When we want to lose weight, we know that we have to reduce the number of calories we consume to meet our reduction goals. Most people switch from regular soda to diet soda in order to make some of these caloric reductions. Recent research studies indicate that switching to diet soda may not provide the weight loss that you desire.

Why Diet Soda might Slow Weight Loss

Researchers studied the habits of people who drank diet soda instead of regular soda. A large number of people who switched to diet soda developed a habit of eating higher calorie foods than they ate when they were drinking regular soda. Researchers believe that people started to consume the higher calorie, higher fat foods, because they felt confident that by drinking the lower calorie soda they could eat the foods and still lose weight.

Another big reason for no weight loss when you switch to diet soda is the sodium levels in the diet soda. Many diet soda varieties have higher sodium amounts and the higher amounts of sodium cause you to retain more fluids, thus you may weigh more when drinking diet soda than when you drank normal soda.

People also drink a larger quantity of the diet soda and this makes them take in larger quantities of sodium. When people drink regular soda they generally limit the amount they consume because of the calories, but since diet soda is often calorie free people assume they can drink all they want of it.

The Study

The researchers compared the individual’s choice in beverages with their total caloric intakes. They also recorded whether or not the individual chose foods that were low in nutritional value over fresh fruits and vegetables.

For the purpose of the study the researchers paid close attention to people who drank the drinks the most.

  • Diet soda was consumed most by 21%
  • Coffee was consumed by more than half of the participants
  • Tea was consumed most by 26%
  • Drinks containing sugar were consumed by 43%
  • Drinks containing alcohol were consumed by 22%

The results

The majority of the people who chose diet soda as a beverage consumed about five hundred calories per day from foods with low nutritional values, or foods that were calorie dense.

The researchers used data collected from more than twenty two thousand people in the United States during the study.

People who drank alcohol consumed around 400 additional calories per day. People who drank drinks that had sugar consumed about two hundred and fifty more calories per day. Diet soda drinkers consumed about sixty nine calories each day, tea drinkers consumed about sixty four more calories each day, and coffee drinkers added about one hundred more calories.

The diet soda and coffee drinkers took in less calories than the people drinking sugary drinks, but the people drinking coffee, tea, and diet soda got more of their calories from high fat, low nutrition foods.