Saturday, January 20, 2007

Review of diet drinks

Okay, so I keep saying that since I've already lost a few pounds, now would be a good time to start watching what I eat and try to lose a few more pounds. And I keep saying that. And I keep not doing that, and I keep going out for lunch. So I'm probably headed for the same problem that I had before if I don't do something. It has been like nine months since the other weight-loss started, and I really should do something.

Next week would be a good time to start.

Any good diet plan will include 64 ounces of water per day. Water is good for you. The stuff that you are made up of, way more than half of it is water. Without water, you would be a handful of powdery stuff that was on an old episode of Star Trek. You need lots and lots of liquids to stay healthy, and the best way to get it is to just drink plain old water.

Taz hate water.

Water is not my favorite beverage either.

I love sodas. As a kid I mostly liked the fruit flavored sodas and 7up and Sprite. As an adult, I mainly like Coke and Pepsi. I could easily drink 64 ounces of Coke per day.

64 ounces of regular soda is about 800 calories.

You know what else you could have for the same 800 calories? I mean, if you were careful, you could make breakfast and lunch and dinner for 800 calories. That wouldn't include snacks, but you get the idea.

So what else can you drink instead of regular soda for less calories?

Milk? Well, actually, whole milk has more calories than soda. 2% lowfat milk still has a few more calories. But, milk has all kinds of things that are good for you, and sometimes a glass of milk will make you feel less hungry. 1% milk has about the same calories as regular soda, but still has the benefits of drinking milk. Skim or nonfat milk has a bit fewer calories than regular soda and the benefits of drinking milk, but let's be honest and say that I really don't care for it.

Coffee and tea. Black coffee is probably the ideal diet drink, as long as you don't drink too much and you drink most of it before lunch and don't have any after dinner. It has a bit of caffeine in it, and a bit of caffeine may help with the diet. Just a little bit of caffeine. A lot of caffeine will make you nervous and lose sleep, and then you'll just eat more to try to feel better, so don't do that. On the news there's always some health benefit from just a little bit of coffee, and the same goes for tea.

But I don't really like coffee. And I really don't like black coffee. I can go to Starbucks, and they can make me something with enough cream and sugar that it hides the taste of the coffee, but it's probably going to be a least 400 calories. If I wanted to waste that many calories, I might as well get something that I really want, like a small milkshake or a hot fudge sundae. So coffee doesn't work for me, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

Herbal teas are good for a lot of things, but I personally don't like the taste. Usually, they are blends of things that sound pleasant, but then there's always something in it that's probably good for you but I don't care for, like hibiscus or rose hips. I usually have to add too much sugar to make it drinkable.

Plain peppermint tea is not too bad and I can drink that if I add a little sugar. Peppermint is also supposed to have all sorts of health benefits. It aids the digestion. Unfortunately for some people it also stimulates the appetite, so maybe you should have your plain chicken breast or your Eggbeater omelet ready to go before you drink it.

Sparkling water. Okay, it is still water, but it doesn't seem so boring. It's pretty. It has bubbles. I like carbonated drinks. And if you have a couple of minutes to play Martha Stewart, a slice of lemon or a twist of orange zest adds a nice smell and looks really good. And it goes with just about everything, and it has no calories. Be careful when you're buying it so that you don't pick up a high calorie flavored water by mistake.

There was a Coke product that tasted a lot like regular Coke but only had half the calories. I liked it a lot. It was sort of half diet Coke mixed with half regular Coke. I still shouldn't drink 64 ounces of the stuff, but if I did that would only be 400 calories instead of 800. I don't remember what it was called. I haven't seen it in a while. I not sure that they still make it.

While we are talking about stuff with with half the calories, mixing half a glass of orange juice with half a glass or diet orange soda is not bad.

Diet Coke and diet Pepsi I don't like so much. I just miss the regular stuff. But sometimes I want a little caffeine when I don't want the calories. A bit of lemon helps. Actually, I think a lot of lemon helps. I would put so much lemon in it that most people couldn't drink it.

Probably the best low calorie drink is diet lemonade. I think it is about 5 or 10 calories a glass and tastes almost as good as the regular stuff. Tropicana and Minute Maid both have excellent products available in 12 ounce cans and 2 liter bottles. And, unlike sodas, you don't have to worry about the lemonade going flat after you've opened the bottle, because it didn't have any carbonation to begin with.

