Though it can be hard to stop drinking soda, even if you know it’s bad for you, there are several steps you can take to cut back on soda and take back your health.
Below are strategies to help you stop drinking soda.
Drink more water
In some cases, soda cravings could be confused with thirst.
If you feel the urge to drink soda, try drinking a large glass of water first and wait for a few minutes. It’s possible you could notice the craving fade away after you quench your thirst.
Water is not only great for quenching your thirst but also helps you stay hydrated.
Distance yourself from soda
If you feel a soda craving coming on, try to distance yourself from the thought.
Acts such as going for a walk or taking a shower may help shift your thought process and environment from the craving and stop it completely.
Some studies have shown that chewing gum may help curb cravings as well (31, 32).
Another thing you can do is ensure that there’s no soda in your household or easy-to-access areas to help reduce temptation and minimize cravings.
Avoid getting hungry
Hunger is a key driver of cravings, including those for soda.
Therefore, ensuring you don’t get hungry could help you combat soda cravings.
To prevent hunger, ensure you eat regularly throughout the day and have healthy snacks nearby in case you feel hunger coming on.
Preparing your meals can also help you avoid situations in which you get hungry.
Opt for a healthy sweet treat
Sugar cravings are incredibly common.
In some cases, the strong urge to drink soda can be simply curbed by replacing the soda with a healthier sweet alternative.
Some healthy sweet treats you could choose in place of soda include:
- fruits like apples, berries, pineapple, mangoes, and grapes
- sugar-free chewing gum
- yogurt with a few small pieces of fruit
However, avoid replacing soda with fruit juices. Though fruit juices contain more nutrients than soda, they’re very high in sugar.
Try to manage your stress levels
Often, stress can induce cravings for food, especially among women (33).
Numerous studies have shown that people under stress tend to consume more calories and have more cravings than non-stressed individuals (34, 35, 36).
There are many ways to help relieve stress, including regular exercise, meditating, practicing yoga, deep breathing, and mindfulness.
Try a soda alternative
Sometimes, the easiest way to curb a craving is to replace it with something similar.
Although opting for a diet soda can help you cut back on calories, there are plenty of healthier options that can provide you with a refreshing kick, including:
- Infused sparkling water. Add slices of your favorite fruits into sparkling water for a delicious soda substitute.
- Sparkling green tea. Several companies produce sparkling green tea that contains much less sugar than soda and provides the benefits of green tea.
- Kombucha. This is a delicious probiotic tea that’s associated with many of the same health benefits of drinking tea.
- Water with mint and cucumber. This refreshing beverage may not only quench your thirst but also help curb your craving for soda.
- Herbal or fruit teas. These drinks aren’t only calorie-free but may even provide health benefits.
- Coconut water. Though not free of calories, this natural beverage is still a much healthier choice than sugary soda.
Create a support system
Many people consume soda frequently in social situations.
If you’re trying to quit drinking soda, it’s a good idea to let the people closest to you know. This way they can help you stay accountable and on track.