My mom always had beautiful gold cans of caffeine free Diet Coke tucked away in the pantry growing up, and she usually drank one a day in the afternoon. From a young age, I became a big fan of the stuff, and I even preferred it to regular coke. When I started calorie counting, my Diet Cokes became even more treasured because they were zero calories! It was like drinking water. So Diet Cokes became my sweet treat and I drank them often. I never really thought much of my Diet Coke habit until I tried a new diet prior to our wedding called the Whole30. I read the book and tried to follow it to a T because I had crazy pre-wedding willpower. Though I don’t recommend restrictive dieting, you can learn a lot about nutrition from the Whole30 diet by just reading the book. During this diet, no artificial sweeteners were allowed, so my beloved Diet Coke had to go. I gave it up for the month leading up to my wedding, and never went back to the habit. Let me tell you why and you can see if you are ready to kick diet sodas out too.
Artificial sweeteners make you crave more sugar.
What I learned from the book is that artificial sweeteners are even sweeter to the taste buds than sugar, even though they don’t technically have calories. Plus dopamine is not released from artificial sweeteners, so the sugar craving you have won’t subside. As soon as I read this it made complete sense. I would usually drink a Diet Coke in the afternoon to curb my sugar craving, and instead, the cravings were even worse. I always thought this was because I simply had no willpower, but no, it’s science!
I was drinking it out of habit.
After my month off of Diet Coke, I unintentionally didn’t start drinking it again. I just didn’t have a craving for it anymore. I realized it wasn’t really the drink that I wanted; it was just a habit that I’d formed. I found that I really love sparkling water, and I especially love the La Croix water with an essence of different fruits (or make your own with sparkling water and a few drops of essential oils). And in the winter, I drink herbal tea all day long. Those satisfy me much more than the Diet Coke ever did, and guess what? It’s a lot more hydrating and healthy for me. Double win.
I’m trying to lead by example.
My husband is a daily coke drinker and knowing all I know now about how bad soda is for us, it pains me to see him drink it so often. He doesn’t respond well to me telling him what not to eat or drink (understandably so), so my hope is that leading by example will help him and others.