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Drinking Diet Soda Is Not an Easy Way to Lose Weight

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For millions of Americans diet soft drinks have seemed like the solution to obesity. The implied promise: Have your cake and eat it too...or more specifically, drink your favorite soda without gaining weight.

Unfortunately, this belief may not be supported by evidence. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that people who are overweight and regularly consume diet soft drinks consume more calories from solid food at snacks or at meal time compared to overweight people who drink sugary soft drinks. The total amount of calories consumed was the same, so switching to diet pop did not promote weight loss.

[American Journal of Public Health, Jan. 14, 2014]

There have been a number of stories lately reminding us that people desperate to lose weight may be targeted by unscrupulous companies selling weight loss products or herbs. Instead, people may want to try an evidence-based approach laid out by one of our People's Pharmacy guests, such as the 2-Day Diet or the one suggested by Dr. David Katz in Disease-Proof.

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DON'T drink any diet sodas! After I switched from regular Coke to Diet Coke for weight loss reasons, I started to get neurological symptoms that were similar to MS: vertigo, bladder issues, sudden, extreme fatigue that was not due to sleep loss, etc. I took neuro tests, which thankfully, came back normal. I also started to get kidney stones. I was an extreme soda addict and drank usually at least one 2-liter bottle a day, if not more...

I kicked the entire soda habit completely, cold-turkey and now I only drink water, non-fat milk, healthy smoothies, occasional juice; no alcohol, coffee/tea.

I quit drinking diet soda for my 2013 new year's resolution and lost 20 pounds in four months. I had decided that I would try to give up the diet sodas for one month just to see if it made any difference in my weight. There was something about drinking diet soda that made me feel hungry all the time. Once I quit drinking the diet sodas (approximately 4 12-ounce cans per day) I was able to stick to a low-calorie diet plan. Once I saw the great effect of not drinking diet soda, I was a believer and easily quit drinking them altogether. I drink plain water, unsweetened coffee and tea. I don't drink any artificially sweetened beverages - flavored waters - or carbonated beverages.

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