Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Is leading a life without a diet coke once in a while worth it?

Ken Nelson is blogging about following the recommendations (via Instapundit) in Tim Ferriss's book, The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman. His January 4th entry describes giving up artificial sweeteners:
I’ve been stuck around 190 lbs for a few days. After reviewing the 4 Hour Body “diagnosing problems” chapter, I skipped all artificial sweeteners today. I’d mainly been getting them in caffeine free Diet Coke at lunch, and in Splenda sweetening green tea in the evening.

Well, I had no sweeteners today, and I don’t miss them, and I actually feel pretty good without them.

Tomorrow, I hope to see the weight start to come off again, but even if not, the test confirms that I don’t need the stuff, and I feel better without it.


This dieter is trying to take off weight and feel better. Me, I just want to feel better (if I'm fat, so be it) but I wonder if giving up Splenda is really the answer. I worry that it will just lead to other problems like eating more foods with real sugar. Is leading a life without a diet coke once in a while worth it? I think not...

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24 Comments:

Blogger ZZ said...

People in the '40s had sugar and they were pretty thin. I think it has to do more with portion size than content.

12:18 PM, January 05, 2011  
Blogger David said...

Um, there are other non-sugar sweeteners out there, like Xylitol. It tastes just like sugar w/o the awful aftertaste of other non-sugar sweeteners. You may want to look into it. It has other health benefits, such as being great for teeth.

12:39 PM, January 05, 2011  
Blogger Cham said...

I weighed myself this morning and I weigh 113. As I have stated before, I do like my Nutrasweet. What I am doing that is different than everyone else is I am not eating wheat, potatoes, sugar, corn, milk, cheese and red meat. I don't count calories and I eat all the food I want. I'm never hungry and I feel great. I have no health problems that I can detect. It's good to be me. The Splenda is the least of anyone's challenges.

12:45 PM, January 05, 2011  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Cham
RE: Good for You

However, remember genetics has a LOT to do with it.

Up to my late 40s, I was the proverbial 'lean, mean fighting machine', e.g., airborne-ranger infantry. THEN, without any significant change in life, I plumped out. Just like my Father—God rest his soul.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Life is full of surprises. Some of them are 'unpleasant'.]

1:06 PM, January 05, 2011  
Blogger Cham said...

I'm 49, I think I have this food intake process worked out. I have a business meeting at 5:30PM. I'm putting the backpack together as I speak and getting ready to walk with my paperwork 3.5 miles each way. To be a lean mean annoying machine all it takes is a bit of knowledge, self-control and effort.

1:20 PM, January 05, 2011  
Blogger Bill said...

Cham,
You do not eat "wheat, potatoes, sugar, corn, milk, cheese and red meat." Wow.

To me, that has the same information content as "I do not eat food."

I'm glad it's working for you, but I couldn't live that way.

1:43 PM, January 05, 2011  
Blogger Cham said...

Bill: It took a bit to migrate over to it. I started by eliminating sugar and learning to live without it. The corn was next, because it is sugar. This was a 5 year process. I stick to the food intake plan with one exception and that is when I am invited to someone's house. I'll eat anything that is put before me because I am a guest in a person's home. There is a lot of food I can eat, I just eat very differently from your basic American diet. I shop at an international supermarket to get the foods I eat.

2:12 PM, January 05, 2011  
Blogger Southern Man said...

The problem with artificial sweeteners is that your body, betrayed by a lie, increases cravings for the real thing. I found that when I cut back on diet soda I ate fewer sweets in general. What worked for me is moderation; I ration out my sweets and when the day's ration is gone (even if this occurs during breakfast) there is no more until tomorrow.

3:39 PM, January 05, 2011  
Blogger K said...

What ZZ said.

Also, just don't keep junky food around. Helps an awful lot in my house.

Oh, yeah, and skip the mocha/whatever from the coffee shop. Just don't go there.

10:28 PM, January 05, 2011  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Cham
RE: Heh

To be a lean mean annoying machine all it takes is a bit of knowledge, self-control and effort. -- Cham

You must have missed the comments in other threads of this blog on 'fitness'.

