Diet Soda and Weight Gain, What is the Real Connection?

pop can soda can

Disclaimer: Elise Ho, aka “Dr. Ho” is a Holistic Health & Life Coach. Dr. Ho is NOT a medical doctor, licensed therapist, lawyer, or a bevy of other things. Products or services that Dr. Ho believes in are the only ones that she recommends. Dr. Ho may receive compensation, product, or an affiliate commission on anything you see on this site. This is a personal Website solely reflecting Dr. Ho’s personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of any organization with which I may be affiliated.

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What is the real truth about Diet Soda?


Dr. Mark Hyman joins us to give us the real scoop on sugary drinks and diet soda.


A True or False Quiz on diet soda and propaganda.

These are examples of diet soda and food industry propaganda that make and keep us, fat and sick.

soda aisle at supermarket
soda and beer cans in landfill
rows of soda at supermarket

Lies by the food industry combined with bad government policy based on food industry lobbying are the major cause of our obesity and diabetes epidemic.

Now over 35 percent of Americans are obese, and almost 70 percent are overweight.

This is not an accident but the result of careful marketing and politics.We are told it is all about making better choices.  We have been told there are no good or bad foods, that the key to weight loss is moderation. And, of course, if we all just exercised more all of us would lose weight. 


These ideas hold us hostage.

Diet Drinks Can Make You Fat and Cause Type 2 Diabetes.

diet soda is bad for you
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13: A 32-ounce soda is filled at a Manhattan McDonalds on September 13, 2012 in New York City. In an effort to combat obesity, the New York City Board of Health voted to ban the sale of large sugary drinks. The controversial measure bars the sale of sugar drinks larger than 16 ounces at restaurants and concessions. (Photo Illustration by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

If losing weight were all about the calories, then consuming diet drinks would seem like a good idea. 



A 14-year study of 66,118 women (supported by many other previous studies) in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered some frightening facts that should make us all swear off diet drinks and products.


  1. Diet sodas raise the risk of diabetes more than sugar-sweetened sodas!
  2. Women who drink one 12-ounce diet soda have a 33 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes and women who drink one 20-ounce soda have a 66 percent increased risk.
  3. Women who drink diet sodas drink twice as much as those who drink sugar-sweetened sodas because artificial sweeteners are more addictive and are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar.
  4. The average diet soda drinker consumes 3 diet drinks a day.


This and other research show how diet sodas can make people fat and sick. 


How does that happen?


  • Artificial sweeteners are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar. Plus they activate our genetically programmed preference for sweet taste more than any other substance.
  • They trick your metabolism into thinking sugar is on its way. Consequently causing your body to pump out insulin, the fat storage hormone, which then lays down more belly fat.
  • It also confuses and slows your metabolism down, so you burn fewer calories every day.
  • It increases your cravings for sugar and starchy carbs like bread and pasta.
  • In animal studies, the rats that consumed artificial sweeteners ate more, their metabolism slowed, and they put on 14 percent more body fat in just two weeks – EVEN eating fewer calories.
  • In population studies, there was a 200 percent increased risk of obesity in diet soda drinkers.


Diet drinks are not good substitutes for sugar-sweetened drinks. They increase cravings, weight gain, and type 2 diabetes. And they are addictive. Click To Tweet



The diet and food industry has brainwashed us to believe that eating fats makes you fat. But the science has proven that eating fat doesn’t make you fat, or raise your cholesterol – SUGAR does.



We are programmed to like sweet, salt, and fat tastes.


These foods are biologically addictive. 


We have to take back our taste buds, take back our brain chemistry, and take back our bodies. Click To Tweet



Are you ready to take back your health?

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Naturally Yours,
Elise Ho
Ph.D., D.N. Psych.
Behavioral & Mental Health Specialist

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41 thoughts on “Diet Soda and Weight Gain, What is the Real Connection?”

  1. Elise, this is sooo true. I was very fortunate to grow up with a mother who was way ahead of her time on all things food- and health-related. When everyone was being told to use sugar substitutes (as well as margarine and vegetable oil) for better health, my mother didn’t fall for it. I’ll be passing along your list of “frightening facts” to a friend whose nephew was just diagnosed with diabetes.

    1. Wow. You are lucky. I grew up rather differently. I think it is awesome not only that your mom was ahead of her times but was not afraid to follow what she knew was right instead of following the masses.

