Kicking the Habit

It’s the all American drink of choice. It’s everywhere.

Go to the grocery store and there is an entire aisle dedicated to soft drinks.

Stop at the gas station to fill up and there’s a cooler filled with an array of different flavored sodas, energy drinks, and other sugar loaded beverages.

Go to your favorite restaurant for a family dinner  and you will almost certainly have a server that will bring as many glasses of pop as you can possibly consume, and free refills to boot.

Who can resist?

I was a heavy Pepsi drinker for most of my life. I can still remember going out for a birthday steak dinner with my parents, and having 6,7, maybe even more icy glasses of Pepsi. All the while turning a blind eye to the truth that I knew even then while I was guzzling as much sweetness as I could. Its absolutely horrible for you and one of, if not the biggest contributors to being overweight.

Well it’s 2014, and although the ill effects of soda and other soft drinks is a mainstream topic, we still can’t stop!

I was recently approached by a friend who really wants to lose weight. The first and pretty much only thing he said to me was “I can’t stop drinking pop. I try, but I get grumpy and moody. It’s the only thing I drink. From the time I wake up to the time I go to bed. I drink 3 liters of pop a day.”

So here’s my take on how to kick the soda habit. Like everything else in life, taking it slow is the key to long term success.

We will go back to my friend who is drinking 3 liters a day. If he tries to drop soda in one fell swoop, he’s setting himself up to fail. The cravings are going to get the best of him, and he will come crawling back to his precious soda. It might take a day, it might take a week, but he will, as he already has, eventually fail. Remember we are human, and we gravitate towards things that make us feel good.

Set up a long term goal.

I’m going to use 6 months as an example, but when setting up a time frame, remember to be realistic. Rome wasn’t built in a day. And you didn’t become “Pepsi dependent” overnight.

Figure out how much you drink and write it down.

Keep a journal of everything you drink for a week.

Now slowly phase out pops for healthier options (replacing my mealtime Pepsi with a gorilla sized glass of milk is where I started). Switching out mealtime drinks was easier for me, leaving a mental note that I can just have some pop later, which was enough to control my cravings at least for the time being.

Each week try to make a little progress towards your goal of being soda free.

After mastering no pop with meals, move on to another go to time when you always have a craving.  Keep the drink journal going throughout your journey.

There will be days when you feel like you can’t do it, and you can look back at all your small victories and see that you have total control of what you put in your body!

~Carpe Diem