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September 5, 2012

Small change, big results

Photo Source: Personal Money Network

Did you know that there’s one small change you can make to your daily regimen that could have a profound effect on both your overall health and your body weight? That change is simple: Cut soda out of your life. All of it. Immediately. Period. (Yes, all soda!)

Trust me when I tell you that years ago (when gaining excess weight and eventually maintaining a body weight of over 450 pounds), I was keeping the soda makers in business. Diet soda makers, to be precise. I would begin every day with several cans of Diet Coke (since I usually woke up “stuffed” with a “Food hangover” from the previous night’s binge). I would then continue to drink Diet Coke throughout the day – often going through up to 12 cans during one day’s time. Just one look at Diet Coke’s ingredients tells us how potentially worthless this 12-ounces of soda is to our bodies.

But that was then. And this is now. And when I started on the path to permanent change and better health – eventually reducing my size by taking off over 250 excess pounds, I cut out soda from the moment I began that journey – yes, even the so-called “diet” kind that touted itself as having virtually no calories. And I’ve never looked back. And boy, does my body continually thank me for that decision.

A quick check-in with the Nutrition Research Center lets us know what happens to our bodies within an hour of drinking regular soda. And no, none of it’s beneficial. The Nutrition Research Center reports that within the first 10 minutes, 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system (which happens to be 100% of your daily recommended intake). After 20 minutes, blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Within 45 minutes the body increases its dopamine production, which stimulates the pleasure centers of your brain (the same exact way heroin works, by the way – so who says soda isn’t addicting?). Within 60 minutes, the sugar crash begins. For the full article on what happens to our bodies when we drink soda, click here.

Based on the above – and based on my own personal experience – in my opinion, there is absolutely no value to canned soda whatsoever. The ingredients are questionable at best and offer nothing nutritious that you can’t get (in a more natural way) from a piece of fruit or other “clean” and “whole” foods.

Water is not only a great thirst quencher, but is also what our body needs – not only for hydration, but also to keep our vital organs functioning (this includes the liver, which helps us to “detox” in natural ways). Add the money you’d save from no longer buying soda and the fact that drinking water would be better for you across the board, and you have every reason to make this “One small change” that could affect your life in so many positive ways.

And water doesn’t have to be boring. Often, I’ll drink sparkling water throughout the day. You can add a slice of lemon, lime or orange to jazz it up, of course. You can also try keeping a pitcher of filtered water in the fridge with added slices of cucumber and lemon to give it a “spa like” quality. You’ll be surprised how refreshing this is. Sure, it might take a few days to change your taste buds, which might be used to the sugar and chemicals found in your go-to soda of choice. But trust me, getting through the change is worth the effort. And, if you’re like me, after a while you’ll never crave (or want) soda again.

Soda makers know people like me are speaking out against them. That’s why their marketing efforts are more pervasive than ever. Take the recent article in The Atlantic, which reports that in the most extensive analysis of the marketing of sugary drinks to kids ever conducted, the Rudd Center has discovered that marketing of these types of drinks to teens and kids is as strong as it’s ever been.

This insightful article goes onto list many of the reasons that canned soda is one of nutrition’s worst enemies:

  • Sodas are the single greatest source of added sugar in the American diet and add little or no nutrition
  • The body does not seem to recognize calories very well when they are delivered via liquids, hence sugary drinks appear to fool the body’s feelings of being full
  • There is very clear evidence linking consumption of these beverages with elevated risk for obesity and diabetes

The Atlantic also reports that the health consequences of consuming sugary drinks are well known. It is not surprising, therefore, that groups such as the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and other groups have said that soda consumption is too high and needs to be reduced.

Need more reasons to stop drinking soda? Check out the list of 22 Reasons to Stop Drinking Soda on WiseBread.com. The helpful list includes the following reasons:

  • The out-of-pocket cost of drinking soda adds up
  • The long-term health consequences lead to high medical expenses
  • Soda increases your blood pressure
  • Soda destroys your teeth
  • Soda contains an ingredient banned in over 100 countries (Brominated Vegetable Oil, which is also banned by the World Health Organization)
  • Soda makes you fat
  • Soda may lead to diabetes
  • Soda may lead to heart disease

The list goes on. For the full list of all 22 reasons (with additional explanations), click here.

Need even more reasons to abandon your soda addiction once and for all? You can find an alarming slide show on 9 Disturbing Side Effects of Soda presented by Rodale.com by clicking here.

Sure, cutting out soda might seem like a big thing to do. But it’s really a small thing. One small change, to be exact – and one that can have maximum impact on your body, your health, your life – without having to change anything else (at least not at this time – LOL!). Come on! You can do it! Join me in leaving soda behind – and off of your daily menu – once and for all.


Photo Source: Fresh Healthy Vending

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2 Responses to “Small change, big results”

  1. Marc says:

    My younger brother started off 2012 weighing about 440 lbs. He is down in the 360’s now. I will send him the link to your blog. Maybe your successful life story can help him acheive the same weightloss goal.

  2. Gregg says:

    Thanks for sharing this with your brother, Marc. Believe me, if I can do it — anyone can do it… Including your brother! It’s great that you’re so concerned about him. And it’s amazing he has already achieved the success that he has. Please let him know I’m pulling for him — and that I believe in him! 100%!


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