How to Stop Drinking Soda

by updated 2011/04/10

Of all the liquids marketed to be consumed by the people of the world, soda is perhaps the most damaging to your health. I know with all the new “energy” drinks being sold, especially to kids, an argument can be made that soda could be in danger of being knocked from its throne at the top of the list. I also realize that alcohol is a beverage that certainly can be and is abused by many. Alcohol for most people, however, is not a problem at the one or two glasses of wine or beer per day level. In fact, it has been shown to possibly have health benefits at those amounts. I plan to discuss both of alcohol and energy drinks in future “small step” articles, but for today soda is in the hot seat!

First, I admit that I have consumed my share of soda in my life. At times, I even drank a lot. It was not easy to stop, but it has been many years, now since I pretty much eliminated soda from my diet. As with so many things, me being nobody special or gifted, if I can do, so can you. What? You say you caught the “pretty much” a sentence or two ago? Guilty as charged! Yes, two or three non-caffeinated root beers a year go down my throat. That is the key to making lifestyle changes. Be reasonable. If you now drink 4 or 5 sodas per week (or day!), and are able to reduce that to 4 or 5 per year, you have indeed succeeded.

What is there to say about soda that is positive? ……………………… Yes, the silence is deafening. Like cigarettes, most everyone knows it is bad for you. Please add something in the comments if you have any good things to attribute to soda. The immense revenues and profits generated by companies that market and sell soda do not count as a positive factor, even if you do happen to own stock in Pepsi or Coca Cola! ;-)

What is there to say about soda that is negative? Lots, but I will try to keep this as short as possible. First and foremost, it is an “empty” beverage nutritionally. It is nothing but water with chemicals and sugar or artificial sweetener added. The rap on soda even 30 or 40 years ago was that it was nothing but useless calories. Now there are many soda choices with artificial sweeteners added to circumvent the calorie issue. But, many studies link diet soda to weight gain! I will discuss artificial sweeteners another time, for now I’ll just say, do not consume them in anything.

When a person drinks soda, they are unfortunately substituting it for other liquids that a healthy body needs. As an elderly lady I knew years ago was fond of saying, “it rots your gut”. Maybe she was referring to Coke’s notorious ability to dissolve rusty nuts and bolts, but I like her short and sweet claim anyway. It can also be bad for your teeth.

What is it about soda that is so addicting for so many people? In can be the caffeine. In regular soda it can be the sugar. In diet soda, the artificial sweeteners are chemically addicting. In many people soda is just an acquired habit or taste. Many people drink lots of soda because they are thirsty, and soda gives the impression of quenching that thirst. In fact, its effect on the body is the opposite. You drink a soda, feel that your thirst is quenched, so think “mission accomplished”. Your body, however, knows different and a short while later you feel the thirst switch come on again and reach for another soda. People who drink water or other healthier beverages instead of soda are thirsty less often. In my case, because the water content of my food is quite high, I sometimes have to remind myself to drink a glass of water. Water from fruits and vegetables is as good, or better a source of hydration as plain water, but I do try to drink a few glasses of water each day anyway.

So how can you decrease or eliminate soda from your diet? As with many things, it all starts in the mind. Make a plan. Write it down. Tell others close to you about your goal. Decide for yourself that you want to do it and the rest will be easier. For example, you could tell yourself that every time you feel thirst, you will drink a large glass of water and then wait at least 15 minutes before drinking anything else. After the 15 minutes, when the water has had time to hydrate you, it will probably be easier to resist the soda urge. You could also think about the times you most often drink soda and change the routine of those times. Maybe you eat a fast food lunch and get the soda because it is “included” and there seems to be no other choices. Think this through and you might find that even if you are not ready to give up the Big Mac lunch, drinking water instead of the soda is a choice. Yes the soda is included, but so what? If it is less expensive to get the “super value meal” than the burger and fries separately, pay for the meal and leave the soda behind.

As with all other lifestyle and diet changes, decide ahead of time if you want to reduce your soda consumption. If you truly believe that drinking soda has no bad effect on your health, but still want to otherwise improve your lifestyle, diet, or your weight, then look for other places in your life to make changes. Additionally if you make choices for yourself and not only because others want you to do it, you are more likely to be successful.

If you find you have symptoms of withdrawal like headaches, nervousness, or shakes when lowering your soda drinking, then you may have to systematically reduce what you drink in small steps. A cold turkey approach works for some, but definitely not for others. Like reducing salt, small, systematic, steps will probably making reducing your soda intake easier and the end result more likely to be a life-long change.

Will Sig
1 JD Thomas

Great post Will!

Switching to diet soda can be a hard thing to resist when weaning oneself off of soda. If you switch from sugar or high fructose corn syrup sweetened soda to diet soda you will probably see some fairly rapid weight loss like I did (assuming that the majority of your caloric intake above what your body needs is coming from sweetened soda).

The problem I ran into is that overtime I started bargaining with myself. I’d have thoughts along the lines of “Since I am having a diet coke, its OK for me to have the super jumbo size onion rings.” That kind of thinking puts you right back where you were.

What I work for, as a goal, in my beverage choices is to not drink anything I can’t make at home from scratch. One glance at a soda label’s ingredient list squashes any chance of me drinking that.

