How to Break Your Soda Habit (for Good!)

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition
soda can with straw surrounded by cubes of sugar

Whether you drink it for the sweet sugary taste, the caffeine boost or that famous fizzy feeling, the fact remains: Soda can be a detriment to your weight loss and can negatively impact your overall health.

Soda is notoriously full of sugar and empty calories—meaning you get almost no nutritional value from it.

One look at the nutrition facts label and you’ll see what we mean: A 12 fluid ounce can of soda contains 150 calories, 15 milligrams of sodium and 39 grams of carbohydrates. A 20 fluid ounce bottle of soda, more commonly seen today, contains about 240 calories, 75 milligrams of sodium and 65 grams of carbohydrates per bottle.

The real problem with soda comes from the whopping amount of sugar it contains. Soda is a very sweet drink, which is part of the reason many people love it so much, but added sugars like those found in soda are not necessary in our diets and offer no nutritional value. The 12 fluid ounce can of soda has about eight teaspoons of sugar while the 20 fluid ounce bottle contains 13 teaspoons. These amounts may not seem overwhelming, but according to the American Heart Association, men should have no more than nine teaspoons of added sugar a day and women should have no more than six teaspoons a day. So, this means a man consuming one can of soda is just one teaspoon shy of his daily sugar limit. For women, consuming one can exceeds the recommended daily sugar amount by two teaspoons.

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Basically, ladies, if you drink a can of soda a day, anything else you eat or drink with added sugar will be putting you way over your daily value of recommended sugar.

Of course, indulging in a soda can once in awhile is OK, but for those of you with a bad daily habit, you may be setting yourself up for increased health risks and detrimental effects to your weight.

So how do you stop drinking soda and break your sugary habit? We’ve got you covered with these three helpful tips:

1. Cut back over time

If you’re a hardcore soda addict, you may need to taper your soda intake so as to not overwhelm yourself mentally or physically with the caffeine cutback. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says you should cut back each week until you reach your target goal, which should be well under one serving a day or none at all.

If you are trying to trim down, you should probably limit yourself to a few sodas a week since a can a day still means exceeding your recommended daily value of sugar. When you do indulge, drink your soda earlier in the day so you have more time to burn off the calories and sugar.

2. Choose a healthy replacement

Since aspartame and other ingredients found in diet soda are also linked to health risks, it’s better not to replace soda with diet soda. Replacing soda with more natural alternatives can help you break the habit and improve your everyday diet.

For caffeine: If it’s the energy boost you’re after, try a green tea which contains a good amount of caffeine and may even offer health benefits—not to mention it tastes good! You can also treat yourself to a caffeine fix once in a while with this Mocha Frappe recipe >

For sweetness: Fruit juices with no added sugars can be great for you and delicious. Look for labels that say 100% fruit juice. You can also sip on infused water that contains fresh fruit like lemon and berries to quench your thirst.

For bubbles: Try a sparkling water without any added sugars or sweeteners. You’ll get your fizzy fix and you can even add some berries, mint or cucumbers to make it extra refreshing.

Keep a pitcher of iced green tea or fruit juice on hand. Make a large portion of a healthy replacement and keep it cold in your fridge for when your slump starts. You can also try getting a juicer, which will allow you to create your own healthy replacement drink and the act of juicing will keep your mind off your need for caffeine.

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3. Be Mindful

Writing down your goals on a sticky note on a fridge, on your mirror or any place you can see them daily will set you up to stay on track. Before you put the money in the vending machine, think about your current weight loss progress and whether it’s worth that small can of overly carbonated sugar water

While grocery shopping, make sure to stock up on healthier choices so you don’t even have the option to the break into the soda stock. Grab tea bags for your pitcher of caffeinated green tea, a carton of milk, orange juice and more to make drinking healthier easy!

Are you aware that some healthy foods may not be as healthy as you think? Learn about these Five “Healthy” Foods You Should Avoid At All Cost! >

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*All nutritional facts pulled from the USDA’s food and nutrient database on 7/11/2017.