Will a diet soda or zero-calorie drink prevent fat loss when cutting? I’ll tell you in a second.
Do I drink them when cutting? YES I DO. But I need to qualify that…
I stay quite lean all year – I train THT-style (download workout below) with a slight calorie surplus – then I cut in spring time – and that only takes me 3 or 4 weeks since I don’t have a lot of fat to lose.
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So I can feel safe that there’ll be no adverse effects on my health in such a short period of time. The rest of the year – 48weeks – I use stevia.
The addition of Coke Zero, Pepsi Max, Lilt Zero etc. makes the lower-cal diet easier to get through. I sometimes use sugar-free Jell-O too.
I also love munching on Buff Bars (homemade protein bars) Protein ice cream, peanut butter cookies and more from my Buff Baking Cookbook. I call it “Cheating Clean” – just something to make the process easier. Diet drinks are a part of cheating clean when I’m dieting.
DIET SOFT DRINKS AND FAT LOSS
So I take about 2 x cans a day when cutting. And I get pretty shredded. They have no impact on my fat loss at all. The fact is that they contain no calories, no energy, no sugar. They can’t possibly contribute to weight gain.
But, some people are of the opinion that they could trigger an insulinogenic response because of the sweet taste i.e. the body reacts like it’s sugar and releases insulin causing you to store more of your calories from food. This then causes you to crave extra food later to replace the calories that were stored and not available for energy.
But where’s the evidence for that? You should be aware of studies that simply contradict this. Short term  and long term  studies (1 year long) both show not just equal weight loss, but MORE WEIGHT LOSS in the group that drank artificially sweetened beverages as opposed to water.
NOTE: Before I go on, if you ARE about to go on a fat-loss diet, I made a list of the top 20 foods to eat to get ripped. You’ll find it extremely helpful in your quest to get shredded. If you would like access to the full list for free, just type in your email below.
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BUT ARE DIET SODAS SAFE?
As stated above, because I am consuming these products for 3 or 4 weeks out of the year, I have no concerns whatsoever. A few years ago, I didn’t take them, not even when cutting. But I changed my mind due to the brief nature of my shredding cycles (By the way, if you want me to put together a shredding diet for you so that you can achieve the same sort of results as me, go here to see what I can do for you).
But long term, are they safe? No-one knows for certain. Certainly in the short-term, there are no health risks. In order to know for sure, a study would need to be conducted that lasted decades.
Would there be carcinogenic effects? Brain tumors? I doubt it. Some people will swear they know for sure – they don’t know. Even if such a crazy multiple-decade study were conducted, how could we know for sure that those subjects who got cancer, got it because of the artificial sweeteners?
My advice is that if you find it helps, consume them when cutting and not during the rest of the year. If they don’t make a cutting phase easier for you, don’t take them – simple.
P.S. I know that putting together a diet for mass gains or getting shredded abs can be a pain in the butt, especially if you are new to this – that’s why I offer a service where I will do all the tough ground work for you.
You probably don’t know how many calories you need, or how many grams of protein, carbs or fat you need (based on your personal stats)…BUT I DO. Then I can take these numbers and create an exact meal plan for you to hit those numbers spot on! You’ll know what foods to eat and even when to eat them. All you have to do…is do it. No thinking involved. If you’d like me to take care of this for you, see the Get Me Shredded option on my Coaching Page here.
References  “Sucrose compared with artificial sweeteners: a clinical intervention study of effects on energy intake, appetite, and energy expenditure after 10 wk of supplementation in overweight subjects.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” (2014): ajcn-081554
 “The effects of water and non–nutritive sweetened beverages on weight loss during a 12–week weight loss treatment program,” Obesity, 22.6 (2014): 1415-1421
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