outdoor adventure, travel + healthy living


Nutrition Overhaul: Part 1

May 16, 2011

Nutrition Overhaul: Part 1

It's a problem.

I have a confession: I’m addicted to Mountain Dew.

I don’t mean that in a hyperbolizing way, I mean it in an “I get weepy if I haven’t had my daily 2 cans and there isn’t any in the house.”  I’ve been known to choose restaurants based on a Pepsi versus Coke standoff.  And the sad part is that two cans a day is way down from how much I drank when I was younger.

Every single diet book and sports nutrition book I’ve ever read- and that’s a huge number- have all said the same thing: if you want to drop weight, give up soft drinks.  (Matt Fitzgerald, of Racing Weight and sports nutrition fame, is one of the major proponents of this point: he mentions it in virtually every nutrition article he publishes.)  Because of this, I decided to attempt to “quit” Mountain Dew for 2 weeks, maybe longer.

Caffeine and simple sugars have been part of my daily diet since I can remember.  I know you coffee fanatics out there understand, but at least you can switch to skim and Splenda.  Us soft drink addicts who hate diet are in a different boat entirely.  And while coffee is a cool obsession, bringing Mountain Dew when going to a friend’s house is a slightly less cool thing to do

I recognize that this bad habit is costing me a good 400 empty calories a day, meaning close to a pound worth of calories in a week.  Yikes.  I’ve always been sensitive about my midsection in particular, and I feel like soft drinks- the constant carbonation and simple sugar hits- could be the major culprit.  It seems like when I diet (but keep drinking soda), I drop weight, but the midsection remains problematic.

So, I had to wonder: what would happen if I quit Mountain Dew for a while?  There’s a chance that my body has adapted to it to the point where I won’t drop weight.  There’s also a chance caffeine and sugar withdraw will make Molly a very grumpy girl.  But I think it’s worth a shot.

To me, this is a big commitment.  It’s choosing my athletic goals over something that has become a huge part of my life, my number one comfort food.  These next two weeks might be a little rough- on me and those around me- and I’ll share as I go along.

I’m hoping to really actively demonstrate just how true the nutritional guideline about dropping weight by cutting soft drinks really is.  I’m hoping it’s impressive, though secretly, if I don’t drop weight and can go back to drinking what I want, I’ll be psyched about that too.

I’ll be posting about this again at the end of the week with some updates on how it’s going. Until then, wish me luck

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