Bye old friend: Quitting Diet Coke.
April 18th, 2015
It’s now been one month since I quiet Diet Coke cold turkey. I had been drinking 6-8 cans per day, from when I woke up to when I went to sleep. That’s a lot, but I’d been drinking more or less that for about 10 years. I don’t like coffee or tea, so soda was my only source of caffeine, which I thought I needed to exist.
A few things made me decide to give quitting a try now. I wasn’t doing it for health reasons, so the idea of quitting as a challenge of will to myself was appealing. This also seemed like sort of a psychological trick. With no perceived urgency to give up soda, the stress I felt about leaving my habit behind was almost nonexistent. Second, I’m vain, and I wanted to see if there was anything to the claims that drinking soda causes weight gain. I’ve been indulging quite a bit in the past year in wining and dining and finding myself father and farther away from the number I like to see on the scale. Finally, I’ve been doing a lot of travel (and more is coming up), and I suspected that a good time to change a routine or get out of a rut is when I’m already away from my comfort zone.
Here are the effects of quitting Diet Coke I have noticed already:
1. I’m less bloated, particularly in my face. I can see my cheekbones again! I also don’t feel as “full” or swollen in my abdomen.
2. I’m sleeping better, falling asleep earlier, and waking up at a more decent hour.
3. I’ve lost 8 pounds, with the help of a 20-minute exercise video every day at lunch and a little less sugar all around.
4. I find myself eating other unhealthy foods less often. There’s just something empowering about making one healthy decision that seems to cause a chain reaction throughout each day. I go through drive-thrus much less frequently, for example, because I know I’m not going to order a soda. And fries with water doesn’t sound as appetizing to me.
5. I’m less anxious about my daughter making the same lifestyle choices. Drinking such a huge quantity of soda around her always made me feel guilty.
I’ve still got a case of Diet Coke in my fridge from before I decided to quit–I figured guests can help themselves to it. But now I also have a rotating supply of San Pellegrino, La Croix (orange or grapefruit), and Trader Joe’s sparkling water that I swill pretty much every waking second. I think the endless stream of water is what has kept the caffeine withdrawal headaches away, and the sparkling bubbles keep me from missing the Coke too much.
Cheers to growing up.