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Goodbye Diet Coke: I Love You But Not the Extra 30 Pounds

my writer friend lost weight by giving up diet coke - read article

(This article has been published under the name "Tina Boomerina", but it was actually written by a younger friend who just lost a fair amount of weight. She has been gracious enough to explain how she did it, although she would like to remain anonymous. Tina)

by "Baby" Baby Boomer Girl

"Goodbye my beloved Diet Coke... we sure had some good times."

Ok Boomerinas, I'm going to tell you how I lost 30 pounds. It's a lot simpler than you think. Without realizing it, we tend to overcomplicate dieting, thanks in large part to the big food corporations. If you follow these simple rules, I guarantee you will lose weight.

It seems I have been dieting all my life, but I could never figure out why I tried so hard and was never able to do it. Here is why:

Diet Food is Not the Answer:

For as long as I can remember, I have eaten diet food: Lean Cuisine meals, 100-calorie snack packs, Diet Coke. And, I always thought I was making good choices.

When you look at the box, it is easy to see how low the calories are, and it’s impossible not to notice how small the portions are. So, I thought I was making healthy choices... but I was never able to drop the weight.

Kick the Aspartame:

It turns out aspartame is Enemy #1. This was quite hard for me to accept, as I love Diet Coke more than my boyfriend.

Recently, there have been quite a few articles suggesting that aspartame is a direct cause of more belly fat. Yuck. I don’t know if I love anything that much, but even still it was hard to kick the Diet Coke. I was in extreme denial, but the more I read, the more I was convinced that kicking aspartame was at least worth a try.

read how my writer pal lost weight for swimsuit season

With Swimsuit Season Near I Did Some Diet Research

My Disclaimer -- I Am Not a Scientist:

I am not a scientist, but I will try to explain (in simple words) what happens with aspartame and other fake sugars to the best of my knowledge. You can follow the links in this article and you should do your own research; and, most likely, you will come up with a conclusion that is similar to mine.

[*Note: If you're a scientist or a nutritionist or a doctor, and you dislike my wording or you disagree with my explanations, let me know. I am just a layperson trying to put the pieces together. However, you cannot disagree with my own "scientific experiment" in my own life. It is an absolute fact that after I stopped eating diet food and drinking diet drinks, I started losing weight. Yes, I made other changes, too, but I really believe that kicking aspartame was the most important and most dramatic change of all.]

Fake Sugar Seems Real to Your Body:

A lot of the scientific evidence I found online is sketchy and sometimes contradictory. However, there is big money in the diet industry, so keep that in mind as you do your own research.

Well, as far as I can tell, during the last 20 years of my life, I have been eating double what I would have eaten had I not been drinking/eating aspartame. Within a few weeks of cutting out aspartame, my daily food intake became half.

Half? That’s insane, and it was.

My Explanation of the Problem With Aspartame:

I sure do love diet coke, but here is my simple interpretation of the havoc created by aspartame:

When you ingest any kind of fake sugar, your body thinks it’s real… at first… so it spikes your insulin levels. Right after that, your body realizes it did not actually get any sugar and your food cravings go way up. So, what do you do? You eat more diet food, starting the process again. I did this cycle for 20 years.

read how I lost weight - easy to do

I Love Diet Coke More Than My Boyfriend

How I Stopped Diet Coke and Sugar Substitutes:

Once I had accepted the fact that my long-time aspartame love relationship needed to be kicked to the curb like an abusive boyfriend, here is what I did:

I started slowly.  Instead of having a Diet Coke, I swapped it for a Pellegrino. No, it’s not the same thing, but it does have bubbles, and it was a decent substitute.

I had been drinking four diet sodas a day. The first week I swapped out only one. The second week I swapped out two, and so forth. I cut out anything with any fake sugar because they all make you eat more. This made a huge difference. I would imagine this alone would cause you to lose 10 pounds in 6 months.

