The Water Experiment
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jul 20, 2011
Many of the regular readers of this blog know I’m diabetic. What a lot of folks don’t really know is that I run a group on Facebook for the support of Type 2 diabetics, which used to be called Adult Onset. It’s not called that anymore because unfortunately many kids that aren’t born diabetic are going that way as obesity figures around the world are increasing.
Last Sunday myself and another participant in the group decided we were going to try an experiment. The experiment was the brainchild of another member of the group who I’m not sure is diabetic or not, but he’s one of those health foods guys who loves, well, weird foods; yeah, I called it out. lol Anyway, he stated that if we drank only water for a week and didn’t change any of our other habits that we’d lose our cravings for sweets and desserts. He also said we could still eat whatever we wanted to, including desserts, but that by the end of the week we wouldn’t be craving it anymore.
By the way, to flesh this out, he said that diet sodas and any drinks with artificial sweeteners make us crave desserts because they make us think we’re having sugar without having sugar and suddenly our bodies want real sugar. I’m not really sure I go along with this theory, though I’d read it somewhere else, as studies are conflicting about it; aren’t studies always conflicting?
Y’all know I love my sweets. I’ve talked about my chocolate and love for my Doubletree cookies and peanut butter desserts and such. And of course I’ve talked about my love for cake and the way I must eat it properly.
I also love my diet drinks. Unlike a lot of people, I’ve always liked diet soda, except for Tab; did anyone besides Bobcat Goldthwait really like Tab? The day I was diagnosed as a diabetic I gave up regular soda and started drinking diet soda and other non-sugar drinks and never looked backwards except for the super-very-occasional grape soda; no one’s ever made a good diet grape soda.
It is with this in mind, as well as a mindset that’s always seen certain drinks going with certain foods, that I entered into this experiment. I’m always up for a good experiment as you know.
The first day went well. I actually like water, as cold as possible mind you, and I transitioned into it well. After all, like much of the rest of the country it’s been pretty hot here, and very cold water felt right.
The second day I ran into my first challenge, and it wasn’t a dessert craving but a mismatch of food and drink. I had a salad, and in my mind, salad and salad dressing and water don’t mix. I absolutely hated my salad so I only ate a little bit of it. However, though I always prefer diet soda with my pizza, that went fine. I still had dessert, but I wasn’t craving it.
Truthfully, that’s how the pattern went for the next three days. I was drinking a lot of water because I drink lots of liquids anyway. The guy who came up with the challenge, named Dave, started wondering if I was drinking too much water. You know this deal about drinking 64 ounces of water a day, or at least consuming that much because we get water from some of our foods? Phooey! I drink close to 128 oz with each meal, no matter what I’m drinking, and then I’m a casual drinker during the rest of my day. I always have been, even when I was a kid. He started worrying that I was washing nutrients out of my body and that it might affect the experiment. Hey, the experiment said drink water, not how much, so it was what it was.
The sixth day was problematic, and I know it was really mental. I had my first true dessert craving in a week and I knew what I wanted; yeah, that’s it to the left. lol I was also starting to really want to get done with the water thing, and I determined that I wasn’t going to fully hold myself to it on the seventh day. After all, what would one more day change things anyway, right?
On day seven I drank water up until around 7PM, when I ordered Chinese food. I broke down at that point and had 4 cans of Diet Pepsi Vanilla that my friend Scott had brought me; yeah, that was nice, and it totally enhanced my food. For me, the experiment was over, and I quit with only 5 hours to go. Earlier in the day I went to an outdoor tweetup with the heat around 90° and thus water was feeling really good because it was ice cold.
How did the experiment go overall? Well, not totally according to plan.
One, I really did only have cravings on one day, but I also knew I could eat dessert whenever I wanted so I’m not sure if my feelings were muted because of that.
Two, I gained 4 pounds, and I’m not quite sure how that happened. I didn’t work out all week, though, because of injuries I suffered the day the experiment started during a nature walk I partook of.
Three, I almost started to hate water, and that’s not good. At this point I’ve struck a nice balance between my diet soda, Wylers drink mix and water that I can live with. And I’m going back to the gym, having healed sufficiently to work out again. I need to drop what I gained and then drop even more.
Believe it or not we’re going to try the experiment again next week starting Sunday, but we’ll change up some of the parameters. One of those will be no dessert for 5 days; yeah, that’s all I’m promising for now. Another will be certain foods that we promise to give up; no potatoes, grits (that one’s for me), rice or pasta. I don’t have a problem with the pasta but rice… ugh. And for the 5 days no regular wheat, only whole wheat bread; there goes my favorite bread. We’re still debating on the Ritz crackers with peanut butter for my evening snack; I might lose that one as well, which means I’ll have to get creative on what I can snack on.
I’m wondering what Evelyn is going to have to say about this one; heck, I’m wondering what the rest of you think about experimenting like this and if any of you want to try this experiment with Greg and I; Greg’s the other guy who went along with me on this journey. Any takers?