Are you cranky and miserable when you don’t get your daily can of soda, or do you suffer from headaches if it’s been too long between carbonated, caffeinated beverages?
If so, you might have a soda addiction, and for the sake of your health you need to kick the habit–and fast! Soda may appeal to the taste buds, but there is a long list of reasons why you should never drink a drop of this sugary beverage ever again.
Soda has been linked to tooth decay, cancer, DNA damage, kidney stones, reproductive issues, osteoporosis, decreased cognitive skills, and all the health problems that come from obesity. Think diet soda may solve all your problems? Think again!
“Although switching from regular soda to diet soda may save you calories, some studies suggest that drinking more than one soda a day — regular or diet — increases your risk of obesity and related health problems such as type 2 diabetes,” said Mayo Clinic nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
“The artificial sweeteners and other chemicals currently used in diet soda are safe for most people, and there’s no credible evidence that these ingredients cause cancer. Some types of diet soda are even fortified with vitamins and minerals. But diet soda isn’t a health drink or a silver bullet for weight loss.”
How to beat your soda addiction
Beating a soda addiction isn’t easy; it’s still an addiction, and your body is going to go through a craving process and possibly have symptoms of withdrawal.
Thankfully the desire to have soda isn’t one that will push you to the brink like true addictions, and many people have cut this bubbly beverage out of their lives for good. To make the attempt on your own, try these nine helpful tips put together by Saludify:
- Swap out soda for sparkling water when you have a craving. If that doesn’t do the trick, try diluting your soda intake with the sparkling water. You’ll get a hint of the flavor and half the soda intake.
- Stock your fridge with healthy substitutes like flavored water, milk alternatives and tea.
- Keep a soda journal to help you realize just how much soda you really drink weekly.
To help beat your soda addiction, remind yourself how much sugar is in your favorite beverage. (Shutterstock)
- Start slow, and cut back soda every few days to help your body adjust.
- Use facts to remind yourself of how bad soda really is. A good example is: “A 20-ounce bottle of soda is the equivalent of 17 teaspoons of straight sugar.”
- Buy a refillable water bottle to encourage water drinking rather than impulse buying of soda when you’re out and about.
- Do not try to quit cold turkey as this will lead to withdrawal symptoms for both sugar and caffeine.
- Remind yourself of your goals with pictures around the house. Cutting out soda to achieve that bikini body for summer? Put a picture of your desired bathing suit on the refrigerator.
- Don’t be afraid to ask a friend for support. Having someone with you to keep you on track will help limit those feelings to purchase soda when you’re out and about.
What’s the really good news? Soda addiction isn’t really considered an addiction, according to experts fromWebMD. “People have an affinity for certain foods, and they develop food habits, but that’s not the same thing as an addiction,” said Liz Marr, MS, RD.
Breaking your soda addiction should be one of the first steps toward living a healthy lifestyle, and even if you can’t kick the habit completely, experts indicate moderation is key. Having a soda once every so often won’t have a huge impact on your health, but the key is to get to the point where soda is a choice, not a necessity.