• 1 Trick Of A Tiny Belly:


Why There’s Nothing ‘Diet’ About Diet Soda…

By Rob Poulos...

I was thinking about some of the old habits I used to have years ago when I was fatter and unhealthier (the average American really), and I remember one of those habits was downing several cans of soda pop each day.

Of course this is a terrible habit for someone trying to stay lean and healthy, and I eventually cut it out of my diet completely.  But you know what, I quickly switched to another dietary devil, diet soda.

And man was I hooked…

All of my favorite sodas were available in diet varieties and I thought since I cut out all of the sugar and extra calories in regular soda, by drinking diet pop, I could have a couple diet pops each day and be much better off.

Well, I did start to lose fat after making the switch, due to the drop in calories and sugar each day.  But I really became addicted to the artificial sweeteners in this stuff. After a few months, I was having a diet pop with every meal and snack. When I went out to eat, I’d drink all the refills I probably downed about 70-90 ounces each day, and guess what?

I started gaining fat again.  I then began investigating the artificial sweeteners and some of the longer term studies that had been done.  Well, some of the results I read about regarding what happens to these things after they enter your body literally scared me to drop diet soda drinking immediately.

On top of that a recent 8 year study showed that those who drink even 2 cans each day of this stuff are 57% more likely to become overweight.

Why the weight gain from something with 0 calories?

The exact reasons aren’t conclusive at this point, though one of the primary concerns is the false sense of security that the habit of diet soda drinking can give.  In other words, you’ll tend to get extra loose with your diet because you feel you’re making up for it with the diet pop.

Another problem is that when anything other than water hits your stomach, you get an up tick in the hunger response…so if you grab a diet soda instead of water, there’s a good chance you’re going to want to eat something with it.

Bottom line, diet soda is another one of these ‘diet products’ that are loaded with bad chemicals your body doesn’t want or need.  In most cases, these just foster a yo yo method of dieting…trying to lose fat through short term solutions that usually just magnify the problem.

The secret to attaining life time health and fitness starts with the right mind set…when you’re in the right frame of mind, ridding your life of nasty habits like diet soda becomes a natural consequence of the way you choose to eat…and live.

Are you addicted to anything unhealthy?  What are YOU doing about it?

Let’s hear it!


About Rob Poulos

Connect with Rob on Google+


223 Comments Add yours

  1. Roger


    I too am concerned about drinking diet soda, as I am guilty of this behavior myself. While I have not researched any studies as to what you are referencing, I do come from a scientific background. I rely on references so I can look into any stated claim. Could you provide some references (journal articles or the like) that you have investigated about your findings other than your experience?


    • Siti

      I have been following Dr Mercola’s news letters and he has repeatedly reminded us to refrain ourselves from sodas, artificial sweeteners such aspartame, saccharin (sorry, I’m not sure of the right spelling), high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) etc. Nutritionist like Isabel de la Rios always advise us to take Stevia as our main sweetener and the BEST DRINK is PURE WATER, i.e., plain water.

      Thank you.

      • Rob Poulos


        • Dawn

          Thanks for this article…I don’t drink soda much, but this one convinced me to just stop with the diet stuff. I did see diet soda sweetened with Stevia, however. What is your opinion on those?

          Thanks for these articles, they are great motivators!

        • Relle

          Are ALL artificial sweeteners bad? Yes, water is best but let’s face it we are human and need something with more zest sometimes. What do you suggest? Is real sugar better than the fake stuff?

          • Rob Poulos

            Relle, avoid any excess sugar or artificial stuff… if you want to sweeten something, try a natural sweetener like Stevia that has no calories.

      • Tom

        How about diet snapple? Too much aspartame I suppose

    • Michelle

      You might try the FDA’s own website they list the chemicals that have been approved to be added to food and drinks. Also you might try US geological website, they report on testings of different chemicals and they have good info.

  2. Carroll

    Hi Rob

    I was really interested to read about your concerns on artificial sweeteners, and would like to share with your other clients the experience I had some years ago. In an effort to maintain my weight when I changed from an active to a desk bound job, I started using sweeteners in black tea and dropped the dairy produce. Whilst my weight remained static for some months, I noticed that my muscle tone seemed slacker (despite routine gym visits), and after about a year, I developed a rash all over my body and face. I was referred to one specialist after another who all gave me different theories (insect bites!! allergies etc), and I also saw several allergy therapists who all gave me conflicting information. The rash never worsened, but occasionally became irritating, and so I decided, in desperation, to do some of my own research on line. It would appear that the sweetener I was using contained Aspartame, which is actually a toxin and can cause all manner of insidious symptoms, one of which is an inexplicable rash. I stopped using sweeteners immediately, and the rash disappeared over a period of about 3 months after having had it for over 2 years. I would recommend that anyone considering the use of artificial sweeteners make sure that the ingredient Aspartame is not present in anything that they consume, as the toxin builds in the body, and is not expelled until all usage is stopped. It is interesting to note that this additive is present in most diet drinks and also in some wines, so beware!!

    • tim

      I took a nutrition class in college a few years back. My instuctor was a physician. She said that all fake sugars are bad period. She recommended moderation in all things. She had us read an article from a magazine called the horrors of aspartame. The article was quite the eye opener.

    • Elizabeth

      I also developed a rash after using artificial sweeteners for the first time at the beginning of 2010. When the rash appeared I wrongly presumed it was as the result of my changing my bath soap. I have now not used artificial sweeteners for a few months and yay! no rash!!

    • Trish

      I also was using artificial sweetner with aspertame quite a bit a few years ago. It took me a while to realize it was the main trigger for my migraines. It doesn’t just happen right away, but takes a little time to build up in your system I guess. That being said, for the diabetics, etc out there, some sweetners are not as bad as others, aspartame is very unhealthy though.

  3. Stephanie

    I suffered with Chronic Fatigue for years and also suffered from headaches that would last for days and no over-the-counter medicine would help alleviate the pain! I consumed about 44 oz of diet soda a day until I read an interesting article on aspartame. Aspartame is a poison…there is no other way to say it. I cut aspartame out of my diet and it helped tremendously! No more headaches and my energy level rose considerably.

  4. solome

    What are the 3 Veggies i can eat

    Order for Facts about herbs

  5. solome

    I strongly believe in the diet prescribe for us great work done.
    My most concern is the abdominal fat

  6. Elizabeth

    Hello Rob,

    thanks a lot for the e-book gift. i love it. just want to know if drinking lots of water can strain the kidney and liver

    • Rob Poulos

      sure thing Elizabeth… regarding the water, you should check with your doctor if you have those concerns, but most folks don’t drink nearly enough water…

      • Fran Buhr

        I used to walk marathons. I was told by my coach if a person actually feels thirsty and can’t wait to get a drink of water, that person is already a quart low on intake of fluids. I believe this.

    • Curtis

      Hello Elizabeth,

      My daughter recieved a kidney transplant 5 years ago and she is “required” to drink 4 liters of water a day to keep her new kidney healthy. That is a lot of water; but according to the doctor is good for her.

  7. Ron

    About 10 years ago, I heard that mixing the “pink” sweetener with aspartame gave a tremendous synergistic effect. It did — making my tea about 5-10x sweeter than using either alone. I got hooked, and was using perhaps a dozen packets of each, every day.

    Within 3 or 4 months I started seeing little black spots floating in my eyes, and in about 2 years I ended up with detached retinas in both eyes within maybe 6 months of each other.

    Did some research on aspartame, and found this is not rare!

    About 100 studies have been done, with about 42 showing eye problems resulting from extended, heavy use of aspartame.

    The other 58, that showed NO such problems, were ALL funded by Monsanto, the maker of aspartame. Well, duhhhhhhh.

    I quit the aspartame, with no further eye problems. Looks like I need to quit the pink stuff too, to hopefully eliminate my weight loss problems.

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Ron, thanks for commenting… one thing I didn’t note in this post was some strange headaches I used to get back when I was sucking down diet cokes all day… haven’t had ’em since…

      • Cindy

        Rob, In regards to headaches, I am a migraine sufferrer and have been for 30 years. I used to drink only diet coke until I got pregnant with my daughter in ’95. I had read that aspartame was bad for the fetus, so I stopped drinking my diet coke for 1 year. 9 Months and 3 months while breast feeding (no migraines). The first chance I had to have my forbidden drink, I indulged. Within 5 minutes flat, I had a full blown migraine. They had never come on without warning before and never so fast. I have never had anything with aspartame again (including gum) and now only on rare occassions have migraines due to pressure changes.

        • Shalain

          Is there gum that doesn’t have aspartame?

          • Michelle

            Yes – there are some gums out there made with Xylotol – One I know if is called Spry. You can find it at Amazon.com

        • Liz

          Hi Cindy,
          I used to get horrid migraines, 3 or more a week, and would go to my doctor’s office, get my morphine shots, and go back home and try to sleep it off, to no avail. The shots did nothing to dull the pain. Finally one day at the pharmacy, I noticed a bottle called “Migrelief” on the shelf. It seemed pretty expensive for a small amount of pills, and since it was all natural, I purchased the items separately and began taking it. It consists of 500 mg. magnesium, 380 mg. Feverfew, and 100 mg. Riboflavin (B-2) and I haven’t had a migraine since. I take it daily (don’t want to try to take less, since the pain is so horrible) and this has been wonderful ever since – for several years, now. I’ve shared this combo with friends, friends of friends and others, and they’ve thought it was a miracle, too.
          I also got migraines when the weather changed, due to the changes in pressure, and they don’t happen either. On occasion, I get a hint of a headache, and usually take a Feverfew cap, but usually they don’t last more than a couple of minutes.
          It’s such a BLESSING to be free of that horrible pain, and I’m so happy I came across that product, even though I couldn’t afford to buy it, due to extreme financial problems at that time.
          Rob, thank you for sharing all the info that you’ve researched. It’s great to find a person who has investigated & shared it with others.

  8. Heather

    Does adding Crystal light to your water cause the same effect?

    • Andi

      Yes, but they now make crystal light called “Pure” thats made with Stevia which isn’t a artificial sweetner, but a herb or plant. Walmart and Hansens also make flavors for water w/ stevia.

  9. James Shaw

    I have heard from a friend and I do not know if this is true, but here goes. The diet sweeteners trick you body into thinking there is sugar present and the results in a spike of insulin production.

    I asked a nutritionist about this and she said foods that have no caloric content (have zero calories) have no rating and thus cannot be listed on the glycemic index.

    My thoery about this is this: While this may be or may not be true, an added problem is the carbonation or the bubbles of those drinks. Those bubble of Carbon Dioxide go into the stomach in a large number and are not immediately expelled through the mouth (as a belch) or anus (as Flatulence). This it is held in the gatrointestinal tract forcing the body to accommodate it. Thus those organs have to stretch to accommodate all this gas that is still in the system. This make the stomach bigger and thus in order to feel full, we need to eat more. But it is my theory that it is the CO2 gas that is making the stomach larger thus creating the need for more food to fill the stomach to make it feel full.

    • Kelly Young

      I was recently sent two interesting tidbits about artificial sweeteners, which I find interesting since I am admittedly an addict to Diet Cherry Pepsi. I have suffered with bloat and an inability to lose the 50 extra pounds of belly fat I’ve been carrying around for about 11 years. I get migraines, I am exhausted all the time, I sleep poorly, I break out in inexplicable rashes on the back of my head and behind my ears, and I’m continually congested. Here are the links…I’d highly recommend them to everyone who loves diet soda like I do. It may make you rethink what you drink!



