Health Nutrition After 35

New Study: Diet Drinks Aren’t So Bad After All

Written by Andy Kress

Water, water, water! Every nutritionist, fitness enthusiast and dietician will tell you water is the best ingredient for any weight loss program. And since the body is made up of 70% of the stuff, this would only come as a natural answer.

Yet, as wonderful as water is, it is also very tasteless to the palate, hindering its appeal. This bland taste makes it a tough sell for most people who need to consume about 100 ounces of it per day.

There is still hope for those of us who need a bit of flavor in our liquids. New studies have recently shown that using a low-calorie sweetened drink may increase weight loss, more than just using water alone.

Conducted by researchers at Philadelphia’s Temple University and Denver’s University of Colorado, the 12-week study was a randomized-controlled trial (RCT), which is the most respected and robust study design in research. The study compared one group of people who drank at least 24 ounces of low-calorie sweetened beverages each day and another group who drank at least 24 ounces of water, and no beverages with low-calorie sweeteners. Both groups participated in the same weight loss intervention program, and both had similar physical activity levels.

The results of the study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed that on average, participants drinking the diet beverages lost 13 pounds over the 12-week period, compared to only nine pounds by those in the water group. Additionally, participants drinking diet beverages reported being less hungry and even reduced their total and LDL cholesterol more than the participants who did not consume the diet drinks.

Lowering your LDL cholesterol levels can have a positive impact on keeping away those unwanted pounds. Feeling less hungry during days of diminished calories as you strive to hit your goal weight is a huge bonus. Sign me and all my fitness clients up please!

Who doesn’t love to be satiated throughout the day? Being hungry throughout the day is what probably packed on those extra pounds in the first place. But to be able to cure your hunger and increase your weight loss with just a few sips from a low-calorie sweetened beverage may sound too easy.

Never forget, however, that water is still one of your best friends between each of those low-calorie sweetened beverages. Also keeping an active life style is important no matter what you’re drinking, and especially important for those who are trying to shed a few extra inches along the way. Be sure to incorporate exercise, or an active hobby into your weekly routine.

All types of lifestyles need movement–even more so as we age. Staying completely hydrated throughout life will also aid in decreasing wrinkles and will keep everyone trying to guess your age. Throw in a well-balanced diet along with your moderate low-calorie sweetened beverage consumption and you are on a roll. Remember, good fuel gets good results.

You may remember that previous studies have suggested the artificial sweeteners were bad for the body, leading to excess belly fat. Those studies, however, were done on rats, and featured far more artificial sweetener than any one person is likely to ever consume. Just like everything in life, please use low-calorie sweeteners in moderation.

Now that you have heard the good news, add a little flavor into your life, your taste buds will thank you, right along with your waistline. So lets drink up, be merry and add some low-calorie sweetener to it.

Andy Kress is a massage therapist, fitness trainer and nutritional specialist and is the co-author of the bestselling Baby Boomers’ Guide to the Fountain of Youth available at His column on “Nutrition After 35” will be a bi-weekly feature in Agenda. He can be reached at [email protected]