Monday, May 5, 2008
Quitting Quitting: My Diet Coke Habit
I'm quitting quitting Diet Coke.
I love Diet Coke. Actually, I love diet sodas of all kinds. Now that I think of it, I love artificial sweetener in almost anything.
To me, artificial sweeteners are infinitely superior in flavor to sugar and corn syrup - at least in beverages. I don't know how they are in, like, baked goods and candy. Maybe not as good. But in drinks, oh boy, give me Splenda, give me Nutrasweet, hell, give me saccharine for that matter.
Artificial sweeteners are light where sugar is heavy. They're smooth where sugar is sticky. They're the foxy to sugar's lumpen. Diet soda is thirst-quenching and perfect where regular soda is like eating a cough drop.
A couple of months ago I tried to give up diet soda, and artificial sweeteners generally. I had three reasons:
1) Some research shows they're maybe not that good for you, and research definitely shows that all the phosphorous in cola drinks is not good for you in large quantities. Since Diet Coke was my main soda of choice, I was drinking a lot of goddamn phosphorous.
2) Some research shows that the sweet flavor screws up your insulin, and you end up eating more to make up for it. I admit it: I thought, well, maybe I can lose a few pounds this way.
3) For me diet soda goes naturally with all kinds of other junky food, like french fries, and chips, and pizza. If I drank water, I figured, I'd eat a salad.
Well, it doesn't take an expert on human psychology to figure out that 3) was going to be middling at best. Basically I found other junky foods to eat -- sweet ones instead of salty ones.
And perhaps because of this, I didn't "lose a few pounds." If anything, I gained a few. Now, it's possible I gained a few pounds in spite of giving up diet soda, not because of it. We'll never know. But the increase in my jam and cookie consumption suggests otherwise. So 2) was kind of a bust.
That leaves 1). Still a good reason, but not enough to motivate the true lover of diet soda. It's just too abstract.
So I'm giving up giving it up.
Last night I went to see Iron Man, and I was kind of peckish in that late-afternoon-you-don't-really-need-popcorn-but-ooh-you-want-some kind of way. Since I gave up giving it up, I ordered up a nice, small, Diet Coke. (Which came to $3.71 Canadian. I know, I know, but Wow!)
The Diet Coke was delicious and perfect and calorie-free. The movie was awesome. And Robert Downey Jr., well, let's just say it was a perfect trifecta of pleasures.