I work out in my household gym an hour a day 5-6 days a week: riding machine, elliptical skier, elliptical bicycle, free weights, throwing mats, yoga ball, stereo, and this time of year, heaters. Summer time calls for fans, 4 each.

Weight has gone down some, but not as much as most would think. The body demands energy.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. As for being 'annoying', you DO seem to have that one hammered down.

7:28 AM, January 06, 2011  
Blogger Cham said...

Chuck, I'm not all that big on telling other people what to do, but if you want you can tell me what you enjoy eating the most and I might be able to think of a simple substitution for an ingredient that won't compromise flavor but might be healthier and contain fewer calories.

9:45 AM, January 06, 2011  
Blogger Thag Jones said...

There's a big difference between "once in a while" and "daily staple." I would rather take my chances with the sugar than the weird chemicals, but I also rarely drink "soft" drinks anyway.

I am not eating wheat, potatoes, sugar, corn, milk, cheese and red meat

Now there's a life not worth living! :P Seriously, what do you eat, water cress and rabbit pellets?

Oh well, think I'll have another pancake with butter and maple syrup now. ;)

10:48 AM, January 06, 2011  
Blogger Thag Jones said...

http://bussorah.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/two-diet-advisers-of-roughly-the-same-age/

10:50 AM, January 06, 2011  
Blogger Robert said...

Is leading a life without a diet coke once in a while worth it?

As I look around my workplace, I notice the Diet Coke drinkers are drinking it can-after-can. There is no "once in a while." Many of them bring in cases of it, and still it is the first drink to empty out of the vending machine.

Some of them even leave partly empty warm cans around as they automatically go to the machine for a cold one.

-B

11:36 AM, January 06, 2011  
Blogger br549 said...

I weighed 180 at the age of 18. Out of the blue a few years ago, I ballooned to 225. I didn't get it. After trying to change my eating habits and a few doctor's visits where I got the proverbial pat on the head, I changed GP's. I told her something as of yet unfound has happened. She listened. After a CT scan and an MRI, a tumor was found in my brain, and removed. At 58, I am at 188 with absolutely no changes in eating habits or exercise (what's that?) routine. It's always something.

12:51 PM, January 06, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

from what i understand about artificial sweeteners they trick the body into producing the chemicals, like insulin, that regulate the body`s uptake of sugar, and if you dose yourself continually with them, the insulin cycle gets way out of true.

br549, i`m glad you figured that one out...

my position regarding diet is that we have to take an extreme position, like cham`s, if we are to be fit at all as we age.

we all know that to be more than a few pounds overweight isn`t healthy or esthetically pleasing, yet if we try to eat grocery store food and restrict calories, we begin to starve.

reason?

we aren`t supposed to live much past 65.

paranoid view?

maybe, bet why do things like the codex ailementus exist when vitamins and minerals help us to stay fit and healthy?

by the way, the codex is a growing list of vitamins and minerals that governments are restricting or outright banning.

things like vitamins and oregano oil and dhea and ginger powder (?!?) ginger powder...it boggles the mind, yet in canada as of early this year you will not be able to get ginger powder in the health food store.

2:03 PM, January 06, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/?page_id=176

now, do your own research on this one, because governments are saying that the codex is to ensure quality oand saferty of types of substances known as health foods..so we need a balanced view of this issue.....


...but ginger powder?

2:07 PM, January 06, 2011  
Blogger Thag Jones said...

Re: ginger powder

What if you want to make ginger bread, or ginger cookies? Or mix your own curry powder? That seems sort of ridiculous. I have my doubts about taking mega-doses of vitamins though; can't be good for the liver for a start.

As I've been doing on another thread today, I'll use my dad as an example. He's 74, never taken a vitamin in his life as far as I know, doesn't take any pills except for the very occasional ibuprofen or acetaminophen, eats well but doesn't give it much thought, drinks wine, never uses margarine (yuck), but has done physical labour type of work (farm boy, contracting) more or less his whole life and is in better shape than most people half his age.

He grew up when beef dripping (i.e. fat from the roast) on bread was a yummy treat and the fat from meat was saved in a jar for frying. And don't forget the suet pudding! He doesn't, however, drink milk, due to the fact that it almost killed him as a baby. I don't drink milk either, nor do my kids (yet, they are healthy! Go figure!)

