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Is diet soda detrimental to weight loss?

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Old 03-31-2012, 09:14 PM   #1
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Default Is diet soda detrimental to weight loss?

I drink a lot of diet soda; it's pretty much my only vice.

What's your opinion on it? Is it unhelpful for weight loss and if so, why? I'd just really like to know if I should cut it out.

Thanks!

P.S. I'm aware of the reports which claim it causes you to feel hungrier. Personally, I don't ever feel like that's happening, so... Is it harmful for weight loss in some other way?
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:23 PM   #2
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I've wondered this as well.. it's been a while since I searched but all I could ever find was when you drink it your body expects calories then shortly after realizes there wasn't much of anything in it and starts demanding food. ive drank diet drinks since I got type 1 diabetes at 8 - and even though I'm overweight I've been so my entire life and I don't think ita diet soda. I've cut back on it recently for aspartame scares but I haven't noticed a difference in anything besides maybe less acne.

it actually helps me to slam a diet drink with a meal or snack to curb my hunger. the fizz is so ridiculous that I can't possibly eat anything, and I feel full for a long time. never made me hungry ! but I have wondered if there's another reason for the claim (backed up with research)
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:59 PM   #3
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in my experience, absolutely.

first off, it gives me a false feeling of satiety - all those bubbles, i guess - so i don't eat as much as i would normally. then, 20-30 min later, i'm STARVING again.

second, i find i tend to dip a little bit more heavily into other stuff because i've "saved" calories with the diet soda. actually, i didn't even notice that myself - it was my bff who said "i don't remember you ever putting that much cheese on your salad....?" [and we've known each other 25yrs] we got to talking about it and she mentioned a few other things she'd noticed that just hadn't registered on my radar and that's when the whole false savings thing came to light.

and thirdly, i do find myself wandering into the kitchen and opening the fridge with a nagging feeling of "something missing" that is food-related. i'm thinking it's because i have the taste in my mouth telling me i ate something but i'm still unsatisfied. since i've eschewed any drink with sugar in it - including juices - i have a more solid grasp on my hunger cues because anything i put in my mouth is going to be nutritious.

basically, it's non-nutritive crap and i've done a lot better without it confusing the body cues.

Last edited by threenorns : 03-31-2012 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:12 PM   #4
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I'm a Diet Coke/Coke Zero addict, and it has never had a negative impact on my weight loss. I'm trying to cut back just because I'm trying to be healthier in general, but I've successfully lost large amounts of weight while drinking quite a bit of it.
I think it's one of those things that probably differ from person to person.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:20 PM   #5
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I don't know about weight loss, but I question the safety of aspartame. It took me months upon months to figure out it was the cause of some very extreme migraines I was having a few years back. Got so bad at one point that I'd spend a week in bed at a time, unable to do anything; I couldn't even read or watch TV. And I didn't realize how much it was affecting my every day life outside of the migraines; for close to two years I felt constant fogginess, confusion, and unusually high anxieties, which I initially attributed to allergies and stress when I moved across the country. I was also having a lot of crazy issues with my bladder, and not just the "overactive" problems. It all disappeared after I stopped drinking diet soda and eating certain diet foods sweetened with aspartame, most notably instant powdered drinks, popsicles, jello, and instant pudding. I eventually realized those issues started when I moved because I thought it was also a good time to switch to diet products to cut down on my calories. I always check labels for aspartame these days, and items go back on the shelf if it contains any. It's even added to non-diet items and foods targeted toward children!

It's hard to find soda sweetened with sucralose and even harder to find any sweetened with stevia (which is a natural non-nutritive sweetener), so I pretty much avoid soda altogether anymore unless it's a special occasion. I'll buy a small case of Diet Hansen's as a treat when we're having a holiday family dinner, for example. And sometimes I make my own using a Sodastream with plain cranberry juice. I'm actually a little wary of sucralose but I haven't personally noticed a reaction so I figure I'm ok with having the Hanson's a few times a year and the very occasional no-sugar-added product (which is also a special occasion thing). I've also tried Zevia (which is sweetened with stevia) but it's pretty expensive and not available where I typically shop.

I feel happy to have kicked not only the soda habit, but that I don't drink juice outside of small amounts of grapefruit and cranberry, both unsweetened. I should mention that I do drink small amounts of regular, full-sugar 7-up when I'm sick with the flu or something and have a nauseated stomach, but it's not enough to throw off my diet or increase my cravings. Regardless, I haven't been a regular drinker of any soda in about three years, even when I'm not consciously dieting. I drink a lot of water and tea at home and tend to order water with lemon whenever I eat out.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:31 PM   #6
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I used to think the reports that it makes you hungrier were hogwash, but then I gave it up for a month or so, and the next time I had a Diet Coke, I really was hungrier for the rest of the day. I tried it again several weeks later and the same thing happened. So I think that's probably true, at least for some people, but if we're used to having it in our systems, we don't notice the effects as much.

Though the best reason to give it up is the terrible effect it has on your bones, plus all those gross chemicals. There's not a single real thing in it except water. I say that as someone who still drinks it occasionally, but I try to keep away from it by reminding myself how bad it is for me.
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:03 PM   #7
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I've read both that it makes you hungrier and that it makes you feel like you've saved calories with it, so you can eat a bit more. Can't say that I've noticed any of that, but I did notice that I used to spend 5 euros a week on something they use to clean toilets and I didn't like the idea very much.

