How to Ditch Your Addiction to Soda
With soda virtually everywhere via advertisements, restaurants, convenience and grocery stores, and vending machines, it is understandable that soda consumption is so high. Luckily there are seven tips on how to ditch your addiction to soda and prevent and minimize its associated health risks.
The fizzy sound of soda (or pop) opening and pouring is a noise heard all too often. With soda virtually everywhere via advertisements, restaurants, convenience and grocery stores, and vending machines, it is understandable and inevitable that soda consumption would be high. Unfortunately, increased soda intake and addictions can lead to tooth decay, bone loss, and overweight and obesity. Along with excess weight come related comorbidities of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Luckily there are seven tips on how to ditch your addiction to soda and prevent and minimize its associated health risks.
Overcoming the Soda Addiction
1. Easy Does It
First and foremost, break up with soda slowly. If five sodas are consumed per day, try initially dropping to four. Although soda is still being consumed, minimizing its intake is still a major accomplishment to find pride in. Successful reduction of soda can be motivating and create a healthier, more positive mindset.
2. Switch to Diet Soda
Although research does show that individuals who drink diet over regular soda tend to be more overweight, switching to diet short-term can reduce total daily calories. It is also important to not reward yourself with other foods and replace the unconsumed calories.
3. Coffee or Tea
If caffeine keeps soda knocking on the door, give coffee or tea a chance. Unlike regular and diet soda, these caffeinated beverages offer benefits related to disease protection. It is important to not load them up with sugar and cream. Naturally flavored teas are available and can offer a natural sweetness. Not exceeding more than three cups per day is recommended.
4. Drink More Water
If quenching thirst, water is the ultimate go-to. Plain water is calorie-less and easy on the wallet. Even if not completely weaned off soda, initial water consumption can help fill and the stomach and reduce the chance of indulging too much on soda. Oftentimes, the sweetness of soda is desired. Flavoring the water with fruits or calorie-free flavor enhancers can help satisfy the sweet tooth without additional calories.
5. Keep the Fizz
Along with the sweet flavor being desired, so is the fizziness soda has to offer. Fortunately, seltzer water provides the fizzy bubbles without the added calories. The addition of flavor enhancers, like mentioned for flavored water, can create a soda-like alternative while keeping calories and sugar in check.
6. Natural Sugars
In regular soda, added sugars are abundant. An average 12-ounce regular soda can contains about 10 grams of added sugar. To put that into perspective, recommendations of added sugars are six teaspoons for women and nine for men per day. One single soda can has the ability to break the added sugar bank. Instead of reaching for the soda during an afternoon slump, swap it for something more nutritious. Grabbing an apple will provide a naturally sweet sensation all while offering fiber and numerous nutrients.
7. Non-Food Items
Drinking soda can become a part of a daily routine the way coffee has the ability to start people's days. If a soda fills a time slot, start to utilize that time in a different way. Find pleasure in taking a walk or jog, listening to music, or reading a book to fill the soda void.