These "extreme" diet obsessions get to be a bit cultish. Then you get these nutters (like the one at the link I posted) who have "colonic irrigation" and pick over their poo to see what's in it, for heaven's sake! It's like some kind of mental disorder after a point. I honestly don't see what the trouble is with not being a glutton and limiting sweets to an occasional treat, then getting adequate exercise.

2:34 PM, January 06, 2011  
Blogger Cham said...

Thag says:


Now there's a life not worth living! :P Seriously, what do you eat, water cress and rabbit pellets?


Actually, Thag, I really like my life which is why I have taken an in interest in my food intake, I want to live a long long time.

The challenge is the American based diet. The USDA has chosen wheat, corn and cows as its favorite agricultural products and has encouraged farmers to grow these items and, subsequently, America has embraced these cheap plentiful food sources as the cornerstones of the American diet. Almost all food products sold and all recipes contain some sort of combination of these ingredients.

We've genetically modified corn to the point that it is mostly sugar. Wheat has become a source of unhealthy simply carbohydrates and red meat is filled with saturated fat. America doesn't know how to eat any other way, we're convinced that when we want food we want wheat, corn and red meat.

However, other cultures don't even have wheat, corn and red meat yet they also have healthy humans. So what do I eat? Differently! Tofu, quinoa, barley, oatmeal, all and many vegetables, apples, strawberries, oranges, bananas, ground flax seed, nuts, all types of beans, eggs, chicken and turkey. I use vegetable oil for cooking. Spice flavorings are from the Asian condiment section of my Asian supermarket.

I have a varied diet that has never included watercress or rabbit pellets, or a salad for that matter. I hate salad.

Just because they serve it at Applebees and it is tasty doesn't mean it is healthy no matter how well they sing and dance on the commercial.

4:24 PM, January 06, 2011  
Blogger JB said...

Is living life with Diet Coke worth it?

I dunno, why don't you ask the several BILLION people who have done it?

My guess is, they will tell you that out of all the significant things they thought were missing from their lives, Diet Coke won't even make the top 500.

Just my own guess.

8:55 AM, January 07, 2011  
Blogger JB said...

Oops, make that "...living life withOUT Diet Coke..."

my error

8:56 AM, January 07, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

blokes should stay away from tofu. not good for testosterone levels...

as for fads, no...food intake has to be part of a lifestyle, otherwise it is willpower and eventually that fails.

i stopped telling people my work-outs or my diet because a) they didn`t believe me, and i`m not into pissing contests or told-you-so games, and b) they couldn`t begin to do the exercises or eat the way i do.

we live in a "six week or less" paradigm that tells fat people they will have abs in a month and a half...and when they predictably fail, they give up entirely after a few fad go-rounds.

substantially changing your body takes months if not years, depending on how far off the mark you are when you start, and not everyone has the genetics or resilience to go the distance.

i ride a bike daily, lift heavy weights, play soccer twice a week or more and eat oatmeal and pasta and beef stews with vegetables...and never, i repeat, never perogies, my wifes favorite comfort food.

people tell me i`m obsessed with training and playing soccer and riding a bike..but yeah, i am.

some are obsessed with accreditation or beenie baby collecting or watching tv or video games or nosing into other people`s business.

my thing is moving my body under duress. for me, it just feels good.

10:04 AM, January 07, 2011  
Blogger JB said...

Dr. Helen, you may also want to consider posting some reviews of the whole "Paleo" or "Primal" trend in fitness (along the lines of "Paleothin" or "Primal Blueprint"). The premise being that homo sapiens is biologically adapted to optimize according to the lifestyle/diet of the most recent evolutionary iteration of our ancestors, that being paleolithic man.

4:07 PM, January 07, 2011  
Blogger george said...

Hmmm, eat what I want and die happy or live longer and hate every meal? Not much of a choice to me. Life isn't a contest to see who can live the longest. We are all going to die. Getting a few more years eating vegetables and twine just isn't worth it.

Now if I thought there was an afterlife full of Dr. Pepper and McDonald's fries cooked in beef tallow as they were meant to be....? I guess I might eat better knowing there was a reward for it in the next life but what you get in this one just isn't worth the exchange.

6:48 PM, January 08, 2011  

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