Why you should ditch the diet soft drink for good

1. They still expand your waistline

Daily users of diet soft drinks gain centimetres of belly fat, sometimes more than those drinking other beverages. If you thought diet soft drink was a healthy alternative to the regular, sugar-laden stuff, it might be time to reconsider. A 10-year study of over 65s has found a “striking” relationship between daily consumption of diet soft drinks and the size of your waistline. Daily drinkers gained 8 centimetres of belly fat, compared to 2 centimetres for non-drinkers and 4.6 centimetres for occasional users, over the total study period. The impact was most severe on those who were already overweight or obese.

2. It may be making you eat more junk

Diet soft drinks still have your body react in the same way as if it were getting “real calories and sugar” (see point 5), yet there are none, so while it’s often “calorie free, it doesn’t mean that it’s actually free. Diet versions give lower feelings of fullness so we end up eating more overall and often more sugary and transfat laden foods. Who would have thought.

3. The hit doesn’t last very long

Often we reach for a diet soft drink when we are looking for an energy hit but the truth is that this hit is short lived. At most the hit you will get from caffeine or even the sweet flavour will last no longer than an hour leaving you feeling tired and hungry all over again.

4. It is not offering you anything positive nutritionally

I know you love it; and your day will just not seem the same without the little high you get from enjoying a can with your lunch or dinner but the harsh reality is that it is not helping your body in any way. It is not helping to hydrate you, or adding any positive nutritional properties into your diet. In fact, it is actually likely to be displacing water from your diet, leaving you more vulnerable to dehydration and fatigue on a daily basis.

5. It plays havoc with your appetite and hormones

When we are hungry and / or craving sweet food, the body is telling us that we need to eat. When we choose a diet soft in place of real food, the body does not respond well. When the body realises that it has not in fact consumed any real calories that it increases appetite. More alarming are the early findings that whilst diet soft drinks do not contain sugar, they may still increase insulin levels in the body. Elevated insulin levels over time are linked to fat storage, and Type 2 diabetes. There is nothing ‘diet’ about that.

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