Managing Your Soda Addiction to a Reasonable Level
Jun 6th, 2010 by Patrick

How can you manage your soda addiction and get it down to a reasonable level?

I propose at least two ways, and both of them have worked for me.  Now that might sound funny, because why would you need a second strategy for quitting soda if the first strategy worked well?

The reason for that is because I treat pop and soda as a “soft” addiction.  Sorry, but it is just not as serious to me as smoking crack cocaine and drinking half gallons of vodka (see my other addiction for more details on that).

upsidedown pepsi

 photo credit: akeg

So I tend to experiment a bit with pop, and with caffeine.  Caffeine is sort of a wild card with this type of addiction, because some people are certainly addicted to the caffeine in the soda, more than to the soda itself.  They can quit the soda easily as long as they continue to take caffeine in some form, such as through coffee or caffeine pills.

So one thing you have to think about is: what do you really want to do here, quit soda entirely, or just cut down on it?

The second thing you need to consider is: should you eliminate the caffeine as well, or is that not really an issue here?  Maybe you can keep drinking coffee, have no problems associated with caffeine addiction, but still want to quit drinking soda for other reasons.

There are at least a few major reasons that anyone might want to overcome an addiction to soda.  They include:

1) Too much soda, too many calories, too much weight gain.

2) Too much soda, too much caffeine, and an addiction to caffeine that is causing problems of its own.

3) Too much diet soda, and too much artificial sweeteners, which can cause certain problems as well.

4) Too much soda leading to too much money spent on the stuff, period.  Water is free for most people.

5) Too much soda (non diet) and this negatively affects the teeth.  So the dentist urges you to quit, etc.

So you can see that various people might want to quit drinking soda for various reasons.

Here is how I have dealt with this, in two different ways:

1) I quit caffeine, twice, by simply weening myself down from it over a 3 day period.  You do get a slight headache but it is not bad and anyone can get through it without much fuss.  If you are quitting caffeine I would recommend that you eat a piece of fruit in the morning for breakfast.  This will give you a surprisingly good little boost of energy that does not have a crash.

2) I quit drinking “real” soda (non diet) in order to save my teeth.  If you hate the taste of diet then you can do one of 2 things: find an alternative (such as tea, juice, etc.) or force yourself to drink until you like it.  Anyone can do the second option even though they think that they cannot.  Anyone can acquire a taste for diet pop, no matter how badly they think that they hate it.

Now if you want to cut down on your soda intake, I would recommend that you start with the first soda of the day, and replace that.  You can either have water, juice, tea, or some other beverage, but not soda.  Force yourself to do this until it becomes a habit.  Then, later on, if you want to further improve your habits, you might switch out the second soda of the day.  Thus, you can gain confidence in your new healthy approach by gradually changing over time.

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