Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Facing 40: A Hard Habit to Break

Breakfast of (Wannabe) Champions
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

Let me start by explaining what you're looking at in the picture.  That's a typical breakfast for me.  Blueberries, bananas, and chocolate protein powder, washed down with a Diet Mt. Dew.  I get up at 2 a.m. and I don't like coffee, so I've become dependent on soda as my source of caffeine.

My addiction to Mt. Dew started 20 years ago when I was working at Chuck E. Cheese.  I used to fill a large plastic cup with this nectar from the gods and drink it all day and night during my shift.  Back then it was the hard stuff.  Straight Dew, no diet.  After all, I was 19 years old, who needed to be on a diet, right?

About eight years ago I tweaked my lifestyle and swapped out pop tarts, Little Debbie, and Hostess snack cakes at breakfast for berries, bananas, and protein powder.  Lunches went from two sandwiches to one and instead of chips I eat carrots. And the regular pop was replaced with diet.  I also started restricting myself to one can a day.  On Fridays, I usually drink another soda when me and my peeps go out for breakfast.

I've been reading a lot lately about the dangers of diet soda.  I'd known that it's not exactly good for you, but my mentality has always been in moderation it's okay.  The artificial sweetener, aspartame, is 180 times sweeter than sugar (that's according to Men's Health Magazine).  This of course causes you to crave more sugar.  The problem I have here is that I justify eating cookies or candy or sugar coated sugar with "I had a diet soda, it's okay."  But it's really not okay.  The working out, the rest of the eating right, and drinking water most of the day is thrown out the window with a few sweet treats.

I guess the point of this blog is actually to solicit some advice.  I know people who have given up soda cold turkey.  I don't know that I can, or quite honestly want to give up pop.  Getting up at 2 a.m. is brutal.  Most nights I get about five hours of sleep, so I need the caffeine pick-me-up.  Or do I?  If you're an early riser, how do you keep your energy levels up?  I do want to start weening myself slowly off soda, but I'm not ready to commit to an all out self imposed ban.  Please share your thoughts.  Thanks.

1 comment:

  1. Caffeine comes in supplement form. you could try that. to possibly help with cravings for carbonated beverages try seltzer water. it may take some getting used to at first but it is a refreshing substitute for soda if it is good and cold.