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  • Writer's pictureDr. Hansra

Remember: "The little things add up to something big" when trying to lose weight

Make small realistic changes to your lifestyle rather than big drastic changes. Diets typically don't work because they involve unsustainable big changes. When dieting you may lose weight initially but then gain all the weight back (and more!) once you stop. Therefore making small manageable changes to your everyday habits is more likely to stick and translate into long term success.

Let's start with an example: THE SOFT DRINK CHEAT.

Everyone enjoys a good soft drink once in a while but some people make it a daily habit and this can add to weight gain. If you can eliminate your daily soft drink habit and replace it with something healthy then you're off to a good start.

Lets do the math:

A small 8 oz. cola beverage has about 100 calories (seen above). The average size of 12 oz. has about 150 calories. Let's say you drink one soda per day that's 150 calories x 7 days per week x 52 weeks per year = 54600 calories per year on a one cola per day habit! Since 3500 calories = 1 pound you would be carrying around an extra 15.6 pounds per year on a 1 cola per day habit!

"Think small when trying to lose weight" #Smartandeasyhealth

What is the solution? Answer: The Soft Drink Cheat #softdrinkcheat

The Soft Drink Cheat


1) Carbonated water

2) Stevia - cola flavored


Take 16 oz. chilled carbonated water and add 50 droplets of stevia/ 3 droppers (or more to taste)


Calories: 0!

The bottom line and scientific evidence

The soft drink cheat will not taste 100% like your favorite cola beverage but it comes very close. It's OK to enjoy a good soft drink once in a while but if you want to replace your daily habit and/or try to lose weight then the #softdrinkcheat is right for you. #Weightloss is important for your overall health and losing weight carries vast benefits. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, being overweight or obese can lead to: 1) all-causes of death (mortality), 2) high blood pressure (hypertension) 3) high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (dyslipidemia) 4) type 2 diabetes 5) coronary heart disease 6) stroke 7) gallbladder disease 8) osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint) 9) sleep apnea and breathing problems 10) many cancers (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver for example) 11) low quality of life 12) mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders 13) body pain and difficulty with physical functioning (1).

Of specific concern sugary drinks including soft drinks can contribute to cancer risk (2), increase risk of type 2 diabetes (3), and heart disease (3) independent of obesity risk.

Why not drink diet soft drinks instead? One study found that consumption of both sugar sweetened and artificial sweetened soft drinks was linked to health risks (2).

It makes most sense to drink plain water or carbonated water as this is the safest alternative but if you have to have a soft drink once in a while the #softdrinkcheat seems reasonable.

Why stevia? Stevia is a sweetener and sugar substitute derived from the leaves of the plant species Stevia Rebaudiana. Stevia extracts are recognized as safe by the FDA (4). Whole leaf varieties and raw stevia extracts are currently not approved by the FDA due to lack of research. Stevia extracts have been deemed safe in over 200 research studies (5). Like all things you put in your body there may be increased risk of side effects so if you have any such as nausea then minimize or stop taking stevia. Also if you have a medical condition (such as diabetes), pregnant, or taking medications talk with your doctor before ingesting stevia. Like all things in life there are risks and benefits. For me, the benefits of using stevia far outweigh any side effects (I have no side effects) as the risks of being overweight and drinking sweetened soft drinks are very high as highlighted above. If you drink one soda a day you could lose 15 pounds in a year with the #softdrinkcheat.

Remember: The little things add up to something big when trying to lose weight so make small gradual changes in your diet to achieve your #health and #weightloss goals.



1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overweight and Obesity. Accessed November 24, 2019.

2. Hodge A M, et al. Consumption of sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened soft drinks and risk of obesity-related cancers. Public Health Nutrition; 21(9): 1618-1626.

3. Malik V S, et al. Sugar Sweetened Beverages, Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Risk. Circulation. 2010 Mar 23; 121(11):1356-1364.

4. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Has Stevia been approved by FDA to be used as a sweetener? Accessed November 24, 2019.

5. Margaret Ashwell. Stevia, Nature's Zero Calorie Sustainable Sweetener. A New Player in the Fight Against Obesity. Nutr. Today. 2015 May; 50(3): 129-134.


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