Here’s a sweet bit of news: Drinking sugar-free beverages sweetened with low-calorie sweeteners increases “dietary restraint,” the ability of people to maintain long-term weight loss.
A study published in the International Journal of Obesity says that the consumption of such beverages, along with portion control, exercise, and diet, can be an important component of weight control strategy among a group it calls “WLM”-weight loss maintainers.
Researchers tracked the caloric intake of 300 WLM, monitoring calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fat, as well as beverages. Their findings confirmed results from a 2002 study that found that consumers of beverages with sugar substitutes had significantly greater weight loss than people who did not consume sugar substitutes.
Despite extolling sugar-free beverages for their beneficial effect in maintaining weight loss, the study cautioned against seeing them as a “magic bullet” or a substitute for other actions necessary for weight loss. Still, the beverages do assist people in their weight-loss efforts by satisfying their desire for something sweet while reducing their caloric intake.