Kick the Can

Photo Credit: Creative Commons / flickr Beau B

Years ago, I told Robyn that I thought her love for Diet Coke wasn’t healthy for her. Somewhere along the line I had heard that diet beverages actually lower your metabolism for a net result of weight gain, not loss, and a more unhealthy lifestyle. Chew on this, from Jillian Michaels’ book Master Your Metabolism:

“A huge retrospective study of ninety-five hundred people over nine years found that eating meat and fried foods and drinking diet soda were the three most prominent risk factors of whether people developed metabolic syndrome. Compared with people who drank none, those who drank just one can of diet soda a day had a 34 percent greater incidence of metabolic syndrome.”

Michaels goes into the full explanation of what artificial sweeteners do to our bodies and what the risk factors are. You can read for yourself sometime if you’d like, but suffice it to say, this stuff’s got to work its way out of our house. If that big picture doesn’t do it, perhaps this reality will:

“Consumption of soft drinks has increased 500 percent in 50 years. Every corn syrup or sugar-sweetened drink a child consumes each day increases his or her obesity risk 60 percent.”

What are we drinking these days?

  • Water (and lots of it)
  • Natural juices
  • Coffee, Tea
  • The occasional glass of wine or beer (though care must be taken over the empty calories here)

Does this mean we will never have a soft drink? Probably not. We may still sneak the occasional one here-or-there. But by and large the trend has to change. Away from the sweetened beverages and on to the more natural ones.

Sticking with water as a primary beverage is a big shift and, to be honest, it can get a bit boring. Liven things up by adding a couple slices of orange or lemon. There are dozens (hundreds?) of teas out there as well that can add some natural flavor to your beverage intake.

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