Soda… the carbonated fiend, the peskiest diet murderer on the dietary block.
As much as soda quenches thirst on a hot day, it also dumps loads of unhealthiness into the body. Just think of all the sugar they use to sweeten soda up for your taste buds.
Of course, soda in moderation isn’t much of an issue. The thing about soda, though, is that it’s addictive. Once the body gets a taste, it can ‘t stop craving it.
But hold on, hold on… there HAS to be a way to stop those soda longings. Right?
There is, well, are.
Today, we’re going to discuss a few methods for beating the “soda bug”. Not all of these methods will work for everyone, so experiment and see which ones work for you!
Quit Cold Turkey
Fair warning: quitting cold turkey is not the best strategy for everyone.
Quitting cold turkey doesn’t mean you wean yourself off of soda. Rather, you cut soda immediately and permanently.
Some people motivate themselves by the challenge of quitting all at once. But again, assess whether this is the right strategy for you.
You can try going cold turkey for small periods of time, instead. That means progressively making the length of time you go without soda longer and longer. Start by cutting soda for a week, then a month, then two months, etc.
Cut Soda Slowly
This is a step people more commonly take to eliminate soda cravings.
Face it: the body is clingy. Once you start cutting food or drinks – such as soda – from your diet, it only wants them in greater abundance.
The antidote to this: take it slow.
By cutting soda slowly, you’ll reduce the intense pangs that normally with ditching the drink completely. At the same time, you’ll be limiting your intake little by little.
Start by lowering the amount of soda you drink daily by one. Each week, try to lower the amount you drink even more. The goal is to gradually get your body used to less and less soda.
Need more water in your diet? Still can’t get off the soda train? I have the perfect solution for both of those problems!
Simply dilute these sugary drinks with a little water and you’re all set. Yes, it might taste a little off at first, but it’s a great way to get your daily fill of soda while still moving towards your goals.
Plus you’ll stay hydrated with some H2O— the healthiest drink on the face of the earth.
Remember, soda isn’t the only drink option on the market. In fact, there are plenty of other drinks out there that will give you greater health benefits.
Tea is one of those options. See, tea still gives you caffeine while adding fewer calories and more phytochemicals. The great thing about tea is it can be consumed either cold or hot.
Juice and coffee are two other alternatives to soda to consider. You can try substituting soymilk in for regular milk in either of these drinks. Be careful with these, though, because both can contain high amounts of sugar also.
Finally, water is the best drink to swap in for soda. We talked about it above, but water keeps you hydrated and is involved in the body’s various processes. Water also takes up space in your belly, so you’ll feel more full when those soda cravings hit.
Check the Nutritional Stats
A lot of people drink soda without realizing how harmful it is for their bodies. If you could see soda’s effects in real time, you’d think twice about touching it ever again.
On average, 12 oz. soda cans can have as many as 140 calories — and that’s not even counting the sugar and preservatives dumped into these drinks. You’re basically ingesting a cocktail of artificial syrup.
The more calories you consume, the more you’ll have to exercise to burn them off. Keep your body healthy out of the gym so you don’t have to work as hard inside the gym to stay in shape.
Keep Yourself Away From Soda
Everyone has ticks and triggers. It’s your job to figure out which are yours when it comes to soda.
Perhaps for you that’s Mexican food. After all, who doesn’t love an ice-cold coke with a batch of warm tacos? Maybe cutting down on the Mexican meals (and any other foods that go well with soda) is the key to loosening soda’s grip on your life.
Sometimes it’s difficult to resist soda in heat of a warm summer day. You have to be prepared for these triggers with alternatives (like the ones listed above) to quench that craving without giving in to soda.
Another way those soda cravings could come creeping into your life is through advertising. Whether it’s a billboard or a television spot, it’s always tempting to open a can of cola after seeing a glorified depiction of it. When you can, avoid watching those ads.
Stay Positive After Slips
It’s difficult to cut anything out of your life. For most people, the process won’t be smooth. In fact, soda quitters are all but guaranteed to hit a few roadblocks along the way.
The biggest thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter how many times you fall down. It’s all about how you pick yourself up and keep going.
Say you try progressively limiting your soda intake. What if you indulge in one more soda than you had originally planned to at the beginning of the week? There would be two ways to approach the situation.
One would be to get down on yourself and refuse to keep pushing forward, feeling that your plan is already tarnished. That wouldn’t accomplish anything but self-wallowing.
The other approach is to tell yourself that it’s ok, then commit to doing better. Figure out what went wrong, and then find a solution that will help you avoid falling into the same mistake again.
Stay positive, and soda will have no power over you!