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Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

Unfortunately, I Really Am That Nerdy

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Breaking the habit
I'm trying to eat a healthier diet. I've been getting in slowly better shape over the last ten months- something I've been worried about; according to my parents, when they visited, I'm visibly slimmer than I was when I left. Which is good; I wasn't sure, because I've only been seeing the change slowly. That said, I'm still moderately overweight. Not enough to go back on the (successful) diet I used two years ago (although it's an option on the table), but I know my eating habits have slipped, and I intend to bring them back in line.

Dropping caffeine has made me healthier, full stop. I sleep much better now, and I'm no less alert for it now that I've adapted to not constantly having this stimulant in my bloodstream. My physical activity levels have been constantly ramping up; now that Rakeela and I both have bikes, we're going places more, and that's good for us both. The addition of a Dance Dance Revolution set should help me get some extra cardiovascular work in as well; it's a game, but it's also exercise equipment, and I intend to treat it as such.

So the habit I'm dropping now: soda. I'd mostly shaken it two years ago, but slowly ramped up my intake of such in the interim, back to Microsoft's abundant availability of such- a "perk" with distinctly negative health effects. That and a tendency to snack throughout the second half of the day; I'm reminding myself again to eat only when hungry, not habitually- the thing that got me 40 lbs. overweight two years ago in the first place. (I'm stil lighter than that now.)

So the best way around that? Almost-water, and lots of it. Crap with artificial sweetener doesn't count. (I agree with Bill Nye's take on it: it's stupid to go out of your way to drink something carefully tuned to have no nutritional value whatsoever.) Carbonated water with fruit oil (and no sweetening)? Bring it on. Herbal tea that isn't "decaffeinated" so much as "never was caffeinated in the first place"? It works too.

I think the first sign that I'm really on the right track again was my briefly considering whether or not I wanted a root beer today since I had a relatively small lunch, and then deciding that the effects of that much sugar at once weren't worth it.

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Good luck on that! Soda's a difficult habit to break. I almost got myself 100% off of it, but then when my new roommate got here, I found out he was addicted to two things. Cheese and soda. he goes through 2-3 2-liters a day, if not more on occasion. While I've at least convinced him to enjoy the $0.70 bottles, having that much around all the time has got me back on it too, I really need to kick that >>

Also, what was this diet you refer to? the two year old one.. I'm interested!

...Assuming that's not sugar-free soda, he's taking more than his entire dietary allowance of calories in pure sugar, somewhere around one and a half pounds of sugar per day. Estimating 100 calories per 8-oz serving (which is accurate for Coke, 7-Up, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, and several others), he's taking in

(((2 liters) / (8 US fluid ounces)) * 100 calories) * 2.5 = 2113.37642 calories

according to Google Calculator. Note that I've estimated your 2-to-3 with a 2-and-a-half.

To say nothing of what the sugar and acid (carbon dioxide) are doing to his (and your!) teeth...

It's a habit worth kicking. Kick it by degrees. First rationing, then a switch to unflavored soda water (tonic water)? And even if it's using indigestible sweetener, that stuff's not good for you either- aspartame is a neurotoxin, saccharin is carcinogenic, and sucralose is considered safe by the FDA at "reasonable doses", which a soda intake like that would significantly exceed- not enough to hit what the studies found, but enough for concern over time as it accumulates in one's system (with no way to metabolize it).

It's not going to bankrupt you financially, but the health effects are worth dropping it for. Sugar addiction is definitely one of the tougher ones to break, especially because overindulgence of such is widely accepted in our culture.

Edited at 2008-05-13 10:25 pm (UTC)

Catch with me is it isn't much of an addiction.. when I said I got off it before, I just stopped all together one day and had no trouble not touching any for several months.. problem is, it tastes good, and it's cold on the fridge >> but yeah.. for him though, he seems unable to get by without it so maybe I will see if I can't start us both down that path so maybe I can be supportive in getting into something a bit less.. unhealthy xD

I was pretty much drinking 100% juice, fat-free milk, and water before this.. now there's always soda in there ._. with the occasional splenda-sweetened tea for a bit of a fancier meal x3 Though I also had tried to put myself on some home-brewed super strict diet that didn't work out too well either so yeah..

I'm trying to eat a healthier diet.

Go vegan. ;)

Crap with artificial sweetener doesn't count.

Sugar isn't much good for you, but at least it doesn't cause cancer. :D

That said, I've been trying to limit coffee in my diet, but don't seem to be doing a very good job... so, congratulations. :D

I've considered vegetarianism (not veganism) before, on ethical grounds, and I still support it. Unfortunately, I've never had any luck whatsoever holding to it. The one time I tried, with a doctor's supervision, I wound up malnourished because I was unable to digest half of what I was being fed. I have a very, very finicky digestive system, and for getting any protein at all, I and my physician haven't found much that works.

Given a lot of effort and a lot of artificial concoctions, I might theoretically be able to go vegan- and relying so heavily on heavily-processed artificially-preserved chemical Monsanto soup I'd be worse off than I started. I think I'd be better off, both health-wise and damage-for-the-environment-wise, taking the bar I can more easily reach and minimize artificial processing of what I choose to eat.

To remove something from your diet, set realistic goals. Count out exactly how much you use on an average week, then budget it on a daily basis to one less unit than you're used to, spread out more widely...

Grats on trimming the junk out of your diet. It's something I've been thinking about lately, too. I'd cut sodas and such out of my diet for awhile, but they've come creeping back. I work at a pizza place, too, so it's hard to avoid eating at least five meals/week that aren't in some way composed of breadtangles.

Up until my early 30s, I was knocking back a 2-liter/day, sometimes more. Thankfully, I was active enough to burn most of it off, so I'm not too terribly corpulent today.

If you find you like DDR, you might want to go here and give one of those a try. They're much more stable and fun-conducive than the floppy thin mats you get with the game.

A note on artificial sweetners: They're really not all that bad, at least not as bad as the Chicken Littles make them out to be. Saccharine, for example, has indeed been found to cause cancer in rats, but only because it reacts with a chemical found in their urine, a chemical not found in ours. That's no defense of the product, of course. Plain water or juice beats soda, regardless of the sweetener.

Yay for fast metabolism! \o/ ... or perhaps I have always been sick and never knew it. XD;...

40 lbs?! Phewyeee! :O
.. but okay, a better sleep schedule with less cafein would be nice too. I'm not addicted to it, but it sure helps the mornings where I haven't slept much. ^'======'^;... sleeping 7-8 hours in a row gives me such a pleasant day as well.

Note that I managed to lose the forty pounds in about five months, and it never really came back all the way. I followed a Weight Watchers diet, based on food-group counting; I prefer food group counting to simple point counts, it gives me better guidance as to my options and I freak out less.

A fast metabolism is good in a world with plentiful food! More energy, and generally healthier when obesity is more dangerous than starvation. Which hasn't been true for the last several thousand years up until the last fifty or so, and it's only true in a few countries, so evolution will take a while to finish preferring fast metabolisms.

Waking up in the morning was the hardest thing to do as caffeine withdrawal was just starting. I got over it, but it took a while.

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