Can You Drink Diet Soda When You're Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting may be one of the easiest diets to follow. There is no calorie counting, no state of ketosis to achieve and maintain, and zero push to buy specific products. The eating plan's one-page rule book has motivated many. And according to statistics shown via Food Navigator-USA, 10% of more than 1,000 Americans between the ages of 18 and 80 years old claim to be intermittent fasting, which makes this eating plan more popular than both clean eating and ketogenic diets.

What exactly is intermittent fasting? Healthline states that this diet is focused around an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. Common patterns include the 16:8, which allows 16 hours for fasting with an eight hour window for eating. And the 14:10, which gives 14 hours of the day to fast and leaves a 10 hour window to eat. We know that during a fasting period we shouldn't be increasing our caloric intake. That's an easy enough rule to follow. But what about diet soda? It doesn't have calories, so does that mean we can drink it during the hours that we fast?

Diet soda comes with a price

Yes, you can. But before you go and pop open a can of your favorite fizzy calorie-free drink, know that it may make it harder to keep fasting. "Technically speaking, most diet sodas that have zero calories will not break a fast," says Autumn Bates, M.S., CCN, a certified clinical nutritionist in California (via The Healthy). "However, if your goal is to lose weight, drinking diet sodas can still work against your weight loss goals by increasing sugar cravings and hunger throughout the day."

Intermittent fasting may be easy to follow because of it's simple rules, but that doesn't mean your growling stomach will easily go ignored. Especially if you are experiencing increased cravings. As per Women's Health, research has pointed out that consuming too many artificial sweeteners, like the ones found in diet soda,  may encourage weight gain and the storage of fat.

So, technically yes, you can drink diet soda while in the fasting period of intermittent fasting. But if you are following this diet in order to lose weight, it might be best to skip the bubbly diet soda all together to avoid hard-to-ignore cravings and an increased appetite. If you are looking to sip on something else besides water while fasting, Healthline recommends calorie-free beverages like tea and coffee (without milk or sugar), or diluted apple cider vinegar. If none of these options sound as tempting as diet soda, you can always try switching to carbonated water to safely get your fizzy drink fix.