Friday, October 28, 2011

Some Stuff I Am Working On

I am taking this fresh start on Medifast and using it to make some important changes I didn't make last time around. I always had these things jumbling around in my head, but was putting them off until "after Medifast." I figured I'd just work on one small thing at a time. But I am doing it a little differently this time. I think I can do that, because now I am used to the Medifast foods and the eating schedule and have a bunch of good Lean & Green recipes to fall back on without much thought. So this time, I am working on more.

I have always disliked using artificial sweeteners, but I like sweet tasting things. When I was calorie counting, I'd have some sweets... very limited... but they had to be certain kinds of things. For example, I could not eat *one cookie* or *one slice of cake* most of the time, because it set off major binge cravings for me. I could eat a square of dark chocolate. I could eat sweetened yogurt or have a teaspoon of brown sugar in my morning oatmeal or have my homemade pumpkin custard without issues. I know the binge triggers (baked goods, ice cream with "stuff" in it like nuts or chips, anything with creamy and crunchy textures together) and can avoid them. I also never had a problem with fruit being a trigger. Anyway, on Medifast I'd been drinking a LOT of diet sodas, Crystal Light, teas and coffees with Splenda, etc, all of which are things I absolutely never used when I was calorie counting. I felt like I needed those things as crutches for when I was craving something sweet. (I know, why would I crave sweets when I could have a Medifast brownie or hot cocoa? Well, those are not that sweet, actually. They are sort of 'dumbed down' so as not to trigger cravings or make you want more after you have one.) So as a result, I started buying all kinds of artificially sweetened stuff. At one point a few months back, I had probably 6 kinds of diet soda and 8 bottles of various flavors of sugar free syrup in the pantry! Plus I had 5 kinds of Crytal Light, a box of Splenda, some Truvia, some Mio drops, and liquid sweetener drops for diabetics. I went a little overboard.

This time around, I am going to knock that off. I say "going to" because I still have a lot of those things here and my plan is to use what's left but not purchase any more artificially sweetened stuff. It might not sound like a big deal to you, but it is to me. Getting completely off artificial sweeteners is a goal eventually, so I can start now by not adding syrups to my Medifast foods anymore and not drinking things like diet soda and Crystal light. I might throw some of this stuff away or give it to a friend to make it disappear faster. I will say it will not be hard giving up most of this, except the Coke Zero. I swear it is addictive. I crave it. And if you've ever tried to get off sodas you know what I mean. So this is my first goal. I'll just be drinking plain water and teas again like I used to. As for the coffee, for now that will be the exception. I'll still buy sugar free creamer but I will be trying different brewing methods to get a cup of coffee that I enjoy without sweeteners, and will be cutting back the amount I use. The creamer I use gives me a nice cup of coffee for only 15 calories and 1 gram of carbs (1 condiment) but that can add up if I have more than 2 cups in a day.

Well, I was going to write about some other things too, but my head hurts so that's all for now. I am still fighting this head cold and now PMS as well, plus I have one sick kid and a sudden influx of ants in the house! I will post my intake later.


*FTC-required disclosure: Medifast provided me with its products for my personal use for free. I am not paid or compensated in any other way for mentioning their products.*

16 comments:

Diandra said...

Yeah, artificial sweeteners are nasty. Fortunately, it is indeed possible to get rid of them and to reduce one's sweet tooth. Only - as with everything - the transition is tough.

Alanna Kellogg said...

Hi Lyn, Your post today reminds me that I've been meaning to send you the information about cold brewing coffee, it's here, Cold-Brewed Coffee for Iced Coffee. I only use it for iced coffee but my friend Mary uses it year-round because like you, she's sensitive to the acidity in coffee. So the tricks for acidity issues are to buy the darkest roast (I know, it's counter-intuitive but the darker roasts have less acid to start with) and then to cold brew it. Mary does a week's worth of the concentrate on the weekend, then adds boiling water for hot coffee during the week. Maybe this would work for you?

Hugs!

Lyn said...

Alanna~

Thank you! I never would have guessed to use dark roast! I will give this a try and if I like it I will pass the link along in a blog post. That is awesome :)

Lori said...

