Welcome to my continuing mini-series, The Soda Chronicles. This is Part Four, or Why I Switched from the Sugar Stuff to No Soft Drinks At All.
So on September 30, 2014, I decided to stop drinking diet soft drinks (really, to halt my intake of artificial sweeteners completely) and switch to regular sugar sodas again. While this might seem strange, given all the good reasons I got off sugar-laden soft drinks to begin with, I had a plan. In a word, “moderation.”
We hear that word all the time. In the Dieting Universe it’s the Secret to Everything. Sugar? Okay in moderation. Alcohol? That too. Eating Crisco right out of the tub with a spoon? As long as you do it in moderation, you’re gold.
So that was my plan: maybe have one each week. This wouldn’t kill me and I wouldn’t feel like I was having to give up something I love forever and ever.
But around this time I also took my blood sugar reading again, and although not high, per se, it was still higher than I wanted it to be. And at that moment I decided to not only give up artificial sweeteners, but also try and limit carbs to about 100g per day. Every day. Even on Soda Pop Saturday (or whatever day it would be).
No, soft drinks would have to wait for a while. All of them.
This wasn’t the first time I’d given them up completely. About once a year, the whole “artificial sweetener” thing hits me again. I’d re-read all the negative press on them and I stop to think, “Is that wonderful fizzy hit I get once, twice or six times a day worth the risk?” In the end I would always justify it with, “Doesn’t everyone get at least one vice? I don’t smoke, I’m not an alcoholic, I don’t do drugs or juggle cats: can’t diet soda pops just be that one little thing that brings a ray of sunshine into my day?”
But then I kept thinking of all the times where I did give it up and realized a number of things happened to me:
1. After a while, I felt less hungry.
2. Feeling less hungry, I’d eat less.
3. After eating less for a while, I’d lose weight.
I took statistics in college, so I know that correlation doesn’t not imply causation. But this was too much of a coincidence. But I also know that even if I accept a causation link, the question of direction is then introduced. For example, both of these scenarios are possible:
1. At the point I give up diet sodas, weight loss becomes easier.
2. At the point where I start losing weight easier, I no longer crave diet sodas.
I struggled with all of this for four months until February 5, 2015 when I received positive scientific confirmation from a friend of mine via Facebook: “Yeah, I tried testing if I REALLY had to know the correct product of your multiplication question. Apparently you do. It kicked me back to the comment page and deleted my typing.”
Oh. Sorry. That was a problem she had with my site’s captcha system (which I’ve now removed: let the spam flow). No, here’s what she had to say about artificial sweeteners: “So, artificial sweetener free for 3 years and I am losing weight more easily than EVER before. EVER.”
So there you have it. No artificial sweeteners. But no sugar soft drinks now either.
What in the H. E. Double Hockey Sticks am I going to do now!? Well, you’ll just have to tune in next week for the exciting conclusion of The Soda Chronicles.
(That gives me one week to figure it out.)