Fitness & Wellness

How To Stay Motivated

How To Stay Motivated

Getting fit doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a long time. It requires you actually change years of negative habits and replace them with healthier ones. Because it isn’t something you do once and walk away, it means you have to stay motivated not only until you achieve your results, but also until you make it a habit so you achieve your goals permanently. While trainers can help you stay motivated, ultimately, it’s all up to you.

Keep your goals front and center.

One thing that trainers provide that’s extremely important is clarifying goals and creating ones that are workable. They have a time line, a well defined target and a step by step process to achieving that target. It keeps you on pace at the gym, but what about when you’re not in the gym? That’s when you can use those same goals to keep you on track. Keep them in your phone and take time outside of the gym to identify ways to help you reach them faster. It may be something as simple as parking further from the grocery and walking or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

Think about your goal differently.

Remember in school when you got a good grade or did better on an exam than you thought. Remember that great feeling. You should feel that way every time you do something to help you reach your goals. Be proud of your achievements. Did you pass up a candy bar for a piece of fresh fruit? Celebrate! Pat yourself on the back and look for the next way you can boost your progress. Enjoy your successes and don’t beat yourself up on the times you missed the mark.

If you don’t have a personal trainer, get a workout buddy.

One of the benefits of having a personal trainer is that you’re held accountable for your goals. Just knowing the trainer is waiting for you and KNOWS whether you’ve shown up or put your effort into the workout can get you to the gym. A workout buddy provides the same benefits. Both trainers and workout buddies can also help you stay on the path of healthy eating and provide some tips that make eating healthy more enjoyable.

  • You’re not perfect and sometimes, you fall off the wagon, either skipping a workout or eating an entire chocolate cake. If that happens, put it in the past where it belongs and get right back to your healthy habits.
  • Schedule your workout. When you have an appointment with the gym or with your workout, you’re more likely to go than if you simply say you’ll do it some time that day—which normally means never.
  • Plan meals ahead of time. People who do this have grocery lists and have everything ready. If you’re busy during the week, take one day on the weekend to assemble the week’s food so you don’t have to think at the end of the day.
  • Remember eating healthy isn’t dieting. Occasionally, you can have foods you’ve always loved, just not every day and not in huge amounts.

How To Find The Right Trainer

How To Find The Right Trainer

Not every trainer is a match for every person and not all trainers are equal when it comes to knowledge of both fitness and motivation. Finding the right trainer in Raleigh, NC is important to your progress. While I believe my background speaks for itself and my years of studies into what works and gets the quickest results, you have to determine what works best for you. Here are some things that I believe are important and should be part of your fitness program. Use this information to help you find a trainer.

It’s not being sexist to say men require a different workout from women.

Hormonal and structurally, men’s bodies are different. In a lot of ways, they actually have it easier when it comes to losing weight. Each sex has different road blocks when it comes to losing weight and require different types of exercise routines and dietary programs. That means that you have to consider sex and sex hormones when creating workouts and dietary plans. Because there is a difference in the amount of estrogen, testosterone and other sex hormones, men lose weight faster, particularly at first. Belly fat, visceral fat—the most dangerous type of fat—is more of a problem for men than women. Good trainers consider all aspects of a person before creating a workout.

A good trainer considers all lifestyle choices in their program.

If you want to get healthy, taking a break to have a smoke or grab a Coke shouldn’t be on your schedule. Neither should you workout for an hour at top speed only to grab a burger, fries and a beer on the way home. Good trainers should emphasize all lifestyle changes. While the client might not be ready to tackle all of the changes, I make sure they know they’re on the table and I can help. Exercise is only one aid to losing weight and living healthy, diet, adequate sleep, good hydration and breaking bad habits are a few more.

Your goals may not be the same as the person next to you, so your program shouldn’t be the same.

If a trainer doesn’t ask you about your goals the first day, he’s not doing his or her job. Body shapes, hormones, dietary habits and fitness levels are not all that’s different about each person, so are their goals. I had one client that came in because she was out of shape, which she was according to how she identified fit. However, she was far fitter than some people who have worked out for months. Each person has a different goal. Some people want to go beyond what others want. Some people also have further to go to reach their goals. A personal trainer needs to consider where you are and exactly what your goals are. Only you can determine what you ultimately want to achieve.

