Take a 1-min quiz to get a personal meal plan Male Female

If I Stop Drinking Diet Soda, Will I Lose Belly Fat? 

Diet soda seems like the perfect compromise if you need to cut down on calories without giving up the sweet, fizzy pleasure from regular soda. 

They’re sweetened with any one of a variety of zero calorie alternatives like aspartame, sucralose, or stevia. These Non Sugar Sweeteners (NSS), are significantly sweeter than natural sugar, so a very small amount is needed to sweeten the drink. 

That said, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently advised against the consumption of all Non Sugar Sweeteners (NSS) for weight control, suggesting that these alternatives may not be the best choice for overall health (24). This advice does not apply to people with diabetes who may use these sweeteners for blood sugar control.

WHO pointed to evidence suggesting that NSS consumption does not help with weight control in the long-term, and that long-term use may even be associated with increased risk of  type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (24).

You might be wondering whether drinking diet soda is the reason you have stubborn belly fat. And you might also wonder whether or not ditching your soda might give you the results you desire. 

Here’s what you need to know to make that decision.

Do Diet Sodas Cause Belly Fat?

Many factors contribute to belly fat; drinking diet soda might be one of them.

A 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that waist circumference was larger among daily diet soda drinkers than those who occasionally drank diet soda, who in turn had a larger waist circumference than non-diet soda drinkers (6).

The link between diet soda and belly fat is not entirely clear, but researchers suggest that it could be due to several factors.

Betterme will keep you laser-focused on your weight loss journey! Nutrient-packed meal plans, fat-blasting workouts, galvanizing challenges and much more. Try using the app and see for yourself!

Artificial Sweeteners and Increased Appetite

One possible explanation for the potential link between diet soda and belly fat is that artificial sweeteners may increase appetite or preference for sweet foods and beverages.

One hypothesis is that consuming artificial sweeteners might lead to increased cravings, particularly for sugary foods. This could result in overeating, leading to weight gain and an increase in belly fat. However, the evidence is mixed and more research is needed (22).

Artificial Sweeteners and Gut Health

Another theory is that artificial sweeteners may disrupt the balance of bacteria in your gut, leading to inflammation and weight gain.

A study on mice found that sucralose, but not acesulfame-K, could alter the gut microbiome, causing changes in bile acid metabolism (9).

A 2014 study found that aspartame consumption altered the gut microbiome of rats, although the rats on aspartame consumed fewer calories and gained less weight on a high fat diet than control rats  (15).

While it is believed that the gut microbiome may play a role in obesity, the specific relationships and mechanisms are not fully understood, nor is it well understood how artificial sweeteners affect the equation.  

Other Factors to Consider

While the link between diet soda and belly fat is still being studied, there are other factors to consider before completely cutting it out of your diet.

For one, correlation does not necessarily mean causation. Just because there is a link between diet soda and belly fat doesn’t mean that diet soda is the cause.

It could be that people who are already overweight or obese tend to consume more diet soda because they are trying to lose weight.

Moreover, lifestyle factors such as exercise, stress levels, and overall dietary habits play a significant role in weight gain and belly fat.

In their recommendation, the WHO acknowledged that the evidence between NSS and disease outcomes may be influenced by other factors, and more research is needed to establish causality (24).

So, while it’s worth considering reducing your consumption of diet soda for various health reasons, it’s essential to look at the bigger picture and make overall healthy lifestyle choices.


Will My Stomach Shrink If I Stop Drinking Diet Soda?

Quitting diet soda alone may not be enough to shrink stomach fat, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.  For many reasons:

You Might Manage Your Cravings Better

Non Sugar Sweeteners (NSS) are incredibly sweet, even sweeter than regular sugar. One of the potential consequences of drinking too much diet soda is developing a sweet tooth, leading to sugar cravings. 

It has been suggested that when you consume these artificial alternatives regularly, your taste buds can change and make it harder for you to appreciate natural sweetness from fruits and vegetables.

As a result, you may be more likely to crave sugary foods and drinks. Quitting diet soda should help your taste buds recalibrate, making it easier for you to manage cravings and choose healthier options.

You Might Consume Fewer Calories

While diet soda may not cause weight gain directly, other foods with artificial sweeteners can contribute to an increase in calorie intake.

Artificial sweeteners are often used in foods marketed as “low-calorie,” leading people to believe that they can consume an unlimited amount.

The reality is that these low-calorie alternatives still contain calories, and overindulging can quickly add up. 

You’ll Hydrate Better

Many people reach for diet soda as a substitute for water, but diet soda often still contains caffeine, a diuretic which can lead to chronic dehydration.

Dehydration can cause bloating and water retention, which can make your stomach look larger (12).

By replacing diet soda with water you’ll improve your hydration levels, potentially leading to a reduction in bloating and a slimmer looking stomach.

Dehydration may also be confused with hunger, leading to increased calorie intake. By staying hydrated with water instead of diet soda, you may be better able to differentiate between thirst and hunger signals.

You’ll Make Room for Nutritious Alternatives

Many people rely on diet soda as their primary beverage choice throughout the day.

