The Diet Soda Dilemma

The Diet Soda DilemmaIf a calorie is always just a calorie, then logic would tell you that any zero calorie drink is going to be equally good for weight loss—right? This is the line of reason that the beverage industry wants you to believe. But the bottom line is that this just isn’t true. To stay healthy and lose weight, you need to look at the whole picture—especially when it comes to how you are hydrating.

One of the first things to go when you make the choice to lose weight are those sugary drinks. Juices, sodas, sweet teas, these are the makings of empty calories. When you have these items you are loading your body up with calories that are coming directly from sugar, but those calories aren’t doing anything to fill you up or keep you satisfied. Instead, you are simply adding calories and sugar to your day, and you aren’t getting anything for it.

Once you make this realization it becomes easy to start cutting these drinks out of your daily diet, but this isn’t exactly good for the beverage industry. This is why there are so many diet drinks on the market. Diet drinks are zero calories alternatives that pack all of the flavor and caffeine of your favorite drinks, but without the added calories.

Just as good as water, right? Wrong!

When it comes to your weight loss efforts, nothing beats water. Water is fundamental for proper hydration, and while you do still get some hydrating benefits from other drinks, nothing works as well as water to keep your body moving.

As it turns out, nothing works as well as water in encouraging weight loss, either. In a recent study, participants were asked to follow a strict diet, and were given either a diet soda or water to drink with lunch every day. The soda drinkers lost an average of three fewer pounds than did the water group. With all other aspects of diet controlled for it is clear that drinking diet soda has a negative effect on your ability to lose weight.

While diet soda is arguably better than regular soda, it is still not a good alternative to water. This is especially true after you’ve had weight loss surgery, as drinking the carbonated beverage could cause discomfort by forcing too much gas into your reduced stomach pouch. Talk to your weight loss surgeon and nutrition expert about the best hydration practices after weight loss surgery. In most situations, drinking small amounts of water regularly throughout the day is your best bet for encouraging weight loss and staying hydrated.

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