  • A good trainer knows that while working out is part of the picture, a healthy body starts in the kitchen. They should provide nutritional training, especially if weight loss is important.
  • Each person is different from even themselves. What worked great for you at 20 may not be appropriate at 45 or 50. Your body changes as it ages and a good program accounts for that change.
  • Good trainers hold you accountable by helping you create achievable goals. If your initial goal is big, the trainer should help you break it down to smaller, more achievable goals.
  • Good trainers should also consider your lifestyle and daily routine, helping you to make small changes that will boost your success.

Hormones That Have A Big Affect On Your Health

Hormones That Have A Big Affect On Your Health

If you’re like most people, when you think of hormones, you normally think of sex hormones like testosterone or estrogen. There are so many different hormones that affect the body and have an effect on your health. Hormones are just messengers that deliver instructions to the body’s cells. For instance, the hormone ghrelin tells your body it’s hungry, while the hormone leptin brings the message that it’s full. Hormones keep your body working properly when they’re functioning normally. They affect all processes, including heart rate and body temperature.

Hormones that come from stress play a role in your health.

You always hear about how stress affects your body negatively, but you do need stress hormones like cortisol or you’d die. Cortisol is necessary for many bodily functions, which is why almost all cells have cortisol receptors. It helps with your metabolism, reduces inflammation, aids in brain functioning, like memory, and even helps control blood sugar levels. While it’s a necessity for good healthy, having too much is bad, too. It’s the hormone that prepares the body for the fight or flight response. If you don’t do either, it remains unchecked and keeps the body in readiness with a rapid heart rate and less blood flow to the digestive tract. That has a negative affect, plus can cause accumulation of abdominal fat.

Insulin is a hormone you require to survive.

Insulin does so many things in the body and without it you’d have type 1 diabetes. However, you can have so much insulin that you develop insulin resistance that can turn into type 2 diabetes where your cells don’t use the insulin properly. In both cases, the cells don’t get the insulin they need to create energy. It can cause nerve damage, stomach problems, high levels of toxic ketones, high sugar levels in the blood, low energy levels, damage to all cells in the body and eye problems. This hormone affects every cell in the body, since it affects the cells fuel supply.

Sleep is important to good health and a hormone affects how much you get.

Can’t sleep? Maybe it’s because you don’t have enough serotonin. Hormones are created in several locations that are all part of the endocrine system. The master gland is the pituitary gland, but in the case of serotonin, it’s created in the pineal gland, which is also called the thalamus. Lack of sleep has been shown to create heart issues, brain fog and low energy levels. Low serotonin levels also cause depression, mood swings, irritability, poor memory, low self-esteem and a low sex-drive. Eating simple carbs can boost insulin levels, which in turn allow an increase of tryptophan to the brain where it converts to serotonin.

  • An imbalance of sex hormones can cause health issues, such as fibroid tumors, weight gain, gall bladder disease, heavy periods and a low sex drive.
  • HGH—human growth hormone—plays a role in heart functioning, body fluids, bone growth, fat metabolism, body composition and sugar metabolism. It’s called the fountain of youth and strength-building exercises can boost it.
  • If you want to help regulate hormones start a program of regular exercise. It helps burn off hormones of stress and regulates excess estrogen.
  • Sugar plays havoc with insulin levels, even natural sugars. Switching your diet to whole foods that are lower in sugar has helped prevent and treat Type 2 diabetes and reduce insulin resistance.

What Is Functional Fitness?

What Is Functional Fitness?

There’s a lot of reasons to workout. Of course, losing weight is often at the top of the list, just as building more energy and looking great. However, avoiding injury is also a reason. When you aren’t fit, sometimes simple tasks can cause injury. Turning the wrong way, lifting a child or simply trying to avoid a fall can cause an injury that causes pain, spasms and puts you on the couch for weeks. To avoid those problems, functional fitness workouts help. They develop synergy throughout the body.

Functional fitness builds core muscles.

You’re probably already familiar with many exercises that work on core muscles, since we do many of the exercises here at the gym. Weight training will get you into shape to lift that heavy box, but there are other exercises that help train your muscles to work together and actually mimic your daily movements, like lifting while turning or those that use both upper and lower body movements at the same time.

Functional fitness training works so well that law enforcement uses it.

