Sugary soda drinks like Coke and Pepsi have been popular for decades, but the health risks of consuming them are also well-documented. Drinking soda dehydrates you, can inhibit your kidney function, and can even elevate your risk for heart disease and diabetes. Most people are aware of these risks, but quitting soda isn’t always easy once it becomes a part of your lifestyle. Thankfully, there are plenty of tips to quit drinking soda so you can take control of your well-being and start losing weight.
Each can of Coca-Cola contains 140 calories and 39 grams of added sugars, which almost always takes the form of high fructose corn syrup. Even if you only consume one can per day, you’re adding almost 1,000 calories and 273 grams of sugar to your diet each week. If you’re drinking one 16 oz. bottle per day, you’re looking at over 1,300 calories and 364 grams of sugar per week. Removing soda from your diet immediately removes these calories and added sugars.
You may be considering diet soda as an alternative. Some people switch to diet drinks so they can keep drinking soda without ingesting as many calories or added sugars. But the artificial sweeteners in diet drinks also cause serious problems. Just like regular soda, diet sodas have been linked to weight gain, obesity, heart disease, and even cancer.
The healthiest path is to quit drinking soda altogether. When you quit soda, you’ll lose weight, improve internal function, and cut your risks to major health problems. By removing the additional caffeine, you’ll also sleep better and stay hydrated more efficiently. Here are 5 tips to quit drinking soda for good.
1. Switch to Seltzer
One of the reasons people like soda is the bubbly bite of the carbonation in each can. Switching to seltzer gives you the carbonation you love without the sugars, chemicals, or caffeine. If you’re used to drinking several sodas throughout the day, seltzer may be a good alternative, but keep in mind that seltzer is still slightly acidic because of the carbonation.
Sodas are detrimental to your tooth enamel mostly because of the added sugars, but the carbonation plays a part as well. The carbonation in seltzer can also weaken your teeth. Dentists recommend you keep acidic drinks to meal times and rely on water during the day to stay hydrated. If you choose to switch to seltzer, look for brands that are sodium-free, sugar-free, flavorless, or contain only natural flavorings.
2. Cut Down Over Time
Quitting soda is especially hard for people who drink multiple servings each day. When sugar is incorporated into your lifestyle, it becomes a reward system that you grow accustomed to. Removing it immediately can be a shock.
One of the most popular tips to quit drinking soda is to lower one’s intake gradually. Try cutting back to one soda per day. Do this for a week or two, and then cut back to three sodas per week. After another week or two, remove soda altogether. Eventually, you won’t even miss it.
3. Drink a Tall Glass of Water Beforehand
Whenever you feel a craving for soda, drink a tall glass of water first. Drinking plenty of water will quench your thirst and fill your stomach, so you may not even want soda afterward. If you do decide to drink soda, you’ll be less likely to drink an entire bottle or can. Eventually, you may find that all you need is water.
4. Save it for Special Occasions
One of the best tips to quit drinking soda is to alter the terms of your relationship with it. Instead of making soda a regular part of your day, make it a celebratory beverage. Adopt a new soda policy: you’ll only drink soda when out for special meals, on holidays, or at parties. You’ll still be able to drink soda on occasion, but it won’t be a part of your regular diet.
5. Work With Your Doctor
A doctor can offer you additional tips to quit drinking soda and help you stay away from it in the long term. Quitting soda is a perfect first step to detoxifying your body and jump-starting your metabolism. Work with a doctor to develop a diet and weight loss plan and check in regularly to stay on track. They can even provide you with special treatments for burning away fat.
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