You’ve probably heard the claim that diet sodas make you gain weight. On the surface that sounds contradictory because diet sodas don’t have calories, therefore they could not be the cause of weight gain. However, studies done in 2008 indicated there may be a link between drinking diet soda and weight gain, although the scope was limited and there was no definitive answer as to why there would be a correlation.
At that time, there were two schools of thought on why there would be a link between diet soda consumption and weight gain. The first, being diet soda alone does not cause weight gain, but it has more to do with the unhealthy food choices of diet soda drinkers in general. The second theory was that the artificial sweeteners in diet soda alter your body’s chemical processing making you crave higher calorie food, causing you to eat more and gain weight.
Fast forward to 2017 with new studies coming out reinforcing the idea that consuming low-calorie sweeteners, like those found in diet soda, can lead to gain weight.
These more recent studies have found new evidence to suggest what may actually be triggering weight gain. They indicate that low-calorie sweeteners are associated with upregulation of gene expression for glucose transporters. In layman’s terms: Consuming foods and beverages with artificial sweeteners causes your body’s fat cells to take more sugar out of the bloodstream to turn into fat. In normal circumstances, much of our fat is made from the carbohydrates we eat. What artificial sweeteners seem to be doing is turning on genes that are tied to fat production, and cells are absorbing more glucose from the blood stream than they normally would, and in turn this glucose gets converted into additional fat.
This is a scarier scenario than the previous explanations because it means that our bodies are being fundamentally altered at the cellular level. Artificial sweeteners are everywhere, not only in diet sodas but in many other foods advertised as being ‘sugar-free’, ‘reduced sugar’ or ‘diet’. These foods are meant to help us lose weight, but instead may be creating the opposite effect.
If you are trying to lose weight, you may want to think twice about that diet soda and other artificially sweetened ‘diet’ foods. Instead, focus on eating correct portions of less processed foods. If you find you need a little extra help with cravings and other side effects of changing your eating habits, look into our Weight Loss XL formula. Weight Loss XL may temporarily help to relieve the side effects of dieting that can stop you from reaching your goal.