Instead I make a lot of my own beverages for times when I want more that just water. By purchasing spices in bulk from a restaurant supply store I love I can make my own chai at home cheaply and it tastes better than soda. Same goes for some of my fruit and vegetable blended drinks.

BTW, I am working on doing the same thing with food I eat. I want to cut out as much laboratory created additives from my food as possible. It’s been surprisingly easy once I accepted the fact that I would be shopping 3-4 times per week instead of making one big run every two weks the way I used to.

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2 Will

Yes, all good comments! I found it interesting that several studies say that the diet soda actually increases the chance of being obese. Maybe it is partly because of the reasoning you suggest. I know that the best way for me to avoid the onion rings is to stay the **** away from the establishments that sell them. I have a weakness for good onion rings.

I find I can avoid shopping several times a week even with my disciplined diet. It just takes a bit more planning. If I lived in a city with shopping within walking distance, I might just find it easier to do as you do and go a few times per week.

-Will

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3 Keith

Will,
One of the theories about how diet soda can contribute to weight gain is that the sweet taste stimulates insulin production and spiking just like sugar does. It is not the calories that make one gain fat; it is the insulin spike. Insulin is a hormone and it promotes fat deposition.

Drinking water is always best, even better than juices. Water actually slakes a thirst, instead of promoting it.

I think your advice about drinking a full glass of water and then waiting 15 minutes is great and should be effective for avoiding soda and also for reducing appetite.

Excellent post.

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4 Will

Interesting, Keith, but it makes sense.

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5 Catherine

I so agree – I gave up soda when I was pregnant, and never felt any desire to go back. Now when I see others drinking it I wonder why you’d want something so full of chemicals. But then again, what that we eat, drink, or breath ISN’T these days? That’s why I’m here…

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6 Anna

Sorry Will, but I think big mac is my only bad habbit. I stopped drinking soda long time ago, I don’t even enjoy it anymore, I prefer though carbonated drinks where there is no sugar, and water is my priority….and rarly I drink coffee, and never add sugar. 1 kg of sugar last us about 8 years, I checked for expiry and there was none, so I kept it, lol. Excellent post, thanks for sharing. Anna :)

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7 Will

Ah yes, Catherine, we are what we eat, drink, breathe and think. Your Everyday Life Blog is very well put together. Did you take the pictures on your header?

Anna – If a Big Mac is your only bad habit, you are indeed a one in a million girl! And to make 2 lbs of sugar last 8 years… Wow! Someone with your experience and good health habits has a lot to contribute here. So many folks are just trying to get started on the road to where you are. Thanks!

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8 Anna

Will its to have a will to do it, lol. Thanks for you comment too. I also wanted to add, it takes two also, me and my husband help each other a lot and encourage healthy stuff and healthy life style, things I don’t see he helps me and things he does not see I help him – team work. We always have someone getting sick in family, so its our motivator too, because we don’t like to get sick, and secondly we don’t like to inconvenience others with our problems, plus we feel good. The bottom line is what you doing is great, and I think many people should consider every single piece of information you provide. Anna :)
PS hey got mac coupons and have not used one yet and it is close to expiry lol.

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9 Will

Ha – You are a funny girl Anna! Yes teamwork is a great thing. You and your husband are lucky to both be on the same page.

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10 Richard

i didnt know soda was that big of a deal because i drink a lot
of soda i drink about one can a day.

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11 Will

You know Richard, in the U.S. the average soda consumption per person is about 20 oz per day or 55 gallons per year. When you consider all of us non soda drinkers, those that do drink it actually consume much more than that. So your one can per day is not so much as you think. Even still if you can get it to one can per week, then one per month, you will be doing your long term health a BIG favor.

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12 Sage

What is your take on ice tea? I like ice tea but want it to be healthy…I know too much sugar is bad for you…any suggestions on how to sweeten ice tea, even just a little?

THX

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13 Medical Oddities

I don’t drink a lot of soda, but when I do, I sometimes don’t even finish drinking it. I think tea is a lot healthier, I drink a lot of green tea.

Medical Odditiess last blog post..Liberty Medical Supplies

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14 tanisha

Well i have tried to stop drinking soda it is really hard. i consume 2 liters by myself in a days time some times a couple days in a row i drink more than five sodas a day…i recently went to the doctor and she told me to stop drinking soda so now i have quit and it’s only been seven days and about to drive myself insane…i crave one but i just go get water(TRY TO ) and juice instead i know that once i return to college i’m a be back to drinking soda it seems to give me more energy plus i can’t stand the taste of water. i literally will not drink it for months at a time. what can be some substitutes for water because every time i start to drink it i just can’t put it down?

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15 Linda Prout

Tanisha, my job is getting people off sugar and addictive foods. Here’s some ideas for you: If it’s diet soda you’re drinking, you should realize studies show artificial sweeteners are addicting, so you could be dealing with a biochemical addiction. You’ll need time to get it out of your system.

Although regular sugared soda is addicting due to the sugar itself, at least it is not associated with neurological problems such as dizziness, headaches, Parkinson’s disease and MS. If it’s sugar you’re craving, try adding something pleasantly bitter to your diet such as green tea (also gives you energy) or cooked leafy greens. The bitter flavor cuts cravings for sugar.

