You know that thing where you buy a Diet Coke instead of a 'full fat' and congratulate yourself on a small victory against your impending gut? Yeah it's not a thing.
New research has concluded that sugar-free soft drinks could be as harmful to your diet as the normal versions.
In fact, diet drinks, known as artificially sweetened beverages (ASBs) could actually lead to you consuming more calories, as they stimulate your sweet taste buds.
Co-author Dr Maria Carolina Borges, from the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil, said: 'The lack of solid evidence on the health effects of ASBs and the potential influence of bias from industry funded studies should be taken seriously when discussing whether ASBs are adequate alternatives to SSBs (sugar-sweetened beverages)."
Meanwhile, senior investigator Professor Christopher Millett, from Imperial College London's School of Public Health, dismissed the idea that sugar-free drinks are in any way healthier: "A common perception, which may be influenced by industry marketing, is that because 'diet' drinks have no sugar, they must be healthier and aid weight loss when used as a substitute for full sugar versions. However, we found no solid evidence to support this."
Of course, it's not recommended that you switch to the full-sugar versions of your favorite drink, either. If you want to stick to your health resolution, it's best to opt for a glass of water. Which is fun.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.