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Beware of the Diet Drinks

If you want to slim down, skip the diet drinks. They will cause you to gain weight. How can that be you ask? If weight gain were caused by consuming more calories than you burn, diet drinks would be a good idea. But weight gain is not a product of too many calories, it’s a problem of fat metabolism. Specifically, it’s a problem of too much insulin. This is where the problem with diet drinks lie, they raise your insulin levels.

Photo courtesy of Allen

Photo courtesy of Allen

Insulin, you’ll recall, is needed for carbohydrate metabolism but it also acts as a fat storer. That is, if your insulin levels are up, your body will store fat, no matter how little you eat. The real key then, to losing weight, is to lower your insulin levels. This is accomplished primarily by eating fewer carbs and also by avoiding foods (or drinks) that raise insulin. In studies with artificial sweeteners, even sweeteners like Stevia, insulin levels were shown to be elevated approximately 20%. When insulin is up, fat gets stored. It’s as simple as that.

Remember though, it’s not what you do once in a while that gets you in trouble, it’s what you do regularly. So is it okay to have a diet Pepsi occasionally? Sure, every couple weeks is likely not a problem. A six-pack a week would be.

All of this begs the question of what is best to drink. The answer of course, is water. And what should you drink with meals? Nothing! Drink your water between meals so that you don’t dilute your digestive juices and impair digestion. If your mouth gets dry when you eat, that means you’re not well hydrated to begin with.

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