Lifestyle Changes: Diet Sodas and Going Dutch

Lifestyle Compass for a Healthy Life

Effective lifestyle change is best taken in a series of small, simple steps.  As these steps stack up, getting the weight off and keeping it off gets easier over time.  Doing everything at once can make it tough to fit into a daily schedule, and most often makes it an overwhelming task to implement. 

Changing what you drink is one of those things, and maybe one of the toughest ones, to change.  It isn't easy to switch from soda to diet soda, or even better, to unsweetened beverages or water.  It isn't easy to switch from beer to light beer, either.  If you have tried but failed to complete the process, it may be easier to add more water to your regime before implementing the switch to light beverages.  This could have other positive advantages as well. 

Hydrating before a meal helps the stomach feel full faster.  While the feeling of fullness isn't just a function of how stretched the stomach walls are, the extra water does help boost the sensation.  Having water or diet soda at hand can also help a "compulsive snacker" by keeping their mouth busy without filling it with junk. 

Routine party goers can have a particularly hard time keeping up with a healthy diet, but this can be easier if they simply sip on a diet beverage.  It can help keep the calorie count down compared to endlessly nursing a calorie-ridden cocktail, plus holding onto the can will make it harder to graze the buffet, too. 

Another baby step in eating out is to work on portion control.  The size of servings in most American restaurants today is nuts.  The average portion is often enough for two or sometimes three meals, and then they add an appetizer and/or dessert.  The easiest way to handle restaurant ordering is to ask the waiter to split the serving in half before it reaches the table.  Sharing a meal with a friend or spouse cuts the calories in half — for both parties —  particularly when you are treating yourself to a favorite dish. So by splitting a meal or going Dutch, you get to have your cake and eat it too... with only half the calories.


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