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Addicted to diet sodas...

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Old 03-13-2014, 02:29 PM   #16
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Oy vey - so much bad science in that article. Correlation does not equal causation, folks.
Honestly that was just the first article that I could find regarding the subject. I don't feel like spending time trying to find articles to back it up, I've heard this before and other neurobiologists have documented the sugar/reward phenomenon.

Don't misunderstand me, I was addressing purely the concept that people can be addicted to just about anything, including sugar or diet sodas, NOTHING ELSE. That addictions to sugar or soda are just as real as addictions to heroine or alcohol. I personally think artificial sweeteners taste like poison and would rather go without any sweetener or will factor in the calories from a tablespoon or two of sugar into my days intake BUT I can have a little sugar and it doesn't affect me, I know other people cannot do that.

My husband and I are a good example of different addictions. He can smoke ONE cigarette, enjoy it, finish it, then not think about having another for ages. If I have ONE cigarette I am obsessing over having JUST ONE MORE constantly for weeks until I give in and go back to smoking (I've never managed to get past the craving, it turns into a constant itch in my brain). On the other hand he will plow through an entire 3 lb. bag of Hershey's miniatures in about a week if left to his own devices whereas I can actually forget I own the bag until I find it when I'm cleaning out the pantry a year later.
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Old 03-13-2014, 03:05 PM   #17
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I wasn't addicted to diet soda, but I was addicted to Mountain Dew for most of my life. If you saw me, I had a Mountain Dew in my hand at all times. There would be days that Dew was all I would drink, and occasionally I would get tired of soda and have Sweet Tea.

My first attempt to break the soda addiction, I went to Root Beer and Cream Soda instead of Mountain Dew. But the sugar content was much higher in Root Beer. That attempt failed. More recently I just put the soda down all together and would drink Arizona Southern Style Sweet Tea, but that didn't last long. I then went to drinking water, and lots of it. Water not having any flavor was not quite doing it for me, so I started adding lemon to the water. Now, I don't miss the soda.

I ran out of bottled water at home the other day, and did drink a small amount of Coke, and I thought it was going to kill me. I won't make that mistake again. The flavor was good, but oh the heartburn it caused.
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Old 03-13-2014, 03:59 PM   #18
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You simply don't see people prostituting themselves in the streets to get one more oreo. Let's also not forget that drugs of abuse can cause horrendous withdrawals. Whether or not people can become addicted to oreos, they aren't going to die if they withdraw from them. People have died withdrawing from alcohol and heroine. So no, all addictions are not equal. You don't see overweight people shooting each other over a girl scout cookie deal gone bad. There's no support for your argument in the laboratory or in real life situations.
No, they don't prostitute themselves, they don't need to. Food is cheap compared to drugs, junk food even cheaper. You can spend $10 a day on Taco Bell's dollar menu and easily be hundreds of calories over maintenance.

If you watch the behavior of people who are food addicted when THEIR drug is off limits, they're not writhing in pain, but they're screaming, throwing tantrums, crying, begging, pleading and their body is screaming for food, just like a junkie's brain is telling them they're in pain when there isn't a thing wrong with them. When people get gastric bypass surgery and they're willing to send their body into shock by overeating repeatedly -- that's addiction.

Dismissing the pain of one person, saying THIS addiction is valid, THAT is a joke, is invalidating to the people who suffer from those problems. It's the same dismissive attitude that conventional doctors give to the person who is obese and asks what to do and the doctor says "Eat less, move more". Pain can't be compared, neither can willpower or discipline.
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Old 03-13-2014, 04:31 PM   #19
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@Renew

I wasn't dismissing their pain. Many people here (myself included) have struggled with food addiction. I said before that it is not a difference in kind but of degree. Addictions are habits that are reinforced via brain chemistry. I'm not saying that a person can't struggle from trying to cut back on diet soda or cookies. What I'm saying is this: stating that removing sugar from one's diet is the same as removing a daily morphine habit from a junkie's routine is not the same experience.

The biochemical processes involved are different for each, and in that sense it's not by degree- you will not start having seizures when you quit drinking diet sodas like some people do when they quit alcohol; this said yes the pleasure centers are also involved with both and they're the same except that cocaine stimulates the pleasure centers to a greater degree. The study you published indicated that there was a broader amount of neural activation in the case of sweets but this doesn't mean that sweets are more addictive, it just means that there was a wider range of activation, the meaning of which is open to interpretation.
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:44 PM   #20
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I love Club Soda with lemon. It's carbonated so I still feel like I am having soda but without all the chemicals. I also put kiwi, strawberry, watermelon, or orange in it to give it flavor.
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:48 PM   #21
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There are umpteen threads on this topic, and they all spur heated debate. At the end of the day, NO, it's not that great for you. Just like a million other things. Will it affect your weight loss? Only you will know.

If you're looking for a slightly healthier option, or you find you just need the bubbles, look into a soda stream machine and carbonate the water and add berries or lemon.

Personally I had very bad experiences with diet soda, and it took me a lot of time to quit regular soda. My teeth and my gut and the scale have all thanked me.
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Old 03-13-2014, 06:14 PM   #22
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I've been missing the bubbly lately so I ventured into sparkling mineral water land. I remember the first time I had sparking mineral water while I was on vacation in europe and I was not a fan. Mostly because I was expecting regular water and I tried to drink it warm.

Now I'm a fan though especially with a little lemon or lime juice.
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Old 03-13-2014, 06:22 PM   #23
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This type of thread is exactly why I post on this forum.

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Originally Posted by MauiKai View Post
And that diet drinks may be even worse than regular sugar-sweetened sodas! How does that happen?