I'd tried to give it up in the past, but I would get these huge cravings for starchy sweet things after every meal. I thought that they had something to do with the fact that I used to drink diet coke after every meal and sure enough, as soon as I started drinking it again, the cravings went away. Then I bought an e-cigarette to give up smoking and shortly after I started using e-liquid that tastes like coke and I haven't had a sip since then.
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:26 PM   #8
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Calories dictate fat loss or gain.

Other than that it depends. Some might find their appetite stimulated by a diet soda while others might be craving something sweet and a diet soda can take the place of something with calories.
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:38 PM   #9
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not so, johnp - it's how your body deals with the calories that dictates whether or not you gain or lose fat.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_886409.html


Quote:
In the first study, researchers collected height, weight, waist circumference and diet soda intake data from 474 elderly people who participated in the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging. They were followed up an average of 9.5 years later, according to the research.

Researchers found that the diet soda drinkers had waist circumference increases of 70 percent greater than those who non-diet soda drinkers. And people who drank diet soda the most frequently -- at least two diet sodas a day -- had waist circumference increases that were 500 percent greater than people who didn't drink any diet soda, the study said.

Artificial sugar didn't produce any better results in the second study in mice. Researchers for this study found that diabetes-prone mice that were fed a diet that included aspartame for three months, had higher blood glucose levels than mice not given aspartame.

This isn't the first news illuminating diet soda's health risks. A study published earlier this year found people who drink the beverage every day have a higher stroke and heart attack risks. And UK researchers found earlier this month that sugary drinks can dull taste buds, leading consumers to crave the sweet stuff even more.

one could argue that the diet soda itself was not the culprit but, rather, indicative of a particular mindset that would lead the consumer to make detrimental lifestyle choices but it's hard to argue the mouse study, which was controlled.

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Old 03-31-2012, 11:55 PM   #10
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Yes, it is so.

I'm not allowed to argue by the rules of the forum but if you do not think that calories determine fat loss or gain than we are never going to agree on anything.

As for the reference -

1) We're not mice.

2) Correlation is not causation.

While going through school I was a server. I can't tell you how many people would order a diet soda and then procede to drop 3000+ calories in their meal.

It's like the correlation of breakfast and being overweight. Studies show that regular breakfast eaters tend to have a smaller chance of being overweight. This doesn't mean that skipping breakfast makes you fat.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:00 AM   #11
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calories are just calories. if you feed 10 ppl the same amount of calories, they will not all gain or lose the exact same amount of weight. it's not a linear relationship. each individual's physiology deals with calories differently: some ppl will experience an elevation in body temperature longer than others, some will get hyper, some fall asleep, some will pack away most of it into storage.

as for the latter half of your post, you simply restated what i said above: "one could argue that the diet soda itself was not the culprit but, rather, indicative of a particular mindset that would lead the consumer to make detrimental lifestyle choices" which is what i personally think, since i've noticed that thin, fit ppl actually tend not to drink pop at all.

"we're not mice" is a bit of a facetious dismissal. if mouse studies are completely useless, then nothing we've learned from them is valid, in which case we're in a WHOLE lot of trouble.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:08 AM   #12
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I believe it's true that not all people react to calories the same way, but I believe (except in cases where something is medically wrong) that one can only lose weight with a calorie deficit and one can only gain weight with a calorie excess (of course the exact reaction to the deficit and excess will vary). Or am I off base in that thought process?
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by threenorns View Post
calories are just calories. if you feed 10 ppl the same amount of calories, they will not all gain or lose the exact same amount of weight. it's not a linear relationship. each individual's physiology deals with calories differently: some ppl will experience an elevation in body temperature longer than others, some will get hyper, some fall asleep, some will pack away most of it into storage.

"we're not mice" is a bit of a facetious dismissal. if mouse studies are completely useless, then nothing we've learned from them is valid, in which case we're in a WHOLE lot of trouble.
1) Regardless of individual variences, calories still determine fat loss or gain in every human on this planet. Yes - some people are insulin sensative while others are insulin resistant. So while the output side of the equation might be affected by what you eat it is still an equation of energy.

2) We're not mice. This is not a facetious dismissal. If there was a biological mechanism by which diet soda caused weight gain in humans we would know about it. We don't because there isn't. The only thing that has been found is that in a small percentage of people the sweetness causes a small increase in the amount of insulin to be released. Not a significant amount. If it did you would hear about people dropping dead from drinking diet soda. Have you ever heard of that happening?
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:19 AM   #14
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It's an individual thing, but for me, diet drinks did hinder my weight loss. They made me hold onto water weight and also made me crave sweets more. I feel so much better without diet drinks.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:28 AM   #15
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Diet soda has never hindered my weight loss or done a number on my blood sugar, that I can tell, but it is a junk food in that it isn't nutritious and arguably can cause harm, if we're talking about the effects of caffeine, caramel color, or the acidity of it. Thus, it should be consumed sparingly and I try not to drink it except for the rare occasion.

But no, I've never seen any effect on my weight. Appetite, yes. Weight, no.
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