      • Lorraine

        Wow ur story about diet soda is me to a teeeeeee. I am so addicted to soda that its not funny. I drink nothing else!!!!! I even get withdrawals if I dont have any. Its incredible isnt it. I was drinking regular soda everyday and wondering why I couldnt lose weight. I saying I drank alot of soda almost a 12 pack or more a day. I switched to diet soda, no more weigjht gain and i wound up losing about 60#s went from an 18 to size 10 I am so pleased I dress better and its amazing that i can finally fit into the cool stuff instead of the mooooomoooos LOL I have kept it off for over 5 yrs now. I am now ready to lose more especially this belly fat of mine. Thanks for ur story. Best of luck to u

    • Steve

      Hi James,

      I was recently diagnosed with insulin resistance. This means my body overacts to sugar, or in my case artificial sweeteners, and produces to much insulin. My doctor told me this is because artificial sweeteners look like sugar to the body but they are not reduced by insulin. The body keeps producing insulin to reduce the perceived sugar level but nothing happens.

      He also explained to me another negative side effect of having insulin in your blood trying to combat artificial sweeteners. Insulin is one on the primary compounds in the blood that control fat breakdown back into sugar. While there is insulin in the blood the body thinks it has too much sugar in the blood and therefore will not breakdown fat even though there is no actual sugar in the blood.

      This means is if you consume artificial sweeteners and then exercise your blood sugar will reduce but you will not be burning fat because the body is still producing insulin to combat the artificial sweeteners so all you end doing is feeling exhausted without losing weight.

      If you keep doing this long enough, like me, you’ll end up with insulin resistance, which if untreated leads to the pancreas burning out which results in diabetes.

      My wife warned me off artificial sweeteners years ago but should could come up with any ‘scientific evidence’ so I ignored her. It I hadn’t I would be a lot slimmer and healthier today.



  10. Gord

    Hi, I am a single father to my 15 year old son. My son is very muscular but carries about 30 lbs of fat. This has caused him to not go to school, and to basically hide, play his electronic games thus gaining more weight. His mom gave up on him and asked me to take over thinking because I am ex speacial forces, I could whip him into shape. I’m now 59 and not in very good shape myself. I have broken my son from his coke addiction (the drink) and switched him to coke zero. He drinks it with the same gusto he did the regular coke. BAD or OK??? I have limited him to three a day.
    On a good note, he and I are doing your weight and eating program. We have been doing it for a week. He reads your book daily and is very exited about the out come (so am I) Would appreciate any feed back. Thanks! Gord

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Gord, good work getting him off the sugary stuff… if he can stick with a sound whole foods based diet along with FBF routines, I believe he should lose about 10-15 pounds in the next few weeks.. the Coke Zero is essentially Diet Coke, so while it has no calories, you are still looking at the downsides of diet soda… next step is to get him drinking more water… show him the ice cold water trick and how it burns 100 extra calories a day… he will slowly start to replace the Coke Zero with water… let us know how it’s going and good luck!

      • Gord

        Thanks Rob,

        He read your reply and he will switch to more water. Both of us are very serious about your plan, Thanks again


      • John Shesler

        Ice cold water thick? I have not heard of this, what is it?

      • claire

        hi rob
        just read your ice cold water trick – is that in the book, i think i may have missed it got to the exercises and started doing them. guess what its working, in a week i lost 3 cms off my waist and bust, the weight only moved a bit but i feel heathier and fitter already.
        you are going to tell me to finish the book right?



  12. Kathryn

    This is going to be a difficult habit to break. I was hit by a semi in 1996 and in ICU for a week. I was on great pain medication and didn’t feel anything except for the caffiene withdrawal headache. It was awful. As soon as they took the tubes out and said “can we get you anything?” I croaked “diet coke!”

    I’ve been drinking it since I was around twelve and am now 56. I will start by cutting down, and see if I can wean myself off of it.

    I know I sound defeatist, but this is one habit I’ve tried to break several times and a flippin’ SEMI hitting me didn’t stop it……..

  13. Elizabeth

    How do I get a loved one to stop drinking soda altogether?!? My brother is as you describe in the blog – drinks a bottle of diet coke every morning, noon, and night, and often two or three in between. I keep telling him to either cut down or cut it out entirely, but he just won’t listen. Do you know of any alternatives that I could offer instead of Diet Coke? Are there any carbonated drinks that contain caffeine, but aren’t awful awful? Or even non-carbonated, caffeinated (like tea or coffee) that would be a good improvement? I haven’t drunk soda with any regularity ever in my life, so I don’t know what the addiction is like, but having helped my husband overcome smoking, I know what withdrawal can look like. Any advice or references would be greatly appreciated!


    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Elizabeth, a good sparkling water with a bit of juice can do the trick… just go with a splash of juice… there are brands already like this out there…one that I’ve tried recently is called La Croix…

    • jacinta

      Hi Elizabeth
      Have you tried the natural (80%) juice, slighlty carbonated caffienated drink from Mona Vie? I use it for study as it gives me energy without the quick up and down so many enegry drinks have. I dont get headaches or suffer the big fall after the drink. Most fizzy soda drinks will do that, give you false sense of a sugar high then throw you back down, and in a few short hours you are looking for more.
      They have tested it and there is abotu 4-5 hours of slow released enegery from naural caffien but wont get u all fuzzy after. The drink is called Emv, and can be bought from distributors or on line from the company. I am a drinker ( they have a range that includes juices for arthritis health) and non-active distributor, so I am just giving you some info should you want to try a truly natural company and the best enegry drink as a start, for your brother, and your health as well. Cheers from down under (Australia) PS it is an American company, but thats OK, cos they do good things!

    • jeff

      Everyone seems to know about the horrors of aspartame (Nutrasweet)—I’ve stayed away from the stuff for years—but no one has mentioned sucralose (Splenda). I have found the greatest soda (imho) in the world: Diet Rite Pure Zero. Been around for years, but awhile back, they reformulated & repackaged/changed name to look ‘hip’, no calories (uses splenda), no caffeine, no sodium, & I LOVE it. Doesn’t have that diet aftertaste like aspartame either. Just curious as to why so many people are aware of aspartame being bad, but 99% of diet drinks (soda, snapple, etc) still use it. The splenda diet coke is very good too, but has the sodium & caffeine…

  14. Nur

    Hey Rob,

    You are right about drinking diet soda’s making a person gaining weight.
    I personally experience that weight gain but after i switched to drinking water
    when im thirsty or when the urge to snack hits me, it becomes easier to lose those stubborn

    So yea, great advice! Especially the part where you advised to add lemon to the water which helps to cleanse the digestive system.

    Thanks Rob!

  15. Mandy

    Thanks for the info – I had NO idea. Isn’t it amazing that this is not readily available information and people have to dig deep to find out the truth?

  16. Matt

    I was hooked seriously on sodas for 38 years. In my 20’s I would spend around $80 a month on sodas. I always drank one from the time I got up to going to bed(I would have one open next to my bed. I tried many times to quit, cold turkey, and would get pounding, intense migrain headaches. And almost every time, within a month after quitting, I would start up again, rationalizing that I could just drink the caffeine free junk, moderately…which never lasted.
    The carbonation and acid began giving me severe joint problems, I have been told, heavy soda drinking can ruin your joints, and accellerate arthritis in your joints.
    I prayed to The Lord finally took away my desire, and broke my addiction. I have been free of sodas for 2 years now.

  17. Sandy

    how about Splenda?

    • Rob Poulos

      another chemical concoction to avoid… try stevia, and all natural sugar alternative

      • Elizabeth

        I began using a product called Xylitol (by Nirvana Health Products specifically). It is 100% xylitol as opposed to other brands, and xylitol has the added bonus of protecting teeth against decay!

  18. Lesly

    I have one coffees at home each morning before breakfast with Splenda (Sucralose) or Stevia (a natural herb) for sweetening.

    I feel like I just COULDN’T break this habit. But, if anyone has anything to say about it regarding any dangers, I would consider it.

    Does anyone know any dangers or if this morning habit of mine is harmful or sabbotaging my fat loss?

    • Rob Poulos

      hey Lesly a cup of coffee a day is fine… the main issue is adding cream/sugar as far as weight loss is concerned…

      • LGM

        I use agave nectar in my coffee. It’s a natural sweetener, I believe it’s derived from a cactus. It’s more of a complex sugar and isn’t digested the same as regular cane sugar. The flavor is slightly different than regular sugar but you quickly get used to it.

  19. Jodie

    Stevia is great! Herb tea with stevia is one of my favorite cold-weather drinks.
    Are there any other sugar substitutes besides stevia that don’t mess up your appetite-regulating hormones or have other bad side effects?
    Some sugar-free breath mints I’ve used in the past have sorbitol or mannitol, so do I need to find a substitute for those?

  20. Bruce

    Hi! Rob
    Talk about being hooked on diet coke, i drink seven to ten 350mls cans a day my stomach size is around 95cm & my height is 5′ 8ins & i weight between 13stone to 14stone. After reading what you have say about it and reading other info from Joe Benson & others.

    I have stop to day 2nd October 2010 Do you have any ideas on over coming the withdraws

    Bruce Clare
    Vic Australia

    Keep up the good work

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Bruce, nice work man… try adding a splash of fruit juice once in a while if you’re craving some flavor…

  21. Rob

    Isn’t it amazing we’re something like 87% water and yet have such an aversion to it? lol
    For me I’ve determined it’s what you’re used to. Starting a new habit takes some discipline. For me it was buying the bottled spring water. And the brand I buy is truly certified spring water. I set six bottles out on my desk at the beginning of the day with the goal of having none left by the time I went home. Also a little fresh squeezes lemon not only gave it a little taste but I understand there are other positive effects as well. At first that was actually a job. In time it jsut became routine. Not other thatn a cup of coffee in the morning I don’t drink much other thatn water and I do about 6-8 16 ox bottles a day. I don’t consider my post workout protien shake a beverage. That’s a meal. ALmost any diet plan I’ve gone on always worked better when there was lots of water running through my system. And Rob, I used to be a Diet Coke man myself.

  22. louise

    I was wondering is splenda is also bad, I quit smoking and gained 25extra pounds which I find hard to lose i drink two low fat coffees a day with splenda the coffee took over for the smokes.

  23. Cc

    One of the best things you can do for your health is to cut out all sugar. I lost 10lbs just by doing it, and that was just cutting it from my drinks. It’s little tough at first, but then it gets to the point where anything sweet is sickening. It just takes a little will power.

  24. Greg

    This all sounds great except that I am a type II diabetic with an extreme resistance to insulin. (I use 150-200 units of 70/30 3x daily at meals). Fruit juices are really bad for diabetics. They raise my blood sugar almost as soon as I drink them. whole fruits aren’t quite so bad because of the fiber but still require caution. I haven’t dared to try Stevia because it is a natural sugar. I use Splenda because I would never be able to say to myself, “Nothing sweet for the rest of your life”.

    The commments sound good for a person who isn’t diabetic, but it’s too late for allot of us.

    • Carol Wanless

      Hi Greg,
      You are right about fruit juices and some fruit. Have you looked at which foods are high glycemic and have high glycemic loads? Those are the ones to avoid… understand that it is not too late for you! Carol Wanless RN

    • jackie

      Try a bit of pure unsweetened grapefruit juice in your water. I’m a type 2 diabetic and I find that grapfruit juice actually helps to lower blood sugars not raise them.

      • Terri

        I am suprised to hear that grapefruit actually will help lower glucose levels. The problem for alot of people who are diabetic is that they also have other health issues and are not able to consume grapefruit because it will interfer with medication, I know this because my husband was told he could no longer eat this wonderful fruit due to the negitive interaction it has on his medicatons.

