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Diet Soda & Myths!

Coca-Cola Classic and Diet Coke are on display at a supermarket in New York on Wednesday, December 07, 2005. PepsiCo Inc., the world's second-largest soft-drink maker, may surpass Coca-Cola Co. in market value for the first time after beating its competitor in sales growth and diversifying beyond soda. Photographer: Daniel Barry/Bloomberg News

Coca-Cola Classic and Diet Coke are on display at a supermarket in New York on Wednesday, December 07, 2005. PepsiCo Inc., the world's second-largest soft-drink maker, may surpass Coca-Cola Co. in market value for the first time after beating its competitor in sales growth and diversifying beyond soda. Photographer: Daniel Barry/Bloomberg News

Aspartame, Sucralose and Saccharine are scary and confusing words which have created many controversies over the years. One such recently explored question is regarding diet soda. This bubbly low-calorie beverage (made with one of these artificial sweeteners), which we guzzle down thinking it’s not going to affect our weight loss plan, does it really help or does it hinder all our efforts?

Well to begin with, consuming artificial sweeteners instead of calorie-laden sugar would help an individual to lose weight because they are cutting back on calories. A low-calorie intake and increased calorie expenditure is the thumb rule for achieving weight loss. However, there is a new-found concern regarding intake of artificial sweeteners, which is whether or not consumption of these beverages could actually increase a person’s appetite thus causing weight gain!

Theoretically, consumption of artificial sweeteners can overall increase the food intake as opposed to consuming foods and beverages sweetened with table sugar. One of the reasons for that is artificial sweeteners are unable to satisfy the mind’s cravings in the same way that sugar does. Additionally, since they don’t provide the body with any substantial amount of calories, their consumption may increase an individual’s appetite.

Although, there is no evidence strongly suggesting diet soda either increases or decreases the effectiveness of a weight loss plan, popping a diet can daily is not a habit worth keeping.

They undoubtedly have fewer calories than regular soda, but please note DIET doesn’t mean calorie-free. If you still want to drink diet soda, remember that the ‘no calorie’ claim doesn’t actually mean ‘zero.’ Some of these sweeteners do have calories but fewer than five calories per labelled serving can be safely claimed to be ‘zero’ calorie.

Moreover, diet soda has become a greater addiction than a weight loss choice. For many it is not about the sweet flavour but it’s the desire for caffeine that makes this addiction stronger to break. Many sports persons get hooked on to diet soda because of the caffeine ‘kick’ it gives, but unfortunately its only more dehydrating and that’s the last thing a sports person needs.

I suggest, wake up one day and QUIT. There are plenty of other beverages to sort you with the caffeine need. Try a cup of green tea or mild black teas. Sports drinks also work excellent with athletes for rehydration and energy.

If it’s the flavour that you crave for then switch to flavoured water, add slices of lemon, orange and pomegranate to the water. You will get lots of vitamins, loads of antioxidants, desired hydration and no chemicals. Trust me, you will do your body a huge favour.

Finally, if it’s the fizz that you are longing for then just choose sparkling over regular water. You will eventually begin to savour it.

Bottomline, if you enjoy a diet soda, have one sometimes. Picking up a can once in a while to get through a party is fine, but popping one three to four times a day is definitely not helping you achieve any weight loss neither will it provide you with any benefits of optimum health.

Always practice moderation. Be mindful of how much diet soda you drink everyday. When it comes to quenching your thirst, however, there is no replacement for water. Neither sugar nor artificial sweeteners requires an overload in your diet.

 Happy Popping! Stay Healthy!

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