Here are other tips for cutting sugar cravings: http://www.lindaprout.com/articles/Sugarcravings.php

For substitutes, you might try real juice mixed with sparkling water for a fizzy soda effect. I like unsweetened cranberry, sparkling water and stevia (also very low sugar). I also make lots of lemonade with water and stevia.

For the energy boost, pick up a tincture with one or more of the herbs that boost energy: maca, eleuthro, Chinese ginseng, American ginseng, oats, liccorice.

Here are tips for boosting energy without soda:
http://www.lindaprout.com/articles/Boosting_Energy.php

If all this fails, I urge you to learn EFT (emotional freedom technique) a very simple energy medicine process that works really well for breaking habits and even healing health issues. You can learn it for free from the web site: http://www.emofree.com/

Breaking this habit will save you a lot of health problems in the long run. Good luck.

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16 Vertigo Guy

I used to drink lots of soda (because it was cheaper than juice, milk or any healthy beverage mainly), but I’ve since given it up. I started to really feel like I was feeling the effects of all that sugar and caffeine. I now about one or sodas a month, and it makes me feel much better.

Vertigo Guys last blog post..My vestibular loss is bilateral, not unilateral.

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17 jennifer

I have made a decision to stop drinking soda today. For the past couple of years I have consumed alot of soda..I think now its about 2 liters a day. And, I know its bad…I work at home so its just something to grab quickly. I guess what made me make a decision was my problems with my teeth. I have noticed that my teeth arent as strong as I thought they were and I sure dont want to be toothless just because i enjoy soda. But, great info you have up there. Really made me think twice for the better.

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18 Will

Great decision Jennifer! Good luck. I have heard that one of the chemicals in many sodas is very bad for your teeth. I know when I was growing up we used to clean badly rusted and frozen nuts and bolts by soaking them overnight in Coke.

I had an elderly lady offer me a soda today. When I thanked her and nicely told her I did not drink soda, she thought I was kidding. Once she understood I was not, she was speechless.

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19 CHERRY COKE

so i am glad i came across this, i have been trying to quit pop for a while but its been hard, i did it once as a joke for lent and i did it but after a while the habit came back like a addict and this time i thnk i drink more then i use to. it is a mind game, more then not i know i can pick up a bottle of water instead of the pop but i go for the pop. i just have to make the move to grab the water instead :)

thnks again for the post…

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20 Joe

Quitting soda is HARD. I mean, most kids in the US are raised on the stuff like it’s water. I’d been off of it for a year, but then I had a “relapse” and started having them occasionally. Let me tell you, it’s great when I’m drinking it, but I definitely feel it afterward. Any yes, you are totally right. Soda does cause weight gain, man, I know!

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21 Joe

Quitting soda is HARD. I mean, most kids in the US are raised on the stuff like it’s water. I’d been off of it for a year, but then I had a “relapse” and started having them occasionally. Let me tell you, it’s great when I’m drinking it, but I definitely feel it afterward. Any yes, you are totally right. Soda does cause weight gain, man, I know!

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22 Kristy

Okay, I need some help. I believe its time for me to quit drinking soda. I really want to but need some help and came across this site. I drink (No Kidding) 2 to 2 1/2 2 Liters of pop a day. Sometimes 4 or 5 44oz fountain sodas from the gas station. From the time I wake up to the time I go to bed I have a soda in my hand. I have been drinking soda like this for about 3-4 years now. I am packing on the pounds and I just found out that caffeine does the opposite to some woman. It actually drains you. Well well well, there is my problem. No matter how much sleep I get I am always tired! The reason I want to quit is because of feeling like crap all the time, weight gain, and money. Wow I added up what I spent this week alone on pop and it was $57.98. That is ridiculous! Ive tried to quit before. But the withdraws were so bad I couldnt get up from bed. My head hurt so bad and I was seriously shaking badly, I even had the hot flashes.

Please email me with ideas, tips, anything to kick my habit.

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23 Will

Does anyone have any advice for Kristy?

I would suggest slowly weaning yourself off as your intake is quite high and your body seems to be fighting with you when you try to cut back. I am sure Linda Prout could help you. She authored comment #13 above and there is also a link to her site in my sidebar. You need a professional nutritionist to help you. Maybe Linda will comment here again or you can contact her at her website.

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24 Linda Prout

Thanks for the head’s up Will. OK this is for Kristy, and anyone else struggling with a soda addiction.

Yes, I agree, daily soda drinking will leading to fatigue. At 2 – 21/2 liters per day, you’re probably headed for some bigger health issues as well.

How to get off the soda. First off, is it diet? regular? caffeinated? You could be suffering an addiction to and withdrawal from caffeine, from the sugar and/or from the Aspartame if diet. Aspartame/Nutrasweet is a wicked addiction to break and you need to detox with the help of some supplements to get this out of your system, which I can help you with if you email me.

If it is the caffeine you are struggling with, I suggest you transition to iced or hot black or green tea, so you can get off the sugar first, then take on the caffeine after.

My recommendation is to cut your soda intake in half, live with that for a week or two, then go cold turkey. If you are drinking diet soda, even small amounts can cause full-blown toxic reactions.

