I have found that there are two basic schools of thought here with dieters:
- Soda is a godsend, here to quench our thirsts and be our one and only diet beverage. These people drink soda constantly … they assume that since there are no calories, it must count the same as water, and so water never actually enters their bodies.
- Soda is a horrible thing, filled with poisons that do all sorts of nasty things to our bodies. My father-in-law, for instance, truly believes that his poor eyesight is a result of having had diet sodas back in the 80’s. These people wouldn’t touch soda with a 10-foot pole and generally feel the need to let you know how horrible it is while you’re drinking it.
I fall somewhere in between. I realize that soda is in fact not nutritious at all, but I like the bubbles and the flavor and the lack of calories. Bobby seems to fall more towards the second camp, though he didn’t lecture me on the evils that are soda and how the government is using aspartame to control us all, so I’ll say that he’s not so much against it as he is not for it (and yes, before you ask, I DO know someone who honestly believes that). I’m well aware that aspartame is probably not great, and that soda is, in fact, NOT water. I drink 3 litres of water per day on top of my three sodas … until now.
One of Bobby’s requests for these next two weeks was to cut out soda completely. He feels that my body in particular might be sensitive to aspartame, which might be at least part of the cause of such ridiculously slow weight loss. I’m okay with that theory and I’m willing to test it out.
That said, I need something with flavor to drink at meals. In between meals, I have no problem slugging back the clear stuff, but I do enjoy something with a little kick at mealtime. Problem is, I *do not* drink calories. It’s a rare occasion that I’ll even drink an alcoholic beverage (and when I do, good luck to you, because I can’t hold it to save my life), becuase I hate the thought of consuming calories without getting that satiated feeling. So, poor Bobby started making suggestions of calorie-free options that I could have. Coffee? Hate it. Tea? Makes me sick to my stomach.
He finally suggested Vitamin Water. So, I headed to the store to grab a few flavors to try. While I’ll give them props for having a pink website, I’ve never been too enamored with their beverages. I drink them sometimes when I run and don’t need the full power of Gatorade, and I’m usually disappointed. I’ve tried Power-C (dragonfruit), Defense (raspberry-apple), Focus (kiwi-strawberry), and probably a few others. All of those are 75-calories per bottle, so I had trouble bringing myself to pick any of them up this weekend. Even though Bobby wants me to stretch a single 20 oz. bottle for a whole day, I still couldn’t bring myself to drink 75 extra calories per day … that’s enough to add a piece of fruit, or a bite of chocolate.
So, I grabbed a few of their 10 calorie options. None of them are flavored with aspartame, they’re all “natural” sweeteners (read: stevia). I’m wary, but open. My favorite beverages are diet pepsi and k0ol-aid … things that are disgustingly sweet. Stevia products tend to have a bitterness to them.
Today is my first soda-free day for the next two weeks (I may give myself a reprieve this weekend, being that its my 30th birthday and there will be two parties in my honor going on), and I’m drinking VitaminWater10 … the XXX flavor (acai-blueberry-pomegranite). I’m not overly impressed, but I can choke it back for the day.
I’m definitely interested in seeing if a soda-free diet really kick-starts me. I lost 80 pounds drinking almost nothing but diet soda (I fell into that first camp years ago), so I don’t know if I put too much faith in the “body reacts poorly to aspartame” theory, but I know that I DO react poorly to sodium (another topic for another day), so I won’t say its impossible.
So, game on, Bobby … here we go!