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It’s hard to avoid soda. Coke and Pepsi have become ubiquitous, prominently displayed in restaurants, vending machines, and grocery store checkouts. For a lot of people, drinking soda is as much a part of their daily routine as brushing their teeth. However, soda habits can wreak havoc on our bodies.
Experts have been saying for years that soda is one of the biggest sources of excess calories, causing the American obesity epidemic. Research from the American Diabetes Association showed that drinking one soda a day can double your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
A study from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed that fructose, a sweetener used in sodas, can induce a hormonal response in your body that causes weight gain. Additionally, studies from the International Agency for Research of Cancer have shown that the chemicals used to color sodas can lead to cancer. Not to mention the number of GMOs used to produce sodas!
If this is the first time you’re learning of the dangers of drinking soda, don’t fear. Our staff at Optimum is dedicated to helping our clients lead happier, healthier lifestyles. We realize that just knowing how damaging soda is to your body may not be enough to quit drinking it, especially with how prominent it is in our daily lives. However, if you want to beat your soda addiction but aren’t sure how, we’ve created this helpful guide to help you kick the habit and live a healthier, more fulfilling life!
Make Up Your Mind
The first step in beating any addiction is to decide that you’re going to do so and commit yourself to the work. Plenty of people know how harmful sodas are, and yet they continue to drink them. Worrying about what a soda may be doing to your body is not enough. If you want to beat your soda addiction, you have to make the decision to do so and commit to following through on that choice. Even simply cutting back on your soda consumption will require a firm commitment.
Pre-Soda Water Chug
Once you’ve committed to beating your soda addiction, the next step is trying to wean yourself off of it. You don’t need to quit cold turkey so long as you follow through on cutting back your consumption. One easy way to do this is what we call the pre-soda water chug: before drinking soda, drink a glass of water. By drinking a glass of water, you are training your body not to associate thirst with being relieved by sugar. It will also make you drink the soda more slowly or even decide not to drink it at all as you are no longer thirsty!
Another easy way to slowly wean yourself off soda is by only keeping small servings available in the house. Start beating your addiction by switching from the 12-ounce cans to the 7.5-ounce cans. If you prefer the bottles, you can also make the switch to the mini bottles. If you try this method, be sure to have a predetermined limit for the number of sodas you allow yourself to drink per day. Otherwise, you’ll just end up drinking five mini cans in a row!
Go Caffeine Free
Part of the reason soda is so hard to quit is because of the caffeine content. Caffeine is the most addictive aspect of soda and the main reason many people consume it. To make the transition to a soda-free lifestyle a little easier, switch to caffeine-free sodas and rely on coffee for your caffeine (don’t forget, coffee is healthiest black!). By training your body not to associate soda with caffeine, you’ll have one less hurdle to clear in quitting soda.
Once you’ve weaned your soda intake down to the point that completely quitting is feasible, it is important to set yourself up for success. One way you can do so is by not keeping soda anywhere in your house. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to be tempted and resume your habit! By not even buying it and having it in your home, you limit your opportunities for relapse.
Try Some Alternatives
Once you’ve beaten your soda habit, you’ll need to find alternatives to replace it with. However, some beverages are equally if not more harmful than soda, such as sugary coffee or alcohol. To recovered soda addicts, water might seem too boring to be an alternative. However, there are plenty of ways to add flavor to your water without adding calories using mint, lemon, or other fruits and veggies. Check out our article “Dress Up Your Water with These Water-Infused Recipes” for some recipe ideas! Green or black tea is also a healthy alternative; teas are calorie-free and contain powerful antioxidants to keep you looking and feeling your best!
Beat Your Soda Addiction with Optimum!
Beating your soda addiction will not be possible without safe, accessible drinking water. Luckily, Optimum is here to help! Our bottleless water coolers make drinking water more convenient than ever. Visit our website today to browse our selection.