They’re not the best thing for you, but here’s how diet sodas might help you lose weight and kick your soda habit!
The appeal of having an ice-cold sweet and bubbly drink on a hot day is real, and seeing that we live on a sunny island, it can be all too easy for your soda indulgence to become a daily habit. This diet vice certainly won’t do wonders for your figure or weight, but if quitting cold turkey is too difficult, switching to diet soda first could help.
Though diet sodas can have zero calories, several studies have pointed out that they can lead to unhealthy diets, diabetes, and ultimately weight gain, mostly due to the fact that diet soda’s halo effect makes people think they can have more candy and junk food. However, Jaclyn Reutens, dietitian at Aptima Nutrition & Sports Consultants, says diet sodas can help with weight loss “if used correctly”. “Sugary drinks can contain up to seven teaspoons of sugar providing 140 calories,” she tells us. By replacing these sodas with a beverage that has no calories should help “in a significant reduction of calories which can contribute to weight loss.”
Weight loss starts with baby steps
If you’re a frequent soda drinker, Jaclyn advises swapping all your usual sodas for diet sodas first. “This will help to reduce your overall calorie intake,” she explains, adding that you can later work on reducing the frequency “till you are no longer dependent on that sugary taste”. According to Jaclyn, there are no clear recommendations on the amount of diet sodas that are allowed, but bear in mind that though they are low in calories, diet soda, like regular sodas, contain high amounts of phosphates that can leach calcium from your bones, so they cannot be drunk in uncontrollable amounts.
Stay on the alert
Jaclyn has another warning for those switching over to diet sodas. If you want to avoid gaining weight like the studies have shown, it’s important to know how your body works. Although diet sodas offer sweetness without the calories, know that your brain expects a calorie boost after you’ve consumed a sweet drink. When this does not happen, your brain will keep asking you to feed your body, triggering an increased appetite for more food, says Jaclyn. “This is the reason why people gain weight while drinking diet sodas,” she explains. “You need to be aware of your brain signals and control your appetite.”