How to kick a soda habit

Feb 20, 2009 By Alison Johnson

Soda is loaded with more calories, sugar and chemicals than many people realize. Here are nutritionists' tips for cutting it out.

Soda is loaded with more calories, sugar and chemicals than many people realize. Here are nutritionists' tips for cutting it out - or at least down:

• Get some perspective. Estimate how much soda you drink in a week (if you have no idea, keep a food diary for seven days). Then use a calculator to add up how many calories and sugar grams your habit costs you.

• Give yourself time. Most people can't go cold turkey. One strategy is to cut back by 25 percent the first week, 50 percent the second week, and so on.

• Find other fizz. Seltzer water, mineral water and club soda all have the same feel on your tongue as soda. Experiment by mixing them into small amounts of 100 percent fruit juices.

• Find other sweets. When you crave a sugary taste, eat a piece of fruit or chew some sugarless gum.

• Drink lots of water. Buy a refillable water cooler and keep it with you at home, at work and in the car.

• Stock up on alternatives. Decaffeinated tea and flavored water are top choices for your refrigerator. Some 100 percent fruit juice also is good, but be aware that juices have calories and sugar too.

• Switch to diet - maybe. Nutritionists are mixed on diet soda, which is calorie-free but still contains chemicals and may increase cravings for sweet foods. If you want to switch, try mixing some diet soda into regular, gradually increasing the ratio as your taste buds adjust. Note: some say diet soda from a fountain tastes better at first than drinking from cans or bottles.

• Prepare yourself. You may be addicted not only to soda's taste but to the caffeine in some brands. Withdrawal symptoms may include fatigue and irritability.

___

(c) 2009, Daily Press (Newport News, Va.).
Visit dailypress.com, the World Wide Web site of the Daily Press at dailypress.com and on America Online at keyword "dailypress."
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Explore further: Socioeconomic status and gender are associated with differences in cholesterol levels

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mexico City bets on tap water law to change habit

Jan 24, 2014

"Drink the water." It's a suggestion alien to Mexico City residents who have long shunned tap water in favor of the bottled kind and to the throngs of tourists who visit the city each year, bringing with ...

Preventing tooth decay in the youngest American Indians

Jan 21, 2011

A study conducted in four American Indian communities in the Pacific Northwest presents an effective strategy to convince mothers to switch young children from drinking sweetened soda to water and shows that ...

Recommended for you

Can YouTube save your life?

6 hours ago

Only a handful of CPR and basic life support (BLS) videos available on YouTube provide instructions which are consistent with recent health guidelines, according to a new study published in Emergency Medicine Australasia, the jo ...

Doctors frequently experience ethical dilemmas

7 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For physicians trying to balance various financial and time pressures, ethical dilemmas are common, according to an article published Aug. 7 in Medical Economics.

AMGA: Physician turnover still high in 2013

7 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For the second year running, physician turnover remains at the highest rate since 2005, according to a report published by the American Medical Group Association (AMGA).

Obese or overweight teens more likely to become smokers

8 hours ago

A study examining whether overweight or obese teens are at higher risk for substance abuse finds both good and bad news: weight status has no correlation with alcohol or marijuana use but is linked to regular ...

Taking preventive health care into community spaces

9 hours ago

A church. A city park. An office. These are not the typical settings for a medical checkup. But a new nationwide study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research shows that providing health services in ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

GrayMouser
5 / 5 (1) Feb 20, 2009
Stay away from my food or you may get bit!
Bob_B
5 / 5 (1) Feb 21, 2009
Warning: Science may be over-filling food for thought.