There are an abundance of reasons to stop drinking soda. Whether you are looking to wean off caffeine, cut down on calories and sugars, or save money, cutting out the soda is a great way to start. Here are some tips for those of you who are looking to get off the sweet stuff.
If you are drinking 3 or more sodas per day, replacing those drinks with only water cold turkey will most likely feel like a punishment and come with a nasty headache. Try replacing 3 sodas per week with tap or sparkling water. Even one soda a day if you are feeling the challenge! Over time, you will miss those sodas less and less and eventually you will be ready to cut out one or two more.
2. Create a Soda Schedule
Jot down a schedule for weaning off the soda intake. By writing down a plan, you are thinking it through and committing to a reasonable approach for drinking less. For example, if on a typical day you consume 3 sodas per day, cut down to 2 per day for 1 month and then the next month only consume 1 soda per day. Step by step, you can gradually cut down even further.
3. Explore Alternatives
Once you have cut out the soda, you are going to want to replace it with other fluids so that you do not become dehydrated. You may feel you need the carbonation. Try sparkling water with a splash of juice for sweetness, or flavored water. Add some cucumber slices, citrus fruit, berries or mint to a pitcher of water to give it a refreshing flavor.
Make sure these alternatives are within reach when you get thirsty. If you are prepared, when thirst strikes you will have one less excuse to grab for a soda. If you are prone to caffeine headaches, have an anti-inflammatory on hand or some green/black tea to help ease the withdrawal.
4. Break the Routine
Soda drinking, just like drinking coffee, can become much of a ritual. Think about when you habitually grab a soda and then figure out how you can change the habit into reaching for a healthier beverage choice. After just a few weeks, the bad habit can be replaced with a healthier routine.
5. Be Accountable
Tell people about your plan to cut out soda. Tell your coworkers, friends, roommate, and significant other. It will keep you honest and their support can make a huge difference.
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