How to Quit Drinking Soda

Diet Coke racks

CC/BY-NC Flickr user naillkennedy

If you’ve stuck with me throughout my extended absence, you may remember this little infographic I shared about how terrible soda is for your body. What I neglected to mention at the time was that I was a total diet-cokaholic. I’m talking AT LEAST a 2 liter a day… usually in the form of a fountain drink (it tastes better that way, I swear).

Now, my commitment to quitting diet coke did not just spring up at the sight of an infographic… although it was pretty convincing. I’d been thinking about it, attempting it, and failing at it for years. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It!┬áthat I really got serious about banning this stuff from my body.

So on January 1, 2012–in true new years fashion–I put down the diet coke. And I haven’t had one since. That’s 116 days if you’re counting! Other than quitting smoking, puttin down the DC was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. So I’m super proud of myself and can say with 110% confidence that I will NEVER go back to chuggin that stuff again.

So, dear friend, if you’re contemplating following my lead and putting down the bubbly, here are a few things that will help:

Gather Inspiration

While there is no shortage of “diet coke will kill you” articles on the web, not every one of them is gonna spur you to action. You’ve gotta take some time to learn about why this is a positive step for your health. In the process, you’ll likely find an article, story, or two that really resonate with you and your decisions to quit. Hold on to them… you’ll want them handy for when you need a motivational boost.

Set a Quit Date

I’m the kind of person who likes to start things on a Monday, or the beginning of the month, or well, on new years–it’s the virgo in me. But pick any day you like as long as it’s not a hectic one… you may be a little sluggish due to the lack of caffeine. Which reminds me…

Prepare for Caffeine Withdrawals

If you drink tea or coffee regularly, this won’t really apply. But if you’re like me and consume the vast majority of your caffeine through soda, you’re gonna have to prepare yourself for caffeine withdrawals. Headaches, fatigue, and irritability are common, but they only last a few days. You can supplement with some iced tea twice a day, which is what I did. But be careful not to replace one crutch with another.

Find a New Beverage

Without a doubt, water is the best beverage choice you can make. It keeps you hydrated without any yucky chemicals, calories, or caffeine, and does wonders for your skin. But sometimes ya just need a little TASTE. Iced tea (unsweetened or with a natural sweetener like stevia or agave) is still my go-to tasty beverage. But I also experimented with flavored waters and unique tea concoctions, which are great because you can design a recipe to suit your personal tastes. And whenever I hit a convenience store, I grab a Vitamin Water Zero, which is sweetened with stevia. So, try a few different things until you find something that you like.

Be Patient

Sure, the first few days are gonna suck. And you’ll be thinking about a tall, cold glass of bubbly for at least the first two weeks. But I promise you… after about a month you will adjust to your new soda-free lifestyle. And if you dare to relapse, that soda you once loved will taste like ASS. Because your body has fought off that evil trick your brain plays on you to keep you drinking, you can taste all of the chemical crap it’s really made of.

Taking the plunge?  Let me know in the comments!

xo Em

 

5 thoughts on “How to Quit Drinking Soda

  1. Brad Urquhart

    Hey Em …last year I quit pop also. I am also a virgo and quit on new years. It lasted about 6 months …substituting it with glasses of water with a splash of cranberry juice. till I got sick and had a ginger ale (old wives tale) then I fell off the wagon. I think I’m going to start that up again ….starting monday lol

    Reply
  2. Brandon

    i really need to quit i drink like 5 cans a day and i work at taco bell so free mtn dew baja blast in large cups… to tempting, but i hate tea and thing like the vitamin water zero which makes it hard to quit, this sucks

    Reply
  3. Meg

    I am absolutely positive that if I could stand soda, I would be totally addicted to it. People always tell me I am “so good” for not drinking soda which makes me feel like a total fraud because 1) I have many other bad habits to make up for my lack of soda drinking and 2) it is no merit on my part. I have just always disliked any and all carbonated beverages.

    Reply
  4. Blaine Shranka

    Hey there,

    The debate over Mayor Bloomberg’s soda ban is all over the news. Setting the politics aside, we wondered – What does sugary soda consumption mean for your health?

    http://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/0912/the-soda-ban-debate-what-does-it-mean-for-your-health.aspx

    We encourage you to post this infogram to your site (I can send as an attachment). If you do, we would be happy to give you a Follow Friday shout out to our 100,000+ Twitter followers!

    Let me know!

    All the best,
    Blaine

    Blaine Shranka
    Outreach Director
    Everyday Health
    blaine@everydayhealth.com
    345 Hudson Street, 16th Floor
    New York, New York 10014

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