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To Drink, or not to drink. That is the question

Posted: Jul 02 in Nutrition, Weight Management Strategies by
Perhaps the most common question I get every day is this one: “Well Doc, what about diet soda. I have to have one every day. I’m addicted!”
Well, first of all, there is no physical addiction to diet soda. If my 3 year old daughter tells me she is addicted to M&M’s, this doesn’t mean I’ll give her a bag of them every day. This is a want, not a need.
An interesting study last year looked at the weight effects of drinking diet soda. To do this, they divided subjects in to 3 groups: water, diet soda, regular soda. This was the only control, and weight was followed. As expected, the water group did not gain weight, the soda group did gain weight. Interestingly, the diet soda gained nearly the same amount of weight as the regular soda group.
Obviously the calories don’t explain this finding. Study authors suggested a different mechanism. Perhaps the non-nutritive sweeteners used in the diet sodas triggered other sweet cravings. This certainly mirrors our experience here at CNC. The more of any food that is consumed, the more that food is craved. This includes beverages AND foods. Sweets program our brain to seek out new sweets. Fats lead to more fats. Salts lead to more salts (ever try to stop eating the popcorn or potato chips halfway through the bag?)
Try this – eating healthy and drinking water results in craving healthy foods and water. If you want to conquer your sweet tooth, you need to back off on sweets. Even the ones without calories. And, while we’re on the topic, don’t forget that drinking Alcohol causes one to crave more alcohol. Forgo all the beer at the BBQ’s this summer. Drink water, and learn to crave it. For many, this one tool can be the most powerful one when it comes to long-term weight control.

-Dr. Lazarus

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