Growing up, I was never a big soda fan. My parents didn’t have it in the house a lot, and for some reason, I rarely opted for it at friends’ houses or birthday parties. I’m not sure why, I just always preferred juice or water.
Then I went to college, and my diet soda addiction began. It helped me stay awake when studying late hours, it helped cure one too many weekend hangovers, and along with its regular coke brother, it was also my mixer of choice until my 21st birthday ruined rum and cokes for me. For life.
After college, I was an on again off again diet coke drinker, but as I started to learn more about the negative effects of both regular and diet sodas, I wanted to cut it out completely. So many people debate which is worse, regular soda or diet soda, but let’s stop wasting our breath arguing about it. They’re both bad for you. One is chock full of calories and sugar, while the other is loaded with artificial ingredients and chemicals. I wanted to cut out diet cokes around the same time I wanted to give up using artificial sweeteners in my coffee. Becoming educated about what you eat, drink, and put in your bodies is truly life changing.
To this day, I can say it’s been years since I’ve had a diet coke. And the only time I drink soda ever is when I’m flying, because ginger ale helps calm my stomach. It wasn’t always an easy road to get to a soda free life though! Today, I want to share a few tips for rethinking your drink and quitting your soda addiction.
Eliminate a little bit at a time.
If you are someone who drinks a few glasses of soda a day, going cold turkey might not be the best idea. It certainly works for some people, but eliminating it all together may make you feel like you are completely punishing yourself with deprivation. It also could lead to some serious withdrawal headaches! For me, it helped to initially cut out only one drink at a time and then work on my goal gradually.
Remove it from your environment.
This one might seem pretty straightforward, but if you are trying to cut out soda, don’t buy it at the grocery store! Get it out of your house, and don’t keep it in the fridge at work. You are more likely to cave into the temptation if it’s within easy reach. If you work at a company that has soda machines, ask if you can add seltzer to that machine. That is one of the small changes we made through our wellness program at work this year, and I think it’s helped a lot of people drink less soda.
Replace it with a different fizz.
I think the turning moment in my no soda goal was when I discovered seltzer/sparkling water. I think this might be pretty common because according to Nielsen, there was a 9.5 million gallon increase in sparkling water and seltzer consumption in the United States in 2013, making it the fastest growing beverage category! Basically, you still get the bubbles and fizz, just without all the added crap in it. I actually started drinking so much sparkling water that Tim got me a Soda Stream once for Valentine’s Day. Now that’s love!
Aside from making plain seltzer in the Soda Stream at home, I’ve also tried several different brands of flavored versions too. One of my favorites is actually one that I just recently tried this summer, Nestle Pure Life Exotics.
I like this brand because the sparkling water comes in four different varieties: key lime, tangerine, mango peach pineapple, and strawberry dragon fruit. These flavors are just more exciting to me than the basic lemon and lime that some other brands offer. I loved drinking these at the beach all summer!
Focus on addition, not subtraction.
Finally, instead of focusing on cutting out soda, shift your mindset to adding in more water. It’s a simple mindset thing, but don’t you think that concentrating on the things you want to do (drink more water) is a better approach than agonizing on the things you shouldn’t do (have that coke)? I guarantee if you work on increasing the number of ounces of H20 you have in a day, you’ll drink less soda by default. One way I like to spruce up my water to help with increased water intake is by putting slices of fresh fruit such as lemons, limes, or oranges in there for extra flavor.
What’s your favorite kind of seltzer or sparkling water? Do you drink soda? Have you embraced an add, not subtract approach before? Anyone else have a drink ruined for them during their 21st birthday?
Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post, but I was provided free product from Nestle. As always, all opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links within this post.
Monday was day one of no coke zeros..this is perfect…thanks!
Love this post since it emphasizes that “diet” products are often not the best alternative. I kicked my twice a day diet soda habit a few years ago. Now I drink water at home, eating out, and at someone else’s home. Once in a great while I may crave it, but it is usually when I feel dehydrated. Still working on how to sweeten the coffee, using agave and Stevia. Any thoughts?
Some of my co-workers use a little bit of honey in their coffee. I used to use Splenda (terrible), but then switched back to regular sugar and did a “decrease a little at a time” approach until my taste buds adjusted to drinking coffee with no sugar or added sweetener to it. I now only get it with a small splash of milk. I find that adding agave/honey makes it a little too syrupy for me, but some people love it. Good luck!
The addition not subtraction focus is my favorite. I use it anytime I’m trying to change a habit. Great tips!
Thanks! I love that one too. Just a better way of looking at things.
I know I am super behind on this – but I love your new header – super cute!!
im going to try and follow your lead….no more full fat for diet for me
I cut out all* soda a few years ago and now only drink ginger ale. (flying, sick, hungover or with Jameson)
Love the exceptions, Shan!
I am not a soda drinker, except for the occasional ginger ale, or maple soda, but those are treats/tummy helpers. My fiance loves fresca so I’ll occasionally have that as well, otherwise I’m a water or tea drinker all the way.
I have never tried maple soda before!