The goal to stop drinking soda is one that is difficult to conquer mostly because sugar and high fructose corn syrup are addictive and they are the two primary ingredients to most colas. Those same two ingredients are known to cause widespread inflammation in the body, resulting in chronic or even fatal diseases, such as diabetes, heart and circulatory challenges, a decrease in bone density and even cancer.
Drinking soda daily can also lead to additional secondary health concerns. According to studies in the Public Medical Journal, soda is strongly linked to weight gain. Soda can also promote tooth decay, increase belly fat and lead to an increased risk of dementia later in life.
If you’re reading this article we’re assuming you’re ready to stop drinking soda and we’re going to show you how with a few strategies you can incorporate right now.
Use these strategies to help you stop drinking soda
1. Evaluate your soda habit
The first step to breaking an unhealthy soda habit is to evaluate your drinks throughout the week to discover how much of your liquid intake is soda. With this information, you can create a plan to make some changes.
For instance, you’ll want to determine how often do you reach for your favorite cold carbonated sugary drink? Do you have soda with every meal and snack?
2. Learn about the health risks
Studying the health risks can encourage you to stop drinking soda.
As we stated earlier in this article, studies have linked soda directly to obesity, diabetes, and tooth enamel erosion. These sweet drinks also have a negative impact on your bones. If you drink a large amount of soda, then you’re more likely to have brittle bones.
Learning more about these health risks may be what you need to help jolt your mind into giving up the beverage. Some people have quit cold turkey just by learning more about the devastation the drink is causing their bodies.
3. Start with realistic expectations
If cold turkey is out of the question, you’re not alone. Most people require a slower process with more realistic expectations.
Although you may be tempted to try going cold turkey, studies show that doing so will more likely to make you cheat and start drinking soda again. The addictive power of soda means it’s easier to eliminate by using a process that cuts it down slowly.
Here’s how you can break your soda addiction slowly over the course of a few days and weeks. If you have soda three times a day, then start the process by cutting it down to two times a day. Then, drink it once a day. Next, you can drink it every other day until it’s gone.
4. Incorporate water
As you work on eliminating soda completely from your diet, you can fight the soda habit by mixing it with water. This makes the drink less sugary, so your body will start to get used to drinks with a smaller amount of sugar.
The idea is to do this over a series of days or even weeks – adjusting the soda to water ratio slightly each day as your tastebuds get use to it.
5. Find tasty alternatives.
It’s easier to break a soda habit if you replace it with a delicious and different drink.
Water is usually recommended as the alternative to drinking soda. Here are a few ways to drink more water that might make the process a little easier.
However, if you absolutely need sweet flavor then try adding fruit, all-natural flavor drops, powders, and mixes to your water. For more ideas check out our Super Easy Soda Alternative article that will help you break the cycle and stop drinking soda for good.
Tea and coffee without sugar are also good alternatives. You can find decaffeinated versions without any calories. Herbal teas can be a fun change.
6. Fight soda cravings
If you have a craving for soda, try drinking an entire glass of water to fight it. Water can make you feel full and may eliminate the craving. There are lots of benefits to drinking more water – especially lemon water.
At first, you can also try natural fruit juices, natural water enhancers and smoothies to fight the craving because it may be based on your addiction to sugar. Although these alternatives also have sugar, they’re healthier options and have vitamins.
7. Avoid the usual triggers
Do you always drink soda with your favorite takeout meal? Do you buy a soda each time you go past your favorite vending machine?
To change your habits, it’s important to avoid the triggers that motivate you. Instead of ordering a soda with your usual takeout, consider making a healthy smoothie at home. If avoiding the vending machine is difficult, then try buying bottled water instead of soda or ask a friend to hold you accountable.
You can stop drinking soda by taking control of your lifestyle with the tips and strategies outlined above. Soon, you’ll be adjusted to the change and feel better than you may have in years! Your body will thank you for making such a healthy decision.