How to Give Up Soda

Giving up soda comes with many benefits such as lowering your sugar and caffeine intake. Looking for where to start? Here are 4 top tips on how to give up soda...

How to Give Up Soda

One factor that causes many to re-think their soda intake is the amount of calories soda (or fizzy drinks, soft drinks, pop - depending where you live) contains. These excess calories in soda come from the numerous amount of added sugars.

In this post, we won't go into detail on all the dangers associated with drinking soda - you can find some more convincing reasons here. But let's look at 3 quick reasons why giving up soda is a good idea: 

Soda is full of GMOs - The main ingredients in soft drinks are normally made from GMO crops. Additives derived from GMOs, such as erythorbic acid, fructose, aspartme, sodium citrate and citric acid are found in soda. 

Soda damages your teeth - Research has shown that soda consumption is linked with tooth decay. Phosphoric acid - an ingredient in soda - is known to dramatically acidify your body and erode your teeth. 

The 'caramel colouring' of sodas is not caramel - Soda is actually coloured with harzardous chemicals, though that dark, delicious colouring may appear to be caramel. In the production of soda, Ammonia and sulfites are heated under high pressure to produce the chemical 4-methylimidazole (4-Mel). 4-Mel causes cancer in mice and studies indicate that the chemical may also be carcinogenic to humans.

There is a lot of evidence to show that excessive consumption of soda does cause damage and impacts a person's long-term health. Yet, it's up to each person to decide if they will either reduce their soda intake or eliminate it altogether. 

So, are some ways to give up soda:

1. Create a Soda Schedule 

For those who have lived a lifestyle heavily dependent on soda, choosing to give it up may be the best way to go forward. But as you can imagine, giving up soda completely won't likely be easy for someone who is used to drinking 2 or 3  cans per day. Therefore, a good approach to giving up soda is to make gradual changes. 

Set a goal that is achievable. For instance, if you normally drink multiple sodas per day, then you could try to only have one soda per day. Then you could tone it down to one soda every other day and then only two sodas per week. Eventually you may be able to cut back to only one soda per week or even less frequently!

Give yourself time to master every stage of cutting back, because it will likely take time to adjust. As you cut back every few weeks, you will find that you are no longer as dependent on soda as you were previously. 

2. Don't Switch to Diet Soda

Diet soda doesn't contain any calories due to the lack of sugar, but that doesn't mean such drinks are good for you. Diet sodas have artificial sweeteners which have been proven to intensify sugar cravings and promote weight gain. In fact, research has shown that diet soda drinkers are more likely to be overweight or obese in comparison to those who drink regular soda. 

Moreover, diet soda doesn't shield you from some of the other health risks associated with drinking regular soda, such as tooth decay and bone thinning. 

3. Mix it with water

A good way to slowly wean yourself off soda is to mix it with water. Why not try out drinking a combination of half-soda, half-water. Doing this not only helps you to drink more water and stay hydrated, but it will help you get used to drinking less soda.

One factor that makes people addicted to soda is the sweetness, but once you start to dilute your soda drink with water, your taste buds will change and you'll stop feeling the desire to have all that excess sugar. 

3. Find some tasty alternatives 

A great tip to help you give up soda is to find other tasty drinks that can replace it. For instance, drinking unsweetened ice tea can be just as refreshing as your regular soda. 

To make iced tea:

  • Boil 2 cups of water
  • Add 3 bags of your favourite black tea
  • Let the tea bags soak in the water for 5 minutes (no longer, so your tea doesn't become bitter)
  • Pour the tea into a jug 
  • Pour 2 cups of cold water into the jug and stir (this will dilute the tea so its not too concentrated)
  • * Add a special ingredient of your choice for extra flavour: some options include lemon, mint, pureed strawberries, honey. *
  • Refrigerate the tea for 3 hours 
  • Put ice in a tall glass and pour some tea in it. Enjoy your tasty drink!

Another quick and simple alternative to soda is sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice. 

4. Adopt a no soda at home policy 

You can also gradually give up soda by taking active measures to keep it away from you. 

  • A good way to start is to decide not to include it when you buy your weekly groceries
  • You could restrict yourself to only drinking soda when you're out of the house, for instance at parties or on the side of your meal if you eat out.

This tip helps you reduces your dependency on soda since you simply don't have easy access to it anymore. Now, when you open your fridge you are more likely to reach for a juicy piece of fruit or make yourself a refreshing drink of flavoured water. 

This suggestion could easily be combined with tip 1 - when you have reduced your soda intake to once a week, you might then choose to only have soda on occasions when you're out of the house, or when you host a get-together. 

If you do your best to stay consistent and be disciplined, you'll soon lose interest in fizzy drinks and enjoy the health benefits that come with giving up soda!

Thanks for reading my tips on how to give up soda! Have any other suggestions? Comment below!

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