I used to guzzle diet coke like no ones business! Not only did I think I was doing the right thing (it does say diet right), but it was such a part of my daily diet that I truly enjoyed the taste. Snack time? Diet coke. Hung over? Diet coke. Don’t want to drink water? Diet Coke. Need a base for your alcohol? Diet coke. And on and on it went. Back then, not even the headaches and lack of weight loss clued me in as to what I was really doing to my body. Fast forward a few years and I have read numerous research studies behind what soda (diet included) does to your body, like cause your body to store fat and gain instead of lose weight. Observational studies are continually looking into whether artificial sweeteners have an effect on hunger hormones, and whether they may cause us to develop insulin resistance, a risk factor for developing diabetes. While weaning oneself off of something you used to drink regularly is difficult, this was enough for me to at least try to change my habits. Nowadays, while I still enjoy the occasional coke (in very, very limited quantities), I realized what I missed most was the fizz, or the “pop” your mouth enjoys when drinking soda. I know I’m not alone in feeling like this, so to all of you still struggling with giving up soda, I want you to try sparkling and/or seltzer water.
Seltzer water aka carbonated water aka sparkling water is a great substitute to soda giving you that fizz without the calories and excess sugar. I want to point out that two things you may have heard like, it can lead to bone or teeth damage has not been found despite continued research, so drink up! It’s important to note that while it is a “healthier” alternative to soda, it does not have any nutritional value. Stick to milk, natural fruit juices and green smoothies/juices for drinks that will meet those needs.