Can We Drink Diet Soda and Not Gain Weight?





A recent study was written about in Time magazine, earlier this week. It stated that diet soda caused more belly fat. From the article:

“People who drank diet soda gained almost triple the abdominal fat over nine years as those who didn’t drink diet soda. The study analyzed data from 749 people ages 65 and older who were asked, every couple of years, how many cans of soda they drank a day, and how many of those sodas were diet or regular.”

According to Dr. Freedhoff, a doctor who is also an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa, Author of The Diet Fix and founder of Ottawa’s non-surgical Bariatric Medical Institute the study is flawed.

He states that linking diet soda consumption to weight gain and increased abdominal circumference was missing a few key controls in the study. He counters that the media and articles written about this study left out an important piece: the diet these people followed was not consistent, the only consistency was drinking the soda.

What does it mean?

Dr. Freedhoff explains how  these people could have gained weight by drinking diet soda, because, he estimates, they may also eat more high-calorie foods. Some of us think we can eat french fries or have something equally indulgent, as long as we have a diet soda. It could be that these people thought they were protected somehow from gaining weight, because the diet soda would cancel out those extra calories (since they are not indulging in full calorie soda).

Should we indulge?

There have been several studies conducted about the safety of the chemical ingredients in a diet soda. Some of them have been linked to the possibility of causing cancer, among other unpleasant affects. Many who drink diet soda find their cravings for sweeter foods also increases, which is not good for overall weight maintenance.

Prevention magazine claims there is an 11-year-long Harvard Medical School study of more than 3,000 women, researchers found that diet cola is associated with a two-fold increased risk for kidney decline. Kidney function started declining when women drank more than two sodas a day. The study concluded it was ‘more than likely’ the artificial sweeteners, which were the issue.

Nothing has been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that drinking diet soda is bad for anyone, but if we are trying to take care of our mind, body and overall health in the most optimum way, there are far better beverage choices we can all make. Choosing water or other beverages, which have no additives or possible health risks should weigh into our decisions.

Here are some links below, which talk about the risk of artificial sweeteners and studies on how it may affect risk of diabetes in men.

  1. Artificial sweeteners and cancer. National Cancer Institute. .
  2. Use of nutritive and nonnutritive sweeteners. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2012;112:739.
  3. Nonnutritive sweeteners: Current use and health perspectives. A scientific statement from the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association. Circulation. 2012;126:509.
  4. de Koning L, et al. Sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened beverage consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2011;93:1321.
  5. Common questions about diet and cancer. American Cancer Society.
  6. Water versus diet soda for best weight loss results.


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How much does sleep have to do with weight?


According to a study, all of our internal organs have a clock, which is based in our cells. Apparently, by keeping a regular schedule of eating and sleeping , our clocks stay in alignment.

When we change our sleeping or eating patterns, by getting less sleep because of let’s say work or we travel to a different time zone, our body has to adjust. But, in the short term it creates havoc on our system. Our blood pressure goes up, blood sugar dips and our hunger hormones are out of sync. If it continues over the long run, it can set us up for weight gain and diseases such as Diabetes.

An example given in a recent article on NPR, cited as an example:

So consider what happens, for instance, if we eat late or in the middle of the night. The master clock — which is set by the light-dark cycle — is cueing all other clocks in the body that it’s night. Time to rest.

“The clock in the brain is sending signals saying: Do not eat, do not eat!” says Turek.

But when we override this signal and eat anyway, the clock in the pancreas, for instance, has to start releasing insulin to deal with the meal. And, research suggests, this late-night munching may start to reset the clock in the organ. The result? Competing time cues.

Results of a recent weight-loss study, in which timing of meals shows how it influences the amount of weight people lose was reported in the International Journal of Obesity. It showed that if people ate their main meal earlier in the day, they were more successful at weight loss.

Beyond weight management, the clocks in our bodies, which monitor our different organs are affected by of our sleeping, eating and activities — so to maintain good health, we need to be aware of our natural rhythm and pay attention to its signals.

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Maintaining Weight Loss Is Up to You.


We may think, if only we can just discover the “right” combination of foods, we’ll magically lose weight or maintain what we’ve already lost. The only way to lose weight is less calories in, then what you expend. Period. And the best way to maintain your weight loss is through exercise.

“Exercise is very, very important for maintaining lost weight, and people who are not physically active are more likely to gain their weight back,” says Michael Jensen MD at the Mayo Clinic.