There are many types of military and law enforcement that use functional fitness training. For instance, Army Rangers and Navy SEALS include it in their training programs. Obviously, the reason for using the training isn’t to look good, but to be able to navigate in the field safely. They may have to outmaneuver or outrun an enemy in the field, while carrying a 60 pound weight or more. That takes more than just arm strength, it takes total body strength and the ability of muscles to work together. That’s why it takes more than just one type of workout or exercise to achieve functional fitness.

Functional fitness includes all types of fitness.

There are four types of fitness, strength, flexibility, balance and endurance. Each one is important for an injury resistant lifestyle. It uses multi-directional training with the muscles of all parts of the body going on different planes and in a variety of directions. Tai Chi is one example of functional fitness training, but kettlebells and multi-directional lunges are also part of it. When you’re using more than one or two joints and muscle groups, you’re getting functional fitness training. If you’re still not sure what functional fitness is, imagine how many muscle groups you use raking a lawn.

  • Functional fitness training helps seniors, too. It can aid them in living alone longer and make them more independent and healthy.
  • Functional fitness not only helps prevent muscle strain, it helps prevent joint injury by training several muscle groups to work together that support the joints.
  • You’ll have lots of core exercises when you do a functional fitness workout. The core muscles help keep the body balanced as they support the entire body.
  • Many functional fitness workouts involve bodyweight exercises and calisthenics. You don’t need a lot of equipment to get functionally fit.

Are You Overweight Because Of A Hormone Imbalance?

Are You Overweight Because Of A Hormone Imbalance?

Some of my clients in Raleigh find that they’re overweight because of a hormone imbalance. It may seem like your body is fighting you, but the truth is, you have a potential to turn it around and take control. You notice that I said you have a potential to turn it around. That’s because you may not be able to control all factors, but you can control many of them. It’s especially difficult for women going through menopause where hormone levels are consistently changing. You also might be quite surprised at the hormones that are probably giving you the biggest problems.

Hormones need to be balanced for you to be at your fittest.

There’s a delicate balance between estrogen and progesterone levels. At menopause, the balance disappears and scrambles your system. You might expect estrogen levels to be dropping, and you’d be right. Often a high level of estrogen is the cause of weight gain, which makes it even more confusing. However, your progesterone levels are also dropping and if they go down faster than your estrogen, you have estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance or higher estrogen levels cause weight gain, during menopause and even at other times in your life.

Hormonal imbalance doesn’t stop at estrogen dominance.

There are other types of hormones that play a role in weight loss or weight gain. Leptin, insulin and cortisol are three other hormones that affect your weight. They also determine where those pounds migrate to in your body. Leptin, cortisol and insulin are also important hormones that affect your weight. Cortisol is a hormone created when you’re under stress. When you have too much of it or it’s not burned off by fighting or fighting—or the exercise equivalent to it—it builds up in your body. It plays a role creating visceral fat—belly fat. If you have an excess of leptin—the hormone that tells you that you’re full—it can lead to leptin resistance. That means your body doesn’t get the signal that you’re full and you keep eating. Insulin resistance and an imbalance of insulin can make weight loss difficult, too.

You can aid in balancing your hormones without medication in many cases.

Just working out can burn off excess cortisol. It acts like the actions taken by the body for fighting or flight. Not only does eating healthy and cutting out sugar and processed foods help balance insulin, it also helps with other hormones. Strength-building exercises can provide balancing relief to your body, just as mild cardio does. Walking is a good way to start until you build up endurance and your hormones start to get back to a normalized state.

  • Cut back on caffeine and consume less red meat to help balance your hormones. Make sure you have adequate healthy fat in your diet and consume a rainbow of colors in fruits and vegetables.
  • Consider supplements, even if you’re already eating healthy. Vitamin D3 shortages are frequently found in a wide number of people, especially since sunblocks are so popular. It’s a vitamin your body makes from the rays of the sun. Add the B vitamins and magnesium.
  • Getting adequate sleep is necessary for a healthy hormone balance. The body adjusts and regulates hormones during sleep.
  • Your digestive system plays a huge role in hormone regulation. Make sure you have a healthy balance of bacteria by using probiotics and prebiotics.

How Important Is Fiber Anyway?

How Important Is Fiber Anyway?

