Can Diet Soda Make You Fat?

tape measure meter wrapped around soda can

Let me start by saying that diet soda is not an ideal substance for anyone to drink.  It’s full of artificial sweeteners, flavors, and colors that are of questionable origin.

But can diet soda make you fat?  Research into the assertion that it may contribute to weight gain in insidious ways is ongoing.  If you’re a fan of diet soda, there are a few things you should consider with respect to the assertion that it makes you fat.

The jury’s still out, but…

As a direct link to weight gain, it’s not clear that diet soda contributes.  But what is somewhat clear is that it may contribute to that effect in ways which are less than obvious.

One link is that between the psychology of zero or reduced calorie beverages in people who are attempting to regulate their weight, or lose weight.  Many people switch to low-or-no calorie sodas when they stop consuming sugary sodas to cut calories.

The effect is that they often believe they’ve “saved calories” which they can use when consuming other high-calorie foods.  Essentially, they’re fooling themselves and using the zero or low-calorie sodas as an excuse to binge on other things.

Fast food and sweet teeth.

The fast food mentality is another factor which may have led to the belief that diet soda can make you fat.  There is a large segment of the US population which is quite literally addicted to the unholy trinity of fast food – salt, sugar and fat.  These three in combination are a deadly trio and widely understood to be the single greatest cause of obesity in children and adults.

And what does fast food go with?  Soda!  People who tend to choose fast food, or highly processed “junk” food, also drink large quantities of soda, including diet soda.   So, in this instance, diet soda suffers from guilt by association.

There’s also a hypothesis floating around that diet soda has a “sweet tooth” effect.  People who drink diet soda regularly are observed to crave more sweet foods because the soda conditions them to consume substances which pretend to be sugar.  Their bodies, therefore, want to be fed the real thing.

Like I said.  It’s a hypothesis.

All the same, it’s interesting to consider that long-term observation of diet soda drinkers indicates that they’re more prone to consuming foods containing “stealth” sugars.  Bread, crackers and other prepared foods often contain HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) – another leading cause of American obesity.

Diet soda and healthy eating.

As I said at the outset, diet soda isn’t something I’d recommend that anyone drink.  All the same, people who generally eat well don’t gain weight because they drink it.  It might be more properly said that diet soda drinkers entertain other unhealthy habits which cause diet soda to be branded as a culprit for weight gain.  It may also contribute to cravings.

So, can diet soda make you fat?  Not directly and not all on its lonesome, but drink a glass of water, instead!

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