Tricky little devil.
It's really tough to tell what is actually helping or hurting your chances of losing weight anymore, especially since the food and diet industry are so tricky about getting you to spend your hard-earned money.
But a new study has found that the diet sodas — you know, the ones you drink to LOSE weight — are actually causing you to GAIN weight.
What the WHAT? Sorcery, right?
The study published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that people who drink regular soda gained .8 inches around their waists, while people who drink diet soda gain 3.2 inches around their waists, and those who drink both gained 1.8 inches.
What the HELL, diet soda? Why have you betrayed us?
Turns out the culprit of belly fat gain in diet soda are the sweeteners used to make them. No-calorie and low-calorie sweeteners tend to their job too well. They sweeten the soda 200-600 times more than sugar would. The fact that these sodas cause you to gain belly fat is even more troubling since it increases people's chances of cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and Type 2 diabetes.
Sadly these negative affects hurt the people who are seeking weight lost most: overweight people!
"People who are already at cardiometabolic risk because they have higher BMIs are really in double or triple jeopardy," Dr. Helen Hazuda tells TIME. "When they think they're doing something good by drinking artificially sweetened beverages, it's actually totally counterproductive."
So it looks like if you want to avoid belly fat you should go for the regular sodas instead or even better, no soda at all.