Weight Loss
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Weight loss from cutting out diet soda?


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I was shopping the other day and ran into a guy in the protein shakes and energy bars aisle. We got to talking, and he mentioned to me that he has lost twelve pounds in the past two weeks, and the only change he made was cutting out diet soda!

I've heard about people losing weight from cutting out diet soda, but how can this really be? I mean, diet soda has zero calories. The only thing I can think of is I've heard that diet sodas can make you crave more foods with real sugar in them, so maybe these diet-soda cutters lose weight from having less of those sorts of cravings and therefore eating less calories from sugar? Or is there something about diet soda that literally makes people put on the pounds?

I'm not a diet soda drinker myself (I maybe have a Diet Coke once a month or so), so this question is really just coming out of curiosity. But sometimes I do drink things with sweeteners in them, like Sobe LifeWater or a coffee with a packet of Splenda mixed in.

 

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I've also heard that diet soda can make you crave real sugar, but I drink diet soda a few times a week and haven't found that to be true. Plus, if the man you talked to lost weight because he decreased his sugar intake, then he didn't really lose weight just by cutting out diet soda.

I have read (thought I'm not a scientist/doctor/dietician) that just the taste of sweetness from the sugar substitute tricks your body into thinking it's going to be digesting actual sugar, so your organs start preparing your body to do so (such as the pancreas pumping insulin). There are also some theories that the taste of sweetness may lead to cravings for other sweet foods, though I don't believe any studies have been done on that particular topic. Though I drink soda less than once a month (I just don't like it!!), I've always felt that drinking the regular soda is better than consuming all those chemicals contained in the diet/0 calorie one. But hey, to each his own!

Here's a recent article in which you may be interested. I found it very informative: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-200753 58-10391704.html

I rarely drink more than half a can of diet soda a day, but occasionally, due to stress, i end up drinking like 30-60 oz of diet soda for several days in a row.  When I do this, my weight loss stops completely and I retain water weight for about a week after I stopped drinking lots of diet soda and went back to my water.  Then I'll have a dramatic day where I seemingly drop 1-3 lbs overnight.  That's all that I've noticed regarding diet soda and my weight loss.

Diet drinks have a lot of sodium in them, so they make you retain water.  Cutting them out would help get rid of water weight.

There's a theory that diet soda causes sugar craving, I don't think that there's any real evidence that this is true.  I drink diet soda, not a ton, but some, seems to have no impact.

Not to mention the fact that aspartame, sucralose and other zero-calorie substitutes are really, really bad for you. Lots of studies have shown their long-term effects which include everything from migraines and weight loss trouble to epilepsy, MS and cancer. The FDA ignores these studies because artificial sweetners make up such a large part of the industry.


I used to drink a lot of diet coke, but ever since I cut out all artificial sweetners (easier said than done. A week went by before I realized it was in my yogurt!) I've really felt a difference. I'm pretty sure it was the cause of my migraines.

Another thing I've heard is that artificial sweeteners actually increase water retention and cause a bit of "bloat." If he's lost that much weight that quickly, it's likely a lot of it is water weight; drinking a lot of artificially-sweetened soda could definitely do it. In my opinion... there's nothing good about soda, diet/calorie-free or not.

#8  
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I am a diet soda addict.  I drink a good 2 liter bottle every night or more.  I have tried cutting the soda out of my diet simply as an experiment, and have found that it really makes no diffence in any kind of weight loss. I think I may have dropped maybe a pound or so of water weight, but then it came back. For me anyway, cutting out the soda made me eat more, since I was looking for something to replace my soda craving.  I do want to quit drinking so much soda since I know the artificial sweeteners are not good for me, but as far as weight loss goes, I really don't think it has any effect.  Just my opion.

 

Original Post by kath_77:

Not to mention the fact that aspartame, sucralose and other zero-calorie substitutes are really, really bad for you. Lots of studies have shown their long-term effects which include everything from migraines and weight loss trouble to epilepsy, MS and cancer. The FDA ignores these studies because artificial sweetners make up such a large part of the industry.


I used to drink a lot of diet coke, but ever since I cut out all artificial sweetners (easier said than done. A week went by before I realized it was in my yogurt!) I've really felt a difference. I'm pretty sure it was the cause of my migraines.


Kath, You're absolutely right!!! A good friend of mine taught me to mix plain yogurt in with my regular sweetened (not artificial sweetened) yogurt. That way I'm cutting the sugar without adding the bad stuff. Better yet, buy plain yogurt and add your own fruit or whatever you'd like. :)
Original Post by kristenbylenga:

Diet drinks have a lot of sodium in them, so they make you retain water.  Cutting them out would help get rid of water weight.

 You are so right...it's the sodium that causes water retention, and cutting them out does make you get rid of the water weight.  Since men are as a general rule, larger they retain more water and will therefore lose a LOT more than a woman not only at the start with the water weight but also continuing with  his diet.  I myself lost almost 10 lbs in 2 weeks when I cut out diet soda about a year ago.

#11  
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A chef and nutrition expert I've learned much from (and I'm a physician) has three simple rules for eating right: Eat 1) real food, 2) not much, and 3) mostly plants. The diet soda violates the rules. Alton brown agrees the artificial sweeteners bombard the taste buds to the point that natural sugars loose their value as taste agents.

Moral -- stick with real food, as close to peasant food as possible.