        • Charlotte

          Terri, you are right. My husband is a Type 2 diabetic. We’ve had him off of insulin for 5 years now but because of other health problems one of the meds he is on says “NO GRAPEFRUIT.” of any kind. Hoping to get him off that medication in the near future.
          His doctor says Splenda is just as bad. I’m trying to get him to use Truvia or Honey. He was a 6 to 8 (12 to 24 oz bottles- it did not matter) pack a day Diet Pepsi drinker for over 20 years. I tried & tried to warn him for the first 15 years of our marriage about the diet pop but he won’t listen until he was diagnosed with the Type 2 & was taking 4 shots a day. He originally lost 163 lbs. but over the last 2 1/2 years he’s put 80lbs. back on. I can’t stand over him 24hrs a day-saying “No, No, No.” But, I’m still strying!! So hang in there!!

  25. Shelly

    Hi Rob,

    I am 42 and have drank nothing but diet coke for more than half of my life. I got away from it once but the addiction got me and started right back into drinking it again. I have heard and read that diet pops aren’t good for you, especially the dark ones but I can’t get myself to stop. One of the things I quess I’m confused about is that the articial sweetners are supposed to be bad for you but what about Splenda? I have read in alot of diet and fitness articles that they recommend substituting Splenda for sugar, so wouldn’t that be bad too?


    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Shelly, Splenda is basically a form of sucralose, another chemical concoction to avoid… I would try stevia, a natural sweetener with no cals (you also need much less of it than sugar)… also if you want to flavor your water, add a splash of fruit juice (just a splash).

  26. Reka

    I very rarely drink soda so I’m not concerned about the aspartam but there is another serious issue with every soda, be it diet or sugary: they are terribly acidic. I don’t feel any of this when I drink it, but I know it’s there, and I don’t even dare to imagine what damage it does when someone drinks his stuff regularly…

  27. Layne

    I was a diet soda junkie for a couple of decades, drinking a liter or two of Diet Pepsi about every day. Artificial sweeteners in general, and diet sodas in particular, are a huge problem for two main reasons:
    1) The sweetener chemicals contain toxins, which at low levels of consumption our amazing bodies deal with pretty well. At high levels, though, the toxins that can’t be dealt with and eliminated are stored in fat cells. The body then tries NOT to burn this fat because it then has to deal with the re-released toxins. My “saddlebags” weren’t just fat, they were toxic waste.
    2) Soda, diet or not, is very acidic. High consumption means your body has to cope to keep your blood pH at 7.4. The way it copes is like a swimming pool, it pulls minerals such as calcium out of storage, which is your bones. A swimming pool with too much acid in it dissolves its own plaster, and a body with too much acid in it dissolves its own bones.
    When you look at how hard your body has to work to cope with keeping you alive when you drink a lot of diet soda, water with a slice of lemon is truly DELICIOUS!

    • Terri

      Soda also affects the gallbladder because of the acid content. My husband was warned off soda by his heart doctor after learning about how sour his stomach was becoming. He would consume up to 3 or 4 two litters per day. The doctor telling him to quit soda had a wonderful impact on lowering his bad stomach gas as well as the pocketbook.

  28. Penny

    I quit drinking diet coke 2yrs ago…stopped cold turkey. I was drinking 2 1liter bottles a day

  29. Evan

    While I don’t think aspartame is a bad as everyone here seems to think and I also don’t think stevia is necessarily as benign as some seem to think:


    I do believe that too much of anything is not a good thing. All things in moderation.

    I definitely drink too much soda, and plan on trying to go cold turkey.

    Keep out the sweeteners of all sorts and pretty soon, sweet things will not taste that good to you. Therefore, you will eat less calorie-dense, nutritionally-empty foods.

    • Amal

      Hi Evan.
      Yes everyone has different reactions to different things. I would like to add that the FDA has a list of 78 known side effects of Aspartame (nutrasweet and other brands too). The list of 78 side effects includes death. I think you would agree it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that it’s bad for consumption after reading that list. Nothing should have that many side effects. I bought a Stevia plant at Home Depot once. It’s an herb and if you eat the leaf it’s like eating sweet lettuce. Stevia is a sweet plant, kinda like sugar cane but w/o all the calories and tooth decay probs.
      I really like your comment about all things in moderation. :)

  30. AA

    Hi Rob
    I have never drank diet at all, I drink full strength coca cola and V can. It is nothing for me to have a V a day with a coke later or 2 vs or 2 cokes. So totally addicted it bugs me. I can go two days with out a V or a coke but that’s it. :( I think that is half of my weight problem

  31. Brian T.

    Recently, Instead of buying flavored sodas and other sweet drinks and juices I get club soda (just plain carbonated water) I find that it satisfies my craving just as good as something loaded with sugar and caffeine.

  32. Hi Rob,

    I have read conflicting reports on room-temperature vs. ice cold water. I started drinking cold per your book but then came across this recently:

    “The problem is that as the COLD drinks pass through our system, they solidify the fats from the foods we have just eaten or are eating at present. This makes the body find it harder to digest and disperse the unwanted fats from our body.”

    Just wanted to get your thoughts. Thanks.

    • Rob Poulos

      Eric, I am not aware of this information or how accurate it is… I can tell you the ice cold water trick works as I personally used it to drop fat, and it also helps kill cravings…

  33. Frances Hewitt

    I used to drink a lot of sodas but now I have at the most three cans of diet sodas a week which has greatley improved my addiction to sodas but I find also that when I do have diet sodas I crave high sugar products and this is something I never understood till now I know that I have to increase my water consumption to a minumum of at least eight glasees a day and my doctor told me that even natural fruit juices I need to add extra water to this. I am still learning some of these things as at nearly seventy years of age I am still willing to learn as life is a learning experience.

  34. Lori

    My main vice is chocolate, and though I could literally eat my body weight in chocolate I buy Dove Dark Chocolate Promise individually wrapped squares and allow myself only one per day which lets me enjoy my chocolate and gives me the benefit of antioxidants as well.

  35. Rahul

    Hi Rob, this article was very useful but I need to know about that other types of food that I should not eat to lose fat so can u tell me like the top 10 foods that I am NOT supposed to eat while losing fat to maximize my workouts?

  36. Elle V.

    Hello, everyone. Here’s my experience. I used to poo-poo the notion that artificial sweeteners actually caused you to gain weight UNTIL I stopped using it due to a diagnosed hiatal hyrnia (had to give up the bubbles). Didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I stopped cold turkey. One day I noticed that I had stopped “grazing”, especially in the evenings. Then I realized that I no longer had cravings. THEN I noticed that because I had replaced my sodas with water, my natural thirst was restored and I wanted more water. I don’t know how this works; I just know it does.

  37. Joel

    What is the difference between Zero Coke and Diet Coke? I guess I’ll learn to drink water and ice tea

    • Rob Poulos

      Joel… different artificial sweeteners… you can also flavor your water with a splash of juice… just a splash

  38. Bart

    What about Tea and Splenda??

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Bart, splenda is yet another artificial sweetener that is suspect at best… lots are having great success with the all natural sweetner stevia if you want to sweeten your tea…

      • David M. Turvey

        I once used stevia in the liquid form. It came in a little bottle with a dropper and it was easy to control how much you use in your tea. What I started to taste was a bad after taste after I had used it for about 6 months. It just wouldn’t go away so I quit using it. I haven’t used the new granulated time long enough to see if it would be like that, but I did taste that old taste when I did try it. Maybe I’ll have to make an attempet at sticking to it for awhile.

      • Donna Raske

        Where can i buy Stevia?

        • Rob Poulos

          You can find it most health food stores or at health grocers like Whole Foods Market… I usually buy it online here

          • Marcia Cruz

            Hey guys, I’ve seen stevia at Target, Walmart, Publix and Winn-dixie here in Florida. Cheers!

  39. Steve

    Most of the diet drinks come loaded with caffiene, Pepsi Max, Coke One. Thats max caffiene, which will for sure give headaches if taken in excess, I get the same effect by taking coffee no diary no sweetners/sugars. Try espresso, not the 450 calories Starbucks lattee’s.

  40. Amal

    My girlfriend told me about the dangers of diet sodas (artificial sweeteners). She had two miscarriages and after she quit she had 2 healthy babies with no problems at all. So I decided right then and there to quit my diet sodas and breath mints with artificial sweeteners and the ringing in my ear that nothing would help for 2 yrs magically went away. It made me angry when I found out thru different articles on the net that diet sodas were making me fat. What? That anger made it easy to quit. Today I use stevia in my morning coffee and iced teas and have quit soda altogether. Spring water is the best drink so I do lots of that too. :)
    But here’s a coolest thing I’ve discovered: At night is when I felt like going off my diet because I wanted something sweet so I decided to trick my brain. I bought all sorts of herbal teas in an assortment of flavors like Vanilla, Chocolate Chai, Almond, Apple, Caramel, Peppermint, Mandarin Orange, Coconut etc… you get the picture. I made my own recipes too. Like 1 bag of Vanilla to 1 bag of Orange + stevia = the flavor of a 50/50 bar. Apple + stevia = Apple pie, Peppermint + stevia = candy cane. Coconut + Vanilla = Coconut truffle. I would drink the tea and picture the desert and tell my brain that was the taste. It took a little while to train my brain into thinking this is what desert is now but it was well worth it. Merry Christmas to you all : )

  41. Rita

    How many artificial sweeteners are out there and what are there names?

    • Rob Poulos

      Google is your friend ;-)… but the major ones are aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, cyclamate and Acesuflame Potassium (AceK) … there are also brand names like Splenda…

      • Sam

        Greetings Rob, Kalen, et al,

        Regarding the best protein blend (shake).

        On the sweetner blog you mentioned that the folowing sweetners are not good:

        “the major ones are aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, cyclamate and Acesuflame Potassium (AceK) … there are also brand names like Splenda”

        Most shakes available have one or more of these sweeteners. Is this okay? Is there a protein blend (shake) that doesn’t?

        I’m currently using Herbalife (it has AceK) with their protein blend – is this okay?

        Many Thanks & Best Regards

        • Sam

          I just read up on Prograde protein (which uses a stevia source of
          sweetener) – where can i get hold of this in the UK?


  42. David M. Turvey

    I started usng sweetners back when we had some that I can’t even remember the names and have gone through all of them. I’ve now settled on Splenda which I use in my green tea and my lemonade and some cereals. I also use it in my baking. Early this past summer I started looking closer at the contents label on my soda cans and I saw that most all of them had switched to aspertane which I had quit for splenda. After seeing that was my only choise I said noway and quit pop all together and started making lemonade. I keep to half gallons of water in the frig and one of them always has lemonade in it. I feel much better about what I’m drinking and I haven’t done the math, but I know I’m saving alot of money. Here’s to you!

  43. Barbara

    How about the ‘new’ 0-calorie sugar from the stalk of sugar cane (not the sugar on the inside)?

    I go through 1 or 2 12-cup pots of coffee, sugared, daily. It doesn’t stimulate me; instead, it works on me as a relaxant.

  44. Anthony C

    The really big problem with any kind of Soda is…..the acid level. If you want long term health problems, get your body really acidic. That is exactly what a can of Soda with every meal will do. Do the research, you will change your diet. Add to that the sugar in a regular can of Soda, or the questionable chemicals in a can of Diet Soda and your body gets some real stress.
    See if you can limit 2011 to 12 cans of soda or less. You will not miss it. I have had less than 5 glasses of Soda in 15 years, and my brother in law runs two Coke plants!

