You might bust a weight loss plateau
It’s a common scenario: To stay full throughout the day but keep calories low, many people will sip five or six diet sodas and eat their only meal at dinner, explains Caroline Cederquist, MD, a metabolism and weight loss expert and founder of bistroMD. And even if that meal isn’t huge (so their total daily calorie intake is not high), they find they still can’t lose weight. The problem may be all those sugar substitutes. “Artificial sweeteners consumed alone, without food, can trigger the release of insulin, because the body is expecting something sweet,” Cederquist explains. “Insulin is a hormone that helps with the storage of fat.” Eat regular meals to avoid a spike in insulin and you could start seeing excess pounds come off. These are the 10 biggest food myths you need to stop believing.
You might gain weight
Yep, there’s another side to the coin. If you swap a daily diet soda or sugar-free latte for a beverage that contains real sugar (because you heard the real deal was actually healthier), you’re going to add empty calories that could lead to weight gain, Dr. Cederquist says. One way to avoid this trap? Replace those diet drinks with water or unsweetened herbal tea (single-serve packets of crystallized Pique Tea are easier than brewing), and make sure you eat meals that contain lean protein, fiber, and healthy fats to keep you satisfied. Find out the 15 signs your weight gain means something more serious.