The food and beverage industry would love for you to think that they have your best interest in mind as far as maintaining an optimal weight and overall level of health. The Coca-Cola company is certainly a front runner in creating this illusion, as they prominently promote the fact that they have 180 low, or no-calorie drinks – additionally, they proudly and publicly glorify their efforts to play their part in combatting the obesity epidemic by claiming that they’ve cut sugary drinks down in our children’s schools an impressive 90%!
So why is it the vast majority of diet soda enthusiasts are still overweight?
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, approximately 75% of the American population are clinically classified as overweight – With an alarming 39.8% clinically classified as obese, this is the million-dollar question…
Or should I say, BILLIONS?!
Unfortunately, these statistics are no accident.
In fact, they are a direct result of strategic and psychological marketing and billions of dollars shuttled into advertising promoting products that exacerbate the obesity epidemic but keep industry profits at an all-time high.
To make this as simple as possible to understand, I’ve broken today’s topic down into 5 bullet points…
5 Reasons Why Diet Soda Could Lead to Weight Gain
1. People who drink diet sodas regularly have a similar or even greater chance of diabetes than those who drink regular soda (Sugar-sweetened).
In one study released by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who drank one 12 oz. diet soda daily had a 33% increased risk of diabetes. Those who drank one 20 oz. daily had a 66% increased risk!
2. Artificial sweeteners (found in every diet soda) are hundreds of times “sweeter” than regular sugar.
This is relevant because artificial sweeteners have the ability to activate a genetically embedded “sweet taste craving”. Research has shown that this neurological byproduct of artificial sweeteners can lead to cravings of high sugar, high-calorie foods.
3. Sucralose and high fructose corn syrup (artificial sweeteners) trick your bodies’ metabolic processes’ to believe sugar is on the way!
This side effect causes the body to pump out insulin, (THE FAT STORAGE HORMONE) which lays the foundation for the storage of unwanted body fat.
4. Artificial sweeteners disrupt and confuse your metabolism.
Thus slowing your natural, normal metabolic processes from functioning optimally. The end result is the potential for your body to burn fewer calories throughout the day, which will slow down your ability to burn fat as efficiently.
5. They cause a chemical reaction that generates feelings of hunger!
And not for the “right” types of foods of course – Diet sodas trigger the release of chemicals in the brain that causes cravings for heavily processed, refined carbohydrates and sugary foods, with little to no nutritional value. Things like greasy French fries, potato chips, candy and ice cream, just to name a few.
There was a very interesting study conducted by the team at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University which yielded conclusive findings that link artificial sweeteners to obesity and diabetes.
Many researchers agree this is the largest study to assess the biochemical changes artificial sweeteners cause in the body. A separate study conducted on rats revealed that those who consumed artificial sweeteners ate significantly more, had slower metabolisms and accumulated 14% MORE body fat in just a 2 week period than those who did not.
Some of which even consumed LESS total calories throughout the day!
These facts and stats can’t be ignored. Strong food cravings, fat/weight gain and an increased risk of type-2 diabetes sum up the credentials of artificial sweeteners to accurate perfection.
If you’re a diet soda drinker who aspires to improve with your health and fitness goals, I urge you to take this information into account and perhaps do a little research of your own, if you are in fact still skeptical.
Out of habit, you may want a soda, but you certainly do not need one. Try replacing your diet soda habit with unsweetened green or black tea, sparkling mineral water, or the naturally sweetened “soda” Zevia, which comes in all of your favorite flavors, has 0 calories, sugar or artificial sweeteners, and actually taste great!
Of course, make sure you are still drinking a gallon of water daily for optimal benefits if living an active lifestyle.