By cutting it out, you’ll have more room for healthier alternatives such as herbal teas, infused water, or even just plain water.

These options contain zero calories and offer hydration without any negative health effects. You may even include some green tea; which contains antioxidants that have been shown to potentially aid in weight loss and fat reduction (16).

Our previous blog: Keto Green Tea has more information on how this herbal drink can benefit your health.

You Might Reduce Inflammation

Diet soda consumption has been linked to inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation can contribute to various health issues (4), including weight gain and an increase in belly fat (17).

By cutting out diet soda, you’ll be reducing your intake of artificial sweeteners which might contribute to inflammation and therefore potentially improve overall health.

Check out our, 2 Weeks Without Alcohol, blog post to see how inflammation and weight gain are connected to other popular beverages.

Read more: Is The Japanese Towel Exercise an Effective Way to Burn Belly Fat?

How Much Belly Fat Will I Lose If I Stop Drinking Soda?

If you stop drinking soda, eat a healthy, balanced, reduced calorie diet and exercise more, you can expect to lose several inches from your waist within a few months. This is especially likely if you currently drink sugar-sweetened sodas regularly, because they contribute a significant number of calories to your daily intake. 

As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), healthy weight loss is about one to two pounds per week (14). This means that within three to six months, you could potentially lose up to 24 pounds or more.

How this translates to belly fat loss is highly individual and depends on various factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and overall diet.

However, by making healthier choices and eliminating artificial sweeteners from your diet, you’ll likely see a reduction in belly fat over time.


How Long Does It Take To Detox from Diet Soda?

“Detoxing” from diet soda can mean different things to different people.

If you’re referring to the time it takes for artificial sweeteners to leave your system, then it can take anywhere from 24 hours to several days, depending on how much and how often you consume them.

However, if you’re aiming for a full detox from the adverse effects of diet soda on your metabolism, that may take longer.

Making healthier choices and reducing your intake of artificial sweeteners is a continuous process that requires dedication and consistency.

Cravings for sweet foods can take weeks or even months to overcome. You may experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and irritability if you normally drink caffeinated sodas (21).

But with time, your body will adjust, and you’ll start to feel better without relying on diet soda. 

Our blog on, Zero Calorie Drinks for Intermittent Fasting, has more insights on how to reduce your overall calorie intake while hydrating.

BetterMe app will kick you out of the mental funk, shake off your extra weight, rid you off your energy-zapping habits, and help you sculpt the body of your dreams. Intrigued? Hurry up and change your life for the better!

Other Reasons to Quit Diet Soda

Quitting diet soda benefits go well beyond belly fat loss.  Multiple studies have linked regular consumption of diet soda to various health issues, including:

Higher chance of cardiovascular disease: In a 2012 study, daily consumption of diet soda was associated with a higher risk of stroke and heart attack versus no diet soda consumption (7).

Higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome: A 2020 study found that regular intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, artificially sweetened beverages, and total sweetened beverages were all associated with increased risk of metabolic syndrome, a combination of conditions that increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (8).

Dementia: A 2017 study found that higher diet soda intake was associated with a t higher risk of developing dementia, while sugar-sweetened beverages were not (p).

Osteoporosis: The National Osteoporosis Foundation warns that the caffeine in soda can deplete calcium levels, with too much caffeine intake potentially increasing the risk of fractures (10).

Kidney Issues: Some studies have linked diet soda consumption to kidney disease and a decline in renal function over time (2) (5) .

Cancer: Aspartame, a popular artificial sweetener used in diet soda, has been linked to various types of cancer in animal studies (1). Splenda, another common artificial sweetener, has also raised concerns about its potential link to cancer (18).

Humans are not the same as rodents and other animals, and the doses used in these studies are usually much higher than normal human consumption.  However, some people prefer to err on the side of caution. All of these reasons may be compelling enough for some people to quit diet soda for good and switch to healthier alternatives. Don’t just stop drinking diet soda for weight loss, look at the bigger picture of your overall health.

Read more: 24 Weight Loss Smoothies, 2 Diet Plans, and 5 Belly Fat Smoothie Secrets



  • How Much Weight Will I Lose In a Month If I Stop Drinking Soda?

If you stop drinking soda, eat a healthy, balanced, reduced calorie diet and exercise more, you can expect to lose about four pounds in a month. This is especially likely if you currently drink sugar-sweetened sodas regularly, because they contribute a significant number of calories to your daily intake.

However, this is just an estimate, and the actual amount of weight loss varies. How old you are, how much you weigh and other individual factors all factor into the equation.

  • How Long Does It Take To Lose Belly Fat After Quitting Drinking?

It may take several months to see a significant reduction in belly fat after quitting drinking. However, this time frame is highly individual and depends on several factors such as genetics, lifestyle habits, and overall diet.

Consistently making healthier choices and staying away from sweetened beverages can aid in weight loss and contribute to a flatter stomach over time.

  • What Does Diet Soda Do To Your Stomach?

Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners that might cause changes in gut microbiota, the consequences of which are unclear. Diet soda and other artificially sweetened beverage intake has also been linked to overweight, obesity, and increased waist circumference.

  • How Much Weight Can I Lose If I Stop Drinking Soda for a Week?

You won’t see significant weight loss just by cutting out soda for a week. That’s because weight loss takes time and requires a combination of healthy eating, physical activity, and consistency (23). However, it can be a good start toward making healthier choices and reducing your overall calorie intake.

  • If I Stop Drinking Diet Soda, Will My Memory Improve?

While there are some studies linking diet soda consumption to dementia (v), more research is needed to determine the full extent of its effects on memory.

That said, eliminating artificial sweeteners from your diet might have positive benefits for overall brain health and cognitive function in the long run. A 2017 study found that artificially sweetened beverages, such as diet soda, were associated with a higher risk of developing dementia (19).

It’s best to turn to a well-balanced diet with natural sources of nutrients for optimal brain health (3).

The Bottom Line

Quitting diet soda can be a positive step towards improving your overall health and reducing belly fat. However, it’s essential to remember that one single factor won’t lead to drastic changes.

By combining the act of removing diet soda from your diet with healthy lifestyle choices such as regular exercise and a balanced diet, you’ll be on your way to achieving your health goals.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Aspartame and cancer – new evidence for causation (2021, biomedcentral.com) s
  2. Associations of Sugar and Artificially Sweetened Soda with Albuminuria and Kidney Function Decline in Women (2011, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) w
  3. Brain foods – the role of diet in brain performance and health (2021, academic.oup.com) u
  4. Chronic Inflammation (2023, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) j
  5. Diet Soda Consumption and Risk of Incident End Stage Renal Disease (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)) r
  6. Diet soda intake is associated with long-term increases in waist circumference in a bi-ethnic cohort of older adults: The San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging (2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) b
  7. Diet Soft Drink Consumption is Associated with an Increased Risk of Vascular Events in the Northern Manhattan Study (2012, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) n
  8. Dose–response association between sugar- and artificially sweetened beverage consumption and the risk of metabolic syndrome: a meta-analysis of population-based epidemiological studies (2020, cambridge.org) o
  9. Effects of Low-Dose Non-Caloric Sweetener Consumption on Gut Microbiota in Mice (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) e
  10. Frequently Asked Questions – Bone Health & Osteoporosis Foundation (2023, bonehealthandosteoporosis.org) q
  11. Frequent Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption and the Onset of Cardiometabolic Diseases: Cause for Concern? (2017, academic.oup.com) g
  12. How to Beat the Bloat | Northwestern Medicine (n.d., nm.org) h
  13. Intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain: a systematic review (2006, sciencedirect.com) c
  14. Losing Weight | Healthy Weight, Nutrition, and Physical Activity (2023, cdc.gov) l
  15. Low-Dose Aspartame Consumption Differentially Affects Gut Microbiota-Host Metabolic Interactions in the Diet-Induced Obese Rat (2014, journals.plos.org) f
  16. Mechanisms of Body Weight Reduction and Metabolic Syndrome Alleviation by Tea (2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) i
  17. Obesity and inflammation: the linking mechanism and the complications (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) k
  18. Sucralose administered in feed, beginning prenatally through lifespan, induces hematopoietic neoplasias in male swiss mice (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) x
  19. Sugar- and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and the Risks of Incident Stroke and Dementia (2017, ahajournals.org) p
  20. Sugar Beverages and Dietary Sodas Impact on Brain Health: A Mini Literature Review (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) v
  21. Sugar detox symptoms: Withdrawal and treatments (2019, medicalnewstoday.com) m
  22. The Effect of Artificial Sweeteners Use on Sweet Taste Perception and Weight Loss Efficacy: A Review (2022, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) d
  23. Weight-Loss and Maintenance Strategies (2004, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov t
  24. WHO advises not to use non-sugar sweeteners for weight control in newly released guideline (2023, who.int)
150 million people
have chosen BetterMe

I've struggled to maintain programs…

I've struggled to maintain programs before, but somehow I've been able to stick with this. I enjoy the workouts and have made healthy changes to my diet with the challenges. Its nice for something to really have stuck and worked. I did the sugar free challenge and it's really changed how I relate to the signals my body is giving me about the food I'm eating.

Our Journey

This has been an awesome journey for my wife and I. Not only are we losing weight , but we are living a new life style. Our eating habits have been reformed by following the meal plan and our bodies have become stronger by simply doing the ten minute, sometimes twenty minute workouts. It really has been easy and convenient to transition into a healthier routine and has truly re energized our lives moving forward into the future.

It Works! This program is working for me!

lynne R.
This program is working for me! After a little over a month, I have lost 10 pounds. Slow, but steady. Guided exercises are done daily and there is an option to do other routines beside the one chosen for the day. It is very helpful having the recipes for all meals plus a snack. Would like if we could know the ingredients the day before. Makes preparing alot easier. I like the fact that alternative foods are suggested in case you can't eat(or don't like) the recipes listed. This is a very good program. Stick to it and YOU will see results. I have!