A calorie is a calorie, which means as far as quantity they are all the same, but as far as quality, they are quite different. If you choose more nutritious foods, you can fill up on fewer calories, which help to maintain weight loss. The healthier your food choices the more your body benefits.

Trending: Benefits of BodySculpting EDU

How else do we maintain our weight loss? 

  • Exercise at least an hour, almost everyday.
  • Make sure your workout is not an excuse to eat more calories. Maintain a healthful diet and incorporate regular exercise to keep your weight stable.
  • Don’t overdo exercise, if it wears you out then you might miss your regular activities, which follow your workout. This means you could burn less calories over that day and may even burn less calories than you ingest leading to weight gain.
  • Focus your thoughts on winning and changing the relationship you have to diet and exercise. Positive thoughts, rewards, definitely help you over months, to make new habits.
  • Change up your workout. Cross train, use heavier dumbbells, or bring some other form of resistance training into your workout (if you are only doing aerobic training).
  • Weigh yourself regularly. It’s the best way to catch any possible weight gain before it goes out of control.
  • Drink a lot of water.

If you can practice most of these tips, you will have a much easier time of maintaining your weight loss. For help with incorporating exercise daily, please feel free send me an email

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Welcome to my new blog post.

I know you’re here to learn more about fitness, nutrition and a healthy lifestyle! I can help you to reach your goals.10302045_10153052327218648_3491970537823673509_n

I’ve been involved in fitness, since I came here when I was twenty, as a nanny from Sweden. I discovered aerobics and fell in love! We did not have anything like this back home, so when I moved back to Sweden I opened up an aerobics studio.

To me fitness is a part of having a whole life!

I ended up moving back to the United States in January of 1991, with my husband, who owned a fitness studio. A few months after I arrived, my life changed in an instant! I was hit by a car while walking across the street; I suffered a broken neck among other injuries. I was fortunate in that I did recover, but it took two long years of physical therapy, working out and massage to feel like my old self.

Did I just say massage and working out helped in recovering from my accident? YES!!!

It took about a few months for my fractures to heal, but I still suffered from a constant headache and tension after the accident. Massages saved my life! I worked out and had regular massages, which relieved and released the pain I was in. My accident taught me a lot about the human body and how to heal from injuries, which is why I work with so many people who have been through traumatic physical experiences! I can help them!

Once I was physically able, I started working with my ex-husband. We opened up another studio in Pasadena in 1993 and I am still in the same location 23 years later! I am so fortunate, as to have had clients who have been with me that long, and new ones joining me on a regular basis.

I have kept this business going, because it is my passion, even after the birth of my twin daughters in 1997. I love what I do and fitness is not just my job, but my lifestyle. You can see me out hiking and running the trails in the San Gabriel Mountains, several times a week, or riding my bike, walking or doing yoga.

My philosophy is that you must keep surprising the muscles and stay consistently working out. It’s definitely not about overdoing it in one session, but to work out consistently 3-4 times a week. Most of my clients come in to see me for semi-private training twice a week and do some other form of exercise to supplement.

Have you tried semi-personal training?

It’s an opportunity to receive your own training program, while in the company and support of a few other people. It’s a great way to be fit, get more competitive with yourself and make new friends too. It is a great way to train, rather than having one on one sessions with a trainer, and for a fraction of the price.

I also have six massage therapists, and a Pilates studio, because I know what a difference it makes in overall health and well being.

My keys that I offer to well being and total fitness are to have a sustainable program for the long run meaning:

  • No one is going to the ER for overdoing it!
  • This is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix!
  • It takes a commitment—something to stick with and see results!
  • To lose weight, maintain fitness it takes a combination of eating right, cardio and resistance training—there’s no shortcut!

Injury free is the way to go! Stay consistent and steady, it wins the race!

Please call me, so I can learn more about your goals and if you have injuries or any other obstacles to fitness. I will then have you come in for an in-person consultation. 626.799.7243.

In fitness and health,


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A Quick, Easy, and Healthy Dinner





  • 4 (6-ounce) fresh or frozen sustainable salmon fillets (such as wild Alaskan)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup chopped bottled roasted red bell peppers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7 whole blanched almonds
  • 1 garlic clove


1. Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Coat pan with cooking spray. Arrange fish in pan; cook for 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

2. While the fish cooks, combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, bell peppers, and remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Serve pesto over fish.

3. Sustainable Choice: Look for salmon that’s labeled “wild Alaskan,” and you can be sure that you’re getting a sustainable option.

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