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If I am always hungry, could it be because of diet soda?

ANSWER

Many people drink sugar-free soda to count calories or lose weight, but the fake sugar in these drinks tells your brain to expect calories it can use for fuel. When your body doesn't get any, your "hunger switch" gets turned on and your body tells you to get calories from food instead. If diet soda is making you hungry, other symptoms can include:

  • Headaches
  • Sugar cravings
  • Weight gain

From: Reasons You’re Always Hungry WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Aldrich, N. , May-June 2013. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: "Antihistamines and Weight Gain."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Eating During Pregnancy."

American Diabetes Association: "Diabetes Symptoms."

American Sleep Association: "Sleep Deprivation -- What is Sleep Deprivation?"

Chambers, L. , February 2015. Trends in Food Science and Technology

Cleveland Clinic: "Am I Pregnant?"

Coffin, C. , April 2006. Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: "Emotional Eating: Causes, Prevention, Treatment and Resources."

Harvard Health Publications: "Why stress causes people to overeat," "Could it be my thyroid?"

Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health: "Artificial Sweeteners," "Fiber," "Sleep: Waking Up to Sleep's Role in Weight Control," "Carbohydrates."

KidsHealth.org: "Polyphagia."

Mayo Clinic: "Diabetes symptoms: When diabetes symptoms are a concern," "Stress Management," "Depression (major depressive episode)," "Hypoglycemia."

University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences/Science Life: "Sleep loss boosts hunger and unhealthy food choices."

UC San Diego Health: "Wide Effect: Drugs That Promote Weight Gain."

University of Rochester Medical Center: "When Your Weight Gain Is Caused By Medicine."

Van Den Eeden, S. , October 1994. Neurology

Yang, Q. , June 2010. Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on June 30, 2019

SOURCES:

Aldrich, N. , May-June 2013. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: "Antihistamines and Weight Gain."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Eating During Pregnancy."

American Diabetes Association: "Diabetes Symptoms."

American Sleep Association: "Sleep Deprivation -- What is Sleep Deprivation?"

Chambers, L. , February 2015. Trends in Food Science and Technology

Cleveland Clinic: "Am I Pregnant?"

Coffin, C. , April 2006. Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: "Emotional Eating: Causes, Prevention, Treatment and Resources."

Harvard Health Publications: "Why stress causes people to overeat," "Could it be my thyroid?"

Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health: "Artificial Sweeteners," "Fiber," "Sleep: Waking Up to Sleep's Role in Weight Control," "Carbohydrates."

KidsHealth.org: "Polyphagia."

Mayo Clinic: "Diabetes symptoms: When diabetes symptoms are a concern," "Stress Management," "Depression (major depressive episode)," "Hypoglycemia."

University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences/Science Life: "Sleep loss boosts hunger and unhealthy food choices."

UC San Diego Health: "Wide Effect: Drugs That Promote Weight Gain."

University of Rochester Medical Center: "When Your Weight Gain Is Caused By Medicine."

Van Den Eeden, S. , October 1994. Neurology

Yang, Q. , June 2010. Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on June 30, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

Is my hunger caused by diabetes?

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