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SOURCE Nautilus Inc.
Registered Dietitian Erin Kuh Responds to Recent Study Showing Weight Loss Benefits of Diet Soda.
VANCOUVER, Wash., June 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Until this past week, most headlines screamed that diet sodas offer no benefit over regular soda, contribute to weight gain and have other harmful effects like causing cancer, increased risk of stroke and Alzheimer's disease. They should be avoided at all costs, if you follow headlines. But now that's all changing due to a recent study showing diet soda might, in fact, help with weight loss.
In the Journal of Obesity, a study following a group of 300 people for 12 weeks, the results showed diet-soda drinkers lost 13 pounds and water drinkers lost 9 pounds. The results seem straightforward: trading regular soda for diet soda cuts calories and sugar, aiding in creating a calorie deficit necessary for weight loss. But based on this, wouldn't switching to water yield the same results? It appears, according to the study, that this isn't the case.
The diet-soda group also reported feeling less hungry and had improvements in cholesterol levels. On the surface, the stats seem reliable, but let's dig a little deeper to determine why the diet-soda drinking group lost an average of 4 pounds more than the water only group.
Dr. Jim Hill, who helped author the study, brought up an interesting explanation for why the diet-soda group lost more weight. "The most likely explanation was that having access to drinks with sweet taste helps the (artificially sweetened beverage) group to adhere better to the behavioral change program," said Hill. He acknowledged that the diet soda itself wasn't responsible for the additional 4 pounds.
In other words, the diet-soda drinking group didn't have to make as many changes or practice quite as much willpower as the water only group. They could have had an easier time overall in focusing on calorie reduction or regular exercise knowing that they could have diet soda. The water group didn't have this vice to fall back on, making it more difficult to adhere to all of the other healthy habits, like food logging and regular exercise, they did during the study.
A few more points to ponder
The study didn't reveal what other beverages besides water was drunk by the non-soda group. Did they drink more fruit juice or other calorie-containing beverages that contributed to their daily calories?
Need some variety without diet soda?
Even I get tired of plain water sometimes, especially during the hot summer months. Here are some alternatives to spice it up and avoid both sodas and diet drinks altogether:
For more tips from Erin on healthy eating and weight loss, visit Bowflex Insider, a Nautilus Inc. website featuring expert advice from industry leaders, fitness/health news and trends, as well as tips on healthy eating.
Article written by Erin Kuh.
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