Last summer, Lise Day stopped by the THRIVE! table at United Way of Greater Lorain County's annual Campaign Kickoff. THRIVE! was hosting a mock TV game show, patterned after “Wheel of Fortune,” where participants would spin a wheel and had to answer questions related to health, fitness or nutrition.
Lise answered two questions correctly and won the exciting prize of a dietary consultation, valued at $100, with THRIVE! Dietitian Libby Showalter.
The two met and discussed Lise’s eating habits. What surprised them both was the volume of sweet pop that Lise consumed each day. She enjoyed one or two 12-oz. cans of her favorite Pepsi, but she also stopped off at her local McDonald’s to enjoy one or two big, 32-oz. containers of Dr. Pepper or Coca Cola. That container is loaded with 310 calories of sugar; a 12-oz. can has 150 calories. Lise was consuming between 600 to 770 of empty calories a day.
Libby advised Lise to concentrate on “one small change” to try that would improve her diet. Without hesitation Lise chose to reduce her intake of pop.
“My family had a candy store when I was little, and we were always getting Coke or Dr. Pepper delivered, so I grew up on the sweet stuff. I realized that I needed to take the next steps for my health,” says Lise.
She also understood her own lifestyle. “I knew I couldn’t throw myself into a big ambitious diet plan, it would be too much for me,” says Lise, who is a busy Project Manager for the Recovery Court of the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board (ADAS) of Lorain County (soon to merge with Lorain County Board of Mental Health).
Rather than gradually reduce her intake, Lise decided to cut back to one can of pop a day. “It was so easy to go to McDonald’s and refill a big container, so I had to switch to cans,” she says. She didn’t anticipate one problem, however: “I found myself detoxing from the caffeine in the pop. I experienced serious withdrawal.” So she began taking a migraine formula supplement with added caffeine, which helped.
Despite falling off the wagon once or twice, Lise maintains that limiting herself to a half or full can of pop a day has worked for her.
In less than a year, Lise has lost 11 pounds just from reducing the amount of pop she consumes.