Throughout my personal training career, I worked with clients whom I could split into three main groups based on their habits with soft drinks: the ones who used to drink “full fat” soft drinks only and hated diet drinks with a passion, those who used to drink diet drinks only in the belief they were much better than the sugary ones, and those who were not into fizzy drinks at all.
Which group do you belong to?
Some of the third type happily drank other calorie rich drinks like creamy coffees or fruit juices though. That will a topic for another day. In this aticle I touch base on soft drinks, their sugar and calorie content and why I think diet drinks are not all that bad.
Why You Should Stop Drinking Full Fat Soft Drinks
All we can hear from the media and celebs today that sugar is very bad for you and you should avoid sugary drinks at all cost. Government supports that by taxing “full fat” soft drinks which suggests that at least cutting back on the amount you consume is a good idea.
If you check the label, you’ll find that a can of sugary drink will have somewhere 9-10 teaspoons of sugar in them. Would you inhale that in its white crystal form? I guess not. So why consume it in a liquid form?
If you’d like to include a 200-calorie sweet treat in your life, why not choose an oat and raisin cookie or a small carrot cake? Yes, it will have some sugar, but it could also provide some fibre and other nutrients.
For the record, this is not me promoting eating cake, but so long your daily calorie intake wouldn’t suffer, choosing something more solid would always be my recommendation as opposed to a can of coke.
When Do Diet Drinks Have a Place in Your Diet?
Science is mixed about these because of the characteristics of the different sweeteners being used instead of sugar. If you are concerned, you can find more info about the different sweeteners used by the food industry on the NHS website. In this article we will focus on their role in weight loss.
I definitely wouldn’t recommend starting on diet coke or other low-calorie fizzy drinks if you rarely have then. It doesn’t make sense due to their effect on your teeth and supposedly the gut. However, if you are already a regular fizzy pop consumer and are looking into losing weight or simply managing your calories better, swapping your regular coke or tonic for their low-calorie versions is a good start.
While a can of coke is around 200 calories, its diet sibling is probably about 1. Yes, you read that right. I have helped many of my in person and online coaching clients who had been struggling with their weight to understand this difference and start their nutrition habit changes with that simple step; swapping their sugary drinks with their diet versions. At that stage that's all they have to focus on, nothing else and it has always proved to be life changing.
What happens next is wonderful, as their weight starts to move to the desired direction, they become more motivated and willing to start making other changes that eventually lead to weight loss success and an overall healthier diet.
If you look up research on diet drinks, the results will be of all kind depending on what scientists were studying. Those studies that followed a similar principle only changing the type of drinks people consumed all experienced similar results to varying extent.
Diet drinks are not particularly good for you in terms of your health, but they are not proven worse than their sugary versions either.
However, if you have been drinking full fat coke or other drinks as part of your diet regularly for a long time and you are struggling with your weight and health, replacing them with low-calorie cola or tonic is a better choice than not doing anything.
Have questions about drink choices or other aspects of weight loss? Feel free to comment or get in touch.
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My name is Calumn, founder of CD Fitness Coaching. You’ll find me in and around the gym and helping like minded people get the results they deserve. I enjoy everything from keeping fit, yoga, snowboarding, coffee and making people happy. If you would like to be a part of the bigger community join my Facebook group, Healthy Living With CD Fitness Coaching is a must.