#12  
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Original Post by dm1013:

I am a diet soda addict.  I drink a good 2 liter bottle every night or more.  I have tried cutting the soda out of my diet simply as an experiment, and have found that it really makes no diffence in any kind of weight loss. I think I may have dropped maybe a pound or so of water weight, but then it came back. For me anyway, cutting out the soda made me eat more, since I was looking for something to replace my soda craving.  I do want to quit drinking so much soda since I know the artificial sweeteners are not good for me, but as far as weight loss goes, I really don't think it has any effect.  Just my opion.

 

Would it not be the easiest solution for you (since you want to quit the diet pop) to simply not buy that stuff ? Buy some really good herbal tea and maybe discover more complex and satisfying flavors. Say "Teavana" :)

Once you get off the pop train you will also really appreciate the taste of water.

 

P.S. I know somebody wants to jump in and proclaim that water has no taste ... maybe true for some, not true for me and many others I know.

I don't know what kind of extremely low sodium diets you guys are used to, but a can of diet coke only has about 40 mg of sodium.

That really isn't a lot. 

Original Post by dm1013:

I am a diet soda addict.  I drink a good 2 liter bottle every night or more.  I have tried cutting the soda out of my diet simply as an experiment, and have found that it really makes no diffence in any kind of weight loss. I think I may have dropped maybe a pound or so of water weight, but then it came back. For me anyway, cutting out the soda made me eat more, since I was looking for something to replace my soda craving.  I do want to quit drinking so much soda since I know the artificial sweeteners are not good for me, but as far as weight loss goes, I really don't think it has any effect.  Just my opion.

 

WHOA that's a lot of aspartame. Maybe it's not affecting your weight loss, but what about your overall health? I used to drink maybe 6 liters a week until someone showed me a list of symptoms that are associated with excessive aspartame intake. It blew me away because I had at least ten of them! Migraines, panic attacks, random pains in my arms and chest, hives etc. Not all at the same time and they weren't necessarily big health problems, but still. Of course I can't know for sure if aspartame was the cause, but ever since I've stopped ingesting it most of those problems have disappeared.

Not trying to be preachy here, but you really ought to quit. I know you're afraid you'll replace DC with food, but wouldn't you rather be fat and cancerless than skinny and dead? Also I found that problem went away in a few weeks. Eventually I didn't need to replace it with anything. And I can also tell you from personal experience that it's REALLY hard at first. I had to start by cutting back by buying it in smaller bottles and then cans. Eventually you won't want it at all anymore.

And fgransee is right about water. I used to HATE drinking water and now I actually find myself craving it.

Original Post by dm1013:

I am a diet soda addict.  I drink a good 2 liter bottle every night or more.  I have tried cutting the soda out of my diet simply as an experiment, and have found that it really makes no diffence in any kind of weight loss. I think I may have dropped maybe a pound or so of water weight, but then it came back. For me anyway, cutting out the soda made me eat more, since I was looking for something to replace my soda craving.  I do want to quit drinking so much soda since I know the artificial sweeteners are not good for me, but as far as weight loss goes, I really don't think it has any effect.  Just my opion.

 

 I can understand the addiction.  I have tried to cut down on diet sodas.  I was drinking 4 or 5 cans a day.  I know with all the artificial sweeteners and carbonation, it's probably not the healthiest.  I have been a sugar addict all of my life so I think it's unrealistic to cut sugar out of my diet.  I don't buy cases of soda anymore.  I use crystal light packets in water.  I know that doesn't eliminate the artificial sweetener.  I converted to plain water years ago but I couldn't maintain it.   Now I have an occasional diet soda when I go out and drink crystal light the rest of the time.  I'd like to convert to a lifestyle with mainly plain water and occasional artificially sweetened drink...but haven't gotten there yet.

In your case, what kind of sodas are you drinking?  Do they have caffeine?  That can be truly addicting.  I had a very bad mountain dew habit years ago.  I agree that the diet sodas are not the healthiest option but I agree with most....I doubt it has much to do with weight loss.

Nope, people don't lose weight by nixxing diet coke, calories do that..............conspiracy theories are abound though. There's also people that will say when they added diet coke to their diet they lost weight.

For me drinking diet soda helped me with cutting my calories because I fill up on drinking that tasty soda rather than stuffing my face with food during lunch and dinner.

And yeah...sodium? There is really not that much sodium in the pop I am drinking. I have heard this claim before so is it that there is other diet pop out there that is loaded with sodium?

Water retention? Maybe... I dont think its enough to notice if it happens to me from drinking diet soda.

I have cut down on it a lot recently though in place of water. but I sure do love that fizziness.

#18  
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Here is another angle - if you eat or drink too much sweet food or drinks, then your preference will gravitate towards that flavor. One trains him- or herself to taste other flavors as less rewarding, less desirable. After some time you honestly do not enjoy the broad palette of flavors anymore. At that point it is very hard to answer what is your actual preference.

Next time when you eat something that is not sweet, one may ask yourself what you taste and how you would describe that flavor. If you find yourself at a loss of words, you may want to think about paying more attention to your taste buds and trying to rediscover the enjoyment of more complex flavors. 

#19  
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Indeed, the palette can be trained, and it also can be abused. Smoking, excessive salt, etc., can skew your palette's sensitivity. I believe that to truely enjoy good food you should be gentle on your taste buds and that includes staying away from blasting them with artificial sweeteners. and like many things you don't notice the effects until you take away the impediments to a well educated and experienced palette.

I read the article in the link and while I found it interesting, would like to see more solid evidence around the causality (if it in fact exists). If the speculation is true that low-cal sweeteners somehow cause cravings or change body chemistry, then is it true of all sweeteners including natural types like stevia or is it only 'bad' ones like aspartame, etc? I'm hearing lots of opinions but it would be good to have more facts.
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