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As vices go, soda may not seem as bad as smoking or alcohol, but those sugary bubbles of fizz are hiding a lot of scary ingredients. And, if you think that switching to diet soda will at least save you some calories and help to reduce your waistline, then you’d be wrong – there’s nothing ‘diet’ about diet soda! Here we explain the truth about soda and diet soda, and give you some great tips to cut down so that you can benefit from better health and lose weight too!
Most of us grew up drinking soda now and again, a sweet bubbly treat in your choice of flavor. But, one look at the ingredients and nutrition information will show you that the sugar content and host of artificial ingredients provide nothing more than empty calories and chemicals – not much of a treat for your body. In fact, The New York Times recently publish this article linking sugary drinks to 184,000 worldwide deaths each year, with health professionals calling for them to be ‘eliminated from the food supply’ because of their link to deaths from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
As with most unhealthy foods and drinks, an occasional can of soda won’t do you much harm, but more often than not, people drinking soda are regular drinkers who have it every day, with some going through multiple cans or bottles of the fizzy stuff on a daily basis. If you’re a daily soda drinker, you’re not alone; 64 million Americans drink soda on any given day. Drinking so much soda means that not only are you not drinking the water your body needs to properly hydrate, but you’re adding sugar and artificial ingredients into the mix. Then there are the empty calories which really stall your chances of losing weight; liquid calories are a dieting disaster as they can really add up without giving us any value for money as far as goodness goes. So, making sure that you’re not drinking your calories is a good way to reduce your daily calorie allowance without increasing your hunger levels.
You might be wondering, ‘What about diet soda?’ For most people, the word ‘diet’ equals weight loss. However, diet soda really isn’t delivering on its promise here. Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center showed that people who drank two or more diet sodas daily had a six-times-greater increase in waist circumference at the end of the 10-year study than those who didn’t drink diet soda at all. These bigger waist sizes, which is the most dangerous place to carry extra fat, may be due to the ‘I saved here, I can splurge there’ theory of dieting, but other findings suggest that the artificial sweeteners in diet soda actually increased the diet soda drinkers’ appetites, particularly for sugary treats, therefore negating those no-calorie claims.
If you’re serious about losing weight, then the soda has to go. There are three key methods to stop a bad habit like soda-drinking; remove, reduce, or replace. The effectiveness of each of these depends on how much soda you drink per day and how addicted you may be – here’s how to find out which method is best for you:
Cutting out soda entirely is obviously the best option in terms of health and weight loss, but this depends on whether you can go ‘cold turkey’ or not. Establishing a healthier diet has to fit the kind of person you are if you’re going to successfully stick to it and lose weight. So, just as you may have to make your own diet rules to achieve weight loss, you may have to establish if you’re the kind of person who can just quit soda, or if you need a different method to avoid going back to your daily habit.
While the ‘all or nothing’ approach works best for some than the grey area of reduction, others need to cut down at their own pace. But the main issue here is, if you’re drinking several cans of soda a day, how much is less? Another issue with cutting down is whether you can actually stop yourself. If the occasional can of soda will never be enough then it’s a case of weaning yourself off it, especially as the sugar content makes soda a likely candidate for addiction. If quitting didn’t work for you then try cutting down gradually until it’s a weekly habit, then monthly - until your daily soda hit is a distant memory.
This is probably the most effective method for most of us, and can even help those addicted to their daily soda to become reformed soda drinkers. An easy way to tell if you’re addicted to something is to ask yourself if you have a specific criteria for your chosen ‘high’. If you stick to a certain brand, wouldn’t dream of drinking from anything other than your favorite glass, or have specified times throughout the day for a hit of soda then these are all signs that you could be addicted to soda. And if the sound of the ring pull opening gets your mouth watering, or you’re moody and sluggish without soda then there’s no doubt that you’re addicted.
To replace a bad habit or addiction, you have to break down what it gives you, and find ways to replace what keeps you coming back for more. Daily soda drinking is a habit that you’ve developed often as a reaction to a cue, such as a stressful day, and the hit of sweetness, caffeine, and bubbles in soda are your reward. So, when the stress comes, you need to find something else to reach for to give you what soda used to supply. Tea or coffee sweetened with stevia can give you a hit of caffeine and sweetness, but you should also try to increase your intake of water for its added weight-loss benefits.
While water is healthy and can really help you to lose weight, after so much soda, plain water can feel like a punishment. For this reason, we recommend Phen Drink as the perfect replacement to soda. Phen Drink comes in easy-to-use portable stick packs which you just add to water to enjoy the fruity taste of green tea and guarana wherever you are, making water so much more interesting! Phen Drink is sugar-free, carb-free, and calorie-free, but unlike diet soda, Phen Drink is naturally sweetened with lo han fruit and stevia, giving you the sweet taste of soda but without the artificial flavors and colors. And, if you’re missing those bubbles, then why not add Phen Drink to seltzer or sparkling mineral water? What’s more, Phen Drink also helps you to lose weight! Phen Drink includes ECGC - one of the main polyphenols in green tea, which has been found to have a positive effect on weight management and metabolism, as well as ginger, a botanical medicine that boosts metabolism, leading to weight loss and reduced body fat content as a result. The guarana in Phen Drink supplies the metabolism-boosting phenols catechins and epicatechin, and chamomile and lemongrass help to aid digestion and reduce bloating as food will be processed more efficiently to produce energy and increase metabolism. And, if you’re missing the caffeine hit of soda, then give your weight loss an added boost with Phen Caps, which contain caffeine and theobromine to boost energy, as well as appetite suppressants to stop hunger and control cravings, making weight loss even easier!
Do you now feel ready to kick your soda habit once and for all? Let us know by commenting below!