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Will diet soda make me gain weight?

Monday, August 15, 2011

This year, 2011, has been a challenging one for weight loss. I've been reflecting and hoping to find some insight into why. What was I doing before that's changed? What needs to change that hasn't already?

There are two things that I've observed. More observations may arise as I find more insight, but for now, I think these two things are helpful:

The first is that I've cut back on my running. It's summer and I've been bike commuting, which is great. But for some reason, running really kicks the fat off me. I'm still running 1-2x per week, but nothing like the distances and times I was doing before. So, I'm still enjoying my bike commutes and I've only got a couple months left of good biking weather. But, I'm thinking that I'll increase my runs to 3x per week.

The second observation is that I've started drinking diet pop again. I stopped cold turkey in 2007 and didn't touch the stuff again until last winter. It crept in slowly until I was up to one can per day, almost every day.

So, how can a calorie-free drink make me gain? I knew it could but I didn't remember why, until I was watching a Dr. Oz show where they featured diet soda. A woman talked about kicking the diet soda habit and losing 10 pounds in one month. She said that junk food doesn't taste as good with water, and that a lot of foods she craved after drinking diet pop were unhealthy food choices. Hmmm, interesting. So, I did a little research and here's what I found.

In LiveStrong.com, an article stated that "diet soda contains fewer calories than regular soda does. However, drinking diet may also result in weight gain because consuming artificial sweeteners may lead to sugar cravings and further poor dietary choices, according to MayoClinic.com."

I think there's merit in this finding. I don't actually find that my cravings go down, and my biggest problem since drinking diet soda again is that I've increased my consumption of chocolate and chips. Plus, for the first time in 4 years, I've been craving french fries again! With a diet coke please.

I'm on Day 3 of no sodas (diet or otherwise) again and I'm hoping that this tweaking will be the difference I need. Not to say that I couldn't improve other areas, but I'm finding my cravings are already improving. I'm going to observe the results this month and see if I may be onto something.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Soda-free for over a week!
    3593 days ago
    Hopefully this will be your answer...I know I read something similar recently in "The End of Overeating," and I believe there is a lot to it. Good luck!
    3600 days ago
    Congrats on your three days! I supposed it DOES affect some people that way; I suspect it isn't good for other reasons as well. I have gone cold turkey with it and then gone back to it so many times. I am trying to do green tea more this time in trying to let go of the "hard" stuff - Diet Coke!
    3600 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6427585
    THIS sounds VERY plausible to me! Certain foods do just "go together". I noticed I don't eat AS MUCH pizza if I drink water with it... because pizza really GOES with Pepsi! (DIET pepsi, of course!) emoticon
    3600 days ago
    Its totally true about pop or any artificial sweetner that is. When I did my bodybuilding show 5 years ago I ate NOTHING with artificial sweetner and fruit ended up tasting like candy as it was sooooooooo sweet. Adnittedly even though I know that I am still obsessed with having one pop ( diet) a day! So you are way better then I!
    3600 days ago
  • -LISS-
    I ALWAYS craved chocolate with a diet Coke. I indulged maybe once a week on average but I always ended up eating more sweets when I did. Also, I found I got really bad headaches. Everyone I encounter who has a bottle in their hand is either a self-proclaimed addict or overweight, or both. I think that stuff really does create cravings. I have been consuming very little to none lately and it's still a struggle.
    3600 days ago
  • BUTTERFLY-1976
    Congrats on the 3 days of no pop.


    It's something I've never thought of but it does make sense.
    3600 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3008106
    Good for you on 3 days soda free!

    I can definitely attest that since I have stopped buying Diet Coke aside from the rare treat when out for dinner, I don't crave the junk nearly as much. I also found Diet Coke increases my appetite.
    3600 days ago
    It's definitely true. When your taste buds taste something sweet, they send signals to your brain that are like, "Yummm! Sugar! Energy boost!" But when your body doesn't get the sugar that it expected (based on what it tasted), it makes you crave sugar even more. I switched to green tea!

    3600 days ago
    Maybe this is the answer to what's up with me. I consume 4 to 5 Diet Pepsi's a day.
    3600 days ago
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