Kick the Soda Habit with Reduced Calories and Caffeine Swaps


Pouring Glass of Tea

There are a multitude of different strategies for kicking the soda habit.  Some people can manage to go cold turkey, but it is much more common that people must use different strategies, and sometimes a combination of strategies to succeed.

One way to help get into the right mentality to kick a soda habit is to do the exercise math. Truth is, the concept of calories doesn't mean much to the average person. How much does one have to do to work off 100 calories? Having a few easy-to-understand guidelines help people to take another look at the caloric value of what they are drinking.  For instance, one has to walk 5 miles, or jog for nearly an hour to work off a 20-ounce soda (the size sold in most vending machines).  It reminds the health-seeker in us to buy a smaller soda, or to drink water or something unsweetened instead.  It also helps to keep people from consuming in blind habit, or unconsciously.

Another potential strategy for reducing soft drink consumption is to switch to unsweetened tea. Not everyone is a coffee drinker, or like most, they stop drinking coffee later in the day. Unsweetened tea can help with a morning or afternoon slump, and replace the caffeine that used to be satisfied by a soda. Plus, tea has beneficial chemicals and can be flavored with lemon, mint, cinnamon, or even a small amount of natural or artificial sweetener. The trick is to reduce the empty calories.  A little sweetener is something that is more easily controlled than a wallop of sugar.

Similar to the eat-a-salad-before-a-meal strategy, a simple glass of water before or between sodas can knock out thirst and the physical habit of drinking.  If nothing else, it makes it harder to chug down 44 ounces at a sitting.

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