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Say What? Diet Soda Makes You Gain Weight

Just because it says "diet" doesn't mean it's good for you.

This is one of those studies that make you want to stomp your feet and say, "But it's not fair!" (insert whiny pitch here). What once seemed like a foolproof way to cut calories has now been proven to actually make you gain weight.

Epidemiologists from the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio recently reported at the American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions that constant diet soda consumption is directly associated with increased waist circumference in humans.

The study showed that over a period of nine years, diet soda drinkers experienced 70 percent greater increases in waist circumference compared to a non-drinker. Subjects who admitted to drinking two or more diet sodas a day experienced waist circumference increases that were 500 percent greater than those of non-users. For anyone who relies on a diet soda 3 p.m. pick-me-up, this news is definitely disheartening.

But why does something with zero calories still have the ability to make you gain weight? Researchers say that our brains know when we eat or drink something that has fake sugar in it, causing our bodies to produce more insulin to make up for it, which blocks the ability to burn fat. So the next time you start to experience your midday energy crash, try water with mint leaves, tea, or another healthy sipping substitute to keep the pounds off.

Tell us: How much diet soda do you drink?