  2. Linda Barnby | Friends Over Fifty Guide To Life

    I’m convinced artificial sweeteners in diet sodas and other drinks increase weight gain. I’m wondering what the effect of Stevia is. Does is get lumped into the artificial sweetener category? I’m a tea drinker and do enjoy Stevia in my tea.

  3. Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle

    You nailed that Elise. It looks like you are helping and encouraging a lot of people by writing this post. It is amazing how our taste buds can go back to normal. For example, I was big on carbs and loved dessert. It is just on a year that I reached my ideal weight after limiting carbs mostly to vegetables and enjoying good fats. Now if I try my (used to be) favorite, salty caramel cheesecake it now tastes quite sickly and over sweet. Yeah, the attraction is broken 🙂

    Let’s feature this post on our next Pit Stop. I love you being a co-host.
    Blogger’s Pit Stop

  4. Hi Dr. Elise,
    Wonderful post on the evils of diet-soda. I never could drink that, way too sweet.
    Terrible taste I thought. Plain coke only occasionally. Now not at all. I mostly drink water.
    Thanks for writing this for others who are not aware of the dangers of diet soda and weight gain.

  5. I strongly agree with you,
    All types of soda are bad for your health because they are high in sugar and calories as well. They can cause diabetes and obesity as well.
    By the way thanks for this awesome sharing

  6. Hi Elise,

    I’m glad that someone else finally agrees with me! I’ve been telling people that artificial sweeteners like saccharin are worse than actually eating the equivalent in real sugar! Great write up!

  7. You know this is strange but when I think of diet soda and the taste, I can still taste that distinct flavor of artificial sweetner. I quit drinking diet soda years ago because I live with fibromyalgia and it simply made me ache more. Just goes to show you how addicting diet sodas can be. Today I drink a homemade electrolyte drink I love. If I have to sweeten it I do it with either stevia or monkfruit.

  8. Hi Elise,

    So glad to see this article. Diet soda will not only make you gain weight but causes so many defects in the body. I like the way you explained how it tricks our brain and we start producing insulin. I rather have a teaspoon of sugar in my coffee because it is a real substance that I can walk off quickly.


  9. The connection between diet soda and diabetes is alarming? I’ve been trying to cut back my intake on diet sodas, and this post only helps cement that intention. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and inspiring your readers to live healthier lives.

  10. Great article. I don’t do any sodas and I avoid white sugar like the plague. We live in a society is no-fat lo-cal and do not really understand what it takes to get it this way (the product) A calorie is a calorie, and if there isn’t calories (almost impossible) then there is junk or chemicals going into the body which leads to more than just being overweight

  11. WOW!! This is very interesting. As someone who is starting her fitness journey all over again and has a massive addiction to Diet Dr. Pepper – this was very eye opening to see that maybe I should cut it out. I dont drink it every day (maybe once a week) otherwise I do consume about a gallon of water each day. Thank you for sharing all this information

    1. The water should be of great help but cutting that soda habit out will create an amazing difference in your body.

  12. First of all, OBGYN name was Dr. Ho. I loved him so much and was sad when he went back to his home country to take care of his ailing parents. He was such a great baby doctor.

    I stopped drinking my diet soda about 3 years ago and I couldn’t be happier. I also stopped drinking coffee and tea. All that caffeine, preservatives and acid was killing my body!! 40 pounds later and living on just water and my body is in much better shape and I feel great!

    1. Awesome last name 🙂

      Wonderful share. You did so much for your body, longterm health and quality of life with those 3 changes.

  13. I weaned myself from soda about a year ago, and when I reached for one a few weeks ago, I was happy to discover it no longer tastes good. Thanks for sharing this information.

      1. I weaned myself from soda about a year ago, and when I reached for one a few weeks ago, I was happy to discover it no longer tastes good. Thanks for sharing this information.

  14. Christine Adindu

    Thank you for the information on diet Soda… That is one thing you can not find in my house. I don’t know about people who drink it. I said to a friend once why do you give this thing to your kids…well! i have to say the response was not that friendly. Oh well… Some thing do not belong to human body.

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About The Author

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho is a Holistic Health & Life Coach with a special interest in emotional health, life alignment, and energy flow.

Elise will partner with you to align your mindset, your energy, your home and your career so that you can live your life's desire with freedom and love.

Elise offers 30 years of experience and multiple certifications and degrees including a Ph.D. in Natural Health and a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Psychology.