Soda…pop…whatever you call it, this common drink may be sabotaging your plans to lose weight and feel healthy. But, don’t worry! It’s easier to reduce soda consumption than you might think. Try these 5 best tips to cut out soda intake. (Remember, you can also jump into a healthier lifestyle with our popular No Soda Challenge.)
5 Best Tips to Cut Out Soda Intake:
#1 Cut back gradually.
The caffeine in soda can make daily consumption a hard habit to break. Going cold turkey might cause caffeine withdrawal, which includes headaches and irritability. Reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptoms by cutting back gradually. If you normally drink 3 cans a day, cut back to 2.5 for several days. Continue reducing consumption over time until you eliminate soda completely.
#2 Don’t fall for the diet soda trap.
Common sweeteners like aspartame are artificial—excess chemicals your body doesn’t need. What’s more, there’s some evidence that artificial sweeteners may cause weight gain by triggering the development of new fat cells. A recent study also found a connection between soft drink intake and higher levels of depression. The fact is that when you want to reduce soda consumption for a healthy, fit body, eliminate both regular and diet pop.
# 3 Stock up on healthier drinks
We’re all busy, so it makes sense that we often drink whatever is at hand. One way to beat the soda bug is to ban it from the fridge and replace it with good-for-you alternatives. In addition to water, try 4 Healthy Alternatives to Diet Sodas or this easy-to-make Strawberry-Basil Water.
Here are more soda alternatives:
- Skim milk
- Soy milk, low-calorie and with little or no added sugar
- Coffee, unsweetened or with this healthy Coffee Creamer
- Green tea, black tea, or a yummy tea drink like Orange-Pomegranate Green Tea
#4 Take H2O on the go.
It’s easy to get into the habit of grabbing a bottle of soda while you’re on the go. One of the easy ways to reduce soda intake is to carry a bottle of water with you each time you bustle out the door. Sipping will keep you hydrated all day and prevent you from running to the soda machine when you feel thirsty. Need some flavor with your water? Check out the recipes in Stay Cool This Summer with Flavored Waters.
#5 Reward yourself.
Give yourself an incentive! Set aside a bowl or cup, and each day put in the money you would typically spend on soda. Use the Soda Bowl money to indulge in something special for yourself, whether it’s a new hardcover novel, a set of kettlebells, or a relaxing pedicure.
Let’s get started! Use these easy ways to reduce soda intake—after all, the only thing you have to lose is the excess weight.
You might also like 6 Surprising Things That Make You Gain Weight.
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Have you decided to finally give up soda for good? We’re here to help. Tell us about your journey by leaving a comment below.
But none of those drinks offered as alternatives are carbonated. I drink caffeine free soda, non-diet, but I just crave carbonation. I will drink wine coolers or lemonade beers if I'm out of soda – how awful is that?! I've been trying to quit for 20 years. I do drink other things, but with salty or spicy foods, I am addicted and there is no good substitute. So I just gladly run more miles.
Have you tried sparkling mineral water or seltzer with a touch of juice or lemon? Those are great carbonated alternatives.