Let me just begin by saying that I’m not a nutritionist, nor do I claim to be; I’m just speaking from experience! I know that sometimes there’s nothing like a can of sweet, bubbly soda to wash down your slice of pizza or a plate of pasta; it can just be so satisfying sometimes! But I also know that there’s a ton of sugar in various cans of soda — sugars that aren’t good for you. The amount of sugar in most cans of soda is actually more than two times the recommended daily amount (yikes!)
When I was in high school, I decided to stop drinking soda and drink only water, because I knew that my family had a history of Diabetes, so I was old enough to really start making myself more wary of some of the things that went into my mouth. If you’re trying to stop a soda habit in its tracks for whatever reason — health, fitness, you just don’t like it anymore, you’re drinking too much, etc. — then here are some tips to make ending the habit so much easier!
1. Cut the amount you drink in half.
If you usually have a full can, drink only half of the can, and from there you can continue to cut down on the amount you drink. This way, you can still have the taste of soda, but just a little less than you usually have. It also helps to cut down on the number of times per week you have soda. If you typically have soda five times a week, try cutting down to three times a week. It’s okay to take things slow; you don’t need to quit cold turkey!
2. Substitute soda with a less sweet drink.
Iced tea is a great substitute for soda. Personally, I like the Turkey Hill brand iced teas (my favorite is the Mango Green Tea!) This one in particular actually contains zero grams of sugar, and it’s just naturally sweet because they put honey in the tea. Juices are also great things to drink instead of soda, as long as the sweetness you taste is natural. This way, when you drink something else you can still have something that’s a little more pizzazz-y than water.
3. Always keep a bottle of water near you.
Keeping water near you will make you more likely to reach for that the next time you get thirsty. Plus, I don’t know about you but sometimes drinking soda makes my mouth feel even more dry, and not always as refreshed as I would like to feel. You can buy a reusable water bottle and always keep it, full, in your room so you don’t even have to travel to the kitchen unless it’s for a refill. This is going to sound extremely terrible, but at one point I used to make it a daily game to see how many water bottles I can drink completely in a day. I know, it’s super bad for the environment! But it did help me drink more water and less soda!
4. Stop buying bulk packs of soda.
You know, the packs of 36 sodas that you can get from places like Costco? Those bulk packs aren’t going to help you cut soda from your diet. When you have so much, you might want to drink regularly and for longer, but if you buy smaller packs of 6 or 12 then, well, when you’re done, you’re done and you can either bother yourself to go back to the store again, or you can do without and drink something else.
5. Keep soda out of the house all together.
This would definitely be hard if you live with other people because you aren’t just buying groceries for yourself (trust me, I’m in this boat as I’m still a college student). But if you can convince your family to stop purchasing soda, this would be a great step toward giving soda the cold shoulder. Out of sight, out of mind! If you can’t get your family to stop bringing soda into the house, then meeting your goal will require some self control.
6. Try developing a taste for different drinks.
For me, developing a taste for tea really helped me stay away from soda. I started off by drinking green tea (completely unsweetened and without milk). This is somewhat of an acquired taste, but soon I started adding natural lemon juice and ice to my green tea, and I even went on to try out other teas from the grocery store. If you know inside and out that you just simply aren’t a tea person, try something else. I also highly recommend coconut water!
7. Remind yourself why you want to stop drinking soda in the first place!
Sometimes thinking about why we set certain goals can really help kickstart a journey or keep us on track. Just thinking about what the end result could be can give you a big surge of focus and desire to keep doing what you’re doing. So the next time you feel yourself slipping off the horse (is that even an idiom????) remind yourself why you decided that it’s time to kick your soda habit.
I hope you enjoyed reading the tips I have for drinking less soda and eventually removing it from your diet. Doing these things really helped me out, and if there’s anyone else out there who wants to trade in the pepsi can, then I hope you have found these tips useful!
Btw, if you’re looking for more tips for adjusting your lifestyle, be sure to check out my post on simple food swaps you can make.
What are your tips for drinking less soda?