People think (at least most of us) that diet sodas are not harmful and that it’s perfectly sensible to replace sugary drinks with diet sodas. This especially goes for those trying to lose weight and belly fat, because they equate no calories in soda as a free pass to drink as much as they want.
Here is the bad news; studies have shown that these diet drinks contribute towards weight gain. In one particular study, participants of average weight who added three diet sodas per day to their diet were likely to add weight and become obese in eight years.
Some skeptical researchers think that association is different from causation so we’re going to explore this question of whether or not diet drinks contribute to belly fat and added weight. If you have been addicted to these kinds of drinks, it’s time you learned a little bit more about them.
It Makes Bodies Produce Insulin
We all know the body processes sugar through insulin that is secreted by the pancreas. In other words, when the taste of these artificial sweeteners found in yogurt, soda, or any other drink with sugar hits the brain, it immediately signals to the pancreas to produce insulin.
And insulin is what informs our cells to either store sugar as fat or use it as food. After your pancreas has produced insulin to deal with all the sugars it thinks you ingested and the insulin finds no sugar, the body gets confused.
This confusion also disrupts the metabolic process. No wonder there has been a recent study linking drinking soda with metabolic syndrome, and this collection leads to higher blood pressure, waist circumference, and more elevated blood sugar.
Diet Drinks Condition Taste Buds for Sweetness
Perhaps you have noticed this as well that the more you taste something -sweet or spicy – the more of it you need to get the same taste. This explains why most people who stop eating either salt or sugar suddenly find most commercial foods such as potato chips, candy bars extremely salty or sweet.
When your taste buds get used to the uber sugary taste of sweeteners, you’ll need more sugar to get the same effect in anything else you eat.
It Prompts You to Eat More
Well, most people tend to count calories as one way to lose weight, and this method has been used by so many trainers and weight loss apps as well. For instance, if you drink a regular soda, you will not eat at least 140 calories of anything else within that day to compensate for the soda.
As diet soda has zero calories, this gives you a pass to eat more. Additionally you’ve already confused your body by ingesting sweeteners that it thinks is sugar, so the insulin is already out there for work to do. When you eat something, the chance of it being stored as fat is higher as the body will expect more sugar soon.
So you end up getting the detrimental effects of your sweeteners and on top of that you eat more, which is bad news for your diet.
If none of this has convinced you enough to avoid drinking these diet sodas, wait until you find out that it is linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s and stroke. It is also not healthy for your brain. Whereas these sodas are yummy, bubbly, and sweet, the health risks are just not worth it.