Is Your Diet Soda Making You Fat?

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By Kathy D’Agati  CHHC,AADP  

Have you ever wondered why even though our grocery shelves are filled with zero-calorie drinks and 100-calorie snack packs, we as a nation are fatter then we have ever been in our history? If weight loss really is as simple as calories in – calories out, shouldn’t we be thinner then when we were eating butter, mashed potatoes and homemade apple pie?

The diet gurus would have you believe that you are fat because you are lazy and weak-willed. There is nothing in the character of the people I meet that would suggest that is true. Most people with weight issues are hard working and very successful.

So if we know that’s not true, what could be the answer to our ever growing waistlines?

Everyone is born with a sweet tooth. In the past, it served you well by encouraging you to eat lots of the luscious, sweet fruits of summer so that you would be adequately padded for the lean winter months ahead. Even though your mind is well aware that today we have plenty of food year round, your body’s survival instincts have not kept up with the times. Our bodies evolve slowly, but our food supply has not.

Diet soda is a perfect example. Nothing like it has ever been ingested in the history of our species. Your body doesn’t know how to process this chemical cocktail. The sweet taste of the artificial sweetener tricks your body into releasing insulin, but there is no sugar to feed your cells. As soon as your body figures out that there is no food, it sends a signal to your brain to trigger your appetite. Because you are likely to be on a diet, you then eat more “chemical cuisine” and the cycle continues. The result is a nation that is fat and literally starving to death.

Getting our clients to give up their artificial sweeteners is one of the biggest challenges we face. Aside from all the side effects we won’t get into today, diet sodas are highly addictive. We have seen people do incredibly challenging things in their lives and still be unable to
give up their diet soda. This really gets in the way of their ability to have a healthy food plan.

Artificial sweeteners are much sweeter than natural sugars. They cause your palate to become so distorted, that you cannot appreciate the succulent flavors that are found in nature. You need to be away from artificial sweeteners for a while before you can truly appreciate the flavor of real food.

So what should you drink instead?

Water is of course, the drink of choice but it doesn’t have to be bland and boring. Try adding some fresh fruit to your water pitcher. It not only looks pretty, it adds some nice flavor without adding any calories. You can also freeze fruit and use it instead of ice cubes. Frozen strawberries make great ice cubes! Try some different fruit combinations to create your own taste sensation. Use your imagination and have fun.  When you eliminate things from your diet that are hard to give up, it is important that you replace them with something that is appealing and makes you feel special instead of deprived.

The beauty of eliminating these toxins and replacing them with real food is that for the first time in a long time, you will be enjoying meals that leave you satisfied instead of continually longing for more. You will be eating foods that nourish and energize your body and clear your mind. Wouldn’t it be nice not to be feeling hungry, tired and distracted all the time?

If you have a desire to stop being a slave to your diet soda but you just can’t imagine life without it, you should consider doing a guided detox program. When you work with a nutrition coach you will get tons of support and lots of suggestions for dealing with those cravings. If you want more information, please contact us to book your free consultation.

Kathy D’Agati is a Holistic Nutrition Coach and partner at Back to Basic Wellness where they take a unique team approach to teaching you how to heal your gut by changing what you eat. Contact info or visit

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