“What if I told you there are 3 really easy steps that could wean you off of drinking sugar or diet sodas…”
– How to Stop Drinking Soda. Awesome Steps for Success!
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“You have to drink fluids every day to stay hydrated. It’s your choice whether you drink empty calories and unnecessary chemicals or something healthier.”
How to Stop Drinking Soda. Awesome Steps for Success!
Here is a sobering fact, “Two out of three adults and one out of three children in the United States are overweight or obese and the nation spends an estimated $190 billion a year treating obesity-related health conditions. Rising consumption of sugary drinks has been a major contributor to the obesity epidemic.” Harvard School of Public Health.
If you think that drinking diet sodas will get you off the hook, think again! Here are 3 of the top 10 reasons (in no particular order) from Health.com.
- Diet soda is calorie-free, but it won’t necessarily help you lose weight. Researchers from the University of Texas found that over the course of about a decade, diet soda drinkers had a 70% greater increase in waist circumference compared with non-drinkers
- It’s associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Drinking one diet soda a day was associated with a 36% increased risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes in a University of Minnesota study.
- It may hurt your heart. Just one diet soft drink a day could boost your risk of having a vascular event such as stroke, heart attack, or vascular death, according to researchers from the University of Miami and Columbia University.
Ok, enough of the scare tactics! I too was a diet soda drinker before I starting down the path of the LifehackrDiet. I had to wean myself off of them too, now I want to share with you three awesome steps to stop drinking soda that worked for me.
WATER, WATER, EVERYWHERE!
Here is the root of the problem, our bodies are approximately 60% water and during the day we are losing it through sweating and urination. Health authorities recommend drinking at least eight 8oz glasses of water, 64 fl oz or around 2 liters a day. I try to target 80 fl oz of water a day with mixed results.
Not only is water a necessity, but you can use it as a weight loss tool.
“One study showed that dieters who drank 500 ml of water before meals lost 44% more weight over a period of 12 weeks, compared to those who didn’t.” Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise
Water is something we have to consume for our very survival. We are bombarded by marketing messages trying to sell us beverage products that are not healthy forms of hydration. “A typical 20-ounce soda contains 15 to 18 teaspoons of sugar and upwards of 240 calories. A 64-ounce fountain cola drink could have up to 700 calories. People who drink this “liquid candy” do not feel as full as if they had eaten the same calories from solid food and do not compensate by eating less.” Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health
The bottom line is, It’s up to you whether you consume beverages that help or hinder a healthy lifestyle.
3 STEPS TO FREEDOM!
Step 1: Wean Yourself off of the Sweetness.
Step 2: Wean Yourself off of Consumer Soda Products.
Step 3: Wean Yourself off of the Soda Bubbles.
STEP 1: WEAN YOURSELF OFF THE SWEETNESS.
I have never liked drinking plain water but I have learned delicious new ways to enjoy consume water. Let us start down the path of getting to water nirvana by attacking one problem at a time.
Like most of you reading this, my brain likes the sensation of sweetness, a lot! The first step is to take control of the volume knob of your brain’s sweet spot.
“Artificial sweeteners have more intense flavor than real sugar, so over time products like diet soda dull our senses to naturally sweet foods like fruit” Health.com
Here is a simple way of reducing your dependence on the level of sweetness of sugared and diet sodas.
Next time you buy your soda of choice, buy a soda water of the same size.
- Drink 1/4 of you soda of choice. Crack open the soda water and refill your soda of choice with the soda water (1/4 of the bottle). Drink your new brew and don’t focus on any changes in the sweetness. Instead, focus on other things you like about your soda of choice; the bubbles, the temperature, how refreshing it is, etc… Note: From now on, don’t drink soda straight. Pour the 1/4 bottle of soda in a reserve bottle and water it down before you drink it. Repeat this 3/4 to 1/4 mixing every time you drink a soda.
- Take your time to get use to the less intense “sweetness” of your beverage. Take days, weeks or even months to be comfortable with this change. When this level of sweetness becomes, “normal” you are ready to crank it up!
