Can Diet Soda Cause Weight Gain?
Zero calories should mean zero weight gain -- but in nutrition, like life, things are seldom black and white.
Over the past few years, some studies have speculated that artificial sweeteners might actually stimulate hunger. Conversely, other studies suggested that sucrose -- a.k.a. table sugar -- might promote weight loss.
So what does a dieter drink?
In a study done by Danish researchers, 41 overweight people supplemented their diets with either sucrose or artificially sweetened drinks. Ten weeks later, the sucrose set gained an average of three pounds, while the fake-sweetener group lost nearly two pounds.
The sugar-drinkers added more than 400 calories each day to their normal intake - all of that went past their appetite sensors and on to their waistlines. Calories you drink do not help satisfy your appetite. Because you never compensate for the extra calories by eating less, you end up gaining weight.
You can save between 140 and 150 calories for every 12-ounce can of regular soda you replace with a diet soda.
Just do not go overboard: Stick to no more than three or four 12-ounce cans a day to avoid the risk of exceeding maximum intake levels of artificial sweeteners.
Focus on fewer liquid calories for weight loss, according to researchers who examined the relationship between beverage consumption and weight loss and found that liquid calorie intake had a bigger impact on weight than solid calorie intake. Among the 810 adult study participants, sugar-sweetened beverages (regular soft drinks, fruit drinks and other beverages containing sugar) were the leading source of liquid calories, comprising 37 percent of all beverages consumed. people who cut back on sugary beverages lost the most weight over a period of 18 months. Other beverage categories included diet drinks, milk, 100 percent juice, coffee and tea with sugar. (Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)
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