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What are some really good ways to stop soda addiction? I've been trying for months
to break the habit of drinking soda everyday, and to help myself deal with soda cravings,
I replaced regular fizzy drinks with sugar-free varieties. However, I seem to be
gaining weight even though I eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Does diet
soda make you fat? Can you also suggestsome healthy alternatives to diet sodas?
Thank you. – Marissa, South Dakota.
4 Painless Ways to Stop Soda Addiction
Many people mistakenly think that diet soda is better than regular soda because it
has no sugar and therefore will help them lose weight. But, the truth is diet soda
can cause weight gain.
According to two new studies from the University of Texas at San Antonio, diet soft
drinks are closely associated with increased waist circumference and the artificial
sweeteners (aspartame) in them may contribute to type 2 diabetes.
I know it's not easy to quit drinking soda pop because sugar and caffeine are highly
addictive, but if you try hard enough, you can do it. The following tips will help
to stop you from drinking so much soda and painlessly kick your soda addiction for
How to Break the Habit of Drinking So Much Soda
1. When it comes to kicking the soda habit, not everyone can go cold turkey. Therefore,
the next best thing you can do is to slowly wean yourself off sugary soft drinks.
Grab a small notebook and write down the number of sodas you drink on a normal day,
including the time and your emotions when soda cravings hit. Sometimes you may get
serious cravings when you're stressed, bored, or even feeling sleepy.
For example, if you drink 6 cans of coke daily, limit yourself to 4-5 cans (max)
for the first week. Swap it for healthier alternatives such as plain water, sparkling
water, mineral water, or unsweetened coconut water, which is rumored to help weight
loss. See below for a list of healthy substitutes for fizzy drinks.
Then on the second week, reduce intake to 2-3 cans. Continue to cut your soda consumption
gradually over the next few weeks until you no longer crave for it.
It is worth nothing that some people, especially those who drink a lot of soda, may
experience caffeine withdrawal symptoms – headaches, nausea, irritability, nervousness,
or tremors – when they stop drinking soda. However, the side effects are temporary.
2. If you find yourself craving for sugary soft drinks, my suggestion is to eat a
small fruit such as apple, or pear, or have a slice of watermelon instead. Water-rich
vegetables like celery, cucumber, and zucchini also make great substitutes. The
natural sweetness and goodness found in fresh fruits and veggies helps tame intense
cravings without adding a lot of calories.
And, if you feel a soda craving coming on when you under stress or tired, find something
to do rather than reaching for a Coke. You can exercise, dance, read a book, walk
the dog, or eat a high-protein snack such as a small handful of unsalted sunflower
seeds or almonds. The idea here is to distract yourself and keep your mind off fizzy
3. If you still can't stop drinking so much soda, I suggest you do some reading on
the many side effects associated with regular soft drink consumption. Fizzy drinks
provide no nutritional value. They're laced with alarming levels of sugar, caffeine,
artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, many of which can harm your health
over a long period of time – obesity, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
I've a friend who stopped drinking sodas completely because they constantly give
him gas and that made him extremely unpopular in the office. So, if you look deep
enough, you'll find a very powerful reason to stop drinking soda pop.
4. Think of all the money you can save simply by giving up soda. Let's say, a can
of Coke cost around a dollar in America, and if you drink 3 cans a day, you can save
over a thousand dollars in just 1 year! With that amount of money, you can reward
yourself with a brand new laptop and a nice dinner for two!
What Are Healthy Alternatives to Diet Sodas?
Water is the best. It's cheap, readily available and calorie-free. Don't like the
taste of plain old water? No problem. Flavor it with a wedge of lemon, or lime, orange.
A sprig of mint or 1-2 slices cucumber gives boring tasting water a nice refreshing
taste. If you like, add a bit of honey or stir in some stevia to sweeten. Speaking
of water, did you know that if you drink ice cold water, it'll make your body burn
2. Decaffeinated Herbal Teas
I personally love drinking hibiscus tea and elderflower tea, and I highly recommend
you also try naturally decaffeinated green tea, or chamomile tea, which can be enjoyed
hot or iced. Decaf green tea contains polyphenols that are proven to have greater
antioxidant effects than Vitamin C.
3. Fruit or Vegetable Juices
While pure fruit juices are healthy alternatives to diet sodas, they shouldn't be
guzzled mindlessly because fruit juices can be high in sugar, depending on the kind
of fruits in them. Consider vegetables juices since veggies have less natural sugar
than fruits, and therefore less calories. In addition, vegetables contain more alkaline
minerals which help neutralize acids and remove toxins from your body.
Also, keep in mind that fruit drinks are not the same as 100% pure fruit juices.
Most commercially prepared fruit drinks contain mostly water, sugar and only about
10% real fruit, and should be avoided. And, always opt for low sodium vegetable juices.
4. Milk or Soymilk
Another healthy option is low fat milk. If you're lactose intolerant, opt for unsweetened
soy milk. They're a whole lot more nutritious than sodas and come in a variety of
great-tasting flavors such as almond, green tea, chocolate and vanilla.
Milk and soy milk not only make you forget about fizzy drinks, but also provide calcium,
which helps keep bones strong and prevent osteoporosis.