But, swimsuit season was coming and I wanted my body back... so I decided to do more than just cutting back on soda.

how I lost weight - kick the diet cokes

I HAD to Lose Weight for Swimsuit Season

Drink More Water to Lose Weight:

After further research on losing weight, I decided to double my water intake. They say if you make no other changes you will lose weight just from increasing your water consumption. That's because much of the time, we eat because we are thirsty.

Why not give this a try? Water is cheap, it's good for you, it can't hurt you, and it just might help you lose weight.

read how my friend got skinny

Get Skinny Without Diet Food

Rule Number One -- Avoid Fake Sugar at All Costs:

Fake sugar is the number one enemy keeping you from your skinny jeans. Kick that Diet Coke to the curb.

Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts in life. We want to believe there are, so it’s so easy for marketing people and seductive commercials to convince us that unhealthy things are actually good for us.

Once a week I allow myself half a bottle of regular Coke. Sure it’s not as good as the diet, but I know that, “Yes, I am still putting something ‘not great’ for me in the body,” and I reduce my daily calories to reflect that. However, I am not unknowingly sabotaging my diet and making myself eat double.

I Am Not Trying to Sell You Anything:

The only reason I am writing this is to share my experience.
If sharing what worked for me helps only one woman fit into her favorite little black dress, then I know I have done some good in the world. There is nothing worse than being stuck in diet limbo. Consuming all that crappy food and not losing… or even gaining... weight.

There are several more simple rules for you to follow.  Let me show you what worked for me because I believe it will work for you, too.  I’m not going to direct you to make any purchase or recommend any “friends” who will help you ... for a price.

When I have time, I’ll be writing about Enemy #2.

Change is Hard:

The hardest part is the change. Change is rough no matter who you are.  If you can make these changes and are honest with yourself, you will lose weight.

Let’s get you skinny.

More Articles for Baby Boomer Women & Younger Chicks:

Moroccan Tile Print Maxi Dresses & Tunic for Women Over 40, 50, 60

Classic Tailored Fashion Over 40: Interview With the Style MD for Women, Jennifer Connolly

Plus Size Boho Chic: 16 Essentials for Hippie Women of All Ages

read how to lose weight for swimsuit season

Main Photo - Kick Diet Coke

Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons and Prshots.com.

  • Main Photo - Kick Diet Coke: Swimsuit by La Redoute.
  • With Swimsuit Season Near I Did Some Diet Research: Bikini and accessories by Accessorize.
  • I Love Diet Coke More Than My Boyfriend: Wikimedia Commons, image in public domain.
  • I HAD to Lose Weight for Swimsuit Season: Bikini and beach pants by Accessorize.
  • Get Skinny Without Diet Food: Red sundress by La Redoute.

What do you think of my friend's article? Do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page. (It won't show up until I have time to approve it.)

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Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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8 Comments

  1. Jill

    I absolutely agree: I was drinking about a 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke or other diet soda daily for about 10 years, and slowly came to recognize that I was eating more and craving more. I was addicted to Diet Coke and actually got anxious and craved it when I tried to cut back. I made the decision to cut out all artificial sweeteners and all carbonation, since I am getting older and worry about bone density issues. I switched to drinking green tea with lemon, usually decaffinated. I have to say I feel so much better, in terms of cravings and overeating/portion size, that I am losing weight without much effort, and in places that only got bigger while on the diet soda habit (belly, upper arms). I do feel a lot healthier and in control of what I eat and when. A friend recently said to me "There's a reason that the word diet is mostly the word die. Diet food is poison" Our bodies evolved to eat real food, but our brains have been trained to believe that food is our enemy, and that we will never be happy until we starve. I refuse to be manipulated so that conglomerates can get rich.

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Jill,

      About 20 or 30 years ago, my extremely fat (morbidly obese) grandmother said she thought diet pop was making her fat. Well, she also told me the radio (or maybe it was Laurence Welk) was sending messages to her through songs.

