Why You Should Quit Drinking Soda

If you’ve been drinking soda for awhile, it may feel impossible to quit. I’m sharing how to stop drinking soda for good and the benefits you may experience from giving it up!

Here’s a quick win: By giving up soda, you’ll cut down on empty calories, reduce your sugar (or artificial sugar) consumption, and even save some money! Plus, there is so much research out there about how regular and diet soda cause health problems. The problems range from obesity and diabetes to tooth decay, dehydration, and dementia! So it may be time to call it quits for good!

I should mention, I’ve drank diet sodas for years and loved the bubbles, caffeine, and taste of it. As in, I drank a Diet Coke on my way to work, a Diet Coke for lunch, and a Diet Coke for dinner…almost every single day.

I also know how hard it is to quit and how crummy you may feel in the first week. With that said, I know you can stop drinking soda, and that you will more than likely feel better for it!

WHY SHOULD YOU STOP DRINKING SODA?
Sodas have been linked to several health issues in studies, and it’s also a pretty expensive habit to keep up!

The 1st reason to stop drinking soda would be the amount of calories!

Not only are they high in calories, but the calories come from sugar – do the math! One pound of fat contains 3,500 calories. If you have one 32-ounce sugary drink per day, that’s about 146,000 empty calories a year. 3,500 calories in a pound of fat / 146,000 calories per year = 41.7 pounds of fat.

It’s kind of crazy when you think of the long-term impact of drinking one sugary-soda per day.

The American Heart Association says the maximum amount of sugar per day a woman should have is 6 teaspoons, and men should only have a maximum of 9 teaspoons per day. One can of soda is more than 9 teaspoons!

Soda can also be bad for your bones, teeth, and even heart.

HERE ARE A FEW MORE STARTLINGLY HEALTH STATS:
People drinking 1 to 2 cans a day or more have a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who rarely have sugary drinks.

One study found men having just 1 soda a day had a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack. Another study found women to have a similar link too!

Drinking just two sugary soft drinks a week increases the amount of insulin the pancreas produces and can double the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

Phosphates used in fizzy drinks, as well as many other processed foods, has been found to speed up the ageing process. This is not bad just in terms of wrinkles, but also health complications that some with age, such as , chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular calcification.

Drinking just one-and-a-half cans a day can increase a girl’s breast cancer risk by per cent.

Drinking just one fizzy drink a day could increase a man’s chance of developing prostate cancer by around 40 per cent.

WHAT ABOUT DIET SODA?
If you’re like me, you may have switched to diet soda. While diet soda doesn’t have the calories or sugar in it, they also have been linked to healthy issues.

Along with the bone issues mentioned above, diet soda still has been connected to heart disease and depression in women.

Along with these issues, there aren’t any health benefits of consuming artificial sweeteners that I know of.

QUESTIONABLE INGREDIENTS IN SODA
Aspartame
Phosphoric Acid
Caramel Coloring
Benzene

The actual soda bottles also contain the questionable chemicals including Phthalates and Bisphenol A (BPA).

13 HACKS ON HOW TO STOP DRINKING SODA
Giving up soda creates a mental and physical challenge, but these 15 tips can help you stop drinking it for good!

1. THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE DRINKING
I shared a few of the possible health concerns and amount of sugar in soda above to remind you what is in those bubbles.

Think about how many sodas you drink per week, and then calculate how many calories and how much sugar that is! This can create a sticker-shock affect to help you steer clear – or at least think twice – before grabbing a soda. I know it sounds silly but I honestly often suggest that people watch YouTube videos about what soda does to your body immediately after drinking it next time they have the urge to drink some soda.

2. CONSIDER EXERCISING OFF ALL THOSE CALORIES
Johns Hopkins University did a study where stores put out signs letting consumers know that it would take walking 5 miles to burn off a 20-once bottle of soda, and sales dropped. Is one soda worth 5 miles?

Need help coming up with a workout plan? Look no further!

3. SET A GOAL
Setting a goal and writing it down somewhere you’ll see it each day can help you summon your willpower!

4. STOP DRINKING SODA SLOWLY
There is no reason you have to go cold turkey. We love the idea of balance in every part of our life and don’t do well with drastic changes.

So it could be that you don’t allow sodas in the house, or you start with having 1 per day or 1 per week to start.

Another idea is to switch to caffeine-free soda. Since caffeine itself is addictive, consider first switching to caffeine-free soda for 2 weeks.

This can help with the mindset piece because you get to keep the habit while your body withdrawals from the caffeine.

5. SET A PLAN
Just because you are going slow doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a plan. Set a goal to cut back and have a plan to do it each and every day.

6. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ADJUST THE PLAN
As you get more and more used to drinking less soda continue to limit the amount you drink until you no longer have it anymore (or only as a special occasion).

7. CREATE NO-SODA AREAS
Drinking soda has a lot to do with our habits. If you can set up No-Soda Areas, you’ll remind yourself of your goal to stop drinking them.

Some examples of a No-Soda Area would be at home, at work, in the car, before dinner, or at the movies.

8. START A NEW HABIT
While we’re talking about habits, why not create a new healthy habit to replace your soda ritual?

Instead of reaching for a soda for breakfast, try out a new organic coffee or tea. Instead of an afternoon caffeine fix, go for a walk instead.

9. GET YOUR ENERGY IN OTHER WAYS
So…you may feel kind of crummy the 1st week you give up soda, but there are ways to limit the side effects.

By staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet, working out and getting 7-9 hours a sleep a night can help boost your energy and feel better while giving up soda.

10. HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE
Sometimes self will-power isn’t enough. It can be really helpful to tell your family, friends, and co-workers your goal and plan to ditch soda.

11. BE PATIENT
If you’ve been drinking soda for years, it can be hard for your taste buds to adjust. Give it time.

As you get used to not drinking soda, you’ll likely find it doesn’t even taste as good to you anymore.

12. IT’S NEVER COMPLETELY OFF THE TABLE.
If you find you still really love a soda on a special occasion or with a certain food, it’s okay (in my opinion anyways) to have it as a treat here and there.

13. FIND SOMETHING ELSE YOU LIKE
Use this time to find another type of drink you enjoy! You can still enjoy fizzy and flavored beverages; just check the label before guzzling it now.

La Croix is an alternative to Sparkling Ice Water (other good brands include “Aha” and “Bubly”)

WHAT TO DRINK INSTEAD OF SODA
Giving up soda allows you to gain a bunch of new drinks that you’re sure to love! Here are some of our favorite soda alternatives!

Herbal Tea
Green Tea
Sparkling Water (LaCroix, Aha, bubbly)
Kombucha (in moderation)
Fruit Infused Water
Coconut Water (in moderation)
Coffee (iced or hot – no sugar or creamer)
Nuun mix-ins
Nuun Energy tablets

BENEFITS OF NOT DRINKING SODA
Here are a few benefits I’ve personally experienced after giving up soda.

I am able to tell when I am really thirsty better now. I used to go hours without realizing I needed to drink something.
My skin looks better.
I don’t feel as bloated.
My digestion is better. I guess this goes back to bloating, but I never realized those bubbles upset my stomach either.
I feel like I have better focus and mental clarity.

I’d love to hear from you! Trying to give up sodas? Already given them up and feeling better?

Stay Connected!

From LIVE classes, virtual challenge groups, appearances and more, be sure we stay in touch! Have a question or suggestion? Email me directly: hswader@twc.com I'd love to hang out with you on social media too: Facebook: Fit Teacher with Heather Swader Instagram: @heather.swader.fit.teacher

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