I recently decided to kick the soda habit. Pop, soda, cola, tonic, coke, pepsi, soda pop – whatever you call it, this sweet, sugary, often caffeinated, beverage is hard to quit. While I cut back on my intake, I still craved the sugar and caffeine and felt the worse for it.
I wanted to take back my health and I made Kick the Soda Habit one of my first goals. I’ve tried this before, but without a great deal of commitment. I am all about attainable goals, but I knew this one could not stand alone. If I just took something from my diet, I would feel deprived. Kicking the soda habit had to be part of a larger plan to be successful.
So, I made a larger goal that added in new foods and habits: Try New Beverages. This sounded way more appealing to me than just getting rid of something I loved/hated. My new goal felt adventurous, interesting, and attainable. As I gradually changed my drinking habits and found new, healthier options, I felt better overall and the cravings went away. Best of all – I don’t feel deprived!
4 Ways I Kick the Soda Habit
- Try New Beverages. I’ve always considered herbal tea unpleasant and water boring. I leaned on 100% fruit juices and carbonated, flavored waters as soda alternatives, but they weren’t helping. When Maggie at Addicted to Nutrition recommended good old lemon water, natural smoothies, herbal tea, and even bone broth as new beverages, I grimaced. Then I made a commitment to give them a try and see if they really could help some of my health issues and be enjoyable (Spoiler Alert: The answer is Yes.)
- Don’t Drink and Eat. You know when you go to a restaurant and drink glass after glass of soda, then wonder why you feel full, but unsatisfied? Drinking during meals actually interrupts the digestive process. The Food Babe recommends that you drink liquids 20 minutes before eating and wait at least an hour after. If you find this challenging, sip on a warm drink with meals – room temperature lemon water or herbal tea will be closer to your body’s normal temperature and not disrupt digestion.
- Stay Hydrated. When I am dehydrated, I have more food cravings, get headaches, and then turn to soda for a boost. The problem is, when I come down from the soda, I’m left with the same problem. I now wake up in the morning and enjoy a cup of room temperature lemon water, usually followed by a cup of herbal tea before breakfast. This Tea Infuser/Fruit Infuser Water Bottle is a game changer for me as well. I enjoy mixing my own fruit waters and sipping on different teas. When I am properly hydrated, I don’t crave soda as much and I am okay without drinks during meals.
- Make Beverages an Experience. I know. Easier said than done, right? When I make a smoothie with fresh fruit, avocado, and Chia seeds, I think about the health benefits of the ingredients. When I make tea, I enjoy the process of putting the kettle on, letting the tea seep, and then enjoying it at my leisure. I am not drinking in a rush and I am filling myself up with things that help me feel good throughout the day. Soda, in contrast, gives only temporary enjoyment and no health benefits.
I don’t miss soda. I’m shocked to be saying it. I feel calmer, more relaxed, and my stomach feels better. Best of all, my sugar cravings are down and I am able to appreciate naturally sweetened foods in a way I didn’t before.
This is just the first step in my journey toward better overall health. Kicking the soda habit has not only helped me get rid of something that contributed to sugar cravings, dehydration, and weight gain; it gave me something more valuable. I now have new habits that actually help me feel better physically and emotionally.
If I can do this, you can do this. I am determined to take better care of myself, to have more energy, and to feel better overall. I am trying it one step at a time and getting rid of sugary beverages is a huge step for me. Take this one with me and join me as I conquer the next step.
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