If you feel bloated, yet can’t go, fiber has always been the go to nutrient to get you going. However, fiber does many other things for the body, too. There are two types of fiber. The first is soluble fiber. It dissolves when mixed with water and creates a gel material that helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Insoluble fiber isn’t digested. It increases bulk and helps with constipation.

Fiber gives you a feeling of satiety, which is a real help if you’re trying to shed weight.

If weight loss is a goal, eating high-fiber foods can help. They fill you up without filling you out since they’re lower in calories. That feeling of fullness lasts far longer than you’d get from eating a high sugary carb, since fiber rich foods help control blood sugar levels. While those sugary products will give you a boost of energy almost immediately, you’ll be craving more quickly as your blood sugar level crashes. Controlling blood sugar levels is one way to keep your appetite and weight in control.

High fiber foods boost your healthy bacteria and gut health.

Your body has a huge number of bacteria and microbes that are important for gut health. They help to make nutrients bio-available to the body. Fiber acts as a prebiotic, providing a healthy environment and nutrition for the good bacteria. Fiber ferments in the colon by the bacteria. The product brings healthy results from the fatty acids that result that benefit the lining of the colon. This fermentation also produces byproducts that help kill the bad bacteria and pathogens that cause illness.

You’ll stay healthier with fiber in your diet.

Of course, weight loss may be the top priority for you and a diet with adequate fiber certainly helps, but it also can provide protection for many other health benefits, besides lowering cholesterol and maintaining blood sugar levels, although that’s quite a lot. By protecting the mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal wall, it helps prevent colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and other inflammatory diseases of the bowel.

  • Food that contains soluble fiber include oats, peas, beans, strawberries, apples, citrus fruits, rice bran and barley. They help you go by attracting water and keeping your stool soft and easy to pass.
  • Insoluble fiber provides the bulk that also gives your colon a boost in the bathroom, which is also one of the reasons that food high in insoluble fiber, like crucifers, green beans, whole wheat flour and nuts help reduce the risk of colon cancer.
  • Fiber is particularly good for weight loss for people with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. That’s because of its ability to regulate blood sugar.
  • Studies show that increasing your dietary fiber can extend your life. Cereal fiber is especially good for lowering the risk for cardiovascular disease. Don’t worry about overeating fiber, your body will tell you when you have too much by getting gassy and bloating.

Healthy Low Fat Snacks

Healthy Low Fat Snacks

You probably already know that fat is healthy, but it also is higher in calories per gram compared to carbohydrates and protein. One gram of protein contains four calories, just as one gram of carbohydrates does. However, one gram of fat contains nine calories. While you don’t want to give up the health benefits of fat, choosing healthy low fat snacks in Raleigh can help you keep your calorie count lower and allow you to include healthy fat foods at other times, such as having an avocado with breakfast to keep you full to lunch.

Mushrooms can be a great snack that also has other health benefits.

If you want to give your immune system a boost, consider snacking on mushrooms. They have lots of nutrients, such as Vitamins B6, D, C, niacin, pantothenic acid, thiamin, folate, riboflavin, iron, potassium, zinc, copper, phosphorus, manganese and selenium. It also is a good source of fiber and vegetable protein. That may be why mushrooms have been used by healers through the centuries. They make a great grazing snack at a cookout when grilled or a go-to snack served with a low fat dip.

Speaking of low fat dips, have you tried hummus?

If you haven’t tried hummus, you should. This high protein dip is made from chickpeas, ground, hulled and toasted sesame seeds. You can make it at home easily. There’s a bit of olive oil in it—a healthy fat, but to lower the fat, switch it out with low fat yogurt. Homemade hummus could be used as the low fat dip for mushrooms or a dip used for celery, carrots, broccoli and other raw vegetables.

Keeping it simple is the route to go with snacks that have their own container.

It’s so easy to carry an apple or orange with you. There’s no need for a container or plastic baggy. It’s ready to eat the minute you wash it. If you don’t need to carry your snack with you, another option for low fat, low calories snacks is to have fruit already cut and ready to eat in the refrigerator. A bowl of watermelon or cantaloupe cubed, grapes or cherries is quick to make and easy to access when you need a snack. If prep time isn’t a problem, peel and section grapefruit and have it ready to eat when you need an energy boost or fill a craving.

