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First Baptist Medical Center weight loss doctor

Tips to Stop Drinking Soda & Energy Drinks

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Soda and energy drinks may give you the boost you feel you need to get through the day, but,unfortunately, there is no nutritional benefit to consuming these sugary beverages. Soda and energy drinks are empty calories. The satisfaction they offer is temporary. Their high sugar content doesn’t only leave you feeling less than full, however. It also leads to the accumulation of belly fat and can cause insulin resistance. Even diet soda can lead to weight gain and contribute to both tooth and bone decay.

Breaking the soda and energy drink habit isn’t necessarily easy, either. Many people who drink soda and energy drinks have become addicted to the sugar, carbonated fizz and caffeine jolt they deliver. If you’re ready to stop drinking soda or energy drinks, here are eight tips to help you cut back.

Track your calories.

You may be counting the calories in the food you eat, but what about in what you drink? Doing the latter will help you realize just how many calories you’re actually consuming — and the extent to which these drinks impact your daily calorie intake. You may be eating well, but if you’re downing a soda or two a day, you’re probably not realizing the full effects of your otherwise healthy diet.

Don’t go cold turkey.

While this approach may work for some, quitting cold turkey does not typically lead to sustainable change. Instead, wean yourself slowly, gradually decreasing the amount of soda or energy drinks you consume on a weekly basis.

Mix it with water.

By diluting each soda or energy drink with a half-serving of water, you’ll help increase your hydration while cutting back on the sweetness and caffeine that may have you coming back to these beverages.Doing so will also alter your palate and reduce your cravings.

Switch to a healthier alternative.

Unsweetened tea or black coffee can give you the caffeine you need to wake up in the morning, or to sustain you through a long afternoon, without the carbonation or sugar to which you’ve become addicted. If you want more of a flavor kick, try infusing your tea and water with fresh fruit such as lemon or berries.

Drink water first.

When the craving for a soda or an energy drink hits, drink a large glass of ice water. You’ll likely find the water quenches your thirst and beats back your craving. If that’s still not the case,reconsider whether the sugar and calories are truly worth it before taking a sip. It can also help to carry a bottle of water or travel cup filled with ice water with you wherever you go.

Try seltzer water.

If it’s the fizz you miss most, treat yourself to the bubbles without the unnecessary sugar. Try seltzer water with a splash of fruit juice or fresh fruit. You can purchase seltzer water by the bottle, or you can make your own at home using a device such as a Soda Stream. Try avoiding club soda, as it contains added sodium.

Cut the caffeine.

If you’re trying to wean yourself off soda,start by buying the caffeine-free version of your favorite beverage. You may find that you begin consuming fewer sugary drinks without even thinking about it. Research shows that the more caffeine we consume, the more we crave sweet treats,leading us to drink more soda and other sugary drinks — many of which contain more caffeine.

Know your triggers.

Pay attention to the place or situation surrounding you when you start craving soda. Is it a late afternoon at the office, while eating lunch at a restaurant or when you’re eating a salty snack?While you may not be able to avoid every scenario, learn to recognize these triggers so you can start making healthier choices. If you’re struggling with a soda or energy drink habit, know that you’re not alone. Sugar addiction is real and overcoming it can be a challenge. Talk to your First Baptist Medical Center weight loss doctorfor more tips and suggestions to help you put your soda cravings behind you