1) Artificial sweeteners are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar, activating our genetically-programmed preference for sweet taste more than any other substance.
2) They trick your metabolism into thinking sugar is on its way. This causes your body to pump out insulin, the fat storage hormone, which lays down more belly fat.
3) It also confuses and slows your metabolism down, so you burn fewer calories every day.
4) It makes you hungrier and crave even more sugar and starchy carbs like bread and pasta.
5) In animal studies, the rats that consumed artificial sweeteners ate more, their metabolism slowed, and they put on 14 percent more body fat in just two weeks -- even eating fewer calories.
1) Really? What about me? I'd sooooo much rather have a juicy steak than a candy bar. I guess I'm unique? Oh this statement is rediculous.

2) False. In some people there is a very small amount of insulin released. Total hyperbole here folks.

3) Haha this one is my favorite. I needed a good laugh.

4) In some people this is true in other the opposite is true. Out of all the points - this is the only reason in my opinion that people should avoid diet soda. If it triggers further cravings. For me and others it satisfies these cravings.

5) We are not rats.

I've looked at a lot of data and research in this area and the best study done in my opinion was in France still had a major problem. It relied on self reporting. People are terrible at self reporting.

In my opinion the correllation of diet soda to being obese is simply caused by people who think that drinking diet soda gives them more wiggle room than they think. Drank diet so I guess now I can have 4 cookies instead of 2. It's like the people who go to the gym and burn 450 calories in a workout and then have a bigger meal or extra desert because they earned it.
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:49 PM   #24
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Thanks John, I didn't have the time or energy to engage on this topic again. A quick forum search pulls up dozens of threads on the topic and I recommend reading through those for anyone who is interested.
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:25 PM   #25
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All I know is I finally determined that diet soda (and artificial sweeteners in general) gave me serious tummy troubles. Once I made that correlation, it was easy to kick the habit.

If you're drinking diet soda and you're losing weight, then what's the problem? I'm not saying it's good to drink a ton of diet soda. I'm not saying it's not addictive. Caffeine certainly is! But being overweight is a health problem, too. If you need to, tackle one thing at a time. Trying to "quit" soda while also trying to lose weight could cause a bigger problem. But, if you're struggling to lose weight, maybe it's worth trying to cut out the diet soda and see if it helps?

From what I've read, the science seems pretty murky. I personally made a decision to listen to my body (and my gut thanks me tremendously!), but your body might tell you something else.

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Old 03-14-2014, 04:36 PM   #26
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All I know is I finally determined that diet soda (and artificial sweeteners in general) gave me serious tummy troubles. Once I made that correlation, it was easy to kick the habit.

If you're drinking diet soda and you're losing weight, then what's the problem? I'm not saying it's good to drink a ton of diet soda. I'm not saying it's not addictive. Caffeine certainly is! But being overweight is a health problem, too. If you need to, tackle one thing at a time. Trying to "quit" soda while also trying to lose weight could cause a bigger problem. But, if you're struggling to lose weight, maybe it's worth trying to cut out the diet soda and see if it helps?

From what I've read, the science seems pretty murky. I personally made a decision to listen to my body (and my gut thanks me tremendously!), but your body might tell you something else.
Your approach makes a lot of sense to me. Every time I have dieted in the past I have tried to cut everything that I determined to be unhealthy out of my diet. It was too much change at once. Each person only has so much willpower.
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:48 PM   #27
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Wow. A lot of good information here. I love all the responses! As a psych major I agree, coorelation does not equal causation, but I think I will cut down to one soda a day anyway, just for me. At the very least, diet sodas do dehydrate you, and I'm already really bad about drinking water!
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:04 PM   #28
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I find that if I drink too much diet soda it has the opposite affect, it causes me to retain water. The other day I drank 2 cans of diet Pepsi in one afternoon for the caffeine, and I noticed that each 12 oz can had 35 g sodium. so that was 70 g sodium. All I know is that it too me two days to release all the extra water.
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:57 PM   #29
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At the very least, diet sodas do dehydrate you, and I'm already really bad about drinking water!
This is not true. All soda that I am aware of is hydrating.

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Originally Posted by Serenity100 View Post
I find that if I drink too much diet soda it has the opposite affect, it causes me to retain water. The other day I drank 2 cans of diet Pepsi in one afternoon for the caffeine, and I noticed that each 12 oz can had 35 g sodium. so that was 70 g sodium. All I know is that it too me two days to release all the extra water.
With respect, unless you isolate all factors than you're just guessing. It's possible but stress is a much greater contributor to water retention than a small amount of added sodium in most people.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:23 PM   #30
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Your approach makes a lot of sense to me. Every time I have dieted in the past I have tried to cut everything that I determined to be unhealthy out of my diet. It was too much change at once. Each person only has so much willpower.
That's why I keep diet soda. I'm whole foods, low carb, calorie counting, and controlled for excess protein as well. Artificial sweeteners in my coffee or the occasional low carb treat (like sugar free homemade icecream or almond flour cake) keeps me sane and on plan. Having a diet coke in the afternoon with some nuts and chocolate scratches a mental and physiological itch, too, while keeping me on plan. We all have trade offs and having done this for years, with many more to go, I've learned that there's enough real, physiological food issues I deal with that being overly picky on minor points isn't worth the mental energy.

Now, if caffeine or artificial sweeteners caused me health issues? That's a different ball game. But they're remarkably dietarily benign and don't bother my body, nor has compelling research shown that I'm worse off with a can of diet coke than the demonstrable harm my body undergoes from excess starch or sugar, which my crappy metabolism can't handle without insulin spikes, inflammation, and a subsequent spike in cravings. But my solution isn't suitable for every body - we each have to figure out what our bodies need and what trade offs we can live with.
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Last edited by Arctic Mama : 03-14-2014 at 07:27 PM.
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