  • Search for snacks that contain only ancient grains. You’ll fill your stomach while getting a low fat option that’s loaded with nutrition. Always check the labels to make sure you’re getting only those grains.
  • Make a lettuce wrap to eat for a snack. A lean piece of baked, roasted or grilled chicken wrapped in greens will fill you up while providing protein.
  • Homemade kale chips baked on parchment paper may take a little longer to prepare, but are well worth the effort when you taste how good they are. Try baked sweet potato chips too.
  • Get a sweet treat without guilt when you go with chocolate-covered banana pops. Just cut up one inch slices of banana, put a stick in each piece and freeze. Later, when frozen, dip in dark chocolate or carob and put it back in the freezer. These banana pops are ready to eat when you crave something sweet.

Foods That Are Heart Healthy

Foods That Are Heart Healthy

Foods that are heart healthy contain nutrients that help maintain heart health. These include vitamins D, omega3 fatty acids, magnesium, CoQ10, folic acid and potassium. Dietary fiber is also important, since it helps lower blood cholesterol levels. While these nutrients are important for heart health, they’re also mandatory for overall good health, so adding them to your diet even if you don’t worry about heart problems can improve your well-being.

Choose dark chocolate for a healthy heart.

You’re probably ecstatic when you read dark chocolate is part of a heart healthy diet. However, it’s not the sugary sweet type of milk chocolate most people are used to eating. The best dark chocolate are those with the fewest ingredients with cocoa powder, cocoa butter, cocoa nibs, cocoa or chocolate liquor at the top of the list. It’s 70 percent chocolate and has not only antioxidants The flavonoids in dark chocolate provide benefits like lower blood pressure, improved blood flow to the heart and prevent clots, while fighting cell damage.

You need healthy fat for a healthy heart.

While fat may have a reputation of being unhealthy for the heart, it’s not true. It started with a flawed study funded by none other than the sugar industry to shift the blame from sugar to fat. Foods that contain healthy fat include avocados, nuts and fatty fish, like salmon. Although these foods contain different types of fat, they definitely boost heart health. Fish contain Omega-3 fatty acids that lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol. Avocados and walnuts provide monounsaturated fat that’s heart healthy and lowers the risk of heart disease. Walnuts also contain alpha linoleic acid—a form of omega-3 fatty acids —that’s extremely heart healthy.

Foods that are high in vitamin D boost your heart health.

Even in North Carolina, getting adequate vitamin D from the sun can be impossible. If you’re low in vitamin D, you face the risk of heart disease. It’s involved in so many functions, including lowering blood pressure. Eating foods high in vitamin D can help when the weather is cold or there’s little sun. They include beef liver, cheese, products fortified with vitamin D and egg yolks.

  • Look for food high in magnesium to prevent an irregular heartbeat. Foods that contain magnesium include avocados, dark chocolate, raw spinach and soybeans. Folic acid lowers the risk of heart disease by 20%, so eat lots of Brussels sprouts, asparagus, lentils and broccoli.
  • Eat organ meat, such as liver or beef heart to boost CoQ10 levels. It lowers the risk of heart failure and high blood pressure.
  • Don’t forget your fiber. It’s important for heart health and lowers bad cholesterol. You’ll get fiber from a bowl of oatmeal or an apple a day.
  • The more colorful vegetables you eat, the more you improve your heart health. Variety adds more nutrition and substances like resveratrol into your diet.

How To Stay Healthy When Working At A Desk

How To Stay Healthy When Working At A Desk

It’s hard to stay healthy working at a desk. You sometimes sit for hours and the only part of your body moving is your fingers. It’s not only uncomfortable after a long period, it’s hard on your body. In fact, one study shows that sitting continuously for over 50 minutes at a time can actually wipe out many of the benefits of working out. You need to get up every fifty minutes and move around, whether you’re working out or not. If you don’t workout, the effects of that time are even worse.

Get up and walk around or create a workout you can do for a few minutes every hour.

You might not think you have the time to take a break, but the truth is, you can’t afford not to do that. When you break up your time at the computer with extra movement, it actually makes you work more efficiently. Plan some activities you can do in a few minutes. There’s a four minute nitric oxide dump created by Dr. Bush that you can do or simply going to the stairwell and going up and down a flight of stairs can be a great break to boost your circulation and get your mind back to top speed.

Don’t stress over that slow computer system.

