Whether you want to take on the merits of "Supersize Me", or not, Woods pointed out something undeniable in his personal experiment. A large bulk of our calories comes from drinking sugary beverages. Woods discusses on Liquidcalories.com that Spurlock was only able to gain 25 pounds in his 30-day experiment because he consumed at least a gallon of soda beverages plus milkshakes and ice cream each day in addition to the foods he ate. This high intake of sugars contributed to excessive weight gain.
Sugar & Metabolism, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Eliminating Sugar Makes You Lose Weight, SF Gate
How far off is a gallon of soda a day for Americans?
Americans, on average, drank 16 ounces of soda beverages a day in 2012, about one-quarter of Spurlock's daily consumption (MSN Money, 2013). My food consumption before January 2013 consisted of an average of 800 to 1100 calories per meal, plus 16 to 32 ounces of soda a day. The end result was a 9-year stretch from 2004 to 2013 where I went from 155 pounds to 235 pounds. That's 80 pounds over 9 years, or eight to nine pounds a year.
Drinking Habits Change
Our soda-drinking habits do not stack weight on quickly, but gradully over time. In the Woods experiment, he consumed Diet Coke in lieu of regular soda. His personal study did not allow for water consumption in lieu of diet soda, because water "is deemed healthier than Diet Coke". There are studies that show how diet sodas increase appetite and dehydrate us, thus linking diet sodas to weight gain as well.
It's sugar that our bodies convert into fat (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition). Therefore, since I wanted to reduce the amount of fat in my body, it made sense to reduce the amount of sugars coming into my body that weren't good for me.
Building a habit of reducing the amount of soda we drink each day, will help us gradually shed the weight we gained over the years, and keep it off.
Do you find yourself changing habits more effectively when done gradually, or cold turkey?