Sunday, May 07, 2006

18 Diet Sodas later

It's 11:15 and I can still taste one of the Coke Zeros I had for dinner. That's always been the worst part of any diet drink: the aftertaste. Coke Zero isn't as bad as regular coke, but it's still something my tastebuds seeme to be remembering hours after the fact...

So, where am I a week after starting this little experiment? The official weigh in: 192.5 pounds. That's 4 lbs less than last week, but still about a pound heavier than I was on the April 17 weigh in. Of course there's all kinds of variables when weighing in... When I ate last, my last visit to the john, even what I'm wearing... And it's obvious what I eat (or don't eat) can make my weight go up and down by itself +/- 5 lbs, so in order for this to yield any subsantial results I'll have to see a change of 10 lbs plus I think. But it's only been a week... At least 3 more to go!

For those of you keeping score at home, my diet this week:

1-May Diet Coke/ OJ 1/2 lb Bacon CB/ fries/ Diet Coke Coke Zero/ French Bread Pizza/ doritoes
2-May PB&J cookie/ OJ/ Diet Coke Diet Dr. Pepper/ McD's dbl cb/ fries Coke Zero/ French Bread Pizza
3-May OJ/ Diet Dr. Pepper Bacon CB/ cheddar fries/ diet coke Chicken Teryaki/ rice/ diet coke
4-May OJ/ Diet Dr. Pepper Spicy Chicken Burrito/ Double Decker taco/ diet dp Coke Zero/ French Bred Pizza/ 3 shots bourbon
5-May 2 small kolachis/ 1 donut/ Diet DP/ 3 bite size hershey bars 8 slices pizza/ 2 beers (blech!) Dinner roll/ 1/2 Stromboli/ water
6-May 1/2 stromboli/ Coke Zero Thai pineapple curry w/rice thing/ water/ Coke zero
7-May Bacon CB/ home fries/ Coke Zero/ 1 brownie 2 Coke Zeros/ 1/2 Papajohn's med pizza

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Diet drinks SUCK.

OK, pardon me while I slip into my Captain Obvious costume... But diet soft drinks blow.

So far I've tried Diet Coke, Diet Dr. Pepper and Coke Zero. One unifying factor is they just lack any kind of bite. I don't know if they've got less phosphoric acid in them, the artificial sweetener is off, they put some kind of thickening agent in them to make up for the lack of syrup or what... But they just taste WEAK. Hell, even opening the can results in a pitiful little fart of air when breaking the seal instead of a good healthy SPRITZ from a can of the Real Thing.

I went to my favorite burger place on Monday. Burger Island 2 -- they make a burger to die for with fries worthy of being your pallbearers. Taking a big bite out of that juicy bacon cheeseburger and washing it down with an ice cold Coke is one of life's true pleasures. But after each gulp of the DC all I could taste was the aspartame. That gave me serious pause. Life is full of simple little things that make you happy and doing away with them when you don't have to is just plain idiotic. I would have enjoyed it more with water I think, and water with a burger is a crime. 28 more days to go...

On another note, I did finally try Coke Zero. The commercials go a bit far when they decree it's got the taste of Real Coke with zero calories, but diet drinks have been touting that since Tab way back in the 70's. It doesn't taste like Coke, but it does taste like a non-diet cola mainly on the strength of having no aftertaste. On that level it's a success. If I can get them to stock it at work, I'm in business.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

My final pre-diet Diet-tribe

This is it. I'm embarking on my sugar-free soda diet for the next month (or whenever) starting tomorrow, May 1. I just polished off my last high-fructose corn syrup soda with dinner tonight. All I have to do tomorrow is not fall off the wagon when I reach into the fridge to grab a beverage. Coke Zero instead of Coke.

I've never had C-Zero before. C2 was OK but I started getting headaches after trying it. I don't know if there's a cause and effect relationship there but I figured there was no need to torture myself. I've got that reason now... So we'll just see what happens.

My official April 30 weigh in: 196.5 lbs. What will next Sunday bring?

Here's what I ate over the past 2 weeks. Damn... Why aren't I dead?

