Recently, I started doing something most people would consider a little bit obsessive compulsive.
I've started weighing myself every single morning and charting the results on a piece of graph paper. As you might expect, the graph looks a mountain range. Namely, there are a lot of peaks and valleys and my weight seems to jump around quite a bit.
One culprit seems to be diet soda. Or diet pop. (Shout out to the Midwest!)
On the surface, this seems odd. How can a zero calorie drink have any effect on your weight? After all, it has zero calories!
But here's what I've discovered:
When I drink this stuff, about 30 minutes later I find myself battling STRONG cravings for cookies, ice cream - anything sweet.
Often times, I'll break down and end up eating about a dozen cookies. After the 3rd or 4th time this happened, I realized it always happened soon after drinking a diet pop. What gives?
The mainstream medical establishment doesn't have any answers on this but I have a theory. I believe the artificial sweeteners in diet soda fool your taste buds, but not your brain.
You see, when you drink a diet pop it tastes sweet. So your body is expecting some kind of sugar "coming down the pipe." And when it doesn't get the sugar and calories it's expecting, the brain sends your hunger into overdrive.
This makes you crave sweets and sugar. It's not nice to mess with Mother Nature... and it never works out in the end anyway.
And it's not just sugar. Even when I ate a perfect low carb diet with almost zero sugar, if I drank a zero calorie pop my weight loss came to a screeching halt. Most likely because the diet pop caused me to overeat other foods as well.
So if you're having trouble busting through a weight loss plateau, try dropping the diet soda. If the thought of giving up your precious Diet Coke makes your hands shake and your eyes quiver, than cut back to just one can a day at first with the ultimate goal of giving up diet soda completely on all weekdays. (You can allow yourself a few cans on the weekends.)
Drink plenty of water (boring advice, but it works.) Tea is good and black coffee is great for energy. Ditch the diet soda for just one week and watch how fast the weight comes off.
Matt Marshall is the author of the Tried & True Fitness blog -- the only website on the internet that reveals the truth about getting a lean and muscular physique without drugs