You would really benefit from energy medicine. Find someone who can work with you using EFT or TAT. If you don’t have someone in your area, email me and we can do a TAT session by phone. TAT is particularly effective for addictions and food reactions and I work with people all the time by phone.

And finally, don’t neglect a great substitute for soda: try sparkling water mixed with a couple ounces pomegranate juice or unsweetened cranberry juice with stevia and lo-han.

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25 Kristy

Will & Linda,
Thank you for your comments. I went 2 days with drinking 1 (2) Liter but then bounced right back to two of them again. I am drinking Mountain Dew and Pepsi. Both regular. Not too sure what you are meaning by EFT or TAT. And I would like to learn more about the energy medicine. As when I did cut my intake in half I was very tired (Felt a lot better) but I could tell that I didnt have my pop in me.

Thanks for all of the ideas!

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26 Will

Kristy – Mountain Dew is a tough one. I guess it is the high caffeine content but I have known a few people who have tried and failed to break that habit. The key is probably to do it with knowledgeable help.

Linda – interesting you should mention that combo. In this summer weather I come home dehydrated even when I drink enough water at work to feel bloated. Almost every day when I get home I drink a very large glass of sparkling water with some pomegranate juice, cut with about 1/2 plain water. Really hits the spot.

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27 Linda Prout

Kristy,
EFT and TAT are forms of energy medicine, a form of healing on the rise. I know it could help with the soda addiction; I have used it with clients with sugar and alcohol addictions. I made a point of learning energy medicine when I took off to go sailing and lived in the Med for 6 years – I knew I would not have my usual stash of herbs and supplements as remedies and I don’t use drugs.

Energy medicine is free, easy and you can do it yourself once you learn. It helps to have someone walk you through the first time. I use it for everything from a headache or knee pain to a stomach ache, or rash. I used it on a client with a torn muscle, and it gave her same-day relief when she had been in pain for weeks. I used it with a client with high blood pressure when nutrition didn’t work and her BP dropped in the first week. I have used it on clients with addictions to sugar and alcohol, with insomnia and even challenges around finding work! You can read more on my site by going to “Energy Medicine” or google TAT or EFT.

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28 Linda Toombs

I just ran across your blog and am very happy to see this information getting out to the public. After having been addicted to Diet Coke for over 20 years and mindlessly thinking I was doing myself a favor, I decided that when the price of soda skyrocketed last year, I was going to quit drinking it and stop supporting this huge beverage giant. It took awhile to wean myself off, but after several months found that I no longer wanted to drink it! I still allow my kids one soda per day, but after they started drinking a nutritional supplement called Soul by Rain Nutrition, they just “forgot” to drink their pop (on most days). I guess having the natural energy found in the supplement was enough for them.

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29 Erin

Wow.. I am very glad I came across this website. I’m quite addicted to soda… I drank diet for years, until my husbands aunt enlightened us on how horrible artificial sweeteners are for you.. so I started drinking regular soda (about 3-4 20oz glasses a day). I sit here now drinking a glass.. :/ After much consideration, weight gain, kids telling me not to drink (they are 3 5 and 7) and my husband..who finally gave up telling me I should quit drinking… I believe this is my last 2 liter! I am thinking I will stick to drinking ..first and foremost, water (with lemon!), and also the life water 0 calorie drinks (which are sweetened with the stevia plant). I’ve done my research on stevia side affects, and they seem a lot less potent then other sweeteners.. I am ready to do this, and glad I found this site to just get that extra push I needed..
Thank you!

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30 dana

it’s crazy.. i used to never drink soda until i started dating my boyfriend.. we go to his parents place and there fridge is stacked with every kind of soda.. so i got used to drinking it all the time there and now i am trying to quit. Yesterday (unknowningly) i didn’t have a soda at all and i started getting a very bad headache.. i couldn’t figure out what it was until i realized i didn’t have a soda yet that day. It was so bad i went to get a soda just to make my headache go away. I don’t need soda but for some reason i have been drinking 1 or 2 12 oz bottles a day and i’d really like to quit.. how do i get the headaches to go away?

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31 Will

Good luck Erin! You know I think regular soda is not so hard to give up once you commit to it. At least when compared to nicotine. Or maybe even easier than sweets and french fries!

Dana – Is the soda you are drinking artificially sweetened. If it is, that could be the source of your headaches. Or maybe the caffeine? That I am not sure of. You could head over to Linda Prout’s website and subscribe to her newsletter and email her with that question. She has been kind of quiet online recently, but she is a very knowledgeable nutritionist.

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32 dana

i have not had a soda today and have not had a headache. at lunch i had milk and i feel like the headaches will get smaller. thank you.. now just have to quit sweets

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33 Cheryl

I gave up soda two years. And I end up craving it so bad. I end up going back. I have tried diet soda and get a stomach ache. So that did not work. But, if I don’t drink it I do get headaches. So every time I got a headache I would drink one can. Then I would not drink any more until I got another headache. I went down from 12 cans down to 2 sometimes even 1 day. That did work. But giving it up totally . Haven’t been able to stick with it. If anyone have ideas about how I can stop the crave. I would be willing to try.

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34 Will

Hi Cheryl – Take a look at this comment.

