Learn How to Stop Drinking Soda Pop: Tips and Tricks for Kicking the Bad Habit

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Soda and I have had a very intimate relationship for many, many years. The only time we parted ways was during both of my pregnancies in my 30's. Not only did it sound awful to me, but I was avoiding anything with caffeine. When I turned 40 I had to take a long, hard look at this soda habit of mine. The dark syrup beginning to stain my teeth, I was barely drinking any water anymore, and we were spending a fortune on the stuff. I decided this would be the decade I'd kick the habit.

I thought it would be easy, I'd stopped drinking any alcohol years before, so I was pretty sure I could easily stop drinking soda. I figured I'd just not given it a try. I'd switch to water, it would be a breeze! Well, I was wrong... The truth is after all the taste in soda, water was just plain old boring to me. No flavor, no carbonation, no nothing. I lasted 2 days and was back at the store buying Diet Dr. Pepper.

I bounced back and forth like this for a while... abstaining then overindulging. I finally decided I needed to make a few changes in how I was approaching the seemingly monumental task of quitting the bubbly garbage. Here's how I did it and I hope it works for you, too!

Nutritional Information for a 12 oz. Can of Coca Cola

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 12 ounces
Calories 140
Calories from Fat0
% Daily Value *
Fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 39 g13%
Sugar 39 g
Protein 0 g
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

How to Stop Drinking Soda: Know the Facts

  • Regular soda will make you gain weight. If you're drinking regular, sugary soda you're consuming a lot of empty calories. Look at the nutritional information to the right for one 12 ounce can of regular Coca Cola. 140 calories is a LOT of empty calories. Let's say you drink two cans per day, that's 280 calories per day. There are 3500 calories in one pound, so it will only take you twelve and a half days to gain one pound. Over the course of one year, that's a whopping 102,200 calories, which translates into 29.2 pounds every year! Yikes!
  • Diet soda consumption has been tied to weight gain! Say what? I know it seems counter-intuitive that a non-caloric beverage could be associated with weight gain, but a 2005 University of Texas Health Science Center study found those who drink more than two daily servings of soda pop were at a a 57.1% risk of obesity.
  • Regular soda may deprive your body of essential nutrients. Studies have shown that regular soda pop users have a lower intake of magnesium, calcium, vitamin A, ascorbic acid and riboflavin.
  • Sodas will erode and can stain your teeth. Soda contains a lot of acids, both phosphoric and citric acids can corrode the enamel on your teeth. If you're drinking dark sodas, the syrup can also stain your teeth.
  • Drinking diet soda can negatively affect kidney function. A 2009 nurses health study of 3,256 women showed an association between consuming more than two daily servings artificially sweetened soda and a 2-fold increased odds for kidney function decline. Their kidneys were filtering 30% less than women who weren't drinking diet sodas.
  • Drinking diet soda can also lead to bone loss. Osteoporosis is a great enough threat to any person's health, particularly women. But, drinking diet soda increases one's risk of bone loss due to high levels of phosphoric acid. Our bodies are in a constant state of attempting to maintain balance or "homeostasis". Too much phosphorus in our bodies isn't good, so in order to level out the high phosphorus, our bodies pull calcium from our bones. Decreased bone calcium is a precursor to osteoporosis.
  • Drinking soda can lead to dehydration. Soda contains plenty of caffeine, a known diuretic. Drinking soda leads to increased urination, which in turn leads to increased thirst... somewhat of a vicious cycle. Soda also contains a lot of sodium, which only adds to the dehydration.

Water with watermelon and mint is delicious  !
Water with watermelon and mint is delicious ! | Source

Tips to Kick the Soda Habit

Hopefully you're a bit more motivated now that you've read some of the more alarming facts about the detrimental health effects of soda pop consumption. Keep these in mind when you have a craving.

Start exercising! When you begin exercising, you're naturally more aware of your health and what you put into your body. You will also find you're very thirsty when you're done with your routine. Grabbing a soda probably won't sound as good as a nice, big glass of ice water.

Make a commitment to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day! Make that decision, then stick to it! Make sure you always have a water bottle with you. If you already have water on hand, you're much less likely to seek out a soda machine at work, for example. Carry it around with you at home, too. You'll find the more hydrated you are, the less you'll crave soda.

Make your water more exciting! I love lemon in my water, so I squeeze a wedge and plop it into my glass. You can do that with a lime, orange, cucumber, mint, watermelon, mango, or whatever else you enjoy. Get creative and add variety.

Grab a popsicle during a bad craving! When water just isn't cutting it, grab a fruity popsicle. It does wonders for the cravings and is definitely better than grabbing a soda. Look for the ones made from all fruit, like Dole Fruit Bars, for example.

Make a smoothie! Grab some yogurt, fruit, ice, your blender and make a healthy smoothie. Getting that burst of sweetness really helps.

Keep fresh fruit on hand! Having watermelon around can be a life-saver when you're trying to stop drinking soda. It has a lot of flavor and is filled with water. Most melons and berries go a long way to stave off soda cravings!

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Comments 24 comments

Chelsi Nicole profile image

Chelsi Nicole 2 years ago

Last year I made the resolution to stop drinking any soda, and I did! I ended up losing 5 pounds just from that.


wordscribe43 profile image

wordscribe43 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA Author

Water is something we all need to learn to love. I still need mine ice cold with lemon in it. I used to be a waitress and I remember how hot the kitchen was. I always felt sorry for the dishwashers in the heat of the summer!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Up, Useful, Interesting, and shared with followers and on social networking sites.

I don't have the soda pop habit but people I am close to do.

I worked as a restaurant dish washer several years ago. That gets one dehydrated. I learned that water is