If you struggling to lose weight and have made a crutch out of diet foods and drinks, then you need a reality check. We tell you why these products don’t deliver on the promises they make. 

Do you believe that you can lose those extra kilos, by switching from a normal coke to the diet kind? Or by trading your large bowl of after- dinner ice cream, with the sugar free variety? Research shows that choosing diet foods helps people justify eating a double cheeseburger, or butter chicken.

Though there’s no escaping the psychological effect of the word ‘diet’, foods with this label don’t work. You may cut your calories by opting for sugar and fat free foods, these won’t do you any good in the long run.

Additives and substitutes aren’t nutritious

The absence of sugar doesn’t mean much, since the sugar substitutes and chemical additives used in diet foods, aren’t exactly nutritious. At times, extra fat and flavorings are added as buffers, to improve the flavor of some products. For instance, a “fat free” product may be high on additives, which aren’t good for you.

In the ultimate analysis, nutritionists say the diet foods below, can’t be treated as long term choices for weight loss.

#1 Diet soda
These are a favourite of many dieters. Diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, which trigger an insulin response. Consequently, this signals your body to store fat, leading to weight gain.

#2 Fat-free ice cream
The idea of having a tub of ‘light’ and fat-free ice cream may leave you feeling guilt-free. However, hidden chemicals such as high-fructose corn syrup, hydrolysed vegetable protein, gums, and glutamates can cause more harm than good. They play havoc with your hormones, making weight loss even tougher.

#3 Low-fat butters
Low-cholesterol table spreads claim to be low in trans and saturated fats. But, the preservatives and salts they contain are hardly healthy.  Also, synthetic fats are used to replace natural fats like butter. These aren’t easily absorbed by the body, and lead to digestive problems. Instead, choose good fats over no fats.

#4 Diet chips and snacks
Products labeled ‘low-fat’, ‘baked, not fried’ and ‘low-calorie’ actually have a hidden fat and calorie overload, that misleads consumers. They are made with a synthetic fat, which interferes with the body’s natural metabolism and may trigger weight gain.