“If you want to consume diet sodas, it won’t hurt, and it might actually help you lose weight,” said Dr. James O. Hill of the Anschutz Health & Wellness Center at the University of Colorado.
Drinking diet beverages can help people lose weight. That’s one of the conclusions in a study appearing in the June issue of the Journal of The Obesity Society.
The study divided 303 participants into groups that drank either water or diet beverages (sodas, teas, flavored waters) during a 12-week weight loss program. Subjects who drank diet beverages lost an average of 13 pounds – 44 percent more than the group drinking water. More than half the diet beverage group lost at least five percent of their body weight, which has been shown to significantly lower the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
In addition to the weight loss, the diet beverage group also:
- Felt less hungry
- Had greater improvements in levels of so-called “bad cholesterol”
- Experienced significant reductions in serum triglycerides
“What I found interesting is that the group drinking diet beverages said they felt less hungry. If that helped them be happier on a weight loss regimen, then perhaps it increased diet compliance and that’s what did the trick in tipping the scales in the right direction,” says registered dietitian Carolyn O’Neil, nutrition advisor for Best Food Facts.
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