Thursday, February 15, 2007

Diet Soda Gets The Low-Carb Thumbs Up

There are plenty of subjects that are considered controversial within the realm of livin' la vida low-carb. From the amount of carbs consumed to the use of artificial sweeteners, we as a community have a uniquely sadistic way of recklessly sabotaging what is by all intents and purposes the best nutritional approach known to mankind. I suppose there are some who just get bored with a plan that works.

That may explain why there are some who are so vehemently opposed to drinking diet soda while on a low-carb diet. I've never really understood this dynamic at all and simply kept smiling while the pounds melted off of me in 2004. As a former Coca-Cola addict which ballooned me up to 410 pounds, I knew I needed an alternative when I started the Atkins diet.

What I did was switch from regular Coke to diet sodas--primarily Diet Rite, Diet Coke with Splenda, Cheerwine, and Pepsi One. This was a monumental step for somebody like me who used to guzzle sugary sodas like they were nothing and NEVER drinking water.

But when I switched from regular to diet soda overnight, I also started drinking water, water, and more water. While I was losing weight, it wasn't uncommon for me to get down two gallons of H2O daily along with my diet sodas. Yes, I'm one thirsty man, but I am thoroughly convinced this was an instrumental part of my success.

Soon thereafter, I become a BIG FAN of diet sodas and have never experienced any adverse effects on my weight and health as a result of drinking them. There has been nothing but positive benefits to diet soda from the day I started drinking them on my low-carb lifestyle.

Since I have been maintaining these past few years, I got the idea that perhaps I should try to cut out my diet soda consumption now in 2007. No, it wasn't because I started believing the preposterous studies like this one showing you can gain weight drinking diet soda, as if sugary soda is better for you than diet soda. ABSURD!

But after about a month of going cold turkey on diet sodas, I couldn't take it anymore. Snacking more, gaining a few pounds, and missing this calorie-free part of my low-carb life, I decided to end my self-imposed diet soda embargo recently and couldn't be happier about my decision.

After blogging about my experience with diet soda, I was pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of feedback I received from so many of my readers about this subject. It was heartening to learn so many of you find diet soda to be an integral part of your low-carb weight management plans as well. It certainly seems diet soda gets the low-carb thumbs up from many of you.

Here are just a few snippets from the e-mails I received:

"Diet sodas are a great treat. I miss the fizzy when I can't get it but I am trying to be a role model for the kids and only have it in the weekends."

"Well, you know that I'm FOR diet soda being that my blog is entitled, I Love Diet Soda. I read about that study that says diet soda makes you gain weight and that's complete rubbish. How can something with no calories make you gain weight? Impossible I say! I drink diet soda because I love its taste and the fact that I can sip on it all day without worrying about excess calories."

"I read your article and totally agree. I don't understand how drinking diet sodas could contribute to a weight gain problem as many articles seem to be saying. Unless people believe that drinking diet sodas allows them to eat more as a substitute for the sugar they are avoiding, I don't see how they can be a negative. If one drinks a certain amount of soda, daily anyway, diet soda can only reduce the overall calories if nothing else is added."

"My triglycerides were extremely high and the doctor put me on medication for this which I didn't like. Every time I stopped the medication, triglycerides would go back up. I decided to try drinking diet sodas only instead of the sugary ones I was drinking. To my surprise and my doctor's, my triglycerides dropped to the normal range without medication. I have stuck with diet sodas ever since."

"I read your article on diet soda and loved it! I have kept off a 70 lb weight-loss of over 5 years and have tried quiting diet soda cold turkey. I have to be honest,I was miserable! I hated not having something sweet to look forward to. Of course I get plenty of flack from some family members that comment about the amount of chemicals, etc. I am consuming, but like you said what is the alternative? I really just wanted to say thumbs up and I'm glad I'm not alone."

WOW, what a response that article received in both my e-mail as well as the whopping 24 comments to my blog post about diet soda. Anyone else have a thought about the subject of diet soda they would like to share? Especially if you are adamantly AGAINST them being a part of a healthy low-carb lifestyle, please share WHY with any evidence to back up what you are saying.

Until I am convinced otherwise, diet soda is here to STAY in my diet.

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Blogger Jeff Hamlin said...

I may have said otherwise on your other post, but I could care less if someone drinks diet sodas or not. If I have to drink something like that, I'd rather it be Diet Rite or any other Splenda-based concoction. Aspartame is ICKY!

2/15/2007 8:32 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

I agree with you, Jeff--I won't be drinking any NASTYtame anytime soon!

2/15/2007 8:36 PM  
Blogger Scott Kustes said...

If weight loss is the only goal, then sure, diet is better than regular. However, I wouldn't consider regular ingestion of manmade chemicals a healthful endeavor. Aspartame and saccharin have already shown to have deleterious effects in the body. I'm not sure the track record of Splenda is so hot either. As an occasional indulgence, artificial sweeteners are fine, but I wouldn't think taking in high quantities of it daily to be a good idea, even if it is calorie-free.

Also, just because you don't experience adverse effects doesn't mean there aren't subclinical negative effects on your body. For instance, most people experience no overt effects from wheat gluten, yet most people also benefit from the removal of it from their diets. That is a subclinical indication. The tongue does prime the body for what is coming down the pipe. When it tastes artificial sweetness, it says "sugar coming" and the body prepares for that. That the sugar never comes doesn't negate the readiness of the necessary enzymes and insulin for processing.

Again, if it keeps you from throwing down on the cookies, have a diet drink. But for a person to switch from 12 Cokes a day to 12 Diet Cokes a day...they haven't really done themselves too many favors.

2/16/2007 8:58 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS for sharing, Scott. I think it's all about choices and making the ones that are right for YOU. If drinking 4-6 diet sodas daily instead of the 16-20 sugary sodas that used to be consumed, then that's progress.

Also, if those diet sodas keep me from nibbling on something I shouldn't, then there is GREAT benefit to it.

THANKS for sharing your comments!

2/16/2007 9:43 AM  
Blogger Jake Silver said...

I love diet soda. I like trying new flavors and it is a great alternative to regular soda. When i need something sweet, it seems much better to have, say... a Pepsi Jazz with a few scoops of Cool Whip Free than a regular ice cream float. About 40 calories versus hundreds? It just makes good sense.

2/17/2007 7:10 AM  

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