Diet Apr 18-30
18-Apr OJ/ Coke Chicken burrito/ dbl decker taco/ Mountain Dew 1/2 Bacon + onion pizza (pizza hut)/ coke
19-Apr OJ/ Coke Chili cheeseburger/ fries/ 2 Cokes Philly cheesesteak/ coke
20-Apr OJ/ Dr. Pepper McD's dbl cheeseburger/ fries/ coke 1/2 PH bacon & onion pizza/ Coke
21-Apr Dr. Pepper Cheddar fries/ 1/2 lb cheeseburger/ 2 cokes Coke/ 2 slices pizza
22-Apr Coke Whataburger CB/ fries/ coke Jack D Burger/ fries/ 2 jack+cokes
23-Apr Coke Coke/ 2 slices pizza Peanut Butter sandwich/ coke
24-Apr Coke/ OJ Chipoltle burrito/ coke 2 Hot Dogs/ Doritos/ Coke
25-Apr Coke/ OK Bacon cheeseburger/ fries coke 2 Hot Dogs/ Doritos/ Coke
26-Apr Coke/ OJ Triple cheeseburger/ fries/ 2 cokes 3 slices pizza/ 20oz coke/ 2 shots MM
27-Apr 1 Kolache/ 2 donuts/ 4 donut holes/ 1 pint of milk/ coke/ orange juice Spaghetti/ 2 cokes Coke/ lots of doritoes
28-Apr Coke Pork w/ranchero sauce/ mashed potatoes/ refried beans/ lots of tortilla chips/ coke 1/2 Chicken quesaldilla/ 3 cokes/ many many chips
29-Apr Coke Bacon cheeseburger/ home fries/ 2 cokes 2 Hot Dogs/ Coke
30-Apr Coke Sausage omlette/ coke 4 pieces of sausage/ doritoes/ 2 cokes

Sunday, April 23, 2006

D-Day is coming

May first will be the the day. I'm quitting the sugar habit -- well, at least the high-fructose corn syrup habit. This is going to be a tough nut to crack, because it is a habit. I don't mean an addiction -- caffeine is my addiction, I'll own up to that. But the sugar I think I can live without. By habit I mean my routine behavior. I don't even think about it when I pop the top on a coke or top off a styrofoam cup at McWhatever. So it's going to be tough not to forget when I open the fridge in the morning or head out to lunch. I've got to put the word "Diet" in front of that "Coke." And that will be a major change in behavior.

I hope I'm up to it. At home it will be pretty easy because I just won't stock the Real Thing in the fridge. It's going to suck not seeing that big red cube in the fridge, but here is where my laziness will help me out. I'll drink whatever I've got in stock. So as long as I don't buy it, it won't be there.

No, the problem will be the fully stocked fridge full of free sodas at work, and the freedom of choice offered by the soda fountains at fine lunch establishments everywhere... and just drinking coke out of habit.

I'll have a Diet Coke.
I'll have a DIET Coke.
I'll have a Diet Coke.

It's gonna be a long experiment.

Monday, April 17, 2006

You didn't eat your vegetables...

Here it is. My diet for the last two months, which is pretty much my diet for the last ten years at least. Something that jumps out is that the majority of my diet consists of Coke, Pizza and Hamburgers. The Holy Trinity of junk food. Man I love me a good burger. If you look closely, you'll also notice a lack of vegetables. I'm not so full of denial that I'm going to talk about all the veggies you find on a proper hamburger (even if I do always hold the tomato.) If I had an honest-to-goodness serving of vegetables, it's on the list. Otherwise it ain't there. It's kind of like playing "Where's Waldo" -- see if you can find the veggies in my diet. (Here's a hint: It was on a holiday. Mom was watching. What could I do?)

You'll also notice that this isn't the most scientific set of records ever. I don't count calories or even specific times when I eat. It's just the bare miniumum of what I remember eating for a day. Complete meals, mainly, and snacks where appropriate. No way is it 100% accurate -- I know I missed a mini hershy bar here, or a handfull of M&M's there. But it's a good baseline, and won't change over the next month or two as I conduct my experiment.

