20 Aug How to Ditch Your Soda Habit
Years ago, I used to drink the equivalent of a big gulp a day of diet coke. Yes, that’s 64 ounces of diet coke each day. I gave it up about 15 years ago for lent, and it was absolute torture. During the forty days, I realized that I was totally addicted. Since I didn’t drink coffee, I would start my day with a can of diet coke and continue throughout the day. When I quit, I quit cold turkey and it was miserable. However, if you have a soda habit you’d like to ditch, it doesn’t have to be torture!
Here is my favorite tip to ease out of your soda habit:
If you’re worried about caffeine or sugar withdrawal headaches, missing it too much, or just feeling nervous about a significant shift in your life – take it slowly. Baby steps will get you to your destination in a more lasting way than going cold turkey. You’ll feel so much better when you start getting artificial sweeteners and other chemicals out of your system. You’ll wonder what took you so long to ditch the soda habit.
Here are a few alternatives to soda as you’re making your switch…
If you like more flavor, add fresh fruit to your water. You’ll stay hydrated, and it will taste flavorful and refreshing. Plus, you will get vitamins from the fruit. Some of my favorite infused water recipes include strawberry and basil, watermelon and lime, and cucumber and mint.
Flavored sparkling water
If you’re craving something fizzy, try Spindrift, which is seltzer and real fruit juice. Its founder created it to help wean himself off of Diet Coke. Spindrift is the first sparkling water made only with real squeezed fruit. It does have some calories, but no chemicals or ‘natural’ flavors, which can be up to 200 different ingredients! It’s refreshing and has just the right amount of flavor and sweetness.
Coffee is best kept to the morning hours, and ideally without adding anything to it, but you can work your way there if necessary. Coffee is an excellent way to not go through caffeine withdrawals, so sip on a cup a day to keep the headaches at bay. After a week or two, you could go to 1/2 caf, and work your way down to no caffeine (if this is something you’re striving for). Use cold pressed organic coffee whenever possible as coffee beans contain a high amount of pesticide.
Unsweetened iced tea
There’s nothing like iced tea on a hot day. If you need a bit of sweetness, add a few drops of stevia or monk fruit sweetener. Drinking black tea is beneficial since it contains antioxidants, which help reduce the risk of chronic disorders and improves overall health. (1) Green and white tea have even more antioxidants than black tea, so why not try those over ice as well. These teas do contain caffeine, so don’t drink it too late in the day or it may interrupt your sleep.
One of my favorite ways to relax is with a cup of herbal tea. They can be served hot or cold and also provide great health benefits. Licorice, chamomile, chai, peppermint, and others have wonderful flavors that will keep you from consuming excess sugar. One of my favorite brands of herbal tea is Traditional Medicinals – an independent company that embraces sustainability, ingredient purity, and social and environmental activism. It’s a Certified B Corporation and California Certified Green Business. One of my favorite nighttime teas is Cup of Calm – a lovely blend of lavender and mint.
Ditching your soda habit can be challenging. However, if you follow the baby steps approach, making one small change each week, it’s much more manageable and long-lasting. For example, reduce your soda intake by one can over the next week and add in one of the options identified above.
If it’s another habit you’d like to change, follow a similar strategy. Identify one small step that you can take towards changing your habit. It’s best to determine an alternative or a new routine around your preferred habit to make it stick.
If you are working towards establishing a new healthy habit, I’d love to support you. Let’s discuss your habit and I’ll help you determine the best first action step for you.
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