Lyn,
I am right there with you. I want to give up artificial sweeteners too. I've had the mindset that I'll do it once I get the weigh off because I feel like I need the crutch as well. I hate to think about what is going on inside my body because of all of those chemicals.

I'll be watching your progress closely, so that I can follow in your footsteps.
Lori

Anonymous said...

Aren't there a lot of the artificial sweeteners in the MF "foods"?

Grace said...

Have you tried LaCroix sparkling water? It is definitely an adjustment from Coke Zero, but it has helped reduce my cravings for soda.

Suzanne said...

Good for you! Good job targeting the things that you know are holding you back. I hate artificial sweeteners for the most part. They are SO bad for you. I'm open to the natural ones though. I have used Stevia (Truvia is a powder form of stevia) as well as xylitol and agave. I haven't ever tried agave, but I know I will eventually when I'm ready to get to that point. At any rate, I think the natural ones that are not chemically manufactured are okay.

Thanks for the reminder about soda! I think it's been forever since I've had it, although at one point I had an addiction to Diet Coke. I couldn't go through a checkout anywhere without buying one. So bad for me, and such a waste of money!

Good luck to you on getting rid of the sweetners.

Anonymous said...

I hate when people tell me I'm going to gain weight by drinking diet soda. They go into this long-winded explanation about how it makes me think I'm eating sweet stuff which makes me want to crave more. I reply, "It doesn't make me crave anything.". They seem to still think it does mentally, and I say, "hey....how about you leave my mental fortitude alone, ok?". And then they quote some lame study about how people who drink diet soda actually gain weight in the long run, and then I point out to them, THE ENTIRE FUCKING COUNTRY IS GAINING WEIGHT IN THE LONG RUN, DUMBASS!".

Ok. I'm glad I got that off my chest. I'm gonna cut the next person who tries to take away my diet pepsi.

Deb Willbefree said...

Give the artificial sweetner to the ants--that'll fix em.

:D Deb

PaulaMP said...

I'm with anonymous, I still drink the occasional diet soda and it never makes me crave anything sweet cause I don't have a sweet tooth. I drink it for the "bubbles" at places where I can't get sparkling water. It's the bubbles I crave, not the sweetness. All the "experts" don't know everything. LOL

Lyn said...

I also have been told in many comments that artificial sweeteners cause cravings, but they do not for me. I am cutting them out, not because of cravings, but for the same reason I want to eventually cut out artificial colors, flavors, chemicals, etc: I think the effects on our bodies are not fully known and I think I would be healthier without them.

Anonymous said...

Lyn...you are simply amazing...
anonymous....your entire post about the artificial sweeteners in diet pepsi causing weight gain is hilarious...I am still laughing...
thanks for that.

Anonymous said...

I used to drink several cans of diet soda a day - including one first thing in the morning. I stopped drinking it, and now just drink water all day long and a cup of coffee in the am I never thought it led to cravings for me, but I do feel a lot healthier without it.

Also, I used to put equal on my cereal, oatmeal, etc. Now I do not, and I no longer need that intense sweet taste. I enjoy the flavor of the food as is.

Leslie said...

Lyn,
When we had our old coffee pot my husband made the coffee everyday. I usually drink it black, but when he made it I always had to add milk and maybe some sugar. Now that we have Keurig single cup brewer I have been drinking it black again. Of course it seems like the price of coffee has gone up A LOT since we got the Keurig, but I think it's worth it. Good luck in your search for the perfect cup of coffee! Keep up the good work!

Ann at Prairie Primrose said...

Everyone is so different with the diet soda debate. For me, I can't do it and had to give up my beloved Diet Coke...I am now off sugar and artificial sweeteners and I find my crazy sugar cravings are much more under control...but that is me.

Erika said...

Well, not that this means anything...but I drank diet soda (1-2 cans a week) while fat and I still drink diet soda (1-2 cans a week) now. It didn't seem to help or hurt my weight-loss but I will say this, if I drink more than that my teeth start to feel really weird. AND, I found that if I let myself have more than that I would skimp on the water and then get a little dehydrated. So, I have a little diet soda a week and I use a little creamer in my morning coffee. A girl's gotta live a little! :-p