The Dangers of Soda
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, sugary drinks have been linked 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.
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.
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; reduce, remove, 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:
How to Stop Drinking Soda Without Headaches
Reduce - Cut Down On Soda: 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.
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 avoid the unwanted side effect of headaches, you should try cutting down gradually until it’s a weekly habit, then monthly - until your daily soda hit is a distant memory.
How to Stop Drinking Soda Cold Turkey
Remove - Quit Soda: 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.
However, if you are determined to stop drinking soda cold turkey, you must be prepared to change your overall routine so that this unhealthy habit can be a thing of the past. Here are a few tips that might help:
- Up your water intake as much as possible
- Avoid unhealthy food that might lead to the consumption of soda as a complementary drink
- Speak to your friends and family about your efforts to quit soda
- Be prepared to experience unwanted side effects like headaches or even digestive issues
- Don't keep soda in the house and throw away any remaining drinks still in your fridge
How to Find Healthy Alternatives to Soda
Replace – Find A Healthier Alternative To Soda: 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. 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.
Soda Alternatives You Should Consider
If you are wondering what you should drink instead, here's a couple of soda alternatives you should consider in order to get on track with your health goals:
- Fruit-infused sparkling water
- Homemade lemonade
- Coconut water
- Sparkling water with fresh juice
- Mineral water
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!
How to Stop Drinking Diet Soda
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.
So if you are serious about wanting to stop drinking diet soda, you have to follow the same path as regular soda lovers and reduce, remove or replace to the benefit of your health and waist size.