  45. Ed

    If you’ve ever read Dr. Atkins book, he claims that Aspartame is the big villian in diet soft drinks, or anything with artificial sweetener. I have found doing Atkins that the diet does, in fact, work much better if you cut out all aspartame.

    • Bernice Sanders

      I am a diabetic and when I need to add a sweetner, cereal, etc., I have no other choice then to us splenda. I have been on the Adkins diet using the artificial sweetber and lost a lot of weight. What other option do diabetics have?

      • Rob Poulos

        Hey Bernice… look into stevia, but check with your doctor first.. here is a quick recap on stevia and diabetes…

        Derived from a South American shrub, Stevia is recommended for anyone with diabetes, as well as those looking for natural, low-carb, low-calorie sweetener solutions. Stevia is also considered healthy for other reasons, but most importantly for diabetics, stevia stimulates the release of insulin and normalizes the response to glucose, particularly in type 2 diabetes, and is also used a therapeutic remedy for hyperglycemia.

        Used in South America to help lower blood sugar in diabetics, further studies are ongoing, and seem to prove that the anti-diabetic properties of stevia can also help to reduce blood pressure and control blood sugar levels, as well as improve muscle tone and the health of the heart.

        Because stevia can lower blood sugar, individuals also taking insulin and other medications for diabetes should consult a doctor first before using stevia, and check their blood sugar levels often while using stevia.

  46. Julie

    Do you have any comments on the artificial sweeteners used in gum? I have noticed that even *sugar* gum has artificial sweeteners in it. I am curious about this – it’s so easy to just finger “diet soda”… our family does not generally drink pop, but my husband chews gum on a regular basis.

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Julie, there are such small amounts in gum, unless you’re chewing a lot of gum every day, it should be a minor issue… but some folks will even stay away from the gum as well…

  47. Sue

    I learned, a long time ago, NEVER to eat ‘diet’ anything. I figured they were actually giving me a “clue” right on the label — simply remove the last letter of ‘diet'(?!) I also avoid anything that says: light or lite and products with too many unpronouncable multi-syllable words. Oh, and anything that is being advertised a lot.

    Simple rules for me: raw food for breakfast; vegetarian for lunch; carnivore for dinner; 3 C/F/P snacks and a LOT of water; and I try to have something of each colour each day.

    My only downfall is ‘pepsi’ … straight up, none of those gimmick versions (max, diet, whatever). I realize it’s bad for me … at the same time, it’s my only bad habit.

    Goal: to eliminate it entirely from my food intake. Right now, drinking 1 or 2 a day (there was a time when it was closer to actual ‘cases’ a day. So, I’m on the right track. It’s a tough one, as any habit is.

  48. Tonya

    I have a problem with desiring potatoe chips. Do you have any suggestions to this fatty habit?

    • Rob Poulos

      dip them in a lean protein source like no/lowfat cottage cheese and try baked versions. This will cut down on calories and slow the absorption of the chips into fat…

    • Alice Bell

      You can try blue corn chips with flax seed from Archer Farms which is owned and distributed by Target. Uses a pinch of seasalt. Totally organic, very healthy….way better than potato chips.

  49. Carly

    I have been one who has been addicted to diet soda in the past as well… used to drink many cans a day for years (diet mountain dew was my fav & is pretty much all I drank)
    I was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2003 & haven’t had a can since.. I drink mostly soymilk, vitaminwaters, juices, etc..
    Does anybody believe that these artificial chemicals can be responsible for seizures, etc.??? I know other people who have lived on diet sodas & they too have epilepsy. I think that these sweeteners are horrible for the body & for certain people can bring on disastrous results…. almost like people smoking, the certain people destined to get cancer (the cells are affected etc..)
    Just curious as to peoples opinion… Thanks! :)

    • Michelle

      I mentioned in a couple of other comments, for years soda and other foods were sweetened with Nutra sweet which is a combination of two chemicals. One scientist I saw interviewed said that he thought through his testing that it was the cause in the rise of brain tumors in this country. I heard else where that it causes the electrical impulses from one side of the brain to the other to shut down, exactly what happens in epilepsy. So yes scientist have comfirm that. And if I remember right asparteme is one of the chemicals in nutra sweet.

  50. Laura

    I never got on the diet soda wagon, but I did add aspartame sweetner to my coffee and tea for quite a few years. I believe I am now suffering memory loss as a result of that consumption. I stopped drinking it 2 years go based on the recommendation from my doctor and that was the the beginning of my weight loss. Still working on getting my memory back. :)

    • JUNE


      • Andi

        I use stevia all the time and don’t have that problem, what type are you using? The powder or liquid? I find the liquid has less additives and tastes better. Sounds to me like you might be using one of the brands that is a mix or stevia and xylotol (Which when consumed in large amounts causes gas and bloating) sheck your labels.

  51. Lynn

    I was addicted to coffee for many years. I started drinking it right after High School when I joined the Navy. Couldn’t stay awake without it. I soon discovered that I couldn’t function without it.

    Every time I tried to quit, I’d have these terrible headaches and fits of rage. My coffee also included plenty of cream and sugar and the pounds were mounting. I decided that I would continue to drink coffee, but switch to saccharin to help in reducing my caloric intake. I did this for years with zero weight reduction.

    After reading of the harmful effects of saccharin, I decided to quit for good, no matter what it took. I actually had to take two (2) weeks vacation and lock myself up in the house to deal with my severe mood swings. My wife left town to visit family during those two weeks also. I drank water like mad and quickly discovered it was helping to alleviate my headaches.At the end of those two weeks, I was basically coffee free. My body had kicked the habit.

    Now I can’t even imagine drinking another cup of it. I awake each morning naturally energized. My teeth are whiter, and my breath no longer reeks or fermented coffee. I look more hydrated and just feel better. Besides, I no longer have an addiction to consume artificial sweetners.

  52. Carol R.

    I started drinking diet coke when it was first released and continued drinking a 6 pack everyday for years. Then my face started going numb with occasional hot firings. After umpteen tests with the neurologist, and other doctors, they gave up. Said they had no idea what was causing the problem. Went to a naturopath who had treated my daughter and she told me to quit drinking diet soda and see what happened. It took me 3 weeks to quit it (caffeine withdrawal headaches, etc.), but 2 weeks after my last diet soda, the symptoms all disappeared, never to return. She told me that your body modifies it to a formula similar to formaldehyde – I was pickling my brain. Yikes! So no diet soda in our household ever!

  53. Margo R

    I personally don’t care for any diet sodas or regular sodas for that matter which I guess is a good thing. I do notice many people mentioning Stevia as a choice of sweetener. I haven’t tried it in a while, but about 5 yrs ago I bought some and to me it tastes like saccarin which is positively disgusting imho. Have they improved the flavor or stevia sweenteners or does it still have that awful aftertaste like the “pink packets”? I find agave nectar is good as is coconut palm sugar. Are those ok? Thanks!

    • Rob Poulos

      If you use the right amount you shouldn’t experience that aftertaste with stevia… try using a bit less…

      • marie

        How about Maltitol? Is this safe?

        • Rob Poulos

          Malitol is derived from wheat, so if you have any gluten issues, that may be a concern… it has also been known to cause bloating and gas, but that depends on usage of course. Stevia and stevia derived sweeteners have been the best we’ve tried so far.

    • Andi

      Yes the liquid stevias are the best in my opinion and now you can get them in many flavors as well. I love the vanilla and chocolate, but they also make fruit flavors.

  54. Carol

    HELP!! I am a diabetic, am insulin resistant, can’t drink milk (lactoce intolerant) and don’t do well with straight water (over 8 oz and I start throwing it back up)…. so what CAN I drink?

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Carol, try sipping the water throughout the day instead of downing it all within a few minutes…

    • Melanie Burress


      I read your comment on “drinking the water” are you using purified water? Straight tap water has all kinds of impurities and chlorine!!!! These taste bad. try purified water, I get mine from the Culligan machine at Walmart.

      • Rob Poulos

        I personally use a whole house water filter from LIfesource… it filters out pretty much everything you don’t want, but leaves important minerals in the water than normal Revers Osmosis systems take out.

    • JUNE


  55. Magda

    I drink 1-2 glasses of red wine after my dinner, almost every day.
    Is this habit of mine sabbotaging my fat loss?

  56. Barbara Wilson


    What is your opinion of Fruit 2o naturally flavored water drinks? They say no artificially flavors.
    It is so hard for me to drink straight water. I liked your idea of putting a “splash” of fruit juice in my water. I can try that! What about Crystal Light–probably has aspartame.?

    I am switching to Stevia–I use alot of Splenda. My husband is a Type 2 diabetic.

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Barb, haven’t tried fruit 2o, but could be a good option… we enjoy Sobe LifeWaters, the 0 cal varieties that are sweetened with stevia. We’ve also tried a stevia sweetened soft drink called Zevia, which is nice once in a while.

  57. I have diet soda when I have craving for some soft drinks, I’m not addicted to it but would definitely have it once a week. Combination fried rice was something I was addicted to, I eventually got myself off it with trying to space out the time between meals. I went from 5 meals of it a week to 4 meals to 3 etc etc. This method worked for me, admittedly I did try cold turkey but that didn’t work!

  58. Kathy

    I understand that Stevia is suppose to be better than Slenda, and I have tried to switch, but my husband does not like the after taste, I have also noticed that all the store brands of Stevia, even that sold in the vitamin section that are just called Stevia have Maltodextrin added. What is this and is it not another chemical as a preservative?

    • Walter Williams

      I use Kal Pure Stevia Extract from Whole Foods Market. It has no maltodextrin and there is no after taste.

    • Andi

      Try the liquid brands they don’t have the moltodextrin and in my opinion dont have the bitter after taste that you refer to.

  59. Cheryle

    I was addicted to Cokes and easily drinking 6 to 10 a day. When I tried switching to diet drinks my body actually rebelled against the artificial sweeteners with belly aches and headaches. Finally getting into the right mind set and knocking off all sodas with water and the occasional crystal light pkg I add to my water for flavor once in awhile I have knocked the habit – but wanted to mention that I found a soda called Zevia – made from Stevia (a natural sweetner) and it has zero calories and sugar and nothing artificial. These are my treats that I have once in awhile and keep me completely satisfied.

  60. Sherry Hudson

    What about Truvia?

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Sherry Truvia is Stevia based, so it’s a decent choice…

    • Tina

      Hey Sherry Please be sure to look at the labels, I recall about a year ago when I first purchased Truevia, when I got home I looked at the ingredients and found that it was Stevia and another artificial sweeter….

      Found it interesting that the name is True-Via because I felt as if I had been lied to. Talk about misrepresentation. I do not believe that Truevia is PURE Stevia, be sure to read your labels for ingredients before you buy them. 😉

      By the way….I love the program and I am doing great! I am on week 3 starting the beginners routine and feeling so good! I have not stepped on a scale, and I do not plan on it for a very long time…Just want to keep on keepin on and feeling great! I did start calorie counting online and I also track my water intake as well……Since I am eating whole foods, I am eating more actual food then I use to, more often, and I am always satisfied. One of my good friends said that she can see a difference in my body shape! Other people say that I look very happy and have a glow about me! The FBF is the only thing that has changed in my life! I love it! Thank you!

  61. Gail

    Great blurb on artificial sweetners. 20 years ago my best friend had a kidney/pancreas transplant (one of the 1st) and her kidney doctor told her the most dangerous thing we all ingest was artificial sweetners. He advises all his clients (many diabetics) to just say NO to all of them!