      Turns out she was right about the diet pop. Now, I'm wondering if I should listen more closely to the songs on the radio.

      Well, I have a new plan. I'm going to eat real food and drink real drinks. I stopped drinking anything with carbonic acid (bubbles) years ago because it hurt my stomach... so I don't have to cut back on diet pop.

      The problem with my plan is that it's so much work to cook REAL food. Who's got time to make soup from scratch and all that stuff? Well, someday, I will find a way to cook REAL food... and not eat anything that comes in a box or a can... unless it only has ingredients a two year old can pronounce.

      Die IS part of diet. There are big bucks in that diet stuff. And, I've heard a lot of people say they lost weight when they stopped eating that crap. I'm thankful for your comment.

      Green tea sounds lovely right now.

      T

  2. Linda Beltz

    I was addicted to Diet Coke. Drank it morning to night. Quit about 1.5 yr ago after reading Eat to Live. I cannot say that I have lost weight as a result of not drinking Diet Coke, but I agree that it is very bad for us. I too love carbonation, so now I drink carbonated water without sweetener. The bummer is that when you want to stop and get a cold carbonated water at the store these days, they are sneaking artificial sweetener in - go figure. I guess people like sweet and the companies will do whatever they can to cater to it, regardless of the impact to our health. I am glad to hear about others breaking the habit.

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Linda,

      Wow, I don't drink much of anything carbonated (the carbonic acid is bad for my tummy), but I'm glad you warned me about the artificial sweeteners hiding in "water".

      I swear that Diet Coke is addictive. Everyone who drinks it says the same thing.

      I, myself, am trying to end my addiction to Wint-o-Green Lifesavers. Those little suckers are hard to stop. I think I have to go cold turkey (like I did with smoking ciggies in the 70s). There's no way I can eat "just one" mint.

      I'm trying to get my hubster to kick the Diet Coke, but it's not easy.

      Good for you. I wonder how you did it.

      Tina

  3. Ali

    totally agree, aspartame tastes so bitter afterwards as well, i hate the stuff, I have IBS and should any of that stuff get into me I get a terrible flare up. I prefer stevia or just getting the sparkling waters and adding a little lemon juice . I really would rather battle the devil I know ( sugar and butter) than the devil I don't know, ( fake sugar and hydrogenated fake butter) Never liked diet sodas anyway, just such a bitter after taste. Cola Life is good for the odd treat, it's got steviol in it and has a green label.

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Ali,

      I have weird idiopathic health problems, so I don't know exactly what aspartame does to me, but I know for sure it burns my mouth ever so slightly. That's how I know if something bad is in the soda I'm about to drink.

      Tina

  4. Kristel

    It took me some years also to realise that the diet stuff actually made me gain weight. Strange enough, when I was pregnant in 2008, only drinks with sugar were acceptable for my stomach. It refused to hold such things as demi-fat milk even. Coca-cola, the real thing, stayed in and calmed the turmoil in my stomach. Diet coke, well that was to put it mildly, a pukefest. Also, I had an unnatural craving for plain water, could not drink enough of the stuff. It should have made me think, but of course it didn't. I became a heavy user of diet coke, seriously gained post-pregnancy weight and only realised that the diet coke could be a serious health issue when I heard doctor Oz talk about it in his show. That was about a year ago. I replaced the diet coke with sparkling water, just as the good doctor told me... the effect on my weight is not really there, but strangely enough, I have less cravings for sugary things and, more importantly, I feel less stressed. I believe that the constant sugarcraving made me anxious. Thanks for the watertip, that made me think about my pregnancy again, consuming loads of water was good for me then, it will be good again. It shows that in some state (pregnancy) the body still knows what's good and what just isn't. Good luck to all of you.

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Kristel,

      It's surprising how many women report something similar. I'll pass the "thank yous" on to my anonymous author. And, thanks (from all of us).

      Tina