How to kick your soda habit!
You’re reading this post because you, or someone you know, is a “soda addict”—right? It’s OK, admitting you have a problem is the first step! The next is forming a good reason why you should quit (and no, “because my family, friends, dietitian, doctor, etc. says I should” is not a good reason. You have to be the reason why you quit. Check out these more recent findings about your favorite soft drink:
- More than 4300 strokes were documented in women and men
by researchers from the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute and Harvard University who analyzed soda consumption from 1980-2008.
- A link was found between diet soda consumption and increased risk of stroke
by researchers from Columbia University and the University of Miami in 2011.
Let’s also not forget that a 12-ounce can of regular soda packs a whopping 10 teaspoons of sugar—yuck! And diet soda is made with artificial sweeteners, which basically means it’s a chemical you are willingly putting in your body. Enough said!
Now that we’re clear on the ugly side-effects of soda consumption, how exactly can you kick the habit?
Step 1: Wean slowly
If you are drinking multiple cans of soda every day, start by dropping one can a week. Going “cold turkey” can be a bit rough as caffeine withdrawal symptoms (such as headaches) are likely. If you are a one-can-a-day drinker, try leaving a little bit more in the can with each passing week. For example, on week one, drink 3/4 of the can; week two, drink 1/2 of the can; week three, sip only 1/4 of the can; week four—congratulations, you’ve kicked the habit!
If you are missing the caffeine pick-me-up, try drinking green tea! It contains caffeine and is also loaded with antioxidants!
Step 2: Find another fizz
Often it’s the carbonation that soda addicts are attracted to. If this is the case with you, try replacing the soda with other carbonated beverages without sweeteners or artificial sweeteners such as:
- La Croix sparkling water
- Seltzer water with a twist of lemon, lime or a tablespoon of your favorite 100% juice
Step 3: Keep hydrated with H20!
If you want the best for your body (and I know you do!) choose water to quench your thirst. Add lemon, lime, cucumber or a splash of juice if you like! Once your taste buds become accustomed to less sweet, you will find that nothing does the job like good old fashioned H20!
Diet and regular sodas should be thought of as dessert—to be enjoyed only once in awhile. If you find you can’t enjoy it on occasion without triggering a rebound effect, then don’t dabble at all! You CAN do this.