- Now mix 1/2 a bottle of your soda of choice with 1/2 bottle of soda water. Take your time to appreciate your beverage for what it is. When you are ready move on…
- To, 1/4 your soda of choice to 3/4 soda water. Again, take your time to appreciate your new reality.
My advice to you is to take as much time as you need to be comfortable with each of these changes. We are working on making a permanent change here.
STEP 2: WEAN YOURSELF OFF OF THE CONSUMER SODA PRODUCTS.
It’s time to put you in the driver’s seat and have you save money while drinking healthier soda beverages. This strategy also helps the environment as it saves on fuel shipping your little commercial soda bottles all over the country, plus it reduces the number of plastic bottles in the waste and recycling stream.
Now that you have turned down the sweetness volume in your brain, you can enjoy beverages, fruits and other foods with a more sensible perception of sweetness.
I have been off commercial sodas for over 3 years and when I taste them now I actually gag at the intensity of their sweetness.
Let us replace your dependence on commercial soda beverages and instead create spritzers (a mixture of fruit juice and soda water) that are tailored to your sensibilities.
- The basic principle of step 2, is to take a naturally sweetened fruit juice of your choice and use it as the “syrup (not an actual syrup, just a juice)” for a spritzer which will replace your consumption of commercial soda.
- Suggestions for fruit juices; (all without added sweeteners) Apple cider, Pomegranate juice, grape juice, lemon, lime or orange juice, iced tea and anything else that catches your fancy.
– Pour about 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) of your syrup and then fill the remainder of a 16 oz/0.47 l glass with soda water. Enjoy.
- Try squeezing a couple of lemon, lime or orange slices into a glass of soda water. Yummy!
I was an early adopter when the Soda Stream home carbonation system arrived on the scene. I love being able to make soda water whenever I want to without having to lug heavy soda water bottles from the grocery store or deal with returning bottles for a return deposit or dumping them in the recycling. It also saves money too.
How to Drink Spritzers at Work.
There is a true convenience to twisting open a commercial soda. You can find them pretty much everywhere and they taste consistently the same no matter where you are. But now that you are over them, how can you adapt to drinking your healthy spritzer at work? Here are a couple of suggestions (If you have some ideas to add, please do so in the comments section below – we’d love to hear what you have to say!).
With a Fridge at Work
If you are fortunate to have access to a fridge at work, you can bring a bottle/container of your favorite “syrup” and leave it in the fridge. Maybe put an official looking sticker on it that say something like “Laxative Solution” to keep your co-workers out of your stash.
Without a Fridge at Work
If you don’t have access to a fridge, then i suggest you buy yourself a soup thermos and pour in your cold “syrup” of choice. Bring along a durable reusable water bottle to mix your spritzer and soda water and drink from. Soda Water at Work Depending on where you work and who you work for, maybe they could be convinced to buy a SodaStream system for the office. It encourages people to think outside of the bottle when it comes to hydration. Maybe spend a couple of minutes explaining why what you are doing and how it will help you maintain a healthier lifestyle. That’s a pretty convincing argument.
STEP 3: WEAN YOURSELF OFF THE BUBBLES
A couple of weeks ago, I was sucking on the straw of my favorite water infusion of spicy ginger tea with a lemon slice, when I had an “ah-hah” moment. A slight ginger burning sensation was warming its way down my throat. I realize the reason I don’t like drinking plain water is because there is no “mouth-feel.” I like carbonated beverages because the sensation of the bubbles excite my mouth. I was enjoying my ginger tea with lemon because it also gave me a secondary mouth-feel – That’s it!! My mouth and brain need excitement when I am eating and drinking. I don’t think I am alone in craving these sensations.
Since I started exploring water infusions, I haven’t been craving a carbonated spritzer. My mouth has been satisfied with all the delicious flavors and spices I was tossing its way. The carbonation that creates the bubbles in soda water isn’t bad for you. It can cause a sensation of bloating or stomach flare-ups in some people, like those with IBS (Irritable Bowl Syndrome). Most of us won’t have any negative side effects from drinking carbonated water. I just feel it’s important to be empowered and enjoying drinking lots of water carbonated or straight.
