Are you starting a new health regimen or committing to losing weight? If you are someone who drinks soda, maybe you have taken up the habit of switching to diet soda to help shed pounds. Even though switching to diet soda may sound like a smart idea, diet soda isn’t healthy and contrary to popular opinion, it does not always mean weight loss…in fact, it can mean weight gain!   Artificial sweeteners may be free of calories but as their name says, they are jam packed of artificial ingredients. Artificial sweeteners are hundreds to thousands times sweeter than regular sugar, which activates our genetically programmed preference for sweet taste. Even though you aren’t consuming calories from diet soda, once you start drinking it, your cravings for more sweetness starts to hit. Artificial sweeteners in diet soda also trick your metabolism into thinking that sugar is on your way, which causes your body to pump out insulin. Insulin has many negative effects on the body. With respect to fat storage, insulin increases the storage of fat in fat cells and prevents fat cells from releasing fat for energy. In population studies there was a 200 percent (yes, 200 percent!) increased risk of obesity in diet soda drinkers.   According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered some scary information that may be what changes your mind forever about allowing diet soda into your body ever again.

  1. Women who drank one 12-ounce diet soda had a 33 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes and women who drank one 20-ounce soda had a 66 percent increased risk.
  2. Diet sodas raised the risk of diabetes more than sugar-sweetened sodas.
  3. Women who drank diet sodas drank twice as much as those who drank sugar- sweetened sodas because artificial sweeteners are more addictive and are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar.
  4. The average diet soda drinker consumes 3 diet drinks a day. They found the artificial sweeteners increased diabetes independent of body weight.

Drinking water, fresh pressed juice and smoothies are the best and smartest way to stay hydrated. If you have found yourself addicted to soda, try and cut back by adding in other healthy beverages with a natural flavor like iced tea. Quitting soda cold turkey may not be a possibility so it’s best to be patient but committed to the process of removing diet soda from your diet. Add lemon and lime to your water and start to get your taste buds used to real flavor and allow your mind to create new healthy habits that will stick in the long run! The beginning of quitting soda may be tough but the incredible health and overall well-being benefits in the long run are well worth any struggle to let it go!