Can Diet Soda Cause Weight Gain?

Written By Brady Wirick

Yes. Read on to hear how.

Artificial sweeteners have become a staple in many diets, promising the sweetness of sugar without the added calories. These sugar substitutes are prevalent in a variety of products, from diet sodas to sugar-free snacks. While they offer a guilt-free indulgence for those watching their caloric intake, recent studies suggest that artificial sweeteners may have an unexpected side effect – triggering sugar cravings and leaving us feeling hungry. In this blog post, we’ll explore the potential connection between artificial sweeteners and increased sugar cravings.

If you have followed me long enough, you will know that as you get older, weight loss and health have little do with caloric intake and more to do with metabolic health. The use of artificial sweeteners is disastrous for metabolic health.

The Science Behind Artificial Sweeteners:

Artificial sweeteners are synthetic sugar substitutes that are significantly sweeter than sucrose, the natural sugar found in many foods. Common examples include aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, and stevia. These sweeteners are used in a myriad of “diet” and “sugar-free” products to provide the sweetness consumers crave without the associated calories.

The Craving Conundrum:

Studies have suggested that consuming artificial sweeteners may interfere with the body’s ability to regulate calorie intake. When our taste buds detect sweetness, they signal the brain to prepare for a caloric influx. However, when the expected calories from sugar do not follow, it can create a disconnect between the taste and the caloric content.

This confusion can disrupt the body’s natural ability to regulate hunger and satiety, leading to an increased desire for sweet, calorie-dense foods. As a result, individuals who regularly consume artificial sweeteners may find themselves experiencing stronger cravings for sugary treats, potentially contributing to overeating and weight gain.

Insulin Response and Hunger:

Artificial sweeteners may also influence insulin sensitivity and response. Some studies suggest that the sweet taste alone can stimulate insulin release, preparing the body for an incoming sugar load. However, since artificial sweeteners do not provide the expected sugar, this can lead to a drop in blood glucose levels, triggering hunger and cravings for carbohydrates – often in the form of sugary snacks.This is the main reason why diet sodas are not allowed on our program!

The Role of Gut Microbiota:

Emerging research is exploring the impact of artificial sweeteners on the gut microbiota – the trillions of microorganisms residing in our digestive system. There is evidence to suggest that alterations in the gut microbiota composition may be linked to changes in appetite and metabolism. Artificial sweeteners, acting as foreign substances, could potentially disrupt the delicate balance of our gut microbiome, influencing our cravings and hunger levels.


While artificial sweeteners offer a sugar-free alternative for those looking to cut calories, it’s essential to be aware of their potential impact on cravings and hunger. The scientific evidence linking artificial sweeteners to increased sugar cravings is still evolving, and individual responses may vary. 

Have I had people go through our program, lose weight, and continue to drink diet soda? Yes. However, with out a doubt, those people have taken longer to get to their weight loss goals. 

Hopefully, your understanding of the intricate relationship between artificial sweeteners and cravings is deepening.  It’s essential to make informed choices that align with our health and well-being. Continuing to drink sodas and diet sodas is not conducive to long term health!

My best recommendation is to get off of them and avoid them like the plague. 


  1. Rachelle Koon

    I dislike sweetners and I won’t drink anything that says zero sugar. Vitamin Water zero sugar uses Steviea. They seem to be ok. Sometimes the sparkling waters are ok if you need the fizz but read the label.

  2. Ginina Dugdale

    Excellent post! Thank you for spreading the truth about soda pop (diet and regular). This stuff is poison! So sad how many people are addicted


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