The Surprising Diet Soda Study

Are sugar-free beverages causing weight gain? A new study suggests that they could help your weight loss journey.

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.

Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Arnold’s Corner: Monday Motivation

  • Let’s eat

  • Diet soda does what?

  • Workout of the week

Arnold’s Podcast

Motivation every day. Want Arnold to help you start your day? Each morning, we post a new podcast with tips you’ll find in the daily email and bonus stories, wisdom, and motivation from Arnold. Listen to Arnold's Pump Club podcast. It's like the daily newsletter but with additional narration and thoughts from Arnold. You can subscribe on Apple, Spotify, Google, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Arnold’s Corner: Monday Motivation

Every Monday since January 1, I’ve shared motivation with you here.

After 48 weeks, I still get emails every single week asking how to get motivated to exercise, to do that project at work, to be present with your friends and family, and to read that book you’ve been meaning to read.

This week, instead of looking for motivation, I want you to look for momentum.

Motivation inspires, but it is just a spark. You need fuel to keep moving forward. You need momentum.

Momentum comes from having a routine. An object in motion wants to stay in motion, and an object at rest wants to stay at rest.

What you need is to get moving, and create a few simple habits that, no matter what, you accomplish every single day.

For me, the first few hours of my day are completely automatic. I wake up, I turn on the coffee machine, and I let the animals out. I prepare their food and feed all of them — between Whiskey, Lulu, Schnelly, Noodle, Schnitzel, and Dutch, it’s quite the operation. But I always feel fantastic when I sit down with my first cup of coffee because I’ve already accomplished something.

That sense of accomplishment that comes from routine fuels me. After my coffee, I get on my bike to ride to the gym. I train for an hour, and I ride to breakfast.

By the time I sit down to eat, I’ve accomplished three big things: fed my animals, done my cardio, and done my resistance training. It is all automatic, and I never have to think until I get my oatmeal, or my yogurt and granola, or my breakfast burrito.

Since we started this newsletter, I’ve learned more about the science behind it. That sense of accomplishment releases dopamine into your brain, which makes you feel better.

That’s why I say that some days, the world feels like a movie in black and white when I wake up, and after my training and bike ride, it changes into a color movie.

The goal of this newsletter is to show you that you have the power to improve your day, every single day. Once you find that power, you know that you have the power to improve your life.

But you won’t find it by reading motivation on your couch. You have to get up and create momentum.

My New Year challenge when this village was much smaller was to create three daily actions and mark them off every day. I want to renew that challenge with a month left in the year because there is no need to wait until January to create your momentum.

Think about how great it will feel when everyone else is scrambling to start New Year’s resolutions, and you’ve already got a month of momentum. You’ll be on your way to making those three daily actions automatic.

It won’t be easy at first. Building a routine will include failure. But you have to shake it off and recommit the next day. One day, your daily actions will come naturally to you. That’s when you’ve found your momentum.

So write down your three goals on an index card, or join the Pump app and use our action planner.

Pick goals that are a stretch for you but not so impossible you’ll fail. If you aren’t training at all, don’t commit to training an hour a day. Commit to 10 or 15 minutes. If you aren’t walking at all, don’t commit to walking 3 miles. Commit to one mile. If you never read, don’t say you’ll read a book a week. Say you’ll read for 10 minutes a day.

Mark these off relentlessly. When you miss a goal, make sure you don’t miss it two days in a row.

The first month you might only hit your actions 80 to 90 percent of the time. That’s fantastic! And after two months or so, only when your daily actions become automatic and you realize you’re doing them without needing to think about it, then you can grow them. If you started by training 15 minutes a day, you can stretch to 30. If you walked a mile, you can go for 2 miles.

You can do this. You have the power. You can find your momentum.

Now, get moving.

Let’s Eat Free Salmon For Life

Need help making your diet more automatic? We’ve got you covered.

We couldn’t be more excited about our new Pump Club Partner. As you know, we are all about cooking healthy, easy meals. But sometimes, even finding 30 minutes to cook is a challenge with our busy lives.

