (though I cannot discount the possibility of puposeful misrepresentation), but even with the best of intentions, her pre-existing bias would make her very susceptible to overlooking lesions and tumors in the control group (which may be why she found none).

03-25-2008, 05:07 PM
I drank diet sodas moderately throughout my weight loss, and continue to. Moderate, for me, is no more than 1 a day (and usually much less...probably closer to 2-3 a week), and I continue there. It never caused me any problems with appetite control or otherwise that I noticed.

I suggest that everyone experiment, give it up for a bit, see if it helps. I did that, and there was no difference, so I decided that I'd continue including them until I noticed a problem.

03-25-2008, 05:22 PM
That was one scary article!
I'm not a big fan of artificial sweeteners and have been known to :soap: a bit much on the subject.

Some people do just fine with diet drinks - no unusual medical issues and lose weight at the same pace as someone who doesn't drink them. I'm (sadly) not one of them. I was struggling and struggling to lose weight and the most I managed to accomplish was to slow my gaining - until I got rid of my Crystal Light which I was drinking by the gallon (literally - I would drink about 1/2 gallon every day telling myself it was my water servings for the day). Admittedly, I also made a lot of other changes and have made it a point to avoid chemically processed food in general as often as possible so it might be the combination but, to my way of thinking, the key word there is "artificial" and even Splenda, whose big selling point is that it's derived from sugar, is chemically altered (and, from what I've read, to the point where on a molecular level it more closely resembles a pesticide than sugar).

Like everything else in the "dieting world", it really boils down to being a personal choice and what works for you. The only way to find out for sure if is to try a month or so without (or at least taper off - I quit Crystal Light cold turkey and wouldn't recommend that drastic a step :lol:)

OK, sorry. I tried to warn you :soap:

03-25-2008, 05:42 PM
I just feel better with water, lots of it and I used to be a diet coke addict. I don't think people know what "stuff" with strange names you can't pronounce can do to our bodies... so the more processed the more we might want to stay away in my opinion - but that's from my own little experiment of feeling BETTER without diet coke and a lot of processed foods. We are all different though. The new studies are saying that those who drink diet coke dont' lose as much weight, but there's examples on this site of course of those that do and lose weight. I'm with Jay, there's worse vices then diet coke, it might be as you cut more "junk" from your diet you might gradually cut your coke habit too. Strange how when we eat better we don't crave as much caffene and pop, etc.

03-25-2008, 06:01 PM
When i was growing up my mother was always on one diet or another. We ONLY had diet soda in the house. The only Non Diet soda I even remotely like is root beer. I used to drink lots of diet soda 40-60 ounces a day. Now I don't touch the stuff.

My own personal experience is...Soda triggers my reflux. That was key reason for me to quit drinking diet soda. Then my dietician said there was some research that was showing that artificial sweetener makes you crave high cal foods. Like a previous post said body gets sweet taste without high calories and it sets you up eat more to get those calories. She also said this was not 100% conclusive.

So this time around I am trying to eat more whole foods, eliminate the vast majority of processed foods. I began eating Organic yogurt. Then one day I ran out of yogurt and the local store doesn't carry organic. So I picked up a low cal low fat yogurt...not thinking about artificail sweeteners. For 3 days I was so hungry in the afternoon I wanted to lick the paint off the walls.

LIGHT BULB moment...was it the yogurt??? Well I quit eating the artificailly sweetened stuff and I don't struggle with mid afternoon hunger.

I sweeten my tea with honey and my oatmeal with brown sugar I include the calories in my daily totals. So far, so good.

Do I think this proves artificial sweeteners are bad...Nope.
Do I think this proves artificail sweeteners aren't for me...YES!!!

It is all about what works for you. The changes you make have to be ones you can stick with for life.

03-25-2008, 06:19 PM
I can do moderate amounts of diet soda, but artificial sweeteners in anything else trigger major binge attacks for me.

Nancy CA
03-25-2008, 06:26 PM
I feel that there is some evidence to the idea that artificial sweeteners can stimulate your appetite. I tried it out myself. I drank a diet coke with my lunch and I was starving through the afternoon. I think you jut have to listen to your body, cut it out and see if there's a difference.

03-25-2008, 07:09 PM
for me, i avoid diet sodas just because they make me retain water. only one a day isn't bad, but when i drink it all day all that sodium affects the scale! i don't think drinking it affects my actual fat loss though. (and i'm not one to avoid artificial sweeteners - even if they're bad for me i just can't seem to eliminate them!:shrug:)

03-25-2008, 07:32 PM
Every now and then I have a diet Coke when I feel like I'd go crazy without it, but I keep it to no more than one or two cans per week. Artificial sweeteners are just not good for you, and being healthy means more than just losing weight.

The linked aspartame study was, of course, not peer-reviewed so it's hard to say whether the methods or conclusions are appropriate. However, if the differences between the aspartame-treated group and the controls were that significant, I'd be hesitant to quickly dismiss it.

03-25-2008, 08:15 PM
I had been in the Diet Pepsi over water way of thinking for many years. Even before I committed to weight loss, I quit drinking as much. I like to use it with my mixed drinks (I still do drink it when I drink alcohol) but never during the week or on weekend days.

What motivated me is that it does make me feel like I am retaining water. Also my habit was to sip throughout the day. How awful that is for my teeth is a motivator for me to not be a soda sipper throughout the day.

It took me such a long time though, to come to this. There was such a mental connection to it. I felt like I was giving myself a big ol' pat on the back when I cracked one open every few hours.

Good Luck to anyone trying to quit the diet colas!

03-25-2008, 09:57 PM
I use to have a diet soda by me at all times. I drank them all day long and didnt really eat. I would eat dinner with my family but i was living on soft drinks. I started having alot of kidney problems and gave up soft drinks. I will have one every few months but its a very rare thing. I use to joke that i needed to be hooked up to the iv of diet pop.
My kidney specialist told me that diet drinks are worse for you than reg. He also told me that my soft drinks might be making me gain weight. I now try to drink nothing but water. I really never crave them anymore. It was really hard at first giving them up. My kidneys thanks me for drinking water!!!

03-26-2008, 12:34 AM
Question, well kinda: Back when I used to be on Atkins I read on a message board that Aspartamine, the sugar subsitute found in diet sodas stalls weight loss??? Anyone ever heard of this??? And that if your going to try a diet anything make sure it has splenda and not aspartamine (or however you spell it)

03-26-2008, 12:43 AM
An interesting article I just read. Not sure if it was in-depth enough to be really useful, but...

03-26-2008, 12:44 AM
Good lord, I'm sorry about the multiple posts! My computer when deranged for a moment. Sorry chickies!

03-26-2008, 09:38 AM
Thanks for all the great feedback... I've always been on the fence about it, also treating it as my afternoon sweet/pick-me-up treat. I had never heard anything about the artificial sweeteners and appetite issues, so I'll be looking a little more into that! Especially taking an inventory of the foods I consume that have that junk in it. :)

03-28-2008, 03:49 AM

In the foot notes of the study it said that 3 rats in the control group developed observable tumors.

I don't drink (or eat) artificial sweeteners partly because I don't like the taste, partly because I'm a little leery of them, and finally because they cause digestive fireworks for me (ew.)

03-28-2008, 07:17 AM
judging by whats been said i would say personaly that just maybe have them once in a blue moon lol, well maybe take yourself off them slowly...