Overweight and obese women who habitually drank diet beverages lost more weight if they substituted water for the diet beverage. Over the course of 24 weeks on a reduced calorie diet, the water drinkers lost an extra 1.2 kg (2.6 lb) compared to those who continued their diet beverage habit.
Furthermore, the researchers found that the water drinkers had healthier values on insulin levels, HOMA-IR (a measure of insulin resistance), and after-meal blood sugar levels.
I wonder if the sweet taste of diet drinks triggers an insulin release that inhibits fat-burning.
This was a small study with only about 30 in each experimental group. Whether similar results would be seen in men is unknown to me.
In the past, I’ve advised dieters it’s OK to drink diet drinks in moderation while trying to weight. I may have to revise my recommendations. On the other hand, if diet drinks help keep you happy and on a successful weight-loss journey, they may be helpful. The diet beverage consumers still lost 7.6 kg (16.7 lb) compared with 8.8 kg (19.4 lb) in the abstainers. But diets don’t work, right?
PS: I haven’t read the full text of the article; just the abstract.
PPS: Steven Novella at Science-Based Medicine blog concludes that low energy sweeteners probably help with weight control.
Mark Sisson did a couple of articles about 5 years ago on the extent to which the many artificial sweeteners have impact on insulin. (some do, some don’t).
(there is a followup to that article covering sugar alcohols…)
More recently, impact on gut micro biome
In my case, I do wonder – because drinking any diet soda on an empty stomach leaves me quite hungry shortly thereafter…so for me at least, something is at work.
Thanks for those links, WW.