Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Don't drink your calories!"

In my recent efforts towards a healthier diet I've noticed that I've actually been having soda more often. Diet soda to be more precise. Diet coke/Coke zero to be even more specific.

Yes, I'm one of those people.

Now don't get me wrong. I've heard it all. I've heeded a lot of advice against diet/zero-calorie anythings and sweeteners before. But now that my focus has geared a bit more towards weightloss rather than "stick to natural" like usual, I somehow have a lighter conscience jamming more gratification into less calories, than in sticking to patronizing stuff closer to the way mother earth has made them. And zero calories a serving, in this regard has become an offer too good to pass up.

I'm not somebody who is so strict on themselves with anything. I don't mean that as a noble conscious way of life. I'd instead call it my strategy, because I actually CAN'T be so rigid. I try to find a way to indulge myself in small dosages even in times of dieting, because I'd aggressively relapse otherwise. I believe in making permanent gradual changes versus crash dieting or any other quick fixes, and permanent change can only happen when your whole body is on board. This is difficult to accomplish when you chastise it into rebelling against you. You don't have to be schizophrenic for this to happen. Our unconscious desires always exist beneath our conscious desires and decisions. You have to always recognize and respect and work with both to yield real change. That's why I try to surround myself with fitspiration, documentaries, and other people's stories about being fit and leading healthy lifestyles. The mainstream world already has its weapons loaded : TV adverts showing nothing but fastfood, in your daily commute, wherever you look, there is a billboard or a huge taxi sticker tempting you to have a quick drive through McDonalds to at least get a sundae and a small serving of fries, or donuts because they're only 10php each (true story). It's gradual but potent hypnosis. The only way I can fight back is to consciously surround myself with positive "counter-advertisments" for healthier options, just as frequently and just as encouragingly. 

I try to get to the root and cause of all the confusion: the mind.

You don't over-eat because you're actually "hungry"... Your body does not ask for this. Your mind does. It's the one in need of gratification and satiation, given that you're already eating enough.

But even with all of that figured out, it's not always easy. These are all easy to say, and even start.. But maintaining is another story.

I mentally resolved to only have one Aspartame drink a week, but I keep slipping. Diet cokes and zero calorie energy drinks are just too available and gratifying. And for the first week or so I couldn't sense any consequences. So for a little while I actually doubted what the whole fuss was about. Maybe there wasn't anything wrong with calorie-free sweeteners.

Weyll, this week I got my answer. One time after finishing a medium sized Coke Zero from the caf, I sensed it. An aftertaste that I couldn't ignore. I used to mask it with a bite of whatever my lunch is before, but now that I was drinking it on its own there was no denying it. And what made it worse was that, the impulse to mask the taste felt only natural! This was when I saw why, even when it has zero calories, Diet soda can really send me eating a lot more calories in total in the end. It makes sweet stuff enticing, and it's just SO SO GOOD when you drink it while eating something. And it tastes "clean", so the guilt will not surface until later.

So from now on, I will REALLY try to stick to only 500 ml of anything carbonated a week. Zero-calorie or otherwise. What I'm saying is that I've decided to stop abusing the powers of the amazingness that is diet cola, and use it sparingly until I've completely rebooted my system into having more self-control even with the aftertaste tickling my senses into stuffing myself with more food. That will take about, 21 days of successful dieting. I was close but, these weekends were reunions and birthdays WAH SO MUCH FOOD! So I will need to start again. After that, I'm a free foodie :D I'm hoping that after that 21-day period, when I get that aftertaste and feel like eating something, I'd be alert, reformed, and lithe enough to run to the stairs and brush my teeth in the bathroom instead. :D In any case, I'll make sure to keep documenting my activities on paper so that I can keep a CLOSE LOOK at myself.

Good luck, me!

PS: I wonder if they'll ever import diet Mountain Dew in the Philippines. AHHHH that would be heaven!

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