How much soda do you drink in a week?
Depending on your answer, you might not be surprised to learn that the average American drinks approximately 38 GALLONS of soda each year. Um…wtf?
Now, this statistic includes both diet and regular soda, but that doesn’t really matter. Both are awful for your health.
I have been there. I can empathize with your soda habit. When I was in college, I worked in the restaurant industry and soda was free. It was caffeinated, packed with sugar, and it kept me going during those long, busy waitressing shifts.
I carried the soda habit with me after college and eventually got to the place where I was drinking almost 12 cans of soda a day. Now, I knew all that sugar wasn’t good for me, so I was drinking diet soda.
Eventually, after years of drinking all this soda, I started to wise up. I learned that soda:
Depletes Your Bones. Male or female, you HAVE to protect your bones, and the acid in soda — specifically Phosphoric Acid — blocks your body’s ability to absorb calcium. This acid also causes digestive disorders, and it can soften your teeth. Ick!
Increases the Risk of Kidney Stones. Drinking soda increases excretion of oxalates, and it decreases the excretion of magnesium and citrate in your body. This combination can increase your risk of kidney stone formation.
Is Linked to Depression. Artificial sweeteners in diet soda have been linked to dozens of critical health problems including seizures, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, type 2 diabetes, and depression.
Contributes to Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome. The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research confirmed the link between soda consumption and increased risk for obesity, developing metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. And diet soda isn’t any better. They also increase the risk of metabolic syndrome, which causes belly fat, high blood sugar, and raised cholesterol.
Amongst daily diet soda drinkers (even just one or two cans) the average waist circumference increased at a rate of almost four times that of those who didn’t drink soda.
And researchers say that drinking soda ages your body, brain, and your face as much as smoking cigarettes.
Bottom line, diet or regular soda is poison to your body. It’s time to kick the habit.
How to Quit Soda?
Changing your habits is difficult. I won’t lie to you and say that it’s easy. But it can happen and you can make the change. Here’s how:
Find a suitable replacement. For me, the sparkling waters worked really well. Today there are tons of options, from LaCroix to Bubly to Waterloo, and every supermarket has their own store brand of sparkling water. You can even buy your own SodaStream and make your own sparkling water.
Replace it one can, or two, at a time. If you drink several cans of soda each day then you’re going to want to gradually reduce it. Between the caffeine and the sugar, you may experience withdrawal if you go cold turkey and just quit soda. (However, if that’s more your style, then by all means, stop today).
However, if you are like I was, I drank several cans a day and I needed to take a gradual approach. Replace one can of soda a day with your chosen substitute this week. Next week, replace two cans each day, then the following week replace three, and so on, until you’re no longer drinking soda on a daily basis.
For a while I would treat myself with a soda on Friday. I don’t deal well with abstinence. Instead, I like to know that I can have something if I want to. Luckily, after a few weeks of my weekly soda, I just didn’t want it anymore. I’d lost the taste for it.
It’s been years now since I had a soda. Every once in a while I will take a drink of one and I have to say, it now tastes awful. I do, however, still drink those sparkling waters.
If you need help creating a habit or you want more tips, DM me on Instagram or Facebook or send me an email. I’m here to support you, help you create habits that support your health goals, and to brainstorm ways to overcome your challenges.