But I like my carbonated drinks too. You could probably make a really good drink by making something like Crystal Light lemonade with sparkling water.

Fresca is probably the all time best diet soda. There is no such thing as a regular Fresca with sugar. They are all diet drinks. They are supposed to be grapefruit flavored. And since I have never had a sugared grapefruit soda to compare it too, I don't keep thinking that it isn't quite right like I do with a diet cola.

Diet ginger ale is not bad at all. Regular ginger ale has just as much sugar as any other regular soda, which is weird considering that it is not a very sweet tasting soda. So making a sugar free version is a good idea; you hardly even miss the sugar.

The 7up Plus products are not bad, though the have a few more calories than some people like in their diet drinks. Also, the fruit flavors do not always go with what you're eating, so I think those are best when you just want a drink by itself rather than when you're having a meal.

Other diet sodas that a best enjoyed without food are diet root beer and diet Big Red. The regular versions of root beer and Big Red are a little weird to begin with, so the weird taste of artificial sweeteners seems less noticeable in the diet versions. I'm sure the same is true of diet Dr. Pepper, but I really dislike Dr. Pepper anyway.

I have just tried the black cherry & french vanilla version of Jazz Diet Pepsi. Not as bad as a Dr. Pepper, but not as good as diet root beer or Big Red. And I don't have any nice childhood memories of Jazz Diet Pepsi like I do with root beer and Big Red. I haven't tried the strawberries & creme version of Jazz Diet Pepsi yet. I'll have to come back to that later.

So that's most of what I've tried that I can think of at the moment. If you want to tell me about something that I left out, or what your favorite diet beverage is, or what you think is the worst diet beverage, or if you just want to disagree with me about something, please leave a comment.


Samuel said...

my husband is on a diet.. he is having a hard time saying motivated. this is his blog . you are welcome to view it

David in DC said...

They've started making Coke in cute l'il 8 oz. cans.

I've switched to them, almost exclusively. I'm drinking a third less Coke, but the same number of cans.

And the last sip is never lukewarm any more.

Not a miracle but every little bit helps.

nobodyinparticular said...

Diet Crystal Pepsi. It was clear (looked 7-up). Remember this?

Rachel said...

I made the switch from regular Pepsi from Diet Pepsi a few years ago. I lost about 15 pounds.
I started with getting fountain drinks of half regular/half diet. Then the next time I would get slightly more diet and so on.
I have been on strictly Diet Pepsi ever since.
You do get used to the taste and now I can't imagine going back to regular Pepsi as it is more syrupy than diet.
I absolutely abhor Diet Coke. It has a really nasty metallic after taste and I will drink tepid water before I will drink a Diet Coke.

nobodyinparticular said...

Rachel is right: Diet Coke does taste so tinny. I've just been putting up with it for so long.

There are other categories to consider, such as the Fruit Smoothies, and the oddballs like all those Snapple and Sobe varieties. I do not know the calories on this, but at least the Fruit Smoothies they sell in bottles in the convenience stores might be relatively nutritious.

As for regular water, lemon helps that too so Taz might hate less.

If you like ginger ale, you must try Vernor's, which is Michigan's greatest export. Otherwise, I like the Canada Dry ginger ale (so much unlike Vernors) whenever I fly.

laughingattheslut said...

I think maybe a friend is going to bring me some Vernors. :)

Okay, all of that's good. More comments would have been nice, but I don't have that many readers, and I think all but two left comments.

If anybody is interested, I did try the strawberry & creme diet Pepsi Jazz, and I like it a bit better than the black cherry & vanilla, but I'm still not sure that I'll be a regular customer of either.

Nobodyinparticular said...

I will take such a lukewarm review of those Jazz varieties as a "thumbs down".

I did try the Blue Dr. Pepper a few years ago: it was awful. The next thing that intrigues me is Mexican Coke. The kind with real cane sugar. It's not diet at all, but everyone says it's supposed to be better than American Coke, which uses corn-based sweetener. I have a bottle stored away for some unknown future special occasion.

Cecilia said...

Big Red just came out with New Diet Big Red this month. It is awesome! It tastes just like regular Big Red and the can is so much nicer looking. You should try it I think you will love it!!!

Philip. said...

I hate diets!

I seem yo be on one all the time (apart from when I am filling my face with food :-) )

Michael said...

Two words: Coke Zero.

Hands down, the greatest diet cola I have ever tasted.