  62. Melanie Burress


    I went to a weight loss physician a few years ago and he said that the carbonated water in soda is an acid and so it causes your body to store fat and it can also be a contributeing factor to osteoporosis because when you introduce an acid to the body if there is not enough calcium to counteract the acid that the bones are called on to give up calcium. I am so addicted to the stuff that I still can’t stop drinking it, the minute I get under stress I tell myself that I’ll just have one today and that I’ll be good tomorrow!! What do I do?!

  63. Jen

    Hi, I would like to comment on not drinking artificial sweeteners. I don’t know what to drink, I am diabetic and am having a hard time losing weight. This may be my problem but I don’t like just plain water. Any suggestions? I start my day out with diet soda and drink it all through out the day, even end my day with it.

  64. Joan Garrity

    One of the problems with diet soda is that, though you drink them, they do not quench your thirst. Water with a fresh lemon wedge will quench the thirst without leaving an aftertaste and making you feel bloated and uncomfortable. Besides, what diet sodas lack in sugar, they make up for in other nastiness like way too much sodium. I am Type 2 diabetic, and I am on coumadin (Warfarin) for heart valve replacement surgery I had 10 years ago. So I have to watch the salads and Vitamin K intake as well. Makes for interesting meals and choices. I have an implanted cardiac defibrillator as well. So most diets are not something I can live with. No grapefruit or grapefruit juice for me, though I love the stuff, watch the spinach, broccoli and romaine lettuce, and cranberries are limited to 2 teaspoons every 6 months or so. So, I exercise, and watch what I eat, try to eat healthy organic mostly, and cook most meals at home. Not terribly successful at weight loss, but if I can keep my A1C at 6 or below, and my INR at around 3.0, that is good. Weight loss comes after that. As I say, lots of factors inhibit weight loss, but I am alive to try again. Thanks

  65. Lance Todd

    Hey good question! the feel good police say no!, if you are a type 2 which i am now–but research says 1 to 2 drinks is all good to go as it destresses–good antioxidants–and relaxes giving less anxiety and a good nights sleep which prolongs your life–how about that?? However they say red wine is high in sugar so i have a couple of glasses every second night maybe and that seems to satisfy me but i do still feel like more–

  66. geralyn

    Hey Rob, How do you feel about Trurvia or Purevia???

  67. Anastacia

    Hey, Rob…

    For me, the problem was that diet soda caused me to be rather like a crack addict around food. I would end up standing in front of the fridge, door open, and honestly didn’t remember walking there. It wasn’t that I had cravings… I was literally out of control.

    And then, through a lot of trial and error, I realized that I am highly sensitive to phenylalanine (in aspartame), which is not just in soda, but just about everything “diet” under the sun.

    When I stopped putting things with phenylalanine in my body, I regained control.

    I’m 2+ years free of that crap. Whenever I pick up something that’s could even remotely have phenylalanine in it, I look before I leap. I learned the hard way that even a small bit of it (like if I have a diet coke) sets me off.

    Maybe that’s something people can look for and avoid, too.

    Thanks for all you do!

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Anastacia, thanks for sharing your story with this stuff… I appreciate it and you will help many others by doing so! Keep it up…

  68. Rigo Perrella

    Hi Rob what about xylitol as a natural sugar substitude, being low gi, low carb, less calories and better for your teeth, would that be fine to have in moderation with organic natural tea and coffee and natural healthy desserts snacks and meals.your website and emails i receive from you are great keep up the great work.

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Rigo thanks! Yeah Xylitol is not a bad choice, though I would still go for stevia if you’re adding it to your foods… but chewing gum for instance that uses xylitol is a better choice than an aspartame sweetened gum.

      • Jackie

        Everything that I have read shows that Xylitol is actually beneficial for your teeth, assisting with washing away the bacteria before they cause decay. It also has shown to have the same type of benefits within the body, making it hard for bacteria to “stick” to your healthy cells.

  69. John

    Is drinking Crystal Light similar to drinking diet soda?

  70. Sharon

    Dear Rob,

    I know you are partial to Stevia virsus Xylitol, but is there that much difference in the taste?
    Also, there is a Frutivia that Stevia people make, have you tried this one yet. I’m hoping
    they will send me a sample of it.


  71. Anne

    Hi Rob,…….just wondered if you are aware that Stevia cannot be legally sold for human consumption in the UK ?

  72. quin

    I gave up drink all soft drinks (pop) altogether but I still drink light beer what else is there can I drink we out a party/bar?

    • Michelle

      According to the FDA website, they athorized beer companies to use formaldahide in light beer to make the foam on top.

  73. Flora

    I have a serious question to you. I am following the healthy diet and controlling my food portion very strictly. I have stopped having sugar, any type of sweet things except fruits. I drink 12 glasses of plain water daily, having green tea, stopped having any sort of grains, no sodas etc etc. I am following the instructions of Isabel from DST and I have lost 14 kg in five months. I must lose another 16 kg to get to my normal weight. Now as I am suffering from arthritis so I can not do those extensive exercises you suggest to lose stubborn fat. My scale has stopped moving or is moving very slowly. Is it possible to get to my goal weight by just watching my food intake like this? How long will it take me to lose weight? I would very much appreciate if you give me your opinion about my problem.

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Flora, have you read the ‘FBF for Seniors’ section yet? We describe how to do some of these exercises in ultra slow form, or even using techniques such as static holds to reduce the amount resistance needed, yet still produce great results. This could be an approach that would work for you, along with monitoring your arthritis with your doctor.

  74. Helene

    Rob, just wondering if we will hear in 5 years that Stevia is bad for us too. Seems like whenever we switch to something to be healthier we find out that’s the wrong thing to do. I’m thinking diet soda for one thing.

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Helene, Stevia has been around for a long while, so I currently feel it’s the best bet as far as sweetners go. Keep in mind though, we don’t use tons of it everyday either… maybe a drink or two a day… and maybe a recipe or two a couple times a week.

  75. Dawn

    Well, I cut out pop totally in my life since Ash Wednesday and haven’t had pop since. I found out also that diet pop contains aspartame and some researchers say that aspartame can cause symptoms for muscular dystrophy so I definitely stay away from diet pop. You know I really do not miss the pop at all – I have been drinking iced tea (peach & raspberry are my favorites) and filtered water – no bottled water as that causes landfills to fill up. So yah – once you take pop out of your diet – lifestyle – you really do not miss it.

  76. Jen

    I have drank diet sodas for years. I’m 41 trying to lose my weight.
    One thing I have not read on here is how soon does a persons body start to normalize after quitting? I know at one time I drank only water for couple months and I do not recall it making much of any improvements. I have ditched artificial sweetners for good. I use Stevia for awhile now. But not losing weight. I’m mostly overweight in middle and gut. 175lbs. Used to be 125lbs. I’ve always been thin til 3rd child 2002. Been drinking diet sodas since 1990.

  77. Lindypin

    A nutritionist told me that diet drinks give you “sweet mouth”, which encourages you to want more food. BUT, I love diet coke and I know that I drink too many, trying to stop!

  78. Xenon

    In the last 18 months I have gone down 10″ around my waist by staying away from junk food, staying away from processed food, keeping starches to a minimum, and watching my sodium intake. Everyone I know is amazed at how well I am doing.

    Between the Diet Pepsi in the morning (I can’t stand coffee, and tea has a very potent and unpleasant diuretic effect on me) and the Crystal Light during the day and evening, I drink a lot of artificially-sweetened beverages. It doesn’t seem to have slowed me down any.

    But then, as with everything else, your mileage may vary.

  79. Lois

    Hi Rob
    I have read that one of the way your body tries to deal with toxins is to store them in fat so drinking something loaded with cemicals just encourages the body to make more fat to get rid of them. makes sense to me.

  80. jennifer

    I am a regular diet soda drinker, and I am hooked on the caffeine from the soda. I want to stop drinking it relying on it, but how do you overcome the withdraws, they are fierce. Water is so boring!!!!!

  81. debi

    I am new to this type of lifestyle. But when I started, I measured myself. I then started cutting out processed foods and additives. No pop, diet drinks, canned foods, etc. Today, only 3 days later, I decided to check my measurements. I was totally surprised, I had lost 2 inches from my hips and waist, 1&1/2 inches everywhere else.!!!!! All I did was change what I ate and drank.

    • Rob Poulos

      Great to hear it Debi…keep up the good work and good things will continue to happen!

  82. Lois Komarek

    I have signed up and paid for your program, but haven’t been able to download it – please
    advise how to do this

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Lois, I’ll have our support people get in touch with you shortly. Please watch your email…thanks!

  83. Hatold

    Never touch the stuff and won’t.

  84. Lynda

    Aspartame has, and still does, continue to trigger my migraines whenever I encounter it. I always know when I have accidentally consumed it, because the result is almost immediate. In a wierd way I have to thank it, though. There’s nothing like the worst headaches of your life to turn you off to all artificial sweeteners permanently.

  85. Don Fischer

    My experience with diet sodas was headaches. Talking to my Daughter, a registered nurse, the substitute sweetner “ASPERTANE” is a chemical used in many diet sodas and some other foods. My Daughter said she also experienced headaces from consuming it. Researching aspertane, I found it had a bad reputation. Once I stopped consuming drinks with this chemical in them my headaches ceased. Check the lables of the diet sodas and other so called “diet foods” and you may find it as an ingrediant.

    • Michelle

      An interview with a scientist on 60 minuets back in the ’90’s claimed that nutra sweet and aspartame was causing the rise in brain tumors. It shut down the impulses from one side of the brain to the other which caused headaches.

  86. Ronda

    hi there!
    First – I am allergic – yes ALLERGIC – to all artificial sweeteners. They give me instant headaches, nausea, and leave a horrid nasty after-taste in my mouth from even one sip. Two of my sisters have the same problem, and so does my daughter only worse – she vomits. So, I never touch the stuff. I also don’t think it is a good idea for anyone to use them. I have tried the stevia – had the same reaction, only not as strong. We are all also allergic to dairy (not lactose intolerant, allergic). I don’t know if there is a connection.
    Anyway, I did at one time drink so much soda pop I think it was not unusual for me to go through three or four liters a day. I tried to quit over and over, and couldn’t manage it. I would go a few weeks and then find myself at a restaurant with a pop in front of me.
    Finally I realized that I wasn’t just hooked on the sugar of the pop, I was also hooked on the caffeine high of drinking cola. So, I decided to tackle it with a multiple step process. I quit drinking caffeinated pop three years ago, and limited myself to one large cup of coffee with sugar and non-dairy cream a day, and non-caffeinated pop. Then two years ago, after a year of non-caffeinated sodas, I switched to bottled tea. Mind – the calorie difference isn’t that much if you get the sweet tea in the bottle, but I figured it was a step in the right direction – away from sugar even though it added caffeine back into the picture. Now for about six months I have been drinking only unsweetened tea, or half/half lemonade tea (it has the least sugar or calories of the non-diet flavored teas), and that one cup of coffee. I also started drinking at least as much water every day as I do anything else about then. I put a 20 oz bottle of water on the table and a 16 oz glass or bottle of tea – and drink both of them before letting myself get anything else.
    I have started to try to wean myself off the tea as well now.
    I haven’t seen much by way of progress with weight loss through this process, but I feel healthier and that means a lot.

  87. Carol

    Hello Rob & Thanks I am just starting your program & have been doing well. Todays newletter gave me a bit of a scare as i chew sugar free gum all day. After reading the packets nutition information I googled them, I cannot believe whats in my gum!!! So I am off to the rubbish bin with my packs of gum: Is there any tips for me to stop my craving for chewing the gum?????

