Using diet cola as a dieting aid might sound a little bit like inconsistent advice from a weight loss website, but it can be effective if used carefully.
Diet sodas use artificial sweeteners to replace sugar, the major source of calories in soft drinks, creating what is called ’empty calories.’ The trick to using diet soda is to know how your mind works when you are on a diet.
If you feel like you cannot cheat at all, you may want to grab the nearest chocolate cake and devour it just to get a sugar rush. If you are allowed a little bit of leeway, you’ll have a much better chance of sticking to your diet.
Three things to think about:
Choose your poison, carefully
Not all diet drinks are strictly good for losing weight. Some of them still contain loads of calories, and chemicals that can hobble your attempts to lose weight. Even if they contain zero sugar they can still help you pack on the pounds, because they might contain lots of starches as well, so it’s time to start looking at those nutritional information labels.
There are some things you need to look out for on that label:
- Sugar: Obviously you want to keep your sugar intake down, but sugar isn’t quite the bogeyman you’ve come to expect. If a diet soda has some sugar, but low calories, it’s probably better than the one marketed as sugar free that’s packed full of calories your body can’t burn right away. In any case, try to find one with low sugar content.
- Energy: This is the main number you’re going to be looking at, as it tells you roughly how many calories you’re ingesting when you drink the soda. You want this number to be as low as possible – that energy is the type of energy that can’t be digested by your body easily, or used as fuel.
- Energy storage: The first thing your body is going to do is store it to use it as fuel later – and you know exactly where it’s going to store it.
- Salt: Believe it or not, salt is an important thing to look out for. Too much salt can affect a lot of delicate chemical balances in your body. If you’re drinking a few sodas a day and they have high salt content, this can hamper your weight loss efforts.
When diet soda should be used as a dieting aid:
It’s simple – use diet soda to cheat on your diet. Use it as a treat, or when you’re feeling like a snack. The sugar or sugar substitute, plus the sweet taste will make you feel like you’re rewarding yourself for a hard day’s dieting, without adding unnecessary calories to your daily intake.
Just remember, drink diet cola in moderation and it can work as a great way to cheat on your diet.