Can Diet Beverages Adversely Impact Your Weight Loss Efforts?

New research by the University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor, Ruopeng An, has revealed that this may be the case. In this study the dietary behaviors of over 22,000 adult Americans were analyzed, and it was found that people who drink diet beverages may overcompensate for the low calorie drinks by consuming unhealthy food that is high in cholesterol, sugar, sodium and fat.

When comparing the daily caloric consumption of participants in the study, five major beverages were identified: diet/sugar-free drinks, sugar-sweetened beverages (sodas and fruit juice), coffee, tea and alcohol. It was discovered that 53% of the participants drank coffee, 43% drank sugar-sweetened beverages, 26% drank tea, 22% drank alcohol and 21% drank diet beverages daily.

Those who consumed alcohol had the biggest daily caloric intake, an increase of 384 calories. An increase of 226 calories was associated with sugar-sweetened beverage drinkers, followed by a 108 calories for coffee drinkers, 69 calories for diet beverage consumers and 64 calories for those who drank tea.

According to An, “While coffee and diet-beverage drinkers consumed fewer total calories each day than people who preferred alcohol or sugary drinks, they obtained a greater percentage of their daily calorie intake from discretionary foods (nutrient poor foods) — a finding that suggests a possible compensation effect.”

So, perhaps that diet soda isn’t the answer to your weight loss woes, it could actually be impacting your weight loss efforts. If you’re still craving a sweet drink, try fruit infused water. It’s naturally sweet and won’t make you overeat!

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Diet beverage drinkers compensate by eating unhealthy food, study finds.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 September 2015. <>.