  88. Jamie

    I love popcorn and chips! What to do?????

  89. Law of attraction

    Hi Rob thanks for sharing this I never thought that artificial sweeteners are harmful as well we realy need to watch what we put in our bodies Thanks.

  90. dipsterdeb

    I may have a maximum of maybe 3 diet cokes a week and that’s not even because of the calories. I just don’t like the syrupy taste of regular soda. Is that too much? I do drink a lot of diet green tea for the same reason. I think I better check the label to see what kind of sweetener is in those!

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey there… diet green tea? Just use regular green tea and add a bit of stevia to sweeten if desired…

  91. Sylvia Scheibel

    I dont drink soda of anykind very often. Once in a great while I have a diet drink.I only drink tea or water. I think thats good for me, without artificial sweetners.

  92. Sherry

    No more diet soda for me! It’s been two weeks. I have one guilty pleasure, and that will be added to my verboten list this week: McDonald’s vanilla sugar free iced coffee. I’m exchanging that for iced green tea and oolong tea. I MUST get Stevia or else I’m going to crave sweetener in my drinks :)

    Now if I could only add EXERCISE on a more regular basis :(

  93. Lori

    I got hooked drinking diet Cokes (‘Coke” is every soda under the sun in Texas) back in the teenager years, and have tried to avoid them in recent years. They always stimulate my appetite, which is what you DON’T want when you’re trying to lose weight! In fact, I can get so crazy hungry after drinking a diet coke, I tend to grab the quickest food on the shelf, which is typically an unhealthy carb. I love ’em, but they are diet busters.

  94. meg johnson

    I read that drinking anything other than water increases your hunger response
    does this include fizzy water? (I’m Australian)

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Meg, I wouldn’t say anything…that would be tough to prove… or if it’s true the hunger response varies for sure. Water is your best bet… enjoy your fizzy water on occasion and don’t worry about it…

  95. Joan McClelland

    Not sure that you would like my comment, but diet anything is not good for anyone, especially soda I do not drink the stuff and I tell others it is poison to the system, Saw to many times what it done to my grandchildren, Joan

  96. benedette eleagu

    l eat mach l mean too mach, when lam hunger l will open my cupboard and eat whatever l see inside.l weight 90 kg blw of bad eating pls l need your help

  97. jan

    What about honey – I use a two teaspoons on oats (no sugar oats – the real thing) every morning. I use honey as it helps my constipation but I’m wondering about belly fat – anyone help on this?

  98. Andi

    I too used to drink 2-3 liters of Diet soda a day and quit and went to drinking water and using stevia. In the process I discovered that the painful tension in my neck and shoulders that I thought was “stress” related for years is gone. after it being gone for over a month I had something sweetened with splenda and sure enough the pain was back and lasted for week even though I only had one glass of diet soda. Through several experiments of accidently having something with artificail sweenter in it and having the pain come back I’ve become a label reading addict (I never would have thought a box of granola bars would have it, but it did and the pain lasted for 2 weeks that time!) Since stopping the artificail sweenters my cravings for food are almost nonexistant. I love the liquid stevias out there the best and they come in great flavors. I also use “Capella flavor drops” to flavor coffe, tea and water when I want something decadent. Did you know that splenda is by product of a chemical for killing bugs, no wonder its bad for us!

  99. Michelle

    Back in the ’90’s the show 60 minuets had a full hour episode on Nutra Sweet. Nutra Sweet was composed of two chemicals one being aspartame, if I recall. Companies would use just aspertame as a sweetner to get out of paying royalties to Sorrel the company who produced it, the two chemicals together were patented. When it came on the market back in the ’70’s Congress filed criminal charges against Sorrel for producing Nurta Sweet. The head of the investigative committee eventually quit his job and went to work for Sorrel so the investigation was halted and it was put on the shelf. After the statue of limitations ran out they brought it back and put it into dry products like kool aid. In 1991, an appointtee by Bush authorized it to be put into liquids like soda, within a year he had quit his job and went to work for Sorrel. Eventyally products contained just the aspartame.
    All artificial sweetners are artificially made in the labs from sometimes lethal chemicals. They used to put the same chemical that is used in anti freeze for the car in Dr. Pepper. Got that from my college science prof. You don’t see it on there any more. Doesn’t mean they still don’t add it.
    Did some research myself on chemicals in our invironment. There are 50 to 70,000 chemicals being used today in this country alone. Artifical coloring is made with protroleum and artificial flavorings consists of any combination of one to 300 different lab produced chemicals. According to the FDA’s own website formaldihide can be used in light beer to create the foaming head because of the way it’s produced light beer naturally doesn’t have one. The FDA admitted that they have test less than 20,000 chemicals and rely on corporations own testing about a new chemicals. About 10 to 15% has ever been tested for its affects on humans. That includes most of monsantos creations.

    • Michelle

      I reread my comment, nothing Monsanto has produced has been tested by the FDA, they rely on Monsantos own testing just like congress relied on Sorrel own testing on nurta sweet. Only 10 to 15% of the chemicals we are exposed to has been tested for the effects on humans.

  100. Terri

    Hi Rob,
    I just started the FBF techniques and I’m seeing results after only one week.
    But my question is about my husband. He gets migraines and severe ear ringing 24/7. The ear ringing is driving him crazy and making it very hard for me to live with him. We’ve done lots of research on minears disease and nothing seems to help. He drinks one Squirt soda a day. Regular, not the diet. Do you suppose this soda could be causing it? Other than that he has a relatively healthy diet. What are your thoughts..if any?

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Terri, can’t really answer medical questions, but I don’t know of any relationship between sugar and ear ringing… definitely talk with your doctor…

  101. PeterP

    How can you talk about artificial sweeteners and diet sodas and not mention the brain damage caused by aspartame. Your readers should get acquainted with Dr. Russ Blaylock’s book, Excitoxins, The Taste That Kills. (He can be Googled.) Turns out that aspartame is the chemical twin of MSG and therefore can pass the blood brain barrier at will. End result, and cumulative at that–brain damage. Weight loss is one thing. Brain cell loss is even more serious. C’mon, guys, get serious about this diet crap.

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Peter, thanks for commmenting, but we are not getting “past this diet crap” because our blog is about being fitter primarily.

  102. D

    If you want good information on chemicals, research can be done by looking up the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) You would be amazed how dangerous some of thes chemicals are. We are being poisoned by our food industry daily.

  103. Frank

    As I was reading the comments on the side affects of Aspartame I noticed on my chewwing gum lable(eclipse) it also contains aspartame and spit it out. I dont chew alot of sugarless gum but for people who do should consider changing brands.I need to read more lables going forward when purchasing surarless or low calorie foods and snacks thank you for the info.

  104. Richard Male

    Just wanted to put in my 2 cents worth. I’m 62 and overweight, diabetic, high blood pressure, and many other health problems . Over the years I have found out that I have an inability to process the caffeine in coffee (use to drink 30 cups a day or more). The results were that my skin dried out until it cracked and started bleeding (arms) and it would cause me to black out with little warning (might have been my blood sugar was very low – don’t know). Another problem was later on with migraines. The doc thought I had a brain tumor. After MRI and CT scan, found no cancer or other problems. It was the artificial growth hormones and steroids that our FDA says are safe to fatten up the beef and pork for quicker profits!!! Almost all of my problems are based on the artificial junk that is put into our food supply. You are on the right course – go natural. Easier said than done!

  105. Bonnie

    I have heard this about diet pop and artificial sweeteners and have tried to cut down and my intake. Most of the time I am pretty good about my intake however every now and then I have a hard time with the amount I consumed. Also I have heard that artificial sweeteners have many adverse affects and they should not be used if at all possible. The biggest problem I seem to be having is figuring out to avoid eating at work. There is tons of food (not good food where I live they don’t consume vegetables) so we have lots of candy and doughnuts.

  106. Brian

    I quit drinking soft drinks around 12 years ago. Thank God else I’d probably be 350 pounds instead of fighting to stay below 300 for many years.

    When I was growing up, the only sodas I was allowed to drink were diet sodas, which as I read about the issues of aspartame/NutraSweet in the past few months, leads me to believe that some of my problems as an adult can be traced to my pre-adult years sucking down Diet Cokes at an alarming rate. Same goes for high fructose corn syrup. Bad, bad stuff.

    @Bonnie – I completely understand your position. When I’m working in an office, it’s tough to pass up on what everyone else is eating (junk) or to take the easy way out and seek out the nearest vending machine to cave into a craving. I bring my food and snacks to work with me. 15 extra minutes in the morning mixing a bag of nuts, or picking out some yogurt saves an hour on a treadmill (or more), not to mention the extra junk in your body. The hardest part is saying, “No” sometimes. “No”, I won’t eat that doughnut, “No”, I won’t get that Snickers bar out of the vending machine, etc. You owe it to yourself to bring in your own lunches and snacks. Yes, it’s not easy to avoid the doughnuts and junk…early on. Once you remove that stuff from your system and make up your mind not to eat it, it won’t take long for you to say, “You know, I don’t miss it.”

    I made it my mission last month to quit with the self-induced aspartame toxification I was giving myself for the past 5 years or so. Now I avoid anything aspartame like the plague. No more Yoplait non-fat yogurt. Instead I’m buying Chobani yogurt. Saving the 100 calories doesn’t justify the poisoning and lack of good protein and fat from Greek yogurt. Since I quit ingesting aspartame, my mood swings aren’t near as bad as they used to be, nor are my cravings as bad as they used to be.

    Hell, I beat 15 years of smoking 4 years ago, so I’m making it my mission to beat that fat guy off of me that’s been hiding my fit body for the past 30+ years. It’s not easy, but then again, nothing worth having in life is ever easy.

  107. Nancy

    I too am a diet coke addict and have been trying to fet off them for quite some time. I want to know if the sugar alcohols used in MIO and Zero VitaminWater have the same effectas other articifical sweetners.

  108. Jake


    I drink artifical sweetners such as Splenda and Sweet n Low in my green tea because I can’t drink tea unsweetened. Is this a bad habit?


  109. Peggy Hegi


    Attending a Home Show recently in Fort Lauderdale, I always enjoy watching the Vita-Mix demo. Instead of using a sweetener while blending several fruits and during the ice cream demo, Agave was used. Since then I use Organic Blue Agave which I purchased at my grocery store in everything that I used sweeteners in, such as my oatmeal, hot tea, and when I need a sweetener while blending fruits, etc. I know this is more healthy for me, and I was very happy to give up the sweetener packets. Believe me, you will never use sweeteners again once you try Agave.

  110. Cindy

    I think I read all of these comments and see nothing about Agave Nectar. It’s from an African plant and seems fairly natural to me. Has any research been done on it? Any thoughts, Rob?

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Cindy, Agave nectar is not much different from using honey or other natural sugars… it is more empty calories… the complete opposite of something like stevia.

  111. gary

    Hi Rob

    Does this include Stevia Sodas as well?


    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Gary, no, Stevia is a great natural calorie free sweetener choice for us and many others. We do enjoy some Zevia brand sodas, which are stevia based.

  112. Karen

    I enjoyed this article and can relate to the rationalization that comes with drinking diet sodas. I have quit drinking anything but water and unsweetened iced tea. Fortunately, I always preferred unsweetened coffee and teas. Every now and then, maybe once or twice a month, I crave a diet soda. I have some with Stevia on hand and find these are really good. I think the lemon lime and ginger ale are particularly good – better than the other brands.