It is a tough addiction to kick but if you can do it you will feel a lot better. You will also gain the confidence to not worry too much about relapse. I was never a big soda drinker, but I did drink it regularly when younger. Now if I have 2 or 3 root beers a year that is it. I don’t have to work at it at all now and if I am out somewhere and do feel like a non-caffeinated root beer, I don’t beat myself up about it.

There are also a few other helpful tips in some of the other comments.

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35 Greg

Hi,
I don’t drink soda any more. If I want something bubbly, I can drink seltzer water and fruit juice. I can drink a fruit tea that’s naturally sweet (these come from Russia or Poland) or I can add a little low-glycemic agave syrup (it’s gotten cheaper to buy–I get mine at Costco). I do try to drink at least two glasses of water (try adding a fresh lemon slice, it really gives the water a “fresh” taste.)

Now if there were just some way to cut out highly sweetened jams and ketchup (usually at restaurants where you have no choice). I’d like to find small packets of naturally sweetened jam and ketchup to take with me, but alas the good stuff comes in big, big bottles.

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36 Will

Hi Greg – Eliminating the soda is such a great decision. If the ketchup and jams are only a 2 or 3 time a month thing, I would not worry about it. I don’t. But if yo use them a lot, you may just have to go cold turkey with them. I used to use lots of ketchup years ago. Usually it was on food that I should not really have been eating anyway. Jam I use only once in a great while. I do eat some dark chocolate several days a week, so get too much sugar there probably. But look at your diet overall and if it is loaded with healthy food, don’t worry too much about the occasional not so good item. I tried the agave a few times, but did not like the taste.

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37 b

I quit drinking soda nearly a month ago on my own. Before I was drinking way too much soda. Thankfully I didn’t have withdrawals from not drinking soda. I’ve been drinking more water these days, already I feel better and lose some weight too. If I wanted some sweet to drink I drink a small amout of apple juice.

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38 melissa

I am a manager of a fast food resturant so that means i can drink coke as much as i like i also have coke in my fridge every day its all i drink i also drink a lot of alcohol today i have decided that its time to slim down and give up the coke and alcohol so i hope next month im looking better.

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39 Anonomous

i am 13 and i have been drinking soda ever since i can remember. it is my drink of choice. i have tried many times to switch over to water or fruit juice but i can’t. for one i HATE water. i don’t know why but i can’t stand to drink it. it has like a “metal-y” taste and i can’t drink it. any tips on how to get me to drink water?\

….PLEASE!

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40 Taylor

Hello, I am only 14 years old (almost fifteen) and i have been raised on soda. In the past month I haven’t had a drop of soda, and i do feel a lot better. I don’t have any headaches, and quitting for me wasn’t hard at all.

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41 Will

Good decision Taylor! I wonder if the soda that you cut out was diet? I have heard lots of times that the artificial sweeteners can really give you headaches. But then again the High Fructose Corn Syrup is not good either. Best thing is to cut way back or as you did, stop. Congratulations on the positive health choice. So often people your age do not think that they need to worry about healthy lifestyle since when you are young your body is so resilient that symptoms are not always apparent.

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42 William

I have quit for weeks at a time, then backed track massively. I feel much better when I quit drinking it, but usually cave in at some point. It’s an ebb and flow thing for me. When I am off it, I usually replace it with juice mixed with sparkling water. This usually holds me for a while. I’m concentrating on keeping the relapse down to two or three cans a day and then replacing them gradually (every third, then every other day) with juice and water again, until each time the relapse gets smaller and more controllable.

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43 Will

What soda are you drinking, William? Sounds like maybe a diet brand? In any case, once you are down to a can a day, you should be able to kick it for good.

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44 William

When I start drinking them again it’s usually Mellow Yellow or Barq’s Rootbeer. Diet taste weird to me, never got into it. It is going better this time than my previous attempts. The biggest step forward has been to quit eating out with my friends, and just hang out with them at there homes or when they go bowling or something. I know most fast food places have at least a lemonade alternative, but if I’m standing there with a 20 oz cup looking at 4 or 5 sodas I really like, or lemonade, I’m going to go with the soda every time. At home, I just don’t keep soda, so I’m either forced to drink water or juice once I’m thirsty. And the drinks are expensive enough at movies to dissuade me from getting it, so that works out ok.

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45 kirstan

I can drink up to 7 or 8 cans of pops a day. I really want to cut them out. Maybe my kids will not pick up a pop just to satisfy them like i do. I use pop to help me fill better but its only helping me get fatter.

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46 hugo

I used to drink from a pop machine at work maybe 5 or 6 a day and then drink a half a litre at home. Some unexpected help came when they removed the machine at work, and i’m now to half a litre per day. I’ve been on diet coke since I am 13 (I’m 33 now) but I feel like i’ll be able to kick it. Drinking cooled water also helps.

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47 blake

im a soda drinker also i drink like 50 ozes-100 ozes a day depending if i go to school if i dont then when im thirsty in the morning ill want a double gulp 54 onces but i fill half with ice so mabe 40? idk anyways after that ill be thirsty again at around 4-5 pm and get another if i go to skool im not there in the morning to drink soda so i noly have one i was doing good a phiew weeks ago drinking real sugar cain in sierra mist also non caffinated and i got over the headaches without knowng why now i know it was kause it wasnt caffinated and then i started to drink normal caffinated again well now i just picked up my half drunkin gulp and threw it in the trash im going to continue drinking kool aid with splenda wish me luck.try uncaffinated soda if ur trying to quit soda i tried it for a week and i begun to drink more water also a good way to stop drinking soda is diet i drunk diet for a week then had a normal sugar and it was wayy to sweet and wanted water good luck all!

