According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the average American drank over 38 gallons of soda in 2013. That’s about eight 12-ounce cans of soda each week, which makes up a huge percentage of the added sugars in the American diet. Many of us have a soda habit, and many are aware that it’s not a great habit to have.
Too much sugar is bad for your teeth, increases your risk of diabetes, and can cause weight issues too. If you’re thinking about kicking your soda habit, it could be a challenging journey. But with the right methods, you can do it and improve your health.
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Essential Advice To Kick Your Soda Habit Once And For All
1. Have a Good Reason to Quit
Whenever you want to make a big change in your life, it’s best to have a good reason to do it. You can remind yourself of why you’re doing it in the times when you struggle to stick to your new rules. Being educated about the effects of soda on your health, public health and the environment will help you decide to quit or reduce your intake.
If you don’t want to do it for your own health, you might start thinking about quitting soda for your family. You can also help to reduce the impact soda has on the environment, through both plastic bottles and the ingredients used.
2. Don’t Have Any Soda at Home
If you want to stop drinking soda, or at least drink less of it, the first step is not to have any at home. Don’t have a few cans just for emergencies, or a bottle in case anyone comes over if you want to offer them a drink. Don’t keep soda just for the kids. If you’re going to try to stop drinking so much, don’t have it at home, period.
If it’s in the house, it will be harder to resist drinking it. And once you’ve had what’s there, you may struggle to resist buying something to replace it. Just avoid buying it in the first place and have a good alternative.
3. Enjoy Naturally Flavored Water
Water is usually the healthiest drink you can have when you’re thirsty. But some people who drink soda find water boring, or they don’t like the taste. Both tap water and bottled water can vary slightly in taste, so sometimes you might not find it pleasant.
One way to make water at home more pleasant is to filter it and keep it in the fridge. This is a much healthier way to drink water anyway. You might also enjoy infusing your water with fruits or drinking flavored sparkling water. Going from drinking lots of soda to plain water can be a bit of shock to some people. But if you have something with more flavor, you’ll feel a bit more excited about drinking it.
4. Get a SodaStream
What many people like about soda, apart from the sugar or sweeteners, is the fizz. Giving that up can be hard because it does make your drinks a bit more fun. If you prefer a sparkling drink, why not consider buying a SodaStream?
You can use it to turn any flavors you want into a fizzing drink so you can create some great soda replacements. You can buy flavors to use from SodaStream or make your own, and the bottles are easy to simply put a lid on and put in the fridge or take out with you.
5. Drink Kombucha
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that’s been around for ages. It’s a probiotic food, which means it’s good for your gut health. And although sugar is added to start the fermentation process involved in making kombucha, most of the sugar burns off. The finished product contains a mere 4 grams of sugar in a full 16-ounce bottle serving.
Compared to a smaller 12-ounce serving size of cola, which contains 38.9 grams of added sugar and no nutritional benefits, kombucha is a much healthier option. And when you consider the added health benefits of kombucha including disease prevention, improved mental health, antibacterial properties and promoting heart health it seems like a no-brainer.
6. Buy Yourself a Water Bottle
For some people, it’s leaving home without a drink that can make soda hard to resist. If you go to work or run some errands and don’t take a drink with you, you’re bound to get thirsty at some point in the day. And if you’re already in the store or by a vending machine, what’s the harm in buying just one bottle or can of soda? If you want to try to resist that urge, having a reusable bottle is smart. Buy one in metal or glass that you can fill with whatever you want.
7. Allow Yourself a Treat Sometimes
Going cold turkey with any addiction can be tough. If you don’t think you can give up soda completely, try allowing yourself a treat now and then. One easy way to do it is to allow yourself to have soda when you go out to eat. Of course, this doesn’t work if you eat out all the time. When you do have a soda, you can choose to have one that’s low-calorie or low-sugar, and you can limit yourself to just one.
8. Find a Healthier Favorite
When you’re trying out new drinks, you might just find a healthier option that you love. Having too many options can sometimes complicated things, especially when you’re used to reaching for the same drink all the time. So if you find something you enjoy, you could just stick to it to make things easier.
Stock up on whatever your new favorite drink is, and keep drinking it until you get bored. When you start to feel a little fed up with it, try something else for a while. You might only drink the same thing for a few weeks, but it means you don’t have to constantly think about what you’re going to drink next.
If you’re hoping to kick your soda habit, come up with some habits to follow. Try to stick to them to meet your goal. And if you’re ever at a loss for what to drink, remember, lemon water is always an excellent (and healthy) choice!
What tips do you have to help quit a soda drinking habit?
Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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