    I do allow myself son sugar free dark chocolate occasionally as well. I still have those cravings, but find that by not eating but just placing a piece in my mouth and letting it dissolve tricks my brain,if that’s possible, into thinking I ate some nice dessert. It works for me – I get the flavanoids from the chocolate and satisfy my sweet tooth at the same time.

    Thanks for all of the great content you send out!

  113. Erdem Ispirli

    Hey Rob, thanks for the nice article.
    I would like to ask you something related to these artificial sweeteners.
    I’ve bought a whey protein via an online market, its 3.5KG. It’s written that no sugars are added to it, thats why i wanted to give it a try.
    But after i opened and used it, i realised that it’s too freaking tasty. And when i read the ingredients, and talked with the company, i’ve learned that it has Aspartam as an artifical sweetener.
    1:1000 ratio.

    What i want to ask you is, i’ve never used a product with Aspartam continuously.
    Since this is a whey protein, i will probably be drinking 2 doses every day. And it means something like 2 months to finish this bucket. 2 months with 0,05gr of Aspartam EVERY day.
    I’m seriously thinking to throw it to trash but you know.. I paid for it :S

    What would you suggest? Should i just throw it to trash seriously? Or should i just keep using it with MORE antioxidants like resveratrol, omega3 etc?
    Or should i mix it with another product which is PURE whey?

    Thanks inadvance for your advice.
    Take care,


    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Erdem, it’s up to you whether to finish the stuff or not, just make sure to go with a naturally sweetened product (Stevia) moving forward…

  114. sue


    For those who are addicted to the sugary drinks, I have a tip for you, if you find water to boring. What I do is put in some crushed ice, add water and then add lemon juice, or lime juice, mint leaves or a slice of cucumber, they taste delicious!

  115. D D

    Rob, I love water, just get bored with it sometimes. If I put a splash of juice and a pinch of stevia, will that be ok once in a while? I found out I am allergic to the protein in milk and eggs, not the lactose, and have to take protein powder to get enough. Found one that is. Or as gross as most, and isn’t derived from eggs or milk. Olympian Labs beef protein powder. I add it to my coffee, to dissolve it and hide the beef flavor. Tastes like mocha coffee.

  116. Lynn

    I find all the misinformation about artificial sweeteners so frustrating! I wish more people understand how those sweeteners are processed by your body and turned into formaldehyde. I work for a privately owned coffee shop in a hospital where patients, nurses, doctors and visitors all load up coffee drinks with tons of syrups, thick chocolate sauces and top it off with fake sweeteners. No wonder people feel awful when they are addicted to soda and sweetened coffees. They keep ingesting these sugars that our bodies turn into toxins that cause headaches.Aspartame is a neurotoxin that can lead to seizures since it decreases the dopamine in your brain and that promotes the equivalent to Parkinson’s disease! If that’s what it does to your brain imagine how it’s ruins the rest of your body!!! Yet that knowledge is swept under the mat by advertising companies. The hospital I work at just required us to carry the sugar free (Splenda sweetened) alternative for every syrup. It is now turning into a sugar free campus We are now required to ask and suggest sugar free and nonfat milk for every drink made. I guess they are sadly thinking of future patients in their current staff. How sad.

  117. Renee

    This is amazing, i have lost over 40 kg and have now stopped losing the extra kgs even though i have amped up the dieting and exercise, i drink way too much diet soft drinks but i also mix this with a lot of water throughout the day. Could the diet drinks be the reason why i have lost any more weight? wow

  118. vicki

    I can go a few days ….sometimes without diet soda. It is real difficult when you drive around all day and want something to drink and h2o just does not cut it! I did get to one lg. soda a day now I’m back to three!!!!

  119. Alice Bell

    Artificial Sweeteners Are BAD News!
    Nowadays, many individuals turn to artificial sweeteners as a substitute for their sugary counterparts. What most of the public isn’t aware of, however, is how dangerous these chemicals have been demonstrated to be in countless scientific studies.
    Aside from the many neurological implications brought about artificial sweeteners, a surprising finding is the fact that can actually cause you to GAIN weight – rather than lose it.
    If this is so, then that would defeat the purpose of consuming these zero-calorie sweeteners in the first place.
    But before we jump into the negative consequences of artificial sweeteners, let’s have a quick look at how rampant they’ve become in our food supply…
    This first graph represents the growing GLOBAL MARKET for artificial sweeteners (in US $billions)

