My best tips on how to give up soda–for good!
While we never had a lot of candy in our house, coca cola was definitely super prevalent. To this day it’s still one of my favorite carbonated beverages. Unfortunately, it’s not all that good for you. Luckily, at an early age, I was able to kick my soda addiction to the curb.
I do believe in moderation. I think it’s perfectly okay to enjoy “unhealthy” things from time to time. The problem is not drinking soda every once in a while, the problem is when it becomes a habit.
Daily soda drinking can lead to dehydration, weight gain, specifically increased belly fat, insulin resistance, increased risk of type 2 diabetes & heart disease, and is terrible for your teeth.
How I personally stopped drinking soda:
First, I am going to share what worked for me. Then I will share some additional helpful tips you can try to kick the habit.
It all began Sophomore year with my High School Track coach. He sat us down and explained how drinking soda would negatively affect our performance. He explained how soda dehydrates you, among other things.
When you’re a distance runner, hydration is extremely important. I really took this talk to heart. If I wanted to reach my goals and hit personal records, I needed to quit soda.
I tried to give up cold turkey, but it didn’t work. Then I approached it logically. If drinking soda dehydrates you, then I need to re-hydrate myself if I ever do drink it.
I decided that I would do my best to avoid soda, BUT if I ever drank any, I would drink twice the amount in water to make up for the dehydration factor.
This helped to discourage me from drinking soda.
It actually made me want LESS soda, because I didn’t want to have to drink as much water. I slowly drank less and less soda and, surprisingly, more and more water.
This technique worked well for me, but it’s not for everyone.
So, if you plan to try this, do so with the intention of quitting soda, not upping your water intake to justify the large amount of soda you’re already drinking.
Read on for additional helpful tips for quitting soda completely.
How to give up soda:
- Eat more protein! It may sound strange, but sodas are loaded with sugar. Sugar causes an initial surge of dopamine to your brain followed shortly by a depletion of dopamine causing you to crave MORE sugar (soda) to replenish. It’s an addictive cycle. Eating protein can help cure that dopamine deficiency and help curb your soda cravings! (tips for becoming sugar free here)
- Get plenty of rest. If you’re using the caffeine in soda as an energy boost, replace that with a good night’s sleep instead.
- Have soda replacements. La Croix Sparking Water’s are a great substitute. They are just carbonated water and flavoring. We love them for when we need that carbonated taste without the guilt. Plus, I can let my kids sip on them without feeling like a terrible mom 😉 Another replacement I love is kombucha. I like the GTS brand since it’s low in sugar. The fermentation gives it a bit of a natural carbonation.
- Pay attention to how you feel– the easiest way to deter me from drinking soda is to remember how awful & dehydrated I feel the day after drinking soda. This is something you may not notice at first, but if you’ve been off soda for a while & then you drink one, you will notice. The next day, I can’t seem to drink enough water. I hate that feeling, so it keeps me from caving into my soda cravings.
- Pay attention to triggers– Certain scenarios are going to be more tempting. I only have soda maybe once a year, but every time I eat Mexican food I crave coke. Be aware of those triggers and be ready to sip on that water instead. Maybe it’s a restaurant? Order a water before you even have time to think about your craving.
- Track your food intake– I remember the day I realized just how many carbs were in my favorite Mango juice. Huge deterrent. We love tracking in MyFitnessPal.
- Attack it in phases– Maybe start replacing sodas with diet soda and then limeade and then water. Sometimes it is really difficult to go from tons of flavor and sugar to just plain old water.
If you stay dedicated and really work to give up soda for a solid month, it gets a whole lot easier. Drinking water in place of soda is second nature to us now.
Best of luck!