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For many women embarking on a weight loss program, one of the first steps they take is to switch from regular soft drinks to diet soft drinks. It’s an easy way to cut some calories – about 150 per 12 ounces of pop. Why don’t folks just simply switch from pop to water? Somehow, soda just seems to have an addictive quality. People get used to drinking it as their only beverage, and it’s darn hard to quit. To many soda drinkers, water is totally unsatisfying due to its lack of flavor. Others might just be addicted to the regular dose of caffeine. So, switching to diet when you’re on a diet seems like a happy medium. At least you don’t have to give up the sensation and flavor of soda, even if you are giving up on sugar, right?
Well, unfortunately there are some nasty health problems that are linked to regular diet soda intake. And they have serious implications for your weight loss goals and your overall health. If you knew that diet soda could cause you to GAIN weight instead of lose it would that entice you to quit? What about osteoporosis and bone loss? We’re talking fractures and broken bones! Let’s have a look at some of the research linking diet pop to weight gain and bone loss.
Some recent studies have begun to show a link between diet soda intake and weight gain. According to two studies conducted by the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, people who drank two diet sodas per day experienced 500% greater increases in waist circumference than those of non-drinkers! Some experts think that the sweet taste causes drinkers to have more cravings for sugary foods and carbohydrates, and ultimately eat more. Other studies show that mice fed a diet containing aspartame (the artificial sweetener used in Diet Coke and most other diet sodas) had higher blood glucose levels than mice not given aspartame. This could indicate that the sweet taste of artificial sweeteners may also stimulate an endocrinological response, such as insulin production from your pancreas, which can cause a spike and crash effect similar to sugar. So, if you’ve switched to diet soda as a weight loss strategy, it may unfortunately have the opposite effect!
DIET SODA AND BONE LOSS
Women begin to experience bone loss naturally starting in their 30s, with bone loss accelerating after menopause. If you think osteoporosis and bone loss are problems only older women need to worry about, think again. Gwyneth Paltrow, 37, made headlines last year due to her diagnosis of osteopenia, (low bone density), a precursor to osteoporosis. It turns out that drinking diet soda greatly increases your risk of bone loss…in two different ways. First, the phosphoric acid in soda (not just diet soda, but all sodas) causes the body to excessively excrete calcium through the urine, preventing you from benefitting from calcium you’re taking in through your diet or supplements. Since your body wants to maintain a constant level of calcium in the bloodstream, it will then begin to leach calcium from your bones. Yikes! Second, the caffeine in some diet sodas also leaches calcium from your bones (note that any type of caffeine including coffee will cause this effect). A decrease in bone density increases your risk of fracture, and a fracture can keep you out of the gym for a while, not to mention getting in the way of daily activities.
As much as it may sound daunting to the regular diet soda drinker, the best option for your weight loss goals, your bone health and your overall health is to ditch the habit. The best drink to support your overall health is, of course, water. Over time, most folks who start drinking water as their main beverage find that the more water they drink, the more water they crave. If you’re very used to drinking only flavored beverages, it’s only a short time before the lack of flavor doesn’t bug you anymore – maybe just a week or two. If you would like a flavored beverage from time to time, nonfat chocolate milk is a great calcium-containing option that lots of fitness nuts swear by as the best post-workout drink. You could also try making whey protein smoothies at home with some sweet fruit and a tasty flavored why protein powder like Athlean RX4 Women, which also contains calcium and vitamin D for bone health.
If you’re looking for a healthy nutrition plan that will keep you satisfied and cravings free, not to mention an awesome workout program that will give you incredible results, give Athlean-XX for Women a try. Our nutrition plan recommends combining proteins and slow-burning carbohydrates at every meal and snack to help keep you feeling full. In fact, the Athlean-XX for Women nutrition plan is anything but a diet – we actually recommend you eat more – 5 – 6 times per day! This type of diet will help turn your metabolism into a fat burning machine – when combined with our killer 30 minute workouts. Yes, with Athlean-XX for Women, eat more, exercise shorter but harder and weigh less! Join us on Team Athlean to start your lifestyle makeover now!
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