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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Best Diet Ever: Only no calorie drinks allowed


Photo by Asif Ali A

Bye, bye, venti, mocha, chocolate, triple, whip, soy, vanilla macchiato! As far as your body is concerned, liquid calories are "ghost" calories. You might drink them, but they don't fill you up like solid food. So not only do you get the extra calories, but you get no satiety for it. Double whammy! The best choice is water. Don't think you've got to drink bottled water unless you've got a few bucks burning a hole in you pocket and if that's the case, why not send it to me instead of wasting it on tap water from Cleveland.

Tap water is a fine choice, but if you like the taste of filtered water, buy a home water filter. I've never used those Brita pitchers, but I have owned the Pur brand that fits your kitchen sink and I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up.
Sugary soft drinks are pure candy. I know lots of people have switched to these Vitamin Water drinks. They have fewer calories, but are still not calorie-free. If you use them to kick your soft drink habit, that's great, but try to wean yourself off of them as well.

What about caffeinated drinks?

Four out of five people on the planet consume caffeine in some for every single day. 5.3 billion people can't be wrong. If you do drink caffeinated beverages, they are a reasonable choice hydration-wise. If you don't, we'll just point and laugh, but we don't mean anything by it. In the past, caffeine was considered a hydration no-no because it is a diuretic. Studies have shown that it is a rather mild diuretic and the amount of water that stays with you vastly exceed the amount that you lose via urination. Obviously, if you've popping No Doze like Pez...that's not the case. Coffee and tea are good choices, as long as you don't load them up with sugar and cream.

What about alcoholic drinks?

Alcohol is a very powerful diuretic and results in a net loss of hydration and alcoholic drinks are definitely not calorie free. Stay away from high-calorie mixed drinks and only drink occasionally. Not only will the calories get you, but alcohol has been shown to inhibit fat burning while it's in your system. If you are really serious about losing fat, seriously consider cutting your alcohol consumption.

What about "diet" drinks?

You don't have to search on the Internet very long to discover that even being in the same room as a diet drink is enough to kill you. People who are against diet drinks are nothing if not passionate in their hatred. I take a slightly less extreme stance...I don't think a diet drink now and again is going to hurt you. There will not doubt be comments left linking to studies showing that aspartame produces methanol, a toxic alcohol, when metabolized by the body. I've read the study...I can't dispute it. It is a very small amount though, and we can't forget that when talking about poisons, we must consider dosage. Even water in too high of a "dose" can kill you, but no one is walking around screaming that water is killing humanity. Personally, I drink, maybe one diet drink every 3 days or so. If I thought I was going to give myself cancer as a result of that, I wouldn't do it. Everyone knows someone who drinks 6+ of these drinks every single day. I don't think I would be comfortable drinking that many. Should you drink them? Only you can decide that for yourself.

Where do you stand on the diet drink debate? Do you drink them or not?

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Joey said...

Let me be the first to say...... I Love Diet Coke!!! I know its bad but I can't help it. I just can't get going in the morning with out it.

I am addicted to the caffiene, if I don't have it by 10:30 or so I get withdrawal headaches.

I wish I didn't have to have but I am not going to try to get off it either.

Nice post by the way.

Fit Club Scott said...

I'm not a diet soft drink drinker, occasionally, but a couple a week is about it.

I am a coffee drinker though, and what do I use to sweeten my coffee? Sweet n Low. It's probably not as good a choice as sugar would be, but I like sweetener and it has the best taste, to me anyway, of the no cal sweeteners.

Like I said in the post, everyone has read the good, the bad, and the ugly about artificial sweeteners, some of it conflicting. Only you can decide.