June 02, 2005, 14:59Catching up: Math Diet
Sometime last week, I was introduced to the concept of the "math diet". By replacing the Pepsi I drink each day with Diet Pepsi, I'd be cutting several hundred calories out of my daily diet. Since it apparently takes about (weight in pounds * 10) calories of intake per day to maintain your current weight, this would be a very simple way to reduce my calorie intake and thus lose some weight without reducing the amount I drink each day or changing my diet in any other way. I believe the calculation performed showed that if I drank only Diet Pepsi instead of Pepsi for one year, I could potentially lose up to 73 pounds. And that would be pretty remarkable.
(Though, come to think of it, that math may have been in error... it assumed that I was always at my current weight, and thus my current maintain-weight calorie level, rather than having a lower maintain-weight calorie level as time went on. So the incremental benefit should have diminished over time as my weight approached an asymptote. I may have to calculate this out later.)
A 20-oz. bottle of Diet Pepsi was purchased for me. The taste was not great, but not horrible either. I figured the taste might be bearable for a while to easily lose some weight. However, I was not able to finish the complete bottle, just because the taste was not appealing enough.
The following day, I bought as 12-oz. can of Diet Pepsi from a vending machine and started drinking it. Later in the day, I found that I was having very odd backaches. I searched on-line, and found that some sites claim aspartame (the ingredient that replaces sugar in the diet version of many beverages) has been known to help heal backaches in some people, but the only reference that I found to it causing
backaches was on some odd holistic medicine website (link omitted). But I could think of no other reasonable causes for the ache (e.g. if I had slept funny the previous night, wouldn't I have felt that all morning instead of developing it later in the day?), so combined with the taste, I decided that Diet Pepsi just wasn't for me.
In thinking about it now, I may not have to completely give up this approach. I tried Diet Dr Pepper a few weeks back, and was surprised to find that, just as the ads say, it "does taste more like regular Dr Pepper". Although Pepsi is my first love as far as carbonated beverages are concerned, I do like Dr Pepper. So assuming that it wasn't the aspartame that caused the backache, maybe I can do a partial replacement in the future. Though the office I work in doesn't have any Dr Pepper vending machines, so I guess it'll still have to be Pepsi during the workday.