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48 Rick

Hi my name is rick I’m soda free .
My day started with a 64oz diet soda that was gone by 8am, lets just say I drank a few more sodas the rest of the day.. :) Yes I’m in good shape I run, bike and hike.

I stopped cold turkey. Day 1 1/2 I had a bad headache after day two it was gone and I was surpised. Day 4 1/2 I noticed my legs felt sore. day 6 I was in bed with severe leg pain in both. Not sure really what the cause was but do know taking vitams helped.. I’m drinking water and OJ. Feeling much better.

I do not recomend someone stop like I did but it sure shows what this stuff does to ones health if it can trigger such bad effects.

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49 Jay

When you look at what’s in cola – the staggering amount of sugar (nearly 17 teaspoons in a 20 ounce bottle), corrosive phosphoric acid; caramel E150d coloring made from ammonia (which has recently been shown to be potentially carcinogenic) and adrenal stressing caffeine – it’s amazing it got so popular. Very good marketing I guess. Always linking a fun and active lifestyle to a drink that is causing so much obesity, diabetes and digestive problems.

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50 nicole

hey so i use to drink pop like crazy all the time and now i its been 3 weeks since i stopped and now im tired all the time. why is this?

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51 Will

What kind of soda did you drink? I bet your body is adapting to a reduction in caffeine. If so , it will get better as you acclimate to a healthier drinking habit.

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52 nicole

i drank mt dew aleast 3-5 cans a day

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53 Will

Yeah Mountain Dew is very high in caffeine. Stick with it . Once your body adjusts, you will feel great!

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54 Ryan

The last time I drank Pop was freshman year and now everytime i drink it even a sip I feel so terrible and normally puke what causes that?

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55 Hillary

I have reduced the amount of soda I drink drastically from what it had been. I still keep soda in the house but it will be rare if i have one a week. Sometimes its just nice to come it after a hot or hard day and have a coke! It is one of those thing I don’t think I will fully every give up. Its my guilty pleasure.
Hillary recently posted..The Loneliest Plant In The World – Krulwich WonderMy Profile

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56 Matt

I am 28 and always drank soda. I’m consuming 40-50 oz a day (mt dew) I gave up on it before for 3 weeks and wish I never went back… Since I left home at 18 my consumption has gotten worse, past 4-5 years my energy has drained and I used to be in great shape now I’m 12-15lbs overweight. I knew it’s HORRIBLE for you but never did anything about it. I noticed last year I started gaining weight in my face and neck, and it’s just killing my confidence. So today, will be my last day of it. I just hope I never touch it again! Wish me luck!!! I hope to repost soon with good news.

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57 Will

Good luck Matt. You certainly sound like you are ready to do it. Drinking that much Mt. Dew you are getting not only a big dose of chemicals and HFCS, but lots of caffeine. At 50 oz per day use the info below to do the math and you will understand why it will be tough to wean yourself off the stuff. Hope you are successful. Post back not only with good results but if you need encouragement and motivation!

Size 12oz Can
Caffeine 54 mg
Calories 170
Fat 0 g
Sodium 65 mg
Carbs 46 g
Sugars 46 g
Potassium 5 mg
Mountain Dew Ingredients:
CARBONATED WATER, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CONCENTRATED ORANGE JUICE, CITRIC ACID, NATURAL FLAVORS, SODIUM BENZOATE (PRESERVES FRESHNESS), CAFFEINE, SODIUM CITRATE, ERYTHORBIC ACID (PRESERVES FRESHNESS), GUM ARABIC, CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA (TO PROTECT FLAVOR), BROMINATED VEGETABLE OIL, YELLOW 5

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58 Lee

Will,

It has taken me all the courage I’ve got to stop (screwed to the sticking point in the words of William Shakespeare) and I want to make changes that benefit me and my family. My wife had gastric bypass surgery last December and she now weighs 139 pounds instead of 303.

I want my kids to grow up with their old man healthy, not at 275 pounds. I used to weigh 170 not that long ago…and I want that back Will!!

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59 Will

Wow Lee! Your wife losing 164 pounds in 6 months is a lot. You don’t say how much soda you drink, but stopping that consumption is a starting point.

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60 Caroline

I’m 47 and was weaned on Coca-Cola right after formula. Literally! So I’ve been drinking it (except Diet Coke, for the last 15 years or so) all my life. I’m gaining weight, so decided to quit cold turkey 3 weeks ago — went through a week of severe pain in legs, excruciating headaches, no energy, felt like a sloth, just miserable, so I drank Minute Maid Lemonade by the 2-liter to quench my seemingly UNENDING thirst. I’m STILL thirsty all the time! And all that sugar converts to fat, and I’m still not losing weight.

Just yesterday I bought some more Diet Coke and I’m drinking it now, and though I don’t feel a “lift” from the caffeine, I want to know what the heck I can drink (besides water and green tea, both of which I really, really hate) instead of Diet Coke.

