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How to Kick Your Soda Habit

How to Kick Your Soda Habit

Many people have made resolutions and goals for the new year that include getting more exercise, improving sleep, losing weight, and in general just getting healthier. 

There are thousands of diets, cleanses, and eating plans out there - many of which you may have tried in the past. However, there is one simple way that you can accomplish a number of these health goals all at once: cut back your sugar intake. 

The American Heart Association recommends that we consume only about 6-9 teaspoons of added sugar per day, which is equal to about 24-36 grams. In reality, we consume around 77 grams per day - that's equal to 19 teaspoons!

Are you a person that drinks soda every day? We have some bad news: one can of regular soda contains 39 grams of sugar. That means by drinking just one can of soda per day already exceeds your daily recommended minimum, and that doesn’t include any of the other added sugars that are in the food almost everyone in America eats regularly. (Don’t be fooled - diet soda has a whole other set of risks associated with it!)

So what do you do if you’re addicted to your daily soda fix, and want to cut back? Here’s the good news: we have some great tips to help you kick your soda habit for good this year. 

How to Quit Drinking Soda

Start small, and slowly

This is especially helpful if you drink soda on a daily basis or multiple times a day. Rather than going cold-turkey, gradually reduce your intake each day or week. For example, if you normally drink 10 sodas a week, reduce the amount you drink to 9 sodas the next week and then 8 sodas the week after that. Within 10 weeks you’ll be down to zero!

Replace the urge

If you enjoy the kick of energy you get from drinking a can of sugary soda, replace it with a cup of hot or iced green tea with a packet of True Lemon. Our True Lemon Energys are a great option as well since they come with natural caffeine from green tea built right in, and include your daily dose of vitamin C. Try getting that from your regular can of soda!

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Add time

Feel a soda craving creeping up on you? Before you immediately give in, pause for 5 minutes and do something else. Set a timer and play a game on your phone or flip through a magazine. Go outside and go for a walk around the block. When you give yourself just 5 minutes of time you create the opportunity for the craving to pass naturally.

Swap the sweet...

...with something else that satisfies the sweetness. Think a ripe, juicy apple, or a fizzy soda water with a packet of True Orange added for a kick of flavor. Even better, add a packet of any of these True Lemonades to a big glass of water. They’re gently sweetened with Stevia and will feed that craving without all of the added sugar.

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Mocktails for the win

Many people enjoy soda with alcohol, however since alcohol converts to sugar in the body mixing soda in your cocktail will deliver a double-whammy of problems. Swap your alcoholic cocktail with a low-sugar mocktail instead - we promise it is just as enjoyable without the extra sugar or booze.

Dull it down

Can’t bear the thought of giving up soda? Start cutting it with regular plain soda water little by little. As with the “start slowly” tip above, this will help wean you off your sugary desires by cutting back a little at a time. Pour 10 ounces of a 12 ounce can of soda into a glass, then top it off with 2 ounces of plain soda water. (Be sure you don’t just add soda water to the full 12 oz of regular soda, otherwise that’s missing the point.) Gently mix, and throw away the remaining 2 ounces of soda. Each week, up the ounces of soda water and lower the ounces of regular soda. Before you know it, a full can of soda will taste much too sweet!

Remember to reward yourself

It’s so important when you’re trying to kick a habit to reward the small achievements in order to stay motivated. Try hanging a wall calendar on the fridge and giving yourself a sticker for every time you resist the urge to have a can of soda. See how many days you can keep the streak going, and reward yourself at the end of the month with a relaxing bubble bath, by downloading a new audiobook, or by buying a small new pampering gift for yourself at the store. 

Ultimately the best path to better health is the classic advice of eating more veggies, exercising more, and getting plenty of sleep. If doing all of these things were easy, we’d all be in optimal health right now! However, cutting back on sugar (especially cutting out soda) is a simple solution that will get you started in the right direction.

Read more about the American Heart Association’s guidelines on added sugar here.