Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ditching the 'diet' drinks

This post is purely a big, huge shout-out to a good friend and old colleague who called me last week with earth-shattering news (and I'm dead serious here). "I've been Diet Coke free for 3 days and counting," she tells me. We're now going on 8 days but who's counting. This is an incredible feat for someone who formerly drank the stuff like water. We're talking starting the day off, definitely not coffee or a grande latte, but with a nice 32 ouncer of DC. Something clicked a few years ago and every time I would touch base with her, the consumption of this bubbly, sweet, calorie-free beverage was whittling it's way down little by little. Congrats my friend, you've officially broken a habit - some might go as far as calling it an addiction. That's an incredible accomplishment!

What's honestly so vile about diet sodas though? I mean, come on, they're calorie-free, bubbly, give you that little afternoon 'sugar' boost. Call them what you will -- satan or a god-send -- the bottom line is that diet sodas are artificially sweetened. The research is still out on the long-term affects of sweeteners, though some studies are now showing that consumption of them in large quantities may impact weight gain. I know, crazy to think because they don't have calories. But they do have an extremely sweet taste, which in my experience with many, many clients I've worked with, may heighten your flavor palette for sweet things (calorie-laden or not) and can urge you to crave more sweets, more frequently. Not such a great pattern to get into. Check out this Purdue study that came out earlier this year, citing that articifically-sweetened (sugar-free, 'diet', no sugar added) foods may trick our brain and stomach in not feeling a sense of satiety, and thus, eating more than we really need to. In essence, the sweeteners don't register.
If you're a frequent sipper, ditch the DC and my guess is you'll feel drastically different. Much less tired, much more energized, fewer sweet/carbohydrate cravings, more satisfied at mealtimes...the list could go on.

So what's my friend drinking instead of darling DC these days? She's found a new love for green tea mixed with raspberry zinger over ice...um, delish and a nice little shot of antioxidants too boot. Lastly, a small plug for my good friend's amazing artwork (yup, that gorgeous painting above is hers!). Checkout her paintings and website here.
Cheers LL!

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