Soda and I have a love/hate relationship. Ever since I was a kid I have been addicted to the stuff. We would always have several 2 liters of the stuff around the house, and now it’s been something I have been trying to give up for YEARS That’s why I think I have finally figured out how to quit drinking soda.
I will be the first to tell you I am NOT a big fan of artificial sweeteners. Those things are loaded with crud that really is that good for you. I would rather be fat from using real sugar than dying of cancer from using artificial stuff, but that may just be me.
A few weeks ago, I started this cool program called 10 Days of Real Food, while I failed MISERABLY at the challenge it did teach me several things. The number one thing it taught me is that when I drink lots of sugar I wake up every morning feeling hungover! I am groggy and cranky and sluggish. Granted when I woke up without drinking sugar I wasn’t bright eyed and bushy tailed, but I didn’t feel like I had been hit by a bus.
You know that 3pm slump that normally hits in the afternoon, I also found that surprisingly I wasn’t tired. It was FANTASTIC. Normally right around this time I am hoping for a mid afternoon siesta, but sadly that isn’t usually in the cards. Learning how to quit drinking soda is really having some positive effects on my life!
Those two alone would be enough reasons to quit drinking soda, but I wanted to throw some numbers your way. On an average day I could easily drink 1.5 20 ounce bottles of soda. Take a look at this.
30 ounces of soda = 412 calories * 7 days = approx. 2900 calories a week
Now consider this, it takes about 3500 calories to equal a pound. JUST by cutting out this amount (assuming everything else stays t same) you could almost lose one pound a week. That one little change could do all that! (Sign me UP!)
Since I have tried, and failed miserably, quitting soda cold turkey I figured I would put together a plan to replace it with some healthier stuff that I enjoy. Because when I am craving a soda, I am usually craving the refreshing bubbles that come with it or craving something a little sweet. These tried and tested ways below are how I FINALLY kicked my soda habit!
5 Ways to Quit Drinking Soda
1. Have a plan: There is a quote I love that says “A dream without a plan is just a dream!” Meaning if you don’t put a plan in action when you want to get something done, then you aren’t probably ever going to see it happen. It’s really important to think about your soda habit, and have a plan that will set you up for success. Here are some of the questions, I asked myself when I finally quit soda for good.
- Why do you drink soda? Is it the sweetness? Is it the bubbles? Or do you really not know at this point because you’ve been doing it for so long
- When do you find that you crave soda the most? Is eating out hard for you? That afternoon slump at work
- What would you do if you had $2000 at the end of the year? :This was my favorite question, because if you drink 2-3 20 oz a day, that’s how much money you would have if you quit drinking soda for a year. Think about all the fun times you could have with that kind of dough.
- What is a small change you can make that will help you succeed: Could you start by drinking one less soda a day? Would you be able to stick to it if you found a buddy? Think hard. And make sure that you put your big girl panties on and don’t tell yourself you can’t do this because YOU CAN!
2. Reward Yourself: My number one key to quitting soda for good was in the form of a good bribe. When I learned how to quit soda, I would treat myself to massages, really good gourmet desserts, time by myself, and night’s out with my friends. After a while, I looked so forward to the bribe that I didn’t think the soda was worth it anymore! Want some other hints on how to bribe yourself check this out.
Read How to Reward Yourself When You Quit Drinking Soda (lots of goodies galore)
3. Be boldly honest with yourself: When you decide it’s time to quit soda for good, it’s time to be bluntly honest with yourself. Don’t set yourself up for failure. If you know that keeping soda in the house will make you drink it by the buckets. GET IT OUT OF THE HOUSE. If you have a significant other that is still drinking it, ask them to kindly keep it out of the house and/or not drink it in front of you. (If that doesn’t work, I’ve heard some other forms of bribery will do the trick…hint…hint…wink…wink….)
4. Get rid of all or nothing thinking (aka A little sugar is ok, too): Don’t think you have to quit soda cold turkey, and for that matter don’t think you have to give up sugar all together. Learning how to dump the soda is all about drinking less with the goal of kicking the habit for good. It takes time and patience to do this, and a little be of self kindness. If you find that you are going to murder someone without a soda, then find a lower sugar option that hits the spot and prevents homicide. For me, I look for things like Honest Tea because there is no added sugar and it’s just sweet enough to give my sweet cravings a love tap. Eventually you will find that even those are too sweet for you and you prefer unsweetened drinks. (No, I’m not lying I swear!)
5. Get off autopilot: A lot of things are habit because we are on auto pilot. Ever find yourself mindlessly snacking in front of the TV just to reach the bottom of the bag of chips and you can’t really remember how that became empty? When you are trying to stop bad habits, it’s REALLY IMPORTANT that you are present when you are eating or drinking. When you choose to get something to drink, be mindful about your choice. Ask yourself if you really feel like you have to have soda (or whatever) or if it’s just because you are afraid you will fail. If you believe in yourself, and have a little bit of brutal honesty, you might just find that you like other things better than soda.
If you fall off the horse, and find yourself pounding a two liter before you even realize it BE KIND TO YOURSELF. Don’t beat yourself up. Pick yourself up, be honest about why you went for the soda, and figure out a way to make it not happen next time. Remember you are a rock star and you CAN do this!
6. Find Things You Enjoy Just as Much: You want my tip top secret on how I finally quit my soda habit for good? I had to find drink alternatives that I truly enjoyed. Nothing drives me more nuts than when someone tries to tell you things like “cheesecake flavored yogurt tastes just as good as cheesecake!” The hell you say! This gal figured out that I had to really find things that did truly taste great to me. This does take a lot of trial and error, but if you ask the good questions (you read tip number one right ;)) you will be able to figure out what it is about soda. For me, it was the bubbles. I absolutely loved the refreshing feel of the carbonation. That’s why I was able to make some fresh fruit spritzers that had a hint of sweet, and all the bubbles with no added sugar. (Yep, you guessed it some of those awesome recipes coming soon too!)
If you are ready to find things you love just as much make sure to read this post!
Read 10 Things to Drink Other Than Soda (When You Hate Water)
Now you guys are all ready for the 30 day no soda challenge! You know six tips how to quit drinking soda that are no BS ways that I was able to kick my soda habit in 30 days! Make sure you join the Quirky Facebook group, and follow us on Periscope because from April 1st-April 30th we are going to stream live to share how the 2016 30 Day no Soda Challenge is going!
Are you ready to figure how to quit drinking soda? Join the revolution!
Those are great tips! I have been the same way my entire life. I remember being able to drink 2 or 3 cokes a day when I was a kid… and in some instances (*ahem- free refills during dinner!) I could drink more than that. Recently I bought myself a 32 ounce Nalgene bottle and I will make my own spa water with oranges, lime and mint. The fruitiness of the water curbs my urge of drinking something that’s not plain water and I feel like I have more energy! It’s a great feeling, isn’t it??
Ashley Sears says
Yes, it’s such a hard habit to break. It’s taken me years to just cut down. I need to keep reading this post to remember to stay strong lol! Need to try your orange mint water idea!
How do you cope with caffeine withdrawal? My soda habit is more about caffeine then sugar.
Ashley Sears says
I did a couple things. First thing I did was wean myself off rather than quit cold turkey. Also you can drink unsweet tea for caffeine as well. Things like chocolate also have caffeine in them to avoid the headaches that sometime come with cutting out the soda.