As many of you know, I LOVE soda–Dr. Pepper to be precise. I could drink it all day long and still not tire of it. Oh wait…that is what I was doing. I came to a day when I just felt horrible. My stomach was uneasy, I had weird cramping sensations, I was having a lot of Migraines, I couldn't think straight and all I wanted was that nice cold bubbly feeling on my tongue. Not to mention that I've been trying to lose this baby weight for quite a while now with NO success, and it dawned on me that my excessive Soda drinking is a main contributing factor. I decided it was high time I broke my addiction, and got healthy again!
1. Quite obvious: DO NOT BUY IT! Don't let your spouse buy it either! Do not let it inside your home! if it's not there, you can't drink it! I seriously struggle with this, because I know what the with-drawls are like, I hate wanting something only to walk around the house and not find it. It drives me crazy..but do not give in! This feeling will pass! It usually only takes about 2 weeks for the overwhelming urges to pass. But it WILL pass.
2. Drink a lot of Water! We need to flush our system of all the sugar and other junk that is in soda, so that our bodies can rid themselves of the feeling to "need" the soda. Drinking lots of water helps this happen quicker. Also, water is good for us. Our bodies need it and when you are drinking water it makes you feel full–thus less desire to eat or drink junk.
3. If you are like me you can't really stand to drink just water all the time. You need FLAVOR! So here is a tip! Keep your favorite flavors of Crystal-lite or my favorite H2O-Splash made up fresh in your fridge for easy access. These both have great flavors and have ZERO calories. YES, you need to always have it made and in the fridge for when those "I want something Tasteful to drink" moments hit. Sometimes even the little effort of mixing up the drink is too much and you give in for the easy reach of Soda. (unless you followed Tip #1 and just don't have it in your home)
4. If you are missing the fun of the carbonation, I have two great solutions for you! First option is add Sparkling Juice to your shopping lists. You can find these in the Juice Isle of your local Grocery store, they are usually on the top shelf and are in glass containers that look like Wine bottles. There are a variety of flavors to choose from now, not just apple or Grape. One of my favorites is Apple Raspberry. Just be sure as you are selecting your flavors that you are getting the 100% juice (will say 100% juice on the label), because there are other brands that like to look the same but have added sugar. The Second option is to merely purchase your favorite kind of 100% juice and Sparkling Mineral Water (Club soda works too, but will have a more watered down flavor and not as much Carbonation). Then simply mix the Juice and Mineral water until you get a combination of flavor and carbonation that YOU enjoy. One of my favorites is Orange Juice and Mineral water–but that is because it is something they served a lot when we lived in Germany and I loved it!
5. When all else Fails—Pop some gum in your mouth and go for a walk! Cinnamon or any MINT flavor seems to works the best. It helps stimulate your mouth giving it something to do with a fun flavor. Going for a walk helps get you out of the situation, gets your body moving and your endorphins working. Sometimes you just need to get out of that Familiar environment where you used to enjoy the soda. For me, I always drank Soda at home, at the computer or watching TV; so for me, I have to go OUTSIDE, get some fresh air and a fresh perspective. When the craving lessens or goes away, then I know I can manage being inside again.
If you want to be Successful in overcoming Soda; you will want to go COLD turkey for 2 full weeks or longer before you let any kind of soda back. Especially if you have been drinking a Caffeinated soda, as it takes approximately that long for your body to readjust to not having the Caffeine in your system. This is again a good reason why you need lots of water, to help your body repel it's independence on the caffeine.
Once you feel you no longer need Soda, if you would like it is fine to enjoy it every once in a while. For me, I'm limiting myself to ONLY once a week, on date night, when the Husband and I go out to eat. It lets me still enjoy it, but on a much more moderate level.
TIP: Some of you (and I'm truly sorry if you are one of them) may experience headaches and possibly even Migraines through the 2 weeks Cold turkey stage. This is sadly not something that can be prevented. It is simply your body reacting to the withdrawal of the Sugar and caffeine. The BEST thing you can do for yourself is again drink lots of water, keep some headache medicine handy and just take it easy for these two weeks. Don't be too hard on yourself if you don't get everything done because your headache slowed you down. Give yourself some slack. Your body really is going through a lot right now. And do not feel bad, you are not the only one! I know many people who experience this too, including myself. I've been there. I get Migraines when I go through the Cold Turkey Phase. But it is WORTH it in the long run. I have been on the other side–Soda free and feeling great–just a few years back. Keep trudging forward…This too shall Pass!
If you have more tips, I'd love to hear them! Just comment below!
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