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Diet soda and weight loss?

_ankylosaurus_ Posts: 28 Member
So I have a huge diet soda habit and a friend at work insists that despite being 0 calories, diet soda is negatively impacting my weight loss.



  • Mycophilia
    Mycophilia Posts: 1,225 Member
    Your friend is wrong.
  • rankinsect
    rankinsect Posts: 2,238 Member
    Mycophilia wrote: »
    Your friend is wrong.

  • shadow2soul
    shadow2soul Posts: 7,693 Member
    Mycophilia wrote: »
    Your friend is wrong.

  • Christine_72
    Christine_72 Posts: 16,056 Member
    Going by the hundreds of posts I've read here about this topic. Diet soda affects everyone differently, slower weight loss or stalling and increased cravings being a couple of the problems. Some people can drink copious amounts with no negative side effects.
    I've never even tasted diet soda, so I have no experience one way or the other.
  • Alyssa_Is_LosingIt
    Alyssa_Is_LosingIt Posts: 4,696 Member
    Not true.

    Enjoy your diet soda.
  • Yisrael1981
    Yisrael1981 Posts: 132 Member
    I don't have a great gif or image to post however does your friend give you any reasoning behind his statement?
    Also define negatively impact?
    This can mean many things from causing you to binge to actually chemically preventing weight loss..
    The answer is dependent on the question
  • _ankylosaurus_
    _ankylosaurus_ Posts: 28 Member
    Her reasoning is that the body processes artificial sweetener the same way that it processes sugar-with a release of insulin. According to her, the body "believes" it's consuming sugar. The excess insulin, she says, leads to weight gain. Besides that rudimentary explanation, I haven't inquired more.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    Even if it were sugar, releasing insulin won't prevent weight loss if you are in a deficit. That's already a mistake by your friend. Also, while some artificial sweeteners may cause insulin release, aspartame does not (it does not spike blood glucose). Calories are ultimately what matter for weight loss.

    SOME people (not me) report that diet soda can make them crave sweets and therefore make it harder for them to stay within their calories. If this is you, you'd not lose because of not staying within your calories, not the soda. (I'm assuming you are staying within your calories, so it's not you.)
  • jswigart
    jswigart Posts: 167 Member
    I've heard and read all the diet soda hype. I drink diet sodas all day long. I've lost 85 pounds in the last 6 months. If I had been drinking full calorie sodas all that time I would not have made it to where I am.
  • Azdak
    Azdak Posts: 8,281 Member
    The only possible association I have seen is that, in some studies, people drinking diet sodas have shown a tendency to eat more--either from a psychological feeling that "hey I'm drinking 0 calories so I can have another brownie" or some other behavioral association. However, there was nothing physical and nothing causal. If you are on a weight loss plan, you are monitoring those behaviors anyway so there is no reason for diet soda to have a negative effect.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,878 Member
    I lost over 40 pounds while drinking diet soda regularly. And I'm maintaining that loss.

    Your friend is just repeating diet myths.
  • WinoGelato
    WinoGelato Posts: 13,458 Member
    The question I always ask in these type of threads where someone says, "I read it may cause cravings" or "Someone said it negatively impacts weight loss" is... "Well is that happening to you?". It's your body. Do you feel those cravings? Are you losing weight at a rate that you are satisfied with? If so, then why would your friend even make the comment about diet coke. If not, were you talking about your struggles to lose, and this was one possible theory?

    As others have said, there is nothing in diet soda that would directly cause weight gain, as it has zero calories. If you aren't losing, or are gaining weight, then it is because you are eating too many calories, and there are a number of potential causes of that. If you are one of those people who feels that diet soda triggers cravings in you which would cause you to overeat, then that still comes down to eating too many calories. It's still your choice to give into the craving or not, but it isn't the diet soda that would be directly impeding your progress.

    TL/DR - your friend is full of kitten.
  • rhtexasgal
    rhtexasgal Posts: 567 Member
    Ditto on what others have said ... however, I have always thought diet soda tastes yucky so I never drank it. I used to drink regular soda but gave it up. Contributed to too much acid reflux for me ...
  • klmcneil1
    klmcneil1 Posts: 26 Member
    I wouldn't be so quick to say that your friend is wrong. There's a lot of complexity here that people above are ignoring:
    1. There are several high-quality, long-term studies that show an association between artificial sweeteners and weight gain and diabetes, even after controlling for the fact that heavier people use are more likely to use artificial sweeteners. (For example: "Diet soda intake and risk of incident metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis," Diabetes Care (2009); "Dietary intake and the development of the metabolic syndrome: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study," Circulation (2008).)
    2. Artificial sweeteners are not inert chemicals. They seems to affect the brain, including the appetite and reward pathways. (See "The effect of non-caloric sweeteners on cognition, choice and post-consumption satisfaction," Appetite (2014); "Sucralose, a synthetic organochorine sweetener: overview of biological issues," J Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health (2013); "Altered processing of sweet taste in the brain of diet soda drinkers," Physiology & Behavior (2012); "Sucralose affects glycemic and hormonal responses to an oral glucose load," Diabetes Care (2013).
    3. Artificial sweeteners also seem to affect the beneficial bacteria in your gut. ("Splenda alters gut microflora and increases intestinal p-glycoprotein and cytochrom p-450 in male rats," Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health (2008).) They don't really understand fully yet how these bacteria are important for healthy body mass, but it's becoming more and more clear every day that they are important.

    There's also good indications that the effects mentioned above are highly individualized, based on peoples' genetics and other factors that aren't wholly understood. So someone saying, "I live on diet soda and have lost a ton of weight" isn't really proving anything one way or the other.

    Given the evidence, I certainly avoid artificial sweeteners, and would advise my friends to do the same. Because what's the point? We know for sure that sparkling water is safe, and won't negatively affect your weight loss, so just be on the safe side and drink that. You trained yourself to drink diet soda (it really is nasty if you're not used to it), so you can train yourself to drink water instead.