You finally decided that one easy way to save calories is to stop drinking soft drinks, but found it was tougher than you thought. While I've never been a fan of soft drinks, some of my clients in Fairfax and Sterling, Va. Have. They provided a lot of suggestions on how to kick soda for good. It's not easy, since soft drinks provide a quick sugar rush and sugar is super addictive. It's the accepted drink when you're munching on fast food and is associated with friends and good times. It's more than just bad because of the sugar, the phosphorus in soft drinks plays a role, too. Too much soda is linked with tooth decay, diabetes and even may be bad for your bones.
Try taking it slow.
If the sugar in the soft drink doesn't get you addicted, then the caffeine might! Rather than going cold turkey, wean yourself from the drink slowly. Depending on the amount you drink each day, how you go about it will vary. If you drink several bottles or cans each day, try splitting one can into two different servings to cut out one can a day at first. Split the second can into two servings and then replace one serving with water, instead of soda. Eventually work to one a day, then one every other day and finally, give it up entirely. Go as slowly as you need to make the change a habit.
Track the calories from soft drinks.
It will amaze you the number of calories you drink, when it comes to soda. Start tracking those calories every day. The exercise will make you more aware of just how many cans or bottles you drink. You also can equate it with other foods. If you're drinking five cans a day, that's at least 500 calories. Think of the amount of exercise it takes to burn those calories. By giving up soda, you could lose a pound a week with no additional effort. That should be incentive.
Find an unsweetened drink you like.
Maybe you're not a coffee fan, perhaps tea is more your style. Green tea is especially healthy for you. Herbal tea comes in a variety of flavors and one of those might suit your taste, too. Search for an alternative that's healthy and one you like that contains no sugar. I love water. In fact, I'm quite a connoisseur. Water from different sources offers different flavors. City water with chlorine or fluoride isn't on my list! Try various bottled water to find one you like.
- Diet soda may not have the sugar content, but studies show that drinking it can increase the size of your waist and may not even help you shed any weight.
- You don't have to switch entirely to water. Just keep a bottle of water handy. Drink the water first, then see if you want the soda. If you're in a restaurant, don't order soda, but ask for water. You can always order it later.
- Switch to flavored water, then to plain water. Flavored water still provides a sugar boost and flavor, but not the carbonation.
- Avoid the places that you normally drink soda. If it's at a fast food restaurant, don't go there while you're giving up soda. Even if you're eating a healthy salad, the soft drink will do you kill your healthy eating.