Let’s face it: soda tastes good. However, it’s not the healthiest beverage out there. If you’ve been having difficulty cutting back on the sweet stuff, there are plenty of others who are struggling right along with you. In fact, a recent Reebok survey found some people would even choose soda over a body part if they were forced to decide.
If you choose to move forward by giving up (or at least cutting back) on your soda habit, you’ll be doing yourself a big favor. Are you ready to take a step toward better health? Here are five ways to stop drinking so much soda.
1. Don’t quit cold turkey
Are you planning to remove soda from your diet completely? While you’re probably anxious to kick your soda habit, quitting suddenly might feel like torture. Instead of going cold turkey, gradually wean yourself off your drink of choice. For example, if you usually drink three cups of soda per day, try just drinking two cups a day. Try consuming one fewer cup each week, and instead replace it with water.
2. Try flavored water
If you’re a heavy soda drinker, you’re probably not getting enough water each day. As an alternative to plain H2O, try adding a bit of excitement by flavoring your water. A few slices of fruit, such as lemon or strawberry, can give your beverage a boost. You can also purchase flavored water at your local grocery store. Just make sure to check the ingredients to ensure there aren’t any hidden sweeteners.
3. Switch to tea
Another way to beat your soda habit is to start drinking tea, which has many health benefits. Green tea, for example, is known to help prevent age-related bone loss, according to a study published in Nutrition Research. Tea (green in particular) also has disease-fighting abilities. Research published in 2011 found certain types of tea may help prevent or slow the progression of some cancers, such as breast, lung, and upper gastrointestinal tract cancers.
4. Experiment with juicing
Go to the market and purchase fresh fruit. Then get creative by making your own homemade juices. This is a quick and easy way to not only banish soda from your diet, but also get the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. The possibilities are endless. You can try a tasty carrot juice or make a smoothie with several types of fruit. Just be sure you don’t go crazy with juicing because there’s still a lot of sugar. To stretch the beverage without adding calories, try mixing equal parts sparkling water and juice.
5. Find an accountability partner
You might have a gym buddy to help you reach your fitness goals or a money buddy to assist you with your personal finance goals, but you can also benefit from seeking an accountability partner when it comes to your diet. Tell a friend or family member about your effort to drink less soda. He or she can join you in your goal. You’ll provide each other with the encouragement needed to stay on track.
Follow Sheiresa on Twitter @SheiresaNgo.