Instead of Diet Coke, I ate lots of oranges, drank Fruit Punch Gatorade (G2), water mixed with cranberry juice, and water mixed with Lemonade (because I love it so much)! But I can’t seem to quench my thirst! Water does not, has never, done it for me — even flavored water or sparkling, etc.

So: Would I be better off drinking Diet Lemonade instead of Diet Coke? That’s my basic question. I’ll even be willing to dilute that if I have to, but I don’t want to go through this horrific withdrawal from Diet Coke again — it cut an entire week out of my life, literally. Nearly as bad as the flu. I walked like an old person; all my joints ached.

So, is Diet Lemonade better than Diet Coke? I have to start somewhere. I just can’t find anything else that really makes me feel “refreshed.”

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61 Lee

Diet Lemonade could be a good jumping off point…but it is ultimately water that is going to help you. Water for me was a constant battle, but our fridge filters out the “nasties” so it is fantastic to drink now. I simply said to my ever-expanding gut that “the days of not being able tie shoes are ****ing over!!” and I never looked back.

I LOVE the idea of Pepsi because its good at the time…but I pay for it after, so it is not worth it.

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62 Caroline

Yes, it’s true~! I want to tie my shoes again without effort, as well! Thanks so much for the quick reply — will start “Light Lemonading” and gradually filter in more and more water until I acquire a taste for it.

Cheers,
Caroline

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63 Laura

I just turned 26 years old, and i’ve been drinking diet soda forever (regular has always, as long as i can remember, just been WAY too sweet for me), so i wasn’t drinking it because it was “diet”, i just thought it tasted better….anyway I was drinking about 40 oz a day, and then started researching ingredients and effects. I had my last soda one week ago today, and I actually feel great. To be honest, I quit smoking on new years eve, and quitting soda has been much more difficult! I have never been a coffee drinker, so when I get a craving at work, i drink a cup of hot tea with honey. otherwise, I chug water all day! (and i’ve never been much of a water drinker). I had a horrendous headache for about a day and a half, at one point i was nauseous, but I took some aspirin drank some water and persevered. Now I’m sleeping better, feeling more refreshed in the AM, and actually WANTING to get back into the gym. A serious want to quit and some willpower, and it’s do-able

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64 Will

Hi Laura – At the young age of 26, nothing could have been forever! Just wait 20 or 30 years. ;-) I hope you are able to maintain all the good choices you have made for 2011. Your long-term health will be much improved.

I have heard many stories of really tough withdrawal from soda, especially diet. Everyone should remember those pains so they will not be tempted to go back!

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65 Chris

Being a coke addict and from a family who’re all coke addicts even for the 5 year old, I didn’t find it hard to quit coke recently. At one point of time I was even offered a job at the local coke company but I dismissed it because they had free flow of coke, which meant I’d be in coke heaven (or hell). How I quit recently all thanks to my dealing with coke business wise. Although we had a long standing account with them, the coke representatives were always arrogant/rude either the calling center or those who visited the store I work. Once we had a payment problem (which was caused by their slow service), they stopped talking to us. When we finally sorted out, I reordered to stock up for the weeks as the orders didn’t come and the call center person stopped me half way, “Are you sure you want to go on, it’s already $500?” I was so pissed off because our weekly order goes by thousands and we actually had credits but their payment service messed it up. When I had to drink coke again, I just felt disgusted about the whole company. I used to buy cartons to drink per month, now I don’t have one can at home. The taste is not the same for me again! To all those who want to quit – you don’t want the bullies to feed you?

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66 Pele

I gave up slurpees from the 711 in 2008. I used to drink two 44oz ones a day but after I got lysteria bacteria from one it made me so sick that I could stand to drink one again. So I decided to quit.

I went over two years with out having a slurpee but I still drank pop. Less then a litre a day, usually a 710ml bottle of pop (the ones that equal) two cans. I was nearly off Coke and pop all together but I had the worst girlfriend in 2010 who nagged me about having the occasional pop here and there. So one hot summers day she gave me a coffee slurpee and I remembered my love of slurpees at that instance. I started to drink those over priced things. Later when she really upset me I just thought “who are you to be telling me what I can or can not drink” mainly cause she was also a liar to me and didn’t love me as she said she did. So I drank out of spite. Not the best reasons but I got back on the wagon of Coke because of how she treated me.

Well I dropped the mean girl but now I am hooked again. Ive just gave up diet because it made my stomach hurt, and it affected my brain making it harder to spell on my own with out a computer. I’ve gained weight too. So I am drinking on average 44 to 64oz again of slurpee and I can’t stand it. I go to the gym for a slurpee? I’d rather quit the gym and slurpees and cancel the bad calories that way. Hahaha. .

Unfortunately this is what I am finding, its a lot harder to quit the second time then the first. But its possible to get free totally just its very tempting to start drinking soda pop again also. Its an addiction similar to alcoholism as it becomes a way of life, a thing you start to cling onto because for that moment it makes you feel good.

