Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Giving Up Diet Coke

Today marks the 15nth day since I've had a Diet Soda.

Now, this may not seem like a big deal to you, but I've been drinking diet coke (or coke zero, or tab, or diet pepsi, or pretty much any low calorie soda) since college pretty steadily.  I don't drink coffee, and it was my caffeine of choice for a very long time.  And there were days where I'd easily drink 4 or 5 cans, or a couple of 32 oz glasses.  I had a pretty serious habit.

I didn't give it up for Lent, or for political reasons, or for financial reasons.  I didn't even give it up for health reasons (well, not entirely.  I've known that diet coke was not a mystery superfood for quite some time.)

I've been reading a book by Mark Bittman(NY Times Food writer) called VB6-- in which he elaborates on a scheme he came up with when he was 57 to lose weight, feel better, and not die.

The plan, such as it is, is to eat lots of whole foods mostly vegetables, make meat a treat not a staple,, not eat lots of prepared items, and before 6 pm, eat a strict vegan diet-- after 6, you can go crazy within reason.  He's a food critic, and since he mostly eats crazy food at night, it made sense for him for that 6 pm deadline.  He says in the book that 6 is an arbitrary number that worked for him, and if you want to eat your meat for breakfast go ahead.  He also says he's not a doctor, that it worked for him, and that his work as a food critic showed him that the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) is in fact sad.

I highly recommend the books.  To find out more about VB6-- look at the books at Amazon below-- you can browse through them and pick up a couple of recipes for free.

I've been following this advice for the last  month or so, and I've lost about 15 lbs (although on a big person like me, that could easily be water weight)  And 15 lbs is literally a drop in the bucket of what I need to lose.  (I'd like to lose about 65 more lbs.  And even if I did, the American Medical Association would still consider me on the borderline of obese! Thanks Obama!)

What appeals to me about VB6 is that it's not about counting, and it's relatively strict, but gives a little leeway EVERYDAY. Before this I was having some success by counting all of my calories using Lose It, and following a low carb diet recommended by the 4 Hour Work Week guy.

 When I started following the diet, I continued to drink diet soda.  I decided to quit for a couple of reasons.

A) to see if I can.
B) to reduce the amount of chemicals I'm putting in my body, which can't be good.
C) to drink more water, which EVERY diet recommends.

I've got a full 12 pack of soda in the fridge, and although I've been tempted to break the seal, and I've had a couple of caffein headaches, so far, so great.  I've been drinking almost entirely water, and a couple of times I've had tea.

Since I've decided to quit, I have been reading a lot more about how addictive diet soda is, and how damaging it can be (And you can probably hear my wife saying "I told you so" in the background!)

I might have diet coke in the future, but I'm not sure that I'm good at regulating my usage-- I may be an aspartame-a-holic.  (Is there a 12 step program?)

Here's a couple of the articles  I've been reading.
(from which the infographic was taken)

What's your relationship with Diet Soda?


Larry Bernstein said...

Good luck with the diet.
My wife is a big caffeine person. She drinks too much soda. I encourage her not to but my words fall on deaf ears.

Adam Gertsacov said...

It's really hard not to drink caffeine.

Even now, as I pass the refrigerator, I have an urge to open up that box and drink a diet coke straight down. I know it won't make me feel better, but it's still an urge.

As I said, I may be an aspartame addict!

Caleb Mears said...

Our Racetrac gas stations here in Texas has a summer promotion called "Sodapalooza". You pay $8 for a cup that offers free re-fills from about April through July. For those of us with the caffeine craving and an all around lover of soda, this is difficult.