You know those gigantic cups you get at the gas station or fast food restaurants that hold something like 2 gallons of your favorite soda?
Okay, they’re not that big, but they’re pretty huge! (maybe 64 oz. is more accurate)
Now before you think that I’m extremely unprofessional and a bit crazy, let me explain the whole situation to you, and let me promise you that the whole thing was done in good fun.
Here’s Judy’s story (55 years old):
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Judy has been trying to lose weight over the past 6 weeks and so far is having really good success. She’d like to lose 100 pounds total and has already lost about 20 pounds so far.
If she loses another 20 pounds, the surgeon will agree to perform a total knee replacement, which is very motivating to Judy since her left knee is extremely painful and completely bone-on-bone.
Like most people who successfully lose weight these days, Judy hasn’t changed the amount of food she’s been eating, but she’s changed WHAT she’s been eating (so she’s not going hungry). The biggest change she’s made is cutting out the majority of her carbs, including all of the “white” products like flour, refined sugar, bread, pasta, etc.
And then Judy comes in for her PT visit one day with the gigantic cup of pop that I mentioned above. Can you hear the loud noise when I smacked my hand against my forehead?
Here you have Judy who’s losing a bunch of weight by eliminating her carbs and sugars, and she’s drinking a mega pop! This led me jokingly to tell Judy that I was going to spit in her pop, all in her best interests of course.
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Now let me tell you why I threatened Judy with spitting in her pop…
Like I said, Judy is very motivated to lose weight and so far is doing a great job.
Unfortunately, the gigantic cup of pop is a huge mistake and one that will likely limit her success if it becomes a habit, even if it is “sugar-free”.
I’ll keep my explanation very simple. First, if Judy is drinking “regular” pop, it contains a massive amount of refined sugar (typically high-fructose corn syrup).
Since her success with weight loss so far is based completely on her drastically lowering the sugar content in her diet, drinking this pop will have a very negative impact on her weight loss.
But what about sugar-free pop? Isn’t that okay?
No, it’s not okay. In fact, it’s very far from okay.
While sugar-free soda won’t have a direct impact on her blood sugar levels, it has another effect the soda companies don’t want you to know about:
Artificial sweeteners will cause Judy to EAT more food in general, including more sugary foods. This has been well documented in several studies.
So regardless of whether Judy is drinking regular pop or sugar-free pop, it’s definitely going to have a negative impact on her attempts to lose weight.
Now can see why I wanted to spit in her pop? For her own good…?
I have some good news for you: Judy continues to lose weight, and she really doesn’t drink pop or other sugary drinks very often.
And I’ll admit, it’s completely understandable that most of us will slip up from time to time with our diets and attempts to lose weight, and Judy’s doing an awesome job overall.
So here’s the moral of the story: if you’re trying to lose weight, the best thing you can do is to dramatically reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks.
For most people, cutting out pop is a really good place to start. And if you don’t drink pop but are still trying to lose weight, cut those carbs ASAP (bread, pasta, noodles, rice, oatmeal…)
Yes, even oatmeal, but that’s a topic for another day!
That’s enough crazy information for one blog post.
I hope this helps you on your quest to live a healthier life, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey!
Easy for me to say while I’m recommending you cut your sugars and carbs J