OK, you have worked hard to get your weight off, broke through some barriers and learned new habits to replace the old ones that kept you at an unhealthy weight. And now is the time where the real work begins as you learn how to maintain the new you. My own maintenance journey has been full of pitfalls and setbacks as I have engaged again in everyday life. It’s the daily choices we make and the little bit here & a little bit there of the wrong foods that put the weight back on. I cannot stress enough the importance of paying attention and gaining knowledge about what you put in your body every day. My hope in writing this article is to help you understand the beverage industry and how it impacts your long-term success.
Rethink What You Drink
Most people try to reduce their calorie intake by focusing on food, but what’s more important is to understand the calories and dangers found in what you drink.
Secret #1 ~ The single biggest source of calories in America is soda pop.
All of us know that pop is nothing more than sugar-water and that it’s devoid of any nutritional value and it leads to obesity. There are several other, often overlooked reasons that most people don’t know about as to why you should kick the soda pop habit.
Did you know that drinking regular soda pop increases fat buildup? Danish researchers discovered that drinking non-diet soda leads to dramatic increases in fat buildup around your liver and your skeletal muscles, both of which can contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes. The study revealed that people who drank a regular soda every day for six months saw a 132 to 142 percent increase in liver fat, a 117 to 221 percent jump in skeletal fat, and about a 30 percent increase in both triglyceride blood fats and other organ fat. Their consumption also led to an 11 percent increase in cholesterol, compared with the people who drank other beverages such as water or milk.
Did you know the color caramel is cancer-causing? In 2011, the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban the artificial caramel coloring used to make Coke, Pepsi, and other colas brown. The reason: Two contaminants in the coloring, 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, have been found to cause cancer in animals, a threat the group says is unnecessary, considering that the coloring is purely cosmetic. According to California's strict Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer, just 16 micrograms per person per day of 4-methylimidazole is enough to pose a cancer threat, and most popular brown colas, both diet and regular, contain 200 micrograms per 20-ounce bottle.
Did you know pop may accelerate aging? Diet or regular, all colas contain phosphates, or phosphoric acid, a weak acid that gives colas their tangy flavor and improves their shelf life. Although it exists in many whole foods, such as meat, dairy, and nuts, too much phosphoric acid can lead to heart and kidney problems, muscle loss, and osteoporosis, and one study suggests it could trigger accelerated aging. The study, published in a 2010 issue of the FASEB Journal, found that the excessive phosphate levels found in sodas caused lab rats to die a full five weeks earlier than the rats whose diets had more normal phosphate levels—a disturbing trend considering that soda manufacturers have been increasing the levels of phosphoric acid in their products over the past few decades.
In addition to pop there are other drinks that contribute to weight gain and prevent Americans from sustaining a long-term healthy weight. The CDC has created a chart that illustrates the impact of hidden calories in other daily drinks. This CDC chart is worth spending time reading.
Regarding calories in your drink choices, take a look at what a very popular drink at Starbucks has packed into it. The Starbucks White Hot Cocoa with whipped cream seems like good choice on a cold winter morning. Think again, this frothy drink comes packed with 520 calories, 16 grams of fat and 75 grams of sugar. Your blood sugar will hit the ceiling in minutes. Instead select the Starbucks Skinny Vanilla Latte, Grande since it has 130 calories and is a much better choice at America’s favorite coffee house.
Diet Pop is NOT the Answer!
Many people think that a diet pop is the best way to go because the label shows no calories and no sugar. Right?
Wrong! That caramel-colored bubbly diet pop like, just like it’s counterpart, comes with its own set of side effects that may harm your health—from inducing kidney problems to adding inches to your waistline. Yep, inches to your waistline.
Prevention magazine listed the top 4 reasons you need to kick the diet cola habit as welll….now!
Here’s something you didn’t know about your diet soda: It might be bad for your kidneys. In an 11-year-long Harvard Medical School study of more than 3,000 women, researchers found that diet cola is associated with a two-fold increased risk for kidney decline. Kidney function started declining when women drank more than two sodas a day. Even more interesting: Since kidney decline was not associated with sugar-sweetened sodas, researchers suspect that the diet sweeteners are responsible.
According to a 2008 University of Minnesota study of almost 10,000 adults, even just one diet soda a day is linked to a 34% higher risk of metabolic syndrome, the group of symptoms including belly fat and high cholesterol that puts you at risk for heart disease. Whether that link is attributed to an ingredient in diet soda or the drinkers’ eating habits is unclear. But is that one can really worth it?
You read that right: Diet soda doesn’t help you lose weight after all. A University of Texas Health Science Center study found that the more diet sodas a person drank, the greater their risk of becoming overweight. Downing just two or more cans a day increased waistlines by 500%. Why? Artificial sweeteners can disrupt the body’s natural ability to regulate calorie intake based on the sweetness of foods, suggested an animal study from Purdue University. That means people who consume diet foods might be more likely to overeat, because your body is being tricked into thinking it’s eating sugar, and you crave more.
A Hangover that Hangs On
Your first bad decision was ordering that Vodka Diet—and you may make the next one sooner than you thought. Cocktails made with diet soda get you drunker, faster, according to a study out of the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia. That’s because sugar-free mixers allow liquor to enter your bloodstream much quicker than those with sugar, leaving you with a bigger buzz.
I will be adding new “secrets” each week for keeping your weight off permanently. Stay tuned for the next secret from Your Diet Diva Blog!
Eat This, Not That
CDC (Center for Disease Control)