Ya’ll, I would be rich if I had a dime for every time someone told me “I cant”. The biggest one being “I can’t give up my diet coke”. Listen Sheryl, you can do anything. Literally anything, if you want it bad enough. You just haven’t gotten to the point of feeling so shitty that you want to get rid of soda. Which is fine, but you are missing out on how good it feels to have natural energy and less sugar coma days. We like to hold onto routines, onto things that make sure feel safe and comfortable. And if you have been drinking diet coke for 3 years, that feels pretty dang comfortable. But let me just tell you, it is garbage. The real kind, the diet kind, the caffeine free kind, whatever one tickles your fancy..it’s all garbage. So let’s talk about how you can quit soda – quit it like you wish you could quit going to family reunions of the distant relatives.
Quitting soda isn’t about depriving yourself of all things good – it’s about making better choices for your health. Soda, or pop, or soft drink, is any carbonated beverage that has sugar added to it. And studies have shown that it is linked to obesity, poor dental healthy and other chronic diseases. So really, kicking it to the curb is just going to change your life for the better.
And above all, do you want to know why you are really craving soda? Let’s get down and dirty with the science. Our brains have a reward system. This system rewards the body when they do things that help survival, such as eating. This means that whenever we eat, dopamine (a feel good chemical) is released, which the body interprets as pleasure. If they body is getting rewarded with pleasure when it eats, it is going to continue to crave that dopamine release. Sugar and soda come into play here because high calorie foods offer a greater release of this chemical, which means the body is going to want the high sugar foods instead of the whole, healthy foods. So quitting soda, or really any kind of poor eating habit is more of a task than just stopping. It’s training the brain that you can get the same feel good release from foods that are better for you!
Why You Should Stop Drinking Soda
So in case you want to know why soda sucks and why you should get rid of it ASAP, then here are few reasons for you..
• Linked to weight gain (so. much. sugar)
• Can cause chronic disease (things like diabetes, heart disease, obesity)
• Contributes to liver disease
• Linked to acne
• Erode teeth
• Makes you feel like garbage
• Makes you tired and sluggish
• Makes you want to just keep drinking it all day
• I think you get the idea
How to Quit Soda
Here are a few tips on how to quit soda. Like I said, it might be easier said than done, but it is well worth it in the end! I used to drink soda frequently, and the more you drink it, the more you crave that fizziness. But now that I haven’t had soda in years, even a sip of someones sends me through the roof because there is so much sugar! So I know you may have never even thought about getting off of it, or how unhealthy it is for you…but here are a few ways you can quit soda.
1. Slowly start to eliminate – you are not going to wake up tomorrow and never want/have soda again. Would be awesome if it worked like that, but it doesn’t You will crave it and maybe even have withdrawal symptoms like headaches and nausea. So the key here is to slowly start eliminated it. If you currently have 2 per day, maybe have 1 per day every other day. if you have 1 every day, maybe you try not to drink it all and have half. From there you can slowly start to pull back more and more, weening yourself off of it. ! a day turns into half a day, then one every other day, then one a few times a week and then none!
2. Switch the habit – sometimes drinking soda turns into more of a habit than a need. More like everyday at 2:00pm you go grab a soda because that is just what you have done everyday for while. So try changing that. Maybe at 2:00pm you grab some water, or an apple. Just something other than soda. Then you still have that 2:00pm habit, it just isn’t going to be soda.
3. Find alternatives – sometimes it’s the sugar people crave, and sometimes it’s the carbonation! There are so many other healthy options that are carbonated and flavored without all the sugar. Things like carbonated water, kombucha, sparking green tea, coconut water, etc. Just find a better alternative! I will also say, there are other “soda” brands out there that are flavoring with things like stevia, so try those out! I know zevia is a well liked brand!
4. Make sure you are eating enough – sometimes our bodies are craving sugar or carbonation because we aren’t properly fueling our bodies. So make sure you aren’t under eating and just looking to soda to curb cravings because you are “dieting”. That shit ain’t going to work and will land you with a heap of hormone problems. Check out this blog to learn more!
5. Decrease stress – stress is going to kill you as it is. But high stress leads to chemical releases in the brain that lead to sugar and carb cravings. So my decreasing stress, you are able to control those cravings more easily.
No new habit is going to happen overnight, at least not one that is going to stay for longer than a week. So make sure you give yourself grace and ween yourself into a new habit. Quitting soda is like quitting coffee. There are going to be set backs and symptoms you would rather just drown with a soda. But don’t give in! Over time you will decrease your soda little by little and before you know it you will be headache free, and soda free! And I know that quitting soda seems like such a small thing in terms of your health and fitness journey, but it can make a huge difference. I have seen people lose 20lbs just from kicking their soda habit, so think about that! Nothing is too simple or too small in your health journey – everything makes a difference.
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