Experts in the nutrition and weight loss field have been shouting the warnings of diet soda for years now. They claim that this miraculous replacement for sugary carbonated beverages can actually cause you to be fat, rather than help you lose weight.
But how can something that contains zero calories and no sugar sabotage your weight loss goals? If you are a fan of diet sodas then it might be a good idea to find out whether or not it really is making your weight loss efforts more of a challenge.
Diet Soda: The Facts
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there are some alarming facts that have been confirmed in several studies.
- Diet drinks raised the risk of getting diabetes more than regular soda. You heard that right. Drinking sugar-free diet drinks actually raises your risk of developing diabetes. Just one 12-ounce diet soda per day increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 33 percent and a 20-ounce soda daily increases the risk by 66 percent!
- The fake sugar in your diet sodas tricks the body to make insulin, the fat storage hormone. In return, it triggers sugar cravings and increases hunger for carbs like bread and pasta. It also increases appetite, making you eat more than you would if you drank regular soda
- There is a 200 percent increased risk of obesity among those who drink diet soda versus those who drink energy drinks, juice, or tea.
Soda and Depression
Studies were performed on middle aged people who consumed coffee, soda, and juice. Participants were tracked down 10 years later to complete a survey based on their mentality and health over those 10 years.
Participants who drank soda were 30% more likely to suffer from mental illness, like depression, when compared with non-soda drinkers. Additionally those who drank diet soda were more likely to suffer from depression than those who drank regular soda.
Soda, Depression, and Weight Gain
So, diet soda more than likely will give you depression. When people have depression, they are not motivated to lose weight or live healthy lifestyles. So, really, when you drink diet soda, your diet will eventually suffer too. Diet soda, depression, and weight gain go hand in hand.
The Best Alternatives to Diet Soda
Ditching soda, including diet soda, can be a challenge. If you are used to drinking this flavored beverage every day, you need to really focus on changing your ways so that you can begin drinking healthier beverages that will keep your body hydrated and your taste buds satisfied, without going to your waistline or doing harm to your health.
The key is to transition to healthier beverages gradually. If you try quitting soda altogether one day, you might not succeed because you might still have cravings for it. So, consider swapping out your diet soda for another drink maybe once a day. Then, make it twice a day after a week or so. Then, before you know it, all three meals of the day will have a healthier beverage to go along with them. And, you won’t even miss the soda!
What are some of the best alternatives to soda? Well, there are more than you might think! A few tasty, low-calorie examples include:
- Pure water! It’s the best way to prevent dehydration, and it gives your body exactly what it needs to thrive. Include some pure water in your diet every day.
- According to The Penny Hoarder, another great alternative to soda is sparkling water, especially if you want to still feel those fun bubbles in your mouth, as this beverage is carbonated just like soda. Plus, you can find naturally flavored sparkling water, so it’s a guilt-free option.
- When you aren’t in the mood for pure water, consider fruit infused water. You can even make your own infused water at home if you don’t want to spend money on it in stores. You get the delicious flavor of fruit, but it is totally natural, and it makes getting your water even easier.
- Coffee and tea can also be good alternatives to soda as well, especially if you drink soda for the caffeine that it contains. Just don’t overdo it with the sugar and cream, which could potentially add a lot of unwanted calories to your drink. Enjoy coffee or tea hot or iced, with or without a meal.
- Juice can also be a good alternative to diet soda because you are getting plenty of sweet flavor. Just stick with natural juices that are lower in sugar so that you can avoid artificial ingredients while keeping your sugar intake in check. If you can juice your own fruits and veggies at home, that’s even better, but there are plenty of brands that sell bottled juice consisting of tasty fruits and veggies that are great for your health.
Don’t Bother with Diet Soda!
Many people love soda, and know it is bad for them. Then they turn to diet drinks with less calories and less sugar, thinking it will keep them on track. Instead, not only does it make them dehydrated, it leads to diabetes, obesity, and even depression. Diet soda does more harm than good, and there are alternatives that are much healthier, such as tea, coffee, and juice.