Here’s one of my favorites that a client suggested. The computer system at her work often goes through a lazy phase where it takes forever to pull up information. She does deep knee bends while she’s waiting and tries to see how many she can get in before the system has the information she needs. She says it turns frustration into a game. It also gives her the break she needs to regroup. I like to think of it as turning something negative into a positive.

Use your chair as a prop.

You don’t have to get down on the floor to get exercise. You can do it right at the desk. Grasp the sides of your chair and lift yourself off the seat with your body maintaining the seating position, thighs at a 90 degree to the body and calves parallel with the body. If you prefer, slide to the edge of the chair, holding the edge with your hands as you lower your body for a chair dip by bending your arms. Return to the original position by straightening your arms. Do a modified squat by lifting your bottom off the chair and holding the position.

  • Stop those tension headaches before they start. Do neck and shoulder rolls at the desk to loosen the tight muscles, which often create those tension headaches.
  • Just tightening muscles periodically can help you stay in shape. Straighten your posture, while pulling in your stomach and tightening helps, just as tensing your glutes and holding for a count of ten.
  • Do jumping jacks without the jumping or get up and do a windmill. Raise your hands perpendicular to your body and either turn side to side for a windmill or bend side to side for a stretch.
  • Even if you add movement at the office, it doesn’t replace working out on a regular basis. Make sure you get at least forty to fifty minutes of regular exercise three times a week.

Is It Time To Quit Soda?

Is It Time To Quit Soda?

When you eat healthy, you get results. It’s true, but many people fail because they don’t consider what they drink as part of the program. Soda can be devastating to a diet. Soft drinks, whether or not they contain sugar can undo all you’ve tried to achieve. Even in sit down healthier eating restaurants in Raleigh, NC, soda is often one of the drink choices. If you want the best results and to be your healthiest, you have to quit soda, even sugar free soft drinks.

Soft drinks are as addictive as cocaine.

Quitting soft drinks isn’t easy. The sugar in the soft drink gives you an adrenaline rush. Some drinks also contain caffeine, which also gives an energy boost. Studies show that the effect of sugar on the brain is similar to that of cocaine and while can be just as hard to quit. It’s more than just the sugar in the drink. Soft drinks contain high phosphorus levels that actual can leach the bones of calcium. When you have high phosphorus and high calcium levels in the blood, it can create calcium deposits in the eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels.

Switching to diet soda isn’t the answer.

One study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society showed that people who drank diet soda all had bigger waistlines. In fact, in the study, waist measurements increases were three times as much as people who didn’t drink diet soda. The bigger the person, the bigger the increase. Waistline measurements indicate visceral fat—belly fat. That’s the fat that can cause the most health problems. Diet cola also affects your weight in another way. The brain detects sweetness of the drink via the taste buds and sends a message to the body to prepare for sugary treats and boost the insulin. When no calories arrive, it disrupts the creation of the hormone that tells the body its satisfied and to quit eating.

Start weaning yourself from soft drinks.

It will be tough to switch off soft drinks, but it’s possible to do without feeling too many side effects. If you can do it all at once, good for you. Otherwise, start making the substitutions slowly and build. What you find to fill the void may not be as satisfactory first, but after a month or two, you’ll barely crave that can of soda. Find an unsweetened drink you like. Green tea has no calories and can even help you lose weight. I’m a water fan, but you have to be careful if you drink bottled water. Some bottled water is nothing more than water from the tap of a city that’s bottled. A water purifier is often a good investment if you have city water or well water may have chemicals.

  • It may be easier to switch when you realize that soda actually speeds up the aging process. Is that soft drink worth looking older or feeling older?
  • Track your calories from soft drinks. If you’re drinking full sugar soft drinks, you’ll be amazed at how many calories you can save by switching to a non-caloric drink. Just don’t make it a diet soft drink or expect a larger waistline.
  • When you’re thirsty, try a bottle of water first to see if it helps. Often, you’ll find that it does just fine in quenching your thirst. Other times, you aren’t thirsty, but want a sugar boost. Grab some fruit.
  • If you’re not ready to give up diet soft drinks, consider how those sweeteners are made. They’re all made in a lab and contain ingredients the body wasn’t created to digest. They play with your natural brain functions. If it’s a substance pretending to be a food, don’t eat it.