    This second graph shows the “sweeteners” market share in relation to sugar…

    This next graph shows the race between the BIG 3 zero-calorie sweeteners

    Weight Gain – An Unknown Artificial Sweetener Side Effect
    Contrary to popular belief, replacing blatant sugar with artificially sweeteners like splenda, aspartame, or others won’t necessarily not help you lose weight. A 2008 study from Purdue University compared rats eating yogurt that had been sweetened with glucose (simple sugar), compared to rats eating yogurt sweetened with a zero-calorie substitute called saccharin.
    The study showed that the rats consuming the zero-calorie substitute gained more body fat, more overall weight, and that even after cessation of the saccharin intake, they were unable to make up for this weight gain.
    The question that this brings to mind for most people is how does something that contains zero calories cause you to gain more weight than something loaded with sugar?
    The answer lies in how the intake of these sneaky chemicals confuses your body’s sensory systems. Normally, sweet foods provide a “salient orosensory stimulus” that strongly predicts that you are about to take in a lot of calories.
    Ingestive and digestive reflexes gear up for that intake but when false sweetness (such as by using artificial sweeteners) isn’t followed by lots of calories, the system gets confused. Thus, people may eat more or expend less energy than they otherwise would.
    The researchers in the Purdue study stated that by breaking the connection between a sweet sensation and high-calorie food, the use of saccharin changes the body’s ability to regulate intake, and that this change is heavily dependent on experience.
    Problems with self-regulation might explain in part why obesity has risen in parallel with the use of artificial sweeteners. It also might explain why research on the human use of artificial sweeteners is inconclusive, with various studies finding evidence of weight loss, weight gain or little effect.
    Because people may have different experiences with artificial and natural sweeteners, human studies that don’t take into account prior consumption may produce a variety of outcomes.
    Nonetheless, in this particular, the authors concluded that…
    “The data clearly indicate that consuming a food sweetened with no-calorie saccharin can lead to greater body-weight gain and adiposity than would consuming the same food sweetened with a higher-calorie sugar.”
    And even though this study was done on rats, they noted that their findings match emerging evidence that people who drink more diet drinks are at higher risk for obesity and metabolic syndrome, a collection of medical problems such as abdominal fat, high blood pressure and insulin resistance that put people at risk for heart disease and diabetes.
    Though an increase in appetite is one contributing factor to the weight gain caused by artificial sweeteners, the chemical imbalances and confusion they create inside your body work in other ways as well.
    For instance, frequent consumption of zero-calorie artificial sweeteners can impair your body’s normal metabolic response to food intake. Since your body begins to realize it can no longer predict with accuracy when it is getting foods with calories, as opposed to foods that only taste like they do, the typical metabolic boost you get from eating food (ie. thermic effect of food) decreases. This makes it harder to expend more calories from dietary intake.
    Needless to say, there are studies that show weight loss is possible when substituting artificial sweeteners for sugar but in many cases these studies have been influenced or funded by corporations with a vested interested in their results (more on this later).
    Aspartame – The Controversial Origins of the “Super” Artificial Sweetener
    Aspartame, which is by far the most prominent artificial sweetener currently used in diet products, is also the most controversial of them all (you’ll see in the next section). Its origins are questionable, to say the least. Many claim it never should have been allowed on the market. The few who argue it is safe, have very little ground to stand on for those educated on how it became approved.
    Many of the studies done to determine the safety of aspartame, in the process of its approval as a food additive, have had severe conflicts of interest mainly due to inappropriate by Searle, the very same company that produces NutraSweet (their “street name” for aspartame).
    Dr. Robert Walton investigated the claims made that Searle essentially bought their way into the market. The results he found were quite shocking. In the 166 studies that he found to have relevance in regards to human safety, 74 of those studies had been funded by Searle. The 92 remaining studies were funded independently.
    Unsurprisingly, of the 74 studies that were funded by Searle, 100% of them claimed that aspartame was safe for human use. As far as the independently funded studies, 92% of them found health concerns in regards to aspartame, and found it to be unsafe for human consumption.
    Even before aspartame had come to this point, it encountered numerous legal, political, ethical, and moral barriers. Aspartame was inadvertently discovered back in 1965, by a chemist working on an ulcer medication. The timeline between when aspartame was discovered to when it was released on the market is blemished with countless actions of deception from Searle.
    One of the earliest tests, done by the University of Wisconsin in 1967 by Dr. Harold Waisman, had been conducted on monkeys who drank milk which contained aspartame. Of the seven monkeys being fed the mixture, one died and five others experienced grandular seizures. Despite these early warning signs, Searle pushed on.
    In 1971, a neuroscientist by the name of Dr. John Olney, conducted several studies which showed that the aspartic acid found in aspartame, caused holes in the brains of baby mice. Later, one of Searle’s own researchers, conducted a similar study and concluded the same results as the ones demonstrated by Dr. Olney. Again, Searle pushed on.
    In 1976, an FDA investigation of Searle was initiated, sparked by the many concerns that Searle’s personal studies on aspartame were inconsistent with research from independent studies.
    The investigation results found Searle’s tests were not only full of inaccuracies, but also manipulated data. An investigator involved was quoted as stating they “had never seen anything as bad as Searle’s testing.”
    Shortly after the investigation, the FDA sent a formal request to the U.S. Attorney’s office to begin grand jury proceedings. Not surprisingly, one of the most significant events of this procession saw Samuel Skinner, the U.S. Attorney in charge of the investigation, resigning from the attorney’s office and taking a position within Searle’s law firm, allowing Searle to buy themselves out a bad situation.
    In spite of the fact that 75% of all health complaints are related to the use of aspartame, its use continues.
    And if this hasn’t scared you enough, then consider that the “G.D. Searle and Co” (mentioned as Searle above) became the pharmaceutical unit of Monsanto in 1985 – one of the most criminal and monopolist agricultural companies in the world.
    It should come as no surprise then that the Searle pharmaceutical division was responsible for the development of one of the biggest pharmaceutical disasters of our time – Celebrex.
    Just something to think about next time you’re deciding how to sweeten your coffee or tea.
    Artificial Sweeteners Side Effects in Humans
    Ideally, it should only be a matter of time before ALL these chemical sweeteners are pulled off the market but because of BIG business that probably won’t happen anytime soon.
    Nonetheless, in 1970, cyclamate (one of these man-made chemicals) was removed from the market due to concerns that it promoted cancer growth.
    Additionally, the artificial sweetener saccharin has also been found to cause tumors in the bladders of rats. Despite being briefly removed from the market after the study, it was soon back on the market again, without any warning of the health risks to the consumer. So saccharin, aspartame, and cyclamate have all been shown to have concerns for cancer risks, yet two of the three still remain on the market today.
    Let’s look at the biggest concern – Aspartame – in more detail.
    To understand its nasty side effects, it’s helpful to realize that Aspartame is comprised of 4 deadly compounds: phenylalanine, aspartic acid, methanol, and DKP.
    The largest component of aspartame is called phenylalanine, making up 50% of the artificial sweetener.
    Phenylalanine is an amino acid normally found in the brain. Persons with the genetic disorder phenylketonuria (PKU) cannot metabolize phenylalanine. This leads to dangerously high levels of phenylalanine in the brain (sometimes lethal). It has been shown that ingesting aspartame, especially along with carbohydrates, can lead to excess levels of phenylalanine in the brain even in persons who do not have PKU.
    This presents a serious problems since high levels of phenylalanine in the brain can cause the levels of serotonin to decrease, leading to emotional disorders such as depression. It has been shown in human clinical trials that phenylalanine levels of the blood are increased significantly in those who chronically use aspartame.
    Even a single use of aspartame raised the blood phenylalanine levels. In his testimony before the U.S. Congress, Dr. Louis J. Elsas showed that high blood phenylalanine can be concentrated in parts of the brain and is especially dangerous for infants and fetuses. He also showed that phenylalanine is metabolized much more efficiently by rodents than by humans. Thus, rodent studies showing minimal effects of phenylalanine should be considered with a grain of salt.
    Aspartic Acid
    Now, let’s move on to the next deadly component with Asparatame – aspartic acid. Roughly 40% of aspartame is made up of aspartic acid.
    Dr. Russell L. Blaylock, a professor of neurosurgery at the Medical University of Mississippi, has cited 500 scientific references to show how excess free excitatory amino acids such as aspartic acid in our food supply are causing serious chronic neurological disorders and a myriad of other acute symptoms.
    Aspartate (from aspartic acid) acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain but too much of it can kill certain neurons by allowing too calcium into the cells, which triggers an onslaught of free radical damage. This influx triggers excessive amounts of free radicals, which kill the cells.
    Unfortunately, the blood brain barrier, which normally protects the brain from excess influx of aspartate (as well as many other toxins) does not fully protect against excess levels of this “excitotoxin” in the blood. Thus, aspartame ingestion has been associated with a number of neurological defects such as memory loss, multiple sclerosis, headaches, vision problems, dementia, brain lesions, and more.
    One common complaint of persons suffering from the effect of aspartame is memory loss. Ironically, in 1987, G.D. Searle, the manufacturer of aspartame, undertook a search for a drug to combat memory loss caused by excitatory amino acid damage.
    But wait, there’s more.
    Methanol (or wood alcohol) is a deadly poison and makes up 10% of aspartame. Some people may remember methanol as the poison that has caused some “skid row” alcoholics to end up blind or dead. Methanol is gradually released in the small intestine when the methyl group of aspartame encounters the enzyme chymotrypsin.
    To make matters worse, methanol is then broken down into formic acid and formaldehyde in the body. Formaldehyde is a deadly neurotoxin. It’s the same stuff used to preserve dead bodies.
    An Evironmental Protection Agency (EPA) of methanol states that methanol “is considered a cumulative poison due to the low rate of excretion once it is absorbed. In the body, methanol is oxidized to formaldehyde and formic acid; both of these metabolites are toxic.”
    The EPA recommends a limit of consumption of 7.8 mg/day.
    But why would ANY level of poison consumption be safe?
    To give you some perspective, a one-liter bottle of Diet Coke contains about 56 mg of methanol. Heavy users of aspartame-containing products consume as much as 250 mg of methanol daily or 32 times the EPA limit!
    Keep that in mind the next time you drink a Diet Coke or opt for NutraSweet.
    Symptoms from methanol poisoning include headaches, ear buzzing, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, memory lapses, numbness and shooting pains in the extremities, behavioral disturbances, and neuritis. The most well known problems from methanol poisoning are vision problems including misty vision, progressive contraction of visual fields, blurring of vision, retinal damage, and blindness.
    Formaldehyde, on its own, is a known carcinogen, causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication and causes birth defects.
    Sounds good to me. Sign me up for more.
    Considering these dangers, why doesn’t the FDA or FTC step and shut down the use of these poisons in our food supply?
    Well, it’s partly due to monetary reasons – artificial sweetener are HUGE business.
    Another reason is that no scientist in their right mind would subject human beings to ingesting these poisons just to see what happens.
    In fact, we humans lack a couple of key methanol-related enzymes, making more sensitive to the toxic effects of methanol than animals. Therefore, tests of aspartame or methanol on animals do not accurately reflect the danger for humans.
    As pointed out by Dr. Woodrow C. Monte, director of the food science and nutrition laboratory at Arizona State University, “There are no human or mammalian studies to evaluate the possible mutagenic, teratogenic or carcinogenic effects of chronic administration of methyl alcohol.”
    This is how sick and twisted our food supply has become…
    Dr. Monte was so concerned about the safety issues of methanol (and aspartame) that he filed suit with the FDA requesting a hearing to address these issues. He asked the FDA to…
    “Slow down on this soft drink issue long enough to answer some of the important questions. It’s not fair that you are leaving the full burden of proof on the few of us who are concerned and have such limited resources. You must remember that you are the American public’s last defense. Once you allow usage (of aspartame) there is literally nothing I or my colleagues can do to reverse the course. Aspartame will then join saccharin, the sulfiting agents, and God knows how many other questionable compounds enjoined to insult the human constitution with governmental approval.”
    Shortly thereafter, the Commissioner of the FDA, Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., approved the use of aspartame in carbonated beverages, he then left for a position with G.D. Searle’s public relations firm.
    Aspartame also becomes more dangerous inside the human body when it has previously been heated about 86 degrees F. In spite of this reality, an “unconscionable” act was passed in 1993 by the FDA approving aspartame as an ingredient in numerous food items that would ALWAYS be heated to above 86 degree F (30 degree C)!
    I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this information is critical for you to understand. It’s just one more reason why proper education is so important to your health. By knowing this information you should hopefully feel a sense of disgust with how big business has no interest in your health – not in the slightest.
    You need to be in control of your health and the only way to do that is by educating yourself.
    But just before we finish, there’s still one more nasty byproduct of aspartame that you need to know about, especially if the above 3 have failed to convince you.
    Diketopiperazine (DKP)
    DKP is a byproduct of aspartame metabolism, which has been implicated in the occurrence of brain tumors, uterine polyps, and elevated blood cholesterol.
    G.D. Searle conducted animal experiments on the safety of DKP. The FDA found numerous experimental errors occurred, including “clerical errors, mixed-up animals, animals not getting drugs they were supposed to get, pathological specimens lost because of improper handling,” and many other errors. These sloppy laboratory procedures may explain why both the test and control animals had sixteen times more brain tumors than would be expected in experiments of this length.
    In an ironic twist, shortly after these experimental errors were discovered, the FDA used guidelines recommended by G.D. Searle to develop the industry-wide FDA standards for good laboratory practices.
    Are There Any SAFE Artificial Sweeteners?
    The short answer is NO. As with any food item produced by man, the goal is usually to cut corners and maximize profits. Health is of little concern to most food conglomerates, especially considering that the big wigs at the top are so disconnected from what their “products” are doing to the health of millions of people
    There are sweeteners on the market like splenda and acesulfame K but once again, they have many deleterious effects in the human body.
    Your best bet is to avoid them at all costs. If I’m at Starbucks and have the choice between raw brown sugar or NutraSweet (or Sweet n Low), I’ll take the sugar any day of the week.
    As a general rule of thumb, choose natural whenever possible.
    Good Sweeteners?
    Listen, if you need to sweetener your coffee, tea, or anything else you should first look at parting ways with this habit. Drinking is coffee is bad enough, let alone adding sugar to it. If you must have a cup of coffee, drink it black.
    But if sweeteners are a must, here’s a list of what I would recommend. However, bear in mind that each of these can be better or worse depending on how they are processed:
    Xylitol – naturally derived from the fiber within plant foods. Surprisingly, it actually helps fight cavities.
    Stevia – derived from a natural plant in the sunflower family, it is 300 times sweeter than sugar. I’ve used this but I’m not too fond of its lingering after taste.
    Raw honey – has many beneficial health properties but can range in glycemic index from low to high depending on the variety. It is usually harder to find but well worth using in small amounts.
    Pure Maple Syrup – this sweet sap-derived sweetener is loaded antioxidants but comes with a higher glycemic index. I use maple syrup immediately post-workout (in a smoothie) as this is the only time your body can properly deal with high glycemic simple sugars.
    Of these 4 sweeteners, I prefer the latter 2 simply because they usually involve the least amount of processing. However, they DO carry a higher degree of sweetness, glycemic load, and thus calories.

  120. Mike

    Several years ago my wife was suffering from lower abdominal pain for amost a year. She visited any doctor that would listen her. Had all kinds of tests done, from scans to blood and nothing was conclusive. And at one point she was prescribed an anti-depressent. Then one day on a visit to her OB, she passingly asked if she was using an sweeteners. Well, it just so happened she was using splenda on a regular basis. At this point she figured she had nothing to lose and removed it from her diet. Within 1 week, yes 1 week, the pain disappeared and she has never experienced it again.
    What we both continue to be baffled by is how clueless the medical industry is with regards to weight loss. They “all” know it’s an issue. And they all know that the majority of their patient’s issues are related to obesity but none of them know how to help. Heck, many of them have weight issues.
    My response to anyone who asks what I eat is, “I eat gods food”, if its manufactured, don’t eat it. Keep it simple and life is good.

  121. Thom

    I agree with Siti. Pure water is THE best way to become healthier. Think about it…We’re made up of over 75% water, yet we tend to focus on just diet and exercise. I thought my well water was healthy, and drank about a gallon or so a day, thinking it was good for me…until I had it checked! I’ve since learned it is very acidic. If you can lose the acidity in your body.. you can lose the fat!

    I was introduced to ionized water through a friend because of an inflammation issue I was having due to an accident. Within 24 hours of drinking this water, I was pain free! Now here’s the clincher..After drinking the water for 6 weeks…I had LOST 35 POUNDS!! I wasn’t expecting that!!..And that was 2 years ago and haven’t put any weight back on!

    I’ve learned that water isn’t just water! Thanks for the support you do!

  122. luis

    All of the side effects of aspartame make sense; it’s origins were as a biological weapon for the Pentagon!

  123. jan

    I came across aspartame not in sodas but in yoghurts – the diet kind (i.e. Activia 0% yoghurt) and also in some supplements – anything that has this sweetener or any other kind I avoid like the plague – I tend to do sugar free diet anyway. My experience was after eating Activia was for the first 4 days I was fine – reduced the bloating like it says but after that the bloating got worse, as did the headache – tended to be in one eye and felt like a knife sticking in and being twisted with the pain going up into the temple and into the ear. Then would come the depression and the absollutely foul mood – the more the days went on the worse the symptoms became – the depression was bad enough but crikey my foul mood was embarrassing – one day my mother in law came and I was absolutely horrible to her – i ignored her, didn’t make her welcome was rude to her – so embarrassing. When I look back I’m deeply ashamed.

    How do I know it was aspartame/sweeteners – because I’ve done this 4 times to make sure it wasn’t a coincidence and every time I’ve tried it I’ve been the same.

    Now if I see sweeteners or aspartame in any product I will not buy it. Really scary time and I sometimes wonder had I continued eating it what would have happened, because it seemed to change me as a person enough to stick a knife in someone.

    Thought I’d share this to see how it can affect you. I’ve tried the Flat Tummy Elixir you can buy and that gave me the same knife searing in the eye headache.

  124. Vera


    I have been recently reading material on eating healthy that you have been providing and it has been a culture shock as I have found myself having to rewrite my whole eating programme from start. Your advice on good eating has educated so many of us who have been in the dark for ages. Thank you!!!!


  125. Kurt Eichholz

    What about Truvia is that an artifical sweetener?

  126. Ken

    I’ve quit soda pop altogether. Besides the sweetener, either sugar or artificial, there are so many other bad chemicals in them. It was the Bromine compounds, which interfere with iodine absorption by the thyroid, which made the decision inescapable. Alas, I still am hopelessly addicted to my coffee.

Add a comment

  • Avatars are handled by Gravatar
  • Comment Below!