I'm getting closer to D-Day... When I give up the cokes. My current weigh in is 191.6 pounds. I'm thinking next Monday (4/24) I take the plunge. I just have to find a diet soft drink that doesn't suck. Anybody got any suggestions? Coke Zero and Diet Coke are the obvious choices, but I'm willing to try anything.

So without further delay, here's the diet that made me the man I am today!

A Diet Fit for a Burger King
6-MarOJ/ CokeCoke/ McD's DblCB/ SM Fries/ another CokeCoke/ 2 Slices PH Supreme Pizza
7-MarOJ/ CokeCoke/ Ham + Provalone SubCoke/ 1/2 Campisi's Large Pizza/ 3 shots of JD
8-MarOJ/ CokeCoke/ Bacon Cheeseburger/ Fries/ Fried TwinkieCoke/ 2 Slices PH Supreme Pizza
9-MarOJ/ CokeCoke/ McD's DblCB/ McChicken/ 3 SamoansCoke/ PB&J Sandwich
10-MarOJ/ Coke/ bagelCoke/ Quizno's Prime Rib (small)/ Reeses PiecesCoke/ Chipotle Fijita Burrito
11-MarCokeDr. Pepper/ Panini sandwich/ pretzelsCoke/ Bul Ko Gi
12-MarCoke/ 3 donutsQuizno's Black Angus steak (no coke!)Coke (skipped dinner)
13-MarOJ/ CokeCoke/ McD's DblCB/ sm friesCoke/ Nachos
14-MarOJ/ CokeCoke/ 1/2 lb Chili Cheese Burger/ fries2 Jack & Cokes/ Cheddar Fries
15-MarOJ/ CokeCoke/ 1/4 chicken/ mashed potatoesCoke/ Nachos
16-MarOJ/ CokeCoke/ Wendy's TX Dbl Cheeseburger/ baked potatoCoke/ PB&J Sandwich
17-MarOJ/ Coke/ 1 cake donut/ 1 kalachiCoke/ 1 McD's Double Cheeseburger/ McChicken2 Cokes/ 1/2 Pepperoni Pizza (I Fratellis)
18-MarCoke2 Cokes Bacon Cheeseburger/ 1 brownie2 Cokes/ 1/2 Pepperoni Pizza (Dominoes)
Coke/ PB&J sandwich
20-MarOrange juiceChinese buffetWendy's dbl cheeseburger/ apple juice
21-MarOrange juiceRoast beef sandwich/ 2 cookies/ coke1/2 Napoli's pizza/ 3 shots whiskey/ coke
22-MarApple juiceBacon cheeseburger/ tater tots/ cokeOrange chicken/ coke
23-MarApple juiceBurger Island bacon cheeseburger/ fries/ cokePizza/ 7-up
24-MarApple juiceChinese buffet/ 2 cokes3 slices pizza/ 2 potato skins/ 1 jack and coke
Bacon cheeseburger/ home fries/ 2 cokes/ 2 small pieces of cakeFrench bread pizza/ 1 coke
26-MarCoke1 glass milk/ poundcake/ CokeFrench bread pizza/ 1 coke
27-MarOrange juiceSubway ham+turkey/ chips/ cokepbj sandwich/ coke
28-MarCoke/ bagelMcDonalds Spicy Chicken sandwich/ m fries/ cokeBBQ Ribs/ sausage/ loaded baked potato/2 rolls/ 2 cokes
29-MarOJ/ coke1/2 lb burger/ fries/ cokeAhi tuna cibatta/ fries/ 2 jack & Cokes
30-MarOJ/ CokeChicken burrito/ 2 cokesFrench bread pizza/ 1 coke
31-MarOJ/ coke1/2 lb burger/ fries/ coke/ fried twinkie/ ice cream1 coke
1-AprCokeFrench bread pizza/ cokeNachos/ 1/2 pint ice cream/ coke/ 3 shots jack
2-AprCoke2 Enchiladas/ rice/ beans/ lots of chips/ 2 cokes1/2 order cheese fries/ 1 jack & coke/ 1 coke
3-AprCokeCrispy Wrap thing/ Taco/ Mountain DewNachos/ Coke
4-AprcokeGyro/ fries/ Dr. PepperPizza/ coke/ 4 shots JD
5-AprCokeDouble cheeseburger/ cheese tots/ cokeNachos/ coke
6-AprCokeDouble cheeseburger/ fries/ cokeFrench bread pizza/ 1 coke
7-AprOJ/ Bagel/ CokeBBW beef/ sausage/ potato salad/ 2 cokesCoke/ Nachos
8-AprOJPatty melt/ home fries/ coke4 slices pizza/ 2 Dr. Peppers/ 2 shots bourbon
Wendy's TX dbl cheeseburger/ coke/ friesLeftover pizza (2 slices)/ lasagna/ coke
10-AprOJ/ CokeChipoltle burrito/ cokeFrench bread pizza/ 1 coke
11-AprOJ/ Dr. Pepper1 Chicken soft taco/ 2 dbldecker tacos/ Mountain DewFrench bread pizza/ 1 coke
12-AprOJ/ CokeChili cheeseburger/ fries/ cokeFrench bread pizza/ 1 coke/ 1/2 bag teddy grahams
13-AprOJ/ Bagel/ cokeFreebird Burrito/ Mountain Dew2 Jack & Cokes/ Cheddar Fries
14-AprCokeTX Double cheeseburger/ cokeTaco/ 2 flautas/ lots of chips/ 3 cokes
1/4 lb cheeseburger/ baked potato/ coke/ Slim Jim2 pork chops/ 2 dumplings/ 2 Dr. Peppers
10-pc chicken nuggets/ fries/ cokeRoast/ mashed potatoes/ dinner rolls/ cherry pie/ coke
17-AprCokeDbl cheeseburger/ fries/ coke1/2 Bacon + onion pizza (pizza hut)/ coke

