Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dump Diet Soda for Health and Weight Loss Success

It may seem to some that the suggestion to dump the diet soda goes against the idea of losing weight. The truth is that diet sodas do NOT help you lose weight. The reasons why may be controversial, but here are some of the facts behind and non...that might just burst your soft drink bubble.

Bone Killers: some sodas will actually take calcium out of your bones. Sodas with caffeine seem to be the biggest culprits here...whether the soda is diet of regular doesn't seem to matter.

Diabetes Risk: even one diet soda a day is linked to a increased odds of risk of both Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease. Research has not conclusively shown why, but one possibility is the caramel flavoring in cola, which actually affects the boy at a molecular level and inhibits the ability to process sugar.

Weight Gain: yep, diet sodas can actually lead to weight gain because they increase carbohydrate cravings and get us used to taking in super sweet substances.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup: switching to regular soda is not necessarily healthier...most are filled with HFCS which is complete void of nutrition, spikes the body's blood sugar levels and get us on the simple carb roller coaster ride of wanting more carbs to help fight the fatigue caused by the inevitable sugar crash.

The healthiest solution is to drink lots of clean, pure water. Although tap water is "safe" I filter mine to get rid of the chemicals that municipalities put in it to make it safe.

Sometimes plain water is just not enough though, so if you want some flavor to your drink here are some of my favorite suggestions:
  • Add a splash of 100% fruit juice
  • Toss in some fresh berries (or frozen if you want a chill)
  • Squeeze in a little lemon or lime juice
  • Throw in some ice cubes made from juice or with berries hidden inside
  • Brew some green or herbal tea...chill it for a summertime treat
If you absolutely want the bubbles then try club soda or naturally bubbly water. While I don't recommend drinking lots of it (after all, the bubbles are from Carbon DiOxide...a gas that our bodies consider a waste product) as an occasional treat it gets my green light. Mix it up with the suggestions above or try adding a sprig or two of mint for a zero calorie refresher!

Don't think you can cut out the soda habit entirely? Try cutting it in half! Get your taste buds used to less sweet by splitting the soda pop with club soda or Perrier. Alternate plain water with a bubbly drink to reduce the number of sodas in a day.

Remember, improving your health and losing weight permanently is a gradual process. Don't expect to make the change in a day...keep at it and find the balance that works for you...and don't be surprised to see you have actually lost weight once you've dumped the diet soda habit!

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