I drink a lot of Diet Pepsi. I mean, like a lot. So much that the amount of money we spend on Diet Pepsi each month could pay a good chunk of our utility bill or we should be socking it away for retirement.
I obviously know/knew that drinking all this diet soda was probably not health-promoting, but I was thinking more in terms of aspartame being the villain. I also was vaguely aware that soda in general can encourage the development of osteoporosis. I mean, I’m not stupid. I knew that drinking a ton of Diet Pepsi every day wasn’t good for me. I just sort of blocked out most info that it’s actually bad for me.
But after Pepsi announced a few years back that they were removing aspartame from their diet soda and replacing it with a less controversial sweetener, I felt less worried about consuming the drinks. I somehow totally missed the info that Pepsi went back to using aspartame sometime in 2016.
But since I’m currently generally trying to improve my health and fitness levels after gaining a whole lot of weight in the last 4-5 years, I started paying more attention to what other people tell me about how they lost weight. And more than a few people have told me that they lost weight simply by giving up diet sodas.
This made no sense whatsoever to me given that diet sodas have no calories, but I decided to do a little research into whether diet sodas actually have any impact on weight. What I found was pretty disturbing. It appears that there’s basically no question that consuming large quantities of artificial sweeteners like I do significantly increases your risk of obesity, particularly your risk for adding abdominal fat, which is my greatest nemesis at the moment, and which is considered tthe most dangerous kind of fat to have on your body.
This info totally has my attention. It both scares me (what long term health problems have I possibly incurred already by my adult lifetime of guzzling diet drinks?) and has me motivated (once I learned the facts, I immediately switched out 90% of my Diet Pepsi consumption for water that I am drinking out of a Diet Pepsi bottle, appealing to my habit of carrying around a Diet Pepsi bottle all the time). I’m still allowing myself half of a Diet Pepsi in the morning for caffeination purposes but I’m aware that I need to find a healthy caffeine replacement, like the tea that Jon drinks. I’ve never liked coffee at all, so that’s not an option, but I know now that I really have to ditch the diet soda altogether.
But I really, really miss my Diet Pepsi. When I’m hot, like after doing my walk/run routine, nothing makes me cool down faster than a really cold, highly caffeinated, sweet-tasting diet soda. And when I eat anything salty, I crave diet soda as well. Plus, as I mentioned, drinking bottles of Diet Pepsi is just a bad habit for me. I like having one nearby when I’m writing, cleaning the house, sitting out on the porch, at a movie, with meals – you name it. In fact the only place you will find me without a bottle of Diet Pepsi at hand is in church, and I miss it for that hour. I’m obviously, utterly addicted.
I know I’m not alone in my diet soda addiction. The stuff sells like crazy to people like me. In fact one study found that one fifth of all Americans down at least one diet soda each day. And at least that many of us are fat. And it turns out that that’s no coincidence.
This getting healthier thing is not terribly easy, is it? First with the running (oy!) and now having to break a habit that I’ve had for many years. A habit that I already really miss. But these studies have really alarmed me. However, they have also given me some hope that ditching the Diet Pepsi for water will really help my weight loss efforts.
Do you drink diet sodas? Is it just an occasional thing or are you battling an addiction like I am? Have you ever given up diet sodas and have you seen any weight loss from it? I could really use some encouragement on this front so please share your diet soda struggles with me.