This article states information from a book review and one authors experiences following the advice to cut soda from her diet. Opinions and views expressed are not necessarily those of Daily Dish Magazine and it’s affiliated sites.
In a previous article, I reviewed Master your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels. This book inspired me to make many dietary changes (and I’m happy to report these changes helped me to reduce my cholesterol by 45 points! With no medication!), and one of the most significant changes was my break up with diet soda.
Soda and I have had a close relationship for many years. I’ve never been a big coffee drinker so soda was my source of caffeine, and I religiously had one soda every morning. Granted, I wasn’t drinking a six pack of soda a day, but one soda a day adds up to at least 365 sodas or 4,380 ounces per year. Multiply that by all of the years I’ve been drinking soda (too many to count), and that’s a whole lot of soda. So about 10 years ago I decided to switch to diet soda; I thought this would be a better option than regular soda because it has no calories. I had seen plenty of articles about how bad diet soda is for you, but I figured it wasn’t a big deal for me since I only had one soda per day. Then I read Master your Metabolism.
I’d always heard that diet soda can actually cause weight gain, but I learned the theory behind this. Essentially, your body sees the sweetness in diet soda and gets confused, since sweetness is usually associated with high-calorie foods. Since artificial sweeteners don’t have any calories, your body begins to “think” that it needs more calories to get what it needs, thereby causing you to eat more. And after enough time, this could even be irreversible! Not to mention all of the other potential harms of diet soda that are mentioned in the book.
But switching back to regular soda isn’t any better. The High Fructose Corn Syrup in regular soda affects hormones that regulate your appetite, along with increasing your risk of diabetes, high triglycerides and a number of other issues.
So, after many years of drinking diet soda, and many attempts to quit drinking it, I finally quit. And this time, it really wasn’t that hard because every time I thought about wanting to drink a soda, I would think about all the nasty things it does to my body and lost my appetite for it. I began to actually enjoy drinking alternatives like green tea which I had always insisted I hated (and without any added sweeteners). But the biggest motivation for me to keep with it came on about day 10 of not drinking soda. About half way through my day I suddenly felt very strange; I had a difficult time focusing, and I became incredibly forgetful (like forgetting what I was saying while I was saying it!). Sometimes I’m a little forgetful but nothing this intense. I was still drinking caffeine in green tea so I knew it wasn’t due to caffeine withdrawal. I happened to do some research on the internet and found that these symptoms could likely be due to my body’s withdrawal from artificial sweetener. That was the proverbial ‘nail in the coffin’ for me, and I’ve now been without diet soda for over four months. And the best part is that I feel less hungry, have more energy, and I lost over 7 pounds just by cutting out diet soda alone.
If you’ve been considering eliminating soda from your diet, I’d encourage you to read Master Your Metabolism. It just might be the motivation you need.