I’ve recently become a big fan of Strong Lifts since I read an article by founder, Mehdi. I need to drop a few pounds — OK, more than a few — and I’ve found the Strong Lifts program to be right up my alley because it focuses on simple nutrition, weightlifting, and the occasional cardio session. The weightlifting sessions are not overly complex and involve only a few core exercises. We are talking old-school free weight movements like squats, dead lifts, etc. I don’t think I’ve squatted for anything since high school other than snacks on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator! To aid in my efforts to get back to “fighting weight” I’ve decided to combine my frugal efforts and swear off all forms of liquids other than good old H2O for the next thirty days.
I wouldn’t call myself a Coca Cola addict, but over the years I’ve enjoyed them more than I should have. This has probably contributed to my need to drop a few pounds. Aside from the empty calories and sugar content, sodas have a negative psychological effect on me — they make me want to eat more. If I am sitting down to watch a game and grab a cold soft drink I automatically reach for a bag of chips, some left over pizza, or pretzels. I don’t know what it is about sodas that makes me want to snack, but I know it isn’t a healthy habit. Diet sodas are loaded with sodium, and don’t make for a great alternative. It seems those who are truly successful losing a lot of weight just quit the sodas altogether.
My son drinks apple juice like it is going out of style, and my wife and I have recently started watering it down because we are a bit concerned with his own sugar intake. I occasionally pour myself a glass of apple or orange juice over some crushed ice. Just because it is a fruit juice doesn’t mean it is particularly good for me. After all, even 100% juice brands have up to 30 grams of sugar per serving!
This is an easy one for me. I couldn’t tell you the last time I drank a beer. And my efforts to drink a glass of wine daily (for the cardiovascular benefits, of course) dropped off when I realized I was spending way too much per bottle, even on the cheap stuff. Down the road I may try a homemade recipe or two, but for now I’ll just pass. Beer and wine are loaded with calories and the alcohol content works against my training efforts.
Got Milk? Not Me
Of all the items listed this may be the toughest for me to give up. I could probably go through a gallon of milk every other day if not kept in check. I just love the stuff! While milk is loaded with nutrients it also has sugar, something I’m trying to avoid in liquid form for the next month. Similar to the habitual effects soft drinks have on me, milk makes me want to eat something sweet. There is nothing better to me than chasing a fudge brownie with an ice cold glass of milk.
H2O All the Way
So for the next 30 days I’ll give up all other liquid vices and stick to water. After all, water is probably the best thing we can drink for improved digestion, metabolism, and for proper hydration. There are no calories, no caffeine and no additives (except for the ones added by our water treatment facility to keep it clean). I may cheat a bit here and there by adding some sugar-free drink powder to the water I have with my evening meal, or maybe a squeeze of lemon, just for a little variety. I’ll keep tabs on how much I would have spent on soft drinks over this same period and will report back at the end of the experiment. Along the way I hope to lose some weight, save some money, and cure a few of these bad habits I’ve developed.