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Cut Soda Out of Your Life With These 5 Tips

They have become a part of our everyday life. Advertisements about them seem to be at every turn. Soft drinks and soda have become a part of the American lexicon even as experts are warning they are bad for us. But there is hope.

Research has shown that consuming soda – both regular and diet – can lead to obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, and put us at greater risk of stroke and developing dementia. While kicking any habit can be hard, here are five helpful hints on how to wean yourself off of that soda habit.

  • Dietitian Christy Brissette writes in the Washington Post that setting a goal and reminding yourself of that goal each day can help to free you from your addiction to the bubbly soft drinks. Place sticky notes on places you see frequently reminding you of your goal.
  • Shaking up your routine when the urge to grab a soda overcomes you is also an alternative to popping the can. Introduce a healthy snack for those “urge times” or create a healthy new habit of taking a walk.
  • Don’t try to quit cold turkey; take it slow. Instead of denying yourself completely, wean yourself off the sugary drinks incrementally until you don’t crave them anymore.
  • Barry Popkin, director of the University of North Carolina interdisciplinary obesity program, suggests that replacing your regular soft drink with a caffeine-free version will help. Caffeine is mildly addictive and contributes to the habit. “It takes a few weeks to truly forget the craving,” Popkin says.
  • Consider alternatives to soda. Carbonated water without additives is a good choice. If you need more flavor consider adding a dash of fruit juice, some cucumber of some herbs. And then there is always tea, which, in most cases, has health benefits.

Incidentally, reminding ourselves just how much exercise it takes to work off a soda is a motivator. A 2014 John Hopkins University study found that people reflexively reached for an alternative to soda – or smaller size – when information was provided on how much exercise was necessary to work off the calories consumed in the choice for which they were initially reaching.

These five simple tips could very well give you the motivation you need to kick the soda habit. Now that’s something to be effervescent about!

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