The World Health Organization just established something we in the integrative health community have known for years.
They said, the biggest threat to human health is the reliance on sugar and sugar products.
All I have to say is, “No duh.”
It’s quite obvious a diet high in added sugar is destructive. It’s believed that most of the diseases of civilization we encounter are the result of too much sugar in the diet.
- Metabolic Syndrom
- Some Cancers
- Chronic Inflammation
- Cardiovascular disease
And many more have been attributed to a diet high in sugar.
Remember, sugar comes in many different forms. It’s found in lactose in milk. It’s also in the complex carbohydrates found in bread. It’s even in the artificial foods you eat, as well as in your “healthy” organic foods.
But, do you know the most common place where added dietary sugar is found?
The answer is soda.
A 12 oz. can of soda can contain as much as 50 grams of sugar, which is waaayyy more than you need. It’s actually more than you should consume in an entire day!
Unfortunately, diet sodas aren’t any better from a health standpoint. I wrote about just how damaging many of the artificial sweeteners can be in an earlier article.
Bottom line, soda is really one of the worst offenders when it comes to non-essential dietary sugar.
Chances are you’ve got a soda habit. If you do, I’ve got some good news for you.
I have a pill you can take that will cure your soda habit forever.
NO, I’m just kidding, No such pill exists.
However, I do have some practical, easy-to-follow steps that can help you ditch soda for good.
Truthfully, it’s not that hard to kick the soda habit. I’ve come up with 9 simple steps or “hacks” you can use to eliminate soda from your diet. If you can work a few of these into your life, you’ll find it won’t be long until you have trouble remembering when you drank your last soda.
Discover the 9 Easy Steps to Kicking Soda For Good
Let me congratulate you.
Because, if you’re reading this list, it means you’re firmly committed to changing your health. Just learning about these tips means you’re doing more for your health than most people are willing to do.
And that’s an accomplishment.
Following any (or all) of these steps are a proven way to lose your soda habit for good.
Feel good about yourself because you’re on your way to doing something great.
Ok, check out these steps to quitting soda for good.
1. Don’t Quit : Hold on, what? Why would I say that? Rather than just trying to stop cold turkey, try to slowly transition off of soda. If you have a pretty consistent soda habit, it means you could be addicted. Both sugar and artificial sweeteners can trick your body into believing it must have these ingredients.
In my opinion, trying to quit cold turkey can backfire.
Consider this step as the staging ground for what many of the other steps will be built off of.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you quit drinking soda? By making a plan of attack to quit over time.
2. Try Sparkling Water: One of the reasons so many people have a soda habit is because they like the fun fizz that carbonation provides. I know I do. If that’s you, then sparking water is a good choice. Many sparking waters have fruity flavors that are enough to keep your taste buds occupied.
If you need a little more to get you going, then consider getting some fruit juice and adding that to your sparkling water. Not too much though, since fruit juice is often high in sugar too.
Not only will sparkling water help with carbonation, it will even keep you hydrated. So that’s a bonus.
3. Go Natural Diet: What if you just want the flavor of soda? You know, Cola, Ginger Ale, that kind of stuff? Fortunately, there are several soda brands out there that rely on natural “diet” ingredients.
These sodas are great for helping you get that flavor fix you need while not working to harm your health.
By incorporating these into your diet, it’ll make transitioning off of soda that much easier. But, try your best to avoid drinking soda in any form, natural diet included.
When you’re about to snap then turn to a natural diet soda when the craving is just too strong. I don’t see any problems with these beverages, but to stop the urge to drink soda altogether, you shouldn’t drink any kind of soda in general.
These serve as a failsafe so you don’t drink the bad stuff.
4. Count The Calories: One of the things people underestimate is just how much extra calories sodas have. On average, a soda has around 140 calories per can. That’s a lot. If you are having trouble kicking soda then start writing the calories down and keep a journal.
For some people, will seeing just how many extra calories they consume in soda over the week is enough to help them kick the habit.
There are even calorie counting apps you can download online that will help you keep track of your calories.
5. Start Drinking Unsweetened Tea: Personally, this is one of my favorite. Many teas are high in antioxidants and are actually good for you. If you’re a soda drinker who relies on soda for caffeine, then beginning to drink unsweetened tea can help meet your need for caffeine while also getting you off of soda street.
Need a bit of sweetness to make the tea a little more palatable? I recommend a few dashes of stevia or honey.
To make things even easier, it’s a good idea to brew several cups worth of tea and keep them stored in the fridge. That way, when you’ve got a strong craving for soda, you can pour yourself a glass and not give in to the urge to drink soda.
6. Slam a Glass of Water Before: Let’s say you’re having difficulty with eliminating soda from your routine. One thing you can do is take a glass of water and chug it before you go to drink a soda.
This does something unexpected. It kills the desire to drink soda because you’ve taken care of your thirst.
A lot of the time, you’ll drink soda because you’ve conditioned yourself to quench your thirst with soda. If you drink water beforehand, it means you can effectively quench your thirst and block your desire for soda.
7. Don’t Buy It: Man, this is a big one.
If you need help with this, please read my article on “How the Grocery Store Can Change Your Life.” it’s right here. I think it’s essential reading for anyone who struggles with a soda habit (or any bad eating habits for that matter).
If you can keep your home free from soda then it really makes it easier to avoid drinking it altogether.
When you go to the grocery store, go full, and make sure you’re not thirsty. You might even try bringing a natural diet soda with you so you’re not tempted to buy soda.
8. Break Other Food Habits: Maybe you like drinking soda with your sandwiches or when you eat potato chips. One thing you can do here is eliminate these foods from your diet so you’re not prompted to drink soda. Despite being great for your health on its own, when you get rid of these trigger foods you also clear the path for making soda less a part of your normal routine.
If you find yourself going out to eat frequently and have trouble resisting the urge to get soda, try this.
Bring one of the beverages recommended above with you. What you’ll do is train your mind to associate dining out with healthy beverages, not with soda.
9. Indulge on Occasion: Let’s say you just love Coca-Cola, and the thought of never drinking it again pains you to death. Well, treat yourself. The thing about not drinking soda doesn’t necessarily mean an all-or-nothing approach.
If you want to, reward your hard work staying away from your favorite beverage by having a soda here and there.
Now, of course I don’t mean you need to have daily rewards. But once or twice a month is perfectly acceptable. If you can stick to that kind of a routine, it helps you break the habit while still giving permission to enjoy something you love so much.
Here’s What Your Future Looks Like Without Soda
Um, healthier…pretty much all the way around.
You’ll also have a bit more money in your pocket.
Soda drinkers (as you might well know) spend a lot of money on their addiction. So, kicking the habit means you might have a lot more money in the bank.
Additionally, you’ll find that reducing your dependence on soda could help you lose weight (even diet drinkers).
You’ll be less likely to develop many conditions associated with high amounts of dietary sugar.
And, you’ll just feel good about not being owned by an unhealthy addiction. And that counts for a lot.