I have always loved fizzy drinks and remember as a child the excitement of the summer treat of a bottle of pop and if we were really good, being allowed to take the empty bottle to the shops and get the money back on the returns for extra pocket money.
I used to drink lots of diet cola and eventually started trying to ration myself as I knew that if I bought a pack of cans I would get through them very quickly (with my mother’s voice ringing in my ears “it will rot your stomach”)
I realized that the caffeine was not doing me any good and was making me moody and grumpy at times so I swapped to the caffeine free versions. Problem solved I thought – nice and healthy and no sugar or calories.
But I began to notice a trend: as our budget shrank and I began to only have these as an occasional treat, I realized that the craving for chocolate and cakes was much higher if I had diet cola and found that I would very happily consume more chocolate so I began trying to be a little more careful as I did want to lose some weight.
I was interested therefore to see on several different TV programs reports on research that indicated that diet drinks did have the effect of making you crave sugar. They gave a sample group “full fat” drinks and another group “diet” drinks and then monitored how much the different groups ate. The surprise result was that the “diet” groups consumed more calories in sugary snacks than the “full fat” group to the degree that they had consumed more calories per person overall by quite a margin.
This is apparently due to the artificial sweeteners triggering the brain to expect sugar or something sweet which then increases the craving for cakes, chocolate etc.
These research results also seemed to indicate that the regular consumption of diet drinks increased the risks of developing Type 2 Diabetes as the artificial sweeteners being much stronger trick the body into thinking a lot of sugar is coming and make the body create more insulin therefore increasing the risks of developing diabetes.
So: as I knew I was already at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the future and wanted to ensure I minimize that risk, a bottle of diet cola is now a very very rare treat and I have now substituted sparkling or carbonated water instead as I realized too that it was the fizz I liked more than the actual flavour of the drink.
Not only is water more readily available, it is also a lot cheaper than many of the other drinks if you need to grab something while out as they range from 29p a bottle in some places where a bottle of diet cola is over £1.
To save myself even more money (the best price I have found is 6 x 500ml bottles for £1 which works out as 17p per bottle) I now buy the economy 2 litre bottles when doing my weekly shop from as little as 18p, keep it in the fridge and fill up a smaller bottle from that to take out with me and I also don’t have quite the same craving for something sweet