Low calorie sweetened drinks are more effective at weight loss and maintenance than water. This was found by a year-long trial by Peters et. al (2015) following 303 overweight and obese people, who undertook 12 weeks of active weight loss and 40 weeks of weight maintenance.
The low calorie sweetener group was asked to consume at least 710 ml of low calorie beverages per day such as those containing Aspartame, Sucralose and Stevia. The water group was asked to consume at least 710 ml of water per day and avoid consumption of all low calorie sweetened drinks. All participants received a cognitive-behavioral weight loss intervention involving weekly 60-min instructional classes.
The low calorie drinks group not only achieved greater weight loss during the first 12 weeks, but also achieved better weight maintenance and a more significant decrease in waist circumference compared to the water group. This study confirms that low calorie sweetened drinks can be an effective tool to help in weight loss and maintenance.
Peters JC, Beck J, Cardel M, Wyatt HR, Foster GD, Pan Z, Wojtanowski AC, Vander Veur SS, Herring SJ, Brill C and Hill JO. “The effects of water and non-nutritive sweetened beverages on weight loss and weight maintenance: A randomized clinical trial.” Obesity. Published online ahead of print on 26 December 2015. Available here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.21327/abstract