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Taking off the pounds 12 ounces at a time

"I'll have a double cheeseburger, large fries... and a Diet Coke."

You can't help but smile when you hear someone order a meal that probably has two thousand calories in it, but somehow he’s going to stave off obesity by washing them all down with a diet drink. Like somehow that Diet Cola is going to mix with the half pound of meat and cheese, render all that fat inert and prevent it from going to their widening gut and/or butt. Ain’t gonna happen.

Or is it?

I’ve seen a lot of stories in the news about studies linking sodas to obesity in teenagers and college students, two demographics that apparently drink nothing but soft drinks. What do you know? I’m cutting edge and in tune with today’s youth all while providing a rotten role model at the same time. But, unlike most of the infotainment out there that passes as news, something about these studies spoke to me. In fact, they hit very close to home.

You see, Coca Cola has been my lifeblood since I was a teen. I drink at least one with every meal, and on the weekends drink the stuff literally like it was water. If there’s no Coke, Dr. Pepper will do. Or Mountain Dew. Or Root Beer. Or Sprite. Heck, in a pinch I’ll even drink a Pepsi. Why? Mainly because I love it. I love the burn of carbonation in my throat and how it mixes with the sweetness of high-fructose corn syrup. I love the buzz from the caffeine. Because also because I’m lazy, plain and simple. I like things that come in neat little packages that you open, ingest, and then throw away. Bonus points if they keep forever in the fridge. The caffeine and the taste are just gravy.

As a result I eat all the wrong foods and get almost no exercise. I skip meals… The only constant in my routine are soft drinks. One in the morning, one at lunch, one in the evening. To my credit I’m down from the 6-pack a day habit from high school up until the time I was about 30, which might explain why I don’t weigh 500 pounds. But I’m really a poster child for bad nutrition…. And maybe the perfect subject for a little experiment.

I’m going to keep eating like crap and getting very little exercise – but I’m going to switch to diet drinks for a whole month and see what happens. I’m going to be that guy who orders the #2, supersized, with a Diet Coke but change nothing with my lifestyle… and see what happens. Tune in for the next exciting episode of my 12 ounce diet, where I will post a month's-plus worth of my dietary habits. You won't know whether to laugh, cry, or call 911...