Health / Life

New 30-Day Challenge: No Diet Soda

The replacement: tea.

I inadvertently stepped into this 30-day challenge. Last time, I was adding something into my life: meditation. This time, I’m eliminating something: diet soda.

On Monday, I again decided to stop drinking diet drinks. I’ve attempted this multiple times but haven’t been successful in a lasting way. Yesterday, it hit me this would be a great opportunity for another 30-day challenge. This challenge will help solidify this change of habit for me and also keep me aware of how it affects my body.

Why do I want to stop drinking diet soda? There is the caffeine factor, although I’m less concerned with it as I am to the other aspects of its addictiveness. We’ve heard of how diet drinks can alter our ability to taste sugar and sweetness, thus hindering weight loss. I didn’t really believe this before until this starting this challenge. So far, I’ve noticed my sweet tooth cravings have diminished greatly. I still get them, but not as strongly as before.

Another factor is the chemicals in diet drinks. Sure, the FDA states they’re okay to consume, but I’m not so convinced. Even if the link between aspartame and cancer is yet to be proven (or widely proven), we should consider how anything artificial is just not good for us. Food that is closest to its natural state is best. So even in just a general sense, both diet and regular sodas are not healthy.

How’s the challenge been going so far? As I type this, Day 5 begins and I sit here, drinking iced green tea. I really enjoy tea & am not a coffee drinker, so this has become my caffeine replacement. I expected the typical caffeine withdrawal headache, but I’ve been blessed so far with none.

Each day, I drink about a 2-qt. pitcher of tea, unsweetened but flavored, made with 4 teabags. I let them steep for a while to get the most from the brew. My favorites are Lipton’s Mixed Berry Green Tea, Lipton’s French Vanilla Black Tea and Tazo Zen Green Tea. Recently, I’ve been leaning towards the green tea for the antioxidants and benefits of EGCG. Also, I just learned that green tea may have anti-depressant effects. Sweetness.

One thing I’ve noticed so far, is even if I drink the tea in the evening or night, I feel tired naturally and sleep better. Perhaps the chemicals in diet soda interferes with the body’s production of melatonin? I’m curious if my body is experiencing some detoxification as well. I did notice my sweat smelled off yesterday when working out, almost like a vinegar smell? Normally I sweat a lot at the gym, but it doesn’t have an odor to it. I so find the body a fascinating machine.

I look forward to more positive changes from cutting out the soda. Stay tuned!

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