The goal of my 10 Cokes a day experiment was not to prove that drinking 10 Cokes a day is bad for your health. That’s obvious.
The goal was to help people realize that their current diets may include just as much sugar as you find in 10 Cokes. That’s not obvious to many people, but when you add up the sugar in the coffee, the orange juice for breakfast, the soda with lunch, the fruit juice in the afternoon, a cookie snack, desert later – PLUS, the added sugar that is all the other foods you ate, PLUS, the naturally-occuring sugar in the fruits and vegetables you ate… and it probably totals even more than 10 Cokes worth of sugar.
YOU are drinking 10 Cokes a day. Okay, so, if you’re convinced – what do you do? That’s really the main question. What do you actually do? It’s not that easy to change.
Here’s 5 tips to help you make some immediate changes in how much soda and other sugar you eat, and how to do it EASY!
By easy, I mean painless. It still takes effort to choose different foods, to make change, but if you follow these tips you won’t have to fight, you won’t be hungry.
Tip 1. Begin by limiting the sugars that you eat in the morning. Later you can work on the second half of the day. Why? Here’s what happens: As soon as you have the first sugar intake, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a glass of orange juice or a morning Coke, your blood sugar and insulin spike – and then a little while later your sugar drops back and you feel HUNGRY. And I don’t know about you, but my will power is not real good when I’m hungry. As soon as I eat the first carbs or sugar of the day, I’m hungry for carbs the rest of the day. If you had orange juice and pancakes for breakfast you’re going to be hungry the rest of the day. Why fight it? Start with breakfast and you’ll gain the power to work on lunch.
Tip 2. Assume that bread and grains and fruit are sugar. They raise your blood sugar just the same way that a Coke does, and you’ll be hungry for more carbs very soon. If you have fruit for breakfast you’ll have a blood sugar spike just the same as if you drank a Coke. It’s true. And you’ll be hungry for more sugar all the rest of day. So, if you want to try and drink less soda later in the day, you have to start by not having bread and fruit for breakfast.
Tip 3. Bring eggs back to breakfast! The committee that creates U.S. dietary guidelines just made some drastic changes in their recommendations: Eggs are now okay! And cut back on sugar. It’s true, the government is now recognizing that dietary cholesterol, like in egg yolks, is not related to blood cholesterol, like in LDL. It’s sugar. And bread. So, in answer to your question from Tip 2: “What do I eat for breakfast?” Eggs. And bacon. And sausage. Smoked salmon. A meat platter. Bring the joy of meat back to your table.
Tip 4. Learn to eat fat. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. Fat doesn’t make you fat. It gives you energy without raising your insulin levels, which is what you’re trying to avoid by not eating sugar and bread. So, since the goal is “painless,” and not being hungry or tired, learn to add fat. That egg and smoked salmon breakfast? Smother it with butter and mayonnaise. The fat gives you energy to go straight to lunch. No hunger. High energy.
Tip 5. Hunt for an alternative beverage. A very powerful tool to stopping soda or juice drinking (juice is just as bad as soda) is having something to replace it that you enjoy but doesn’t have sugars. There are flavored sodas that don’t have sweetener, if you’re worried about side effects from diet sodas. (If you are, then follow my next experiment, as I drink 10 Diet Sodas a Day.) Sparkling flavored waters work great. Just plain old water, too, is great. Drink up. But find something – not juice, not milk, not beer – to replace those sodas, and you’ll have all the bases covered
On my next post I’ll discuss some secrets to doing lunch and dinner, too. But I think you’re probably getting the idea.