- Diet & Weight Loss
Stop Drinking Soda Now
Last year I finally stopped drinking soda, and it was the best thing that I ever did. This hub chronicles how I once loved soda, and I would say giving it up is a good thing.
Most people are excited to start drinking legally at the age twenty-one (here in the US), but I never had much of an interest in alcohol because I personally do not like the taste. However, I have always had a little bit of a sweet tooth in moderation, except by the time I reached the age of twenty-one I started giving into my cravings way too often. At first, I started drinking soda as an alternative to coffee, and a way to stay alert during my senior year of college. Over time I became addicted to the powerful sugar and caffeine combination in each little bottle of Coca Cola, so from time to time I would drink diet soda , which is not healthy. During my freshman year of college I had lost thirty pounds because I started eating fewer carbs, but during my senior year of college I ended up gaining the fabled "freshman 15" plus some because of my new found love of soda.
However, I did not stop drinking soda, and this beverage began to take its toll on my metabolism. During my senior year of college, I also started drinking caramel frappucinos and eating brownies at Starbucks when I volunteered to help international students with their English conversational skills. I was lured to the Starbucks either before or after volunteering at the extension center, but these little treats began to add up as a financial and caloric expense. Did I really need these treats? No, but I love sweets and they cloyingly called my name from across the street! After college, I continued indulging in sweets, and as a concession, I started drinking diet soda. However, I really never liked the taste of artificial sweetener, so a few years ago I started drinking the regular soda again and my weight went up. Over the last couple of years, I have stopped drinking soda entirely, but this has been very difficult and I must stick with it! Kicking soda to the curb is helping to cut down a number of sweets I consume on a daily basis and lower my overall weight. Goodbye soda and hello to a more healthy me! Walking and not drinking soda has helped me to lose weight, and get back into shape.
Soda Was Not Always My Favorite
At one time soda was not one of my favorite drinks. When I moved into the dorms during freshman year I actually lost weight because I stopped snacking on chips and salsa, bread, and crackers, and I started eating more healthy in general. During my freshman year, I would say my overall eating habits were excellent and soda really was of no interest to me. Most students were going back the unlimited soda fountain several times during meals, but I was drinking non-fat milk with meals and actually losing weight. Over that summer I was impressed people noticed I had lost weight, so I decided to lose even more and became anorexic. By the time I was a sophomore I went down to 97 pounds at one point, and if it were not for the pressure of a few friends and family I probably would have lost way too much weight. When I reached the age of twenty-one I decided I was through with looking super slender, and wanted to start having more sweets. Some people may look good at hundred pounds, but I was surely not one of them. When I went out for friends I started ordering sodas and Starbucks drinks because they did, and for the first time in years I was enjoying sweets. Soda in conjunction with Starbucks indulgences was not good for my weight in the long term. I was happy to have gained twenty pounds because I looked more vibrant, but looking back I wish I had regained that weight in a more healthful fashion than by simply consuming sweets.
Calories, Calories, Calories!
A person has to consume approximately 3,500 calories to gain one pound of weight, which can happen pretty quickly if you are drinking one or more bottles of soda per day. A twenty-ounce bottle of my favorite coca-cola soda has 250 calories, and over 23% of the daily allotted amount of carbohydrates. I am so bad when it comes to my love of soda and I admit to having recently guzzled up to two bottles of this sweet concoction per day, which is an astounding 500 calories my body did not need! Do the math and you will begin to see why I put on weight and was unable to take it off. Actually, when I started running back in 2002 I lost a considerable amount of weight, but the level of exercise required to maintain this weight was very difficult. Also, between 2002 and 2004 I was drinking a bit less soda, but in 2004 I started drinking more soda. At the time I felt I could splurge since I was in constant pain and could no longer go running, so I ended up going back up to my original weight over time. Calories can be the enemy when trying to keep weight off, so drinking soda did not help in this battle.
The Diet Soda Fantasy
I started drinking diet soda between 2005-2006, and I lost weight. Instead of walking, I started walking long distances. Another fantasy I had about diet soda was I was being more healthy when I consumed this, but often it prompted me to eat more desserts because I thought I was "saving" on calories. Whenever I had a diet soda it made my sweet tooth craving worse and I ended up eating more real sweets than I would have in the first place. Between 2005-2006 I think my weight would have been even lower if I had not been drinking diet soda, especially since this concoction just made me crave more sweets than I would have if I had been drinking regular soda. Better yet, I should not have been drinking soda at all, but that is part of the daily battle. Life is not all about how much you weigh, but as someone who has struggled with keeping my weight in a healthy weight range due to my love of sweets, it is something to keep in mind.
Weight Gain And The All Out Battle With Soda
By 2007 I started drinking regular soda again, which resulted in an extreme weight gain for me. Drinking two sodas per day surely did not help, and the weekly Starbucks drinks and other sweets just made this situation worse. Around 2008 I finally decided drinking soda is a waste of money, resources, and my figure. This may sound dramatic, but honestly, I really do not want to spend the rest of my life drinking sugar, and it was time for a change. I walk many miles a week and I am pretty active on my feet at work, so drinking soda had slowed down my metabolism and caused weight gain I was not happy with. Finally, I have gone back to drinking water and iced tea, and I no longer crave the soda. I used to guzzle down sodas several times a day, but one day I drank part of a warm soda and started to rethink this practice. Although a cold soda truly hits the spot in my mind, a warm soda tastes very syrupy and sort of disgusting. So the next time I reached for a soda I tried to conjure the taste of a tepid and overly sweet soda that was making me throw up. This may sound gross, but creating this mental picture has helped me to stop grabbing sodas and making runs to the store for soft drinks. Not only has stopped drinking soda helped me to lose weight, but I am now saving quite a bit more money. The price of $1.59 for a 20 oz soda at the convenience store adds up here and there, and I can spend this money on better things. Now I am happy to report that I no longer crave soda.