I had been hearing about water infusions for a while, but I just didn’t feel compelled enough to try them myself. My friend Karen, who takes great pride in introducing me to things, gave me a gift of a carton of homemade water infusions. That was the catalyst I needed to start my journey into the world of infusion experimentation. To date, I have tried about 25 different combinations of fruits, spices and herbs in my water.
- Simply place fresh fruit, fragrant herbs, raw veggies, teas and spices in any combination into a container of water, let it infuse in the fridge for an hour or overnight and then drink. You get all the goodness of the flavors, nutrients and the health benefits of drinking water.
- That’s it. Experiment and enjoy!
There are an infinite number of combinations you can experiment with. Here are some examples to get you thinking;
- grapefruit + sage/rosemary/mint/basil
- lemon + mint/cilantro/basil
- lemon + lime + cilantro
- lemon + ginger
- Meyer lemon + tangerine + pear + hot green pepper + cilantro
- lemon + orange + ginger
- blood orange + ginger + basil
- cucumber + lemon + lime + mint/basil
- cucumber + grapefruit + sage/rosemary
- cucumber + watermelon + mint
- carrots + apple + lemon + ginger
- carrots + pomegranate + sage
- honeydew + cantaloupe + watermelon + sage//mint
- watermelon + mint/rosemary/basil
- cantaloupe + blood orange + lemon
- pear + rosemary/sage
- banana + nectarine + basil
- blackberries + raspberries + strawberries + mint
- strawberries + grapefruit + sage
- apple + plum + blueberries + mint/sage
- cherries + lime + mint
There are more ideas here and here.
MY NIGHTLY ROUTINE
Ball Mason Jars lined up as I cut fruit and brew tea for the next day’s hydration needs. I love sipping on my concoctions with the Ball Mason Jar Lid and Straw. I keep myself well hydrated, my taste buds satisfied and my liquid calories to a minimum – what is there not to like!
FIND YOUR SOLUTION
To stop drinking soda is not as difficult as you think it might be, take days, weeks or even months to adjust your tastes and expectations. The journey is more about what your mind expects and not what your body needs.
The LifehackrDiet philosophy is to empower you with step-by-step techniques for losing weight and regain your wellness. Experiment with these ideas, adapting them to your unique lifestyle and personality.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
I know both I and the LifehackrDiet community would love to hear how you weaned yourself off of soda. Maybe something you did can help someone else fuel their journey. Leave your thoughts, suggestions and questions in the comments section down below.
Thanks for adding your voice!
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:
- Two out of three adults and one out of three children in the United States are overweight or obese and sugar sweetened soda is a major contributor to this problem.
- Diet soda is calorie-free, but it won’t necessarily help you lose weight.
- Health authorities commonly recommend eight 8-ounce glasses (8x8 rule).
- Water is a necessity, but it is also a tool that you can use to reach your goals.
- I had to figure out a way to slowly reduce my psychological dependence on “sweetness” and the addictive feeling of the “sparkling” carbonation in sodas.
- A simple strategy of reducing your dependence on the sweet taste of sugar and diet sodas.
- How to empower yourself to save money and drink healthier soda beverages (Spritzers) plus have less of an environmental impact…
- Paul had a problem: he doesn’t like to drink plain water because it “feels” and “tastes” so dull. Find out how that is still the case but he loves drinking flavorful water with lots of “mouth feel.”
- What is an “Infused Water”, how to make them and why they are so AWESOME!!!
Plus more great tips.
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Harvard Nutrition Source “Sugary Drinks” Fact Sheet
- 10 Reasons to Give Up Diet Soda
- How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day?
- Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle-aged and older adults.
- The Sodastream Carbonation system I love and have been using for over 5 years.
- Here’s How Much Soda You Have To Drink To Make It Worth Buying Your Own SodaStream.
- Starwest Botanicals Ginger Root Tea
- Infused Waters List
- Nutrition Stripped Infused Waters List
- Ball Mason Jars that are perfect for making your Infused Waters in.
- I like sucking down my water with this Mason Jar attachment.
By quitting soda, you will stop consuming wasted calories and unnecessary chemicals that get in the way of you losing weight and regaining your wellness.
Thanks for LISTENING!
Thank you again for your support,
Please join the conversation and leave a comment below. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.
© 2015, Man Mountain Productions, Inc.