Is my diet soda slowing my weight loss?
So, you’ve been working hard to get in your steps, make healthier choices, drinking all of your water, and of course, taking all of your wonderful Obvi products. You’ve dedicated yourself to making healthier choices and it’s been working. You are going to the gym before work, eating nutritious meals, and getting your 10,000 steps in a day. The only thing you can’t seem to kick is that can of diet soda in the afternoon slump…
You’ve been told that soda of any form is bad. Still, this has 0 calories and every time you try to kick soda, you always end up hitting the candy jar to get your sweet fix. So, what is it? Somehow go cold turkey or accept that you’ll never hit your weight loss goals? Neither. We’re here to tell you that you can drink your diet soda and be successful too!
Yes, diet soda may be correlated with an increased risk of being overweight, but that doesn’t mean that diet soda leads to weight gain. This is an example of correlation vs. causation. For example, there is a correlation between ice cream sales in Kentucky and tornadoes. This doesn’t mean that ice cream causes tornadoes, simply that both are more prevalent in the warmer months. Similarly, diet soda may be associated with some habits that are associated with weight gain, but diet soda will not cause weight gain itself.
Weight loss is governed by calories in versus calories out. If you are consuming less calories than you burn, you will lose weight. In a randomized clinical trial, two groups were asked to either drink 24 oz of water or 24 oz of diet soda (non-nutritive sweetened beverages) per day. The subjects could both drink as much additional water as they wish. Both groups were given a 12 week fat loss diet plan followed by a 40-week maintenance plan designed to help them sustain results. At the end of the year, the diet soda group was much more effective at maintaining their weight loss than the water only group. In fact, the diet soda group in the above study experienced greater weight loss in the 12-week fat loss period than the water only group. The researchers theorize that the water only group might have looked for sweet treats to quench their sweet craving, thus increasing total calorie intake. (Here is a link to the study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4744961/)
Personally, I have a diet soda almost every day. I have a very big sweet tooth and it helps reduce my sweet cravings. As a professional natural bodybuilder, I’ve managed to achieve very low body fat while still drinking diet soda daily! This doesn’t mean that you have to enjoy diet soda or that I recommend adding it to your diet. It simply means that we are not losing weight in a vacuum. Food is emotional, cultural, and more than just an equation. You need to find a way to create a healthy lifestyle that YOU enjoy and can maintain long term. The most important thing here is to not gate keep yourself. Diet Coke is great if you enjoy it. Losing weight and making changes is hard. No need to make it any harder than it needs to be.