As we are perhaps all wont to do, I’ve gained a bit of weight in my older age. Don’t take this the wrong way … I’m not exactly fat by any standard, and I don’t look old. But I do have a very slim frame, and the weight was all going to my belly.
As I’ve now discovered, this was due in large part to my love of Coke and Cherry Coke … or really, any sort of tasty fizzy soda. Hey, if Warren Buffett loves Cherry Coke, it can’t be all bad, right? Well, he probably doesn’t drink two or three cans a day either!
The first thing I tried was switching to Gatorade or a lighter drink. Well, going cold turkey (aka water only) was just not cutting it. And Gatorade actually has just as much sugar, so that tasted worse and wasn’t really any better. As a kid, I used to dilute Gatorade mix and drink it, but I just don’t have the time or the willpower to futz with that any more.
Turns out I need some sugar throughout the day. And I really enjoy the fizziness you get from a soda, which I find really refreshing.
Knowing that moderation is often a much more sustainable approach, I set out to find the next best thing … soda with less sugar. After all, the way I drink sodas tends to be haphazard. I open the soda to get that first refreshing hit of cold fizz and sugar. And then, after two or three swigs, I’m actually pretty sated. But the can is open, and now I’m obligated to keep drinking from it because it’s there.
So … OK, this can’t be too hard to look for, right? Shockingly, half sugar drinks without artificial sweeteners are incredibly onerous to find. So obscure are they, in fact, that one starts to think there must be some sort of sugary conspiracy in the works. And who really enjoys the taste of artificial sweeteners? I can’t believe there’s a market for that stuff.
Regardless, I finally found some palatable alternatives in the form of Grown Up and Dry Soda. With roughly half the calories, the sodas still taste quite decent. I’ve taken to the Ginger Ale and Cola flavors quite well. The lavender flavor is OK, but gets tiresome quickly. Same with the Apple flavor. The Blood Orange flavor is sticking with me so far, however.
I’m actually surprised at how effortless it all was. I would say I dropped from 155 lbs to 146.5 lbs over the course of three weeks, and really didn’t have to change much. I allow myself to drink Coke when eating out (which means mostly on the weekends) and it hasn’t really impacted my weight at all, so I suspect this is going to be sustainable over the long term.
I still find myself snacking quite a bit a night, although the chips have been cut out. And recently I find myself quite hungry at night, which I believe is my body telling me that we’ve run into the limits of what changing out the snacking and soda routine is going to accomplish. But I’m at a pretty good weight right now, so I’m just going to let it ride.