(Forgive any spelling errors as I typed this on my blackberry and its size 1 font)

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67 Brenda

Hello will, ok so i have been drinking Pepsi for years and ever since i couldn’t sleep, i felt lazy and i hardly did anything.but i heard that Pepsi is very bad for me. And then i haven’t drank one for 2 months. But the lack of sleep won’t stop. I go to sleep at….usually 3:00 in the morning and wake up at 1:00. i think its all cuz the Pepsi! How do i go to sleep, its very difficult!

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68 Will

Sleeping 3am to 1pm is 10 hours? Maybe that was a typo? Much soda is filled with chemicals and caffeine. That may be what is preventing sleep. But if you really have not had one for 2 months and you still can’t sleep, that may be something else. Have you seen your doctor?

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69 Ray Dean

Hello, I’m a 37 year old man. 5’7, 270lbs. Went to doctors, now on (2)high blood pressure pills, 12 fish oils a day and just put on cholestrol meds . If things aren’t better in 3 months will be put on diabetes pills. I used to drink alot of soda. I tried to drink diet rite. I actually thought it was good choice. I do drink alot of hawiaan punch drink powders. I don’t like tea or coffee and very rarely drink alchol. What besides water should i be drinking to lose some weight?

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70 Will

Hi Ray – Have you heard of the movie, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead?
It is a serious step, but at your age and with what you describe, it is worth watching. I am glad you are going to the doctor, but taking some big steps with nutritional therapy may be your best bet to add to the medical care.

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71 Jen

I am a definite believer that diet soda makes you crave sweets! I started my diet (healthy life change!) three months ago. I was a person that drank diet soda all the time. I was having some acid reflux issues (I’m sure due to too much fat pushing against my stomach, etc.). I decided at that point to try giving up sodas. I started squeezing some fresh lemon juice into bottled water and found that it was so flavorful. Long story short, I have drank only water for the past three months, and interestingly, do not have cravings for sweets or any other fattening foods! Since giving up soda, I never have cravings for anything. I still have low cal, low fat Weight Watchers and Skinny Cow ice cream, etc. as my evening snacks, but my cravings disappeared.

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72 Healer

I am not a doctor even I never graduated any school.

If you suffer IBS for more than A year or years please try this and you don’t need a doctor do it by yourself.

It does not need a science rocket to figure out this
believe me the soda causes the IBS and if you stop all sods within three months you will be IBS free and you will not have the diarrhea that associates with drinking sods, instead please drink Milk, water and Orange juice.

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73 Karen

I’m have had a Dr Pepper addiction for the last 25 yrs. I’ve tried and given it up many times but it’s always short lived. I need to do it NOW for me. 49yrs old getting fat and I know why. What can I drink in it’s place besides water. I drink a glass of water and 2 cans of Dr. Pepper everyday sometimes more. Just need something with taste and good for me to replace it with or i’ll fail again.

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74 Tobias Knudsen

I really like this post however i was really scratching the back of my head when i read the part about value meals – leave the soda? NO wouldn’t you say that quitting soda seems a little pointless if you go and get a “meal” from a fast food “restaurant”? I mean honestly that sort of ruins the purpose of quitting the fizzy drinks doesen’t it?

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75 Will

That is a very good point, Tobias! But if someone at least cuts out the soda, that is a starting point isn’t it?

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76 TMC

Actually, it’s the HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP that’s the **MOST** damaging to your body. My aunt drank seltzer water and lived to be 82 years old and NO diabetes. HFCS is damaging to the pancreas which is an important organ in later life to have functioning properly… this, along with your circulatory system which begins to slow down by age 23 but may not notice until age 30 when you notice your body changes to become weaker and slower to heal/recover from daily stress. One alternative is to switch to flavoring your own seltzer water with NON HFCS alternatives with an emphasis on limiting the sugar to HALF OR LESS what’s usually found in soda. Why not tea flavors? Experiment.

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77 Will

Yes I agree, to a point. I always have a list ready to recite if someone asks what are the best changes to make and stopping drinking soda is always near or at the top. Yes HFCS is bad, but so is a lot of sugar in any form. Also it is not that valid to argue that because someone lived to a certain age and did something thought to be dangerous, that something must not be so dangerous. A certain SMALL percentage of people will smoke their entire lives and live to be 90. That does not mean smoking is not a deadly habit for 99.9% of smokers. I am glad you aunt did not suffer from diabetes but these days 82 is not really that old.

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78 Tanner

I want to thank you for this post i used to drink 6 sodas a day and even more once i got laid off from my job and your post inspired me to give up all caffine based sodas all together. Its been a week and a day since ive had my last caffine based drink and i feel so much better almost reborn! I quit cold turkey and not one side effect yet. I feel so acomplished with what i have done and i urge for anybody to do the same. You dont truly realize how much better off you are without sodas
-tanner

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79 Will

That is great Tanner! Do you still drink soda without the caffeine? It sounds like you don’t so that is good as the HFCS is a huge problem too.

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80 Adelia

During my pregnancy period, I never taste drinking soda even when I’m thirsty enough. I always bear in my mind that nobody willing to help me on pain pregnancy. Erase cold drinks.

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81 Faith

Hi,I stoped drinking dark soda and junk food this week.And it has been a challenge, but I am on the fouth day.But I feel so weird, (my body). Normaly what are the Affects of stoping? I am drinking cofee, and sprite lemonlime.Is that ok or not to be taking?
Thx :)

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