Trifecta makes that easy. They ship you vacuum-sealed, ready-to-eat meals that you can keep in your refrigerator for ten days when you need something delicious and healthy. You can pick your own meals or choose a curated selection from their chefs. Deliveries arrive Friday or Saturday to get you ready for the next week, and you can skip a week anytime you need to.

When just talked about momentum, and Trifecta is an effective solution to help you get moving toward better eating without all the stress and anxiety. They can help you build a healthier eating routine.

Making healthy eating easy is a bigger life hack than most people think. When we’re busy, tired or stressed, humans tend to eat the quickest, easiest thing they can find – whether that’s fast food or a bowl of cereal. Having healthy food already in your house that can be ready in less than 2 minutes makes eating healthy the easy option vs the hardest option.

We’ve tried Trifecta’s meals, and they are legitimately delicious and designed by a two-Michelin Star Chef Mario Limaduran. They can adjust to fit any diet, and you can even order protein, veggies, and carbs by weight like you would at a grocery store deli.

You can upgrade your Meal Prep now with 50% OFF + 1-pound of Free Salmon in every order for LIFE to sculpt your physique. Trifecta’s Cyber Monday deal ends today at 11:59pm PT, so take advantage before it expires!

As if making easy, delicious, and healthy food for our fitness journeys wasn’t enough, Trifecta also embodies the Pump Club’s mission of giving back. They have donated OVER TEN MILLION DOLLARS of food to Feeding America in their eight years in business. And Trifecta employees pack boxes of food for food banks because they truly care about supporting their local communities.

So get your salmon for life, and use that 50% offer, and know that you’re supporting a company that believes in the same things we do here at Arnold’s Pump Club.

(Note: The discount and the salmon for life will appear when you reach the checkout window, but not before. The discount will be automatically applied when you click the links above.)

Wait, Diet Soda Helps What?

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you swapped a couple of glasses of water for diet soda? Scientists did, and the results would surprise most people. 

A new study found that diet soda drinkers lost the same amount of weight as water drinkers over a 12-week period. 

This might cause confusion, so here’s what was tested and discovered. The scientists randomly assigned people to one of two groups: water drinkers and “non-nutritive sweetened” beverages (how scientists refer to artificially sweetened beverages with less than five calories per serving). The beverage group had two diet sodas per day over 12 weeks, and everyone followed the same weight loss program. 

At the end of the study, both groups lost approximately the same amount of weight and had similar decreases in hip and waist circumference. In fact, if you want to be accurate, the diet soda group lost more weight (12.7 pounds) than the water group 12.3 pounds). Also, people in the diet soda group decreased sugar consumption and hunger. 

This doesn’t mean diet soda is better than water, but it does suggest that if drinking a few diet sodas provides you with mental sanity, less anxiety, or makes it easier to stick to a healthy eating plan, then there’s no reason to think they need to be completely removed from your diet.

Workout of the Week

We love showing you all the different ways you can push your body hard without much time or equipment. This workout is no exception.

Grab a kettlebell or dumbbell that you can lift for at least 12 reps. No weights? No problem. You can also fill up a gallon water jug or put some books in a backpack.

Now it’s time to get to work.

Step 1: Perform 8 walking lunges per leg, holding the weights or with the backpack (or holding the water jugs). Then, drop and do as many pushups as you can (you can do this with or without a weighted backpack). Then, perform 8 lunges on each leg back to where you started, and hold a plank for 30 seconds.

Step 2: Perform 7 walking lunges per leg holding the weights or with the backpack. Then, drop and do as many pushups as you can. (If regular pushups are challenging, you can do these on your knees or put your hands on a bench or table to make them easier). Do 7 lunges on each leg back to where you started, and hold a plank for 30 seconds (or however long you can hold it if you can’t make it the full 30 seconds).

Step 3: Repeat this process until you’re only doing 1 lunge on each leg, and doing as many pushups as your upper body will allow.

This isn’t overly complicated, but you’ll pump up your upper and lower body, and your abs will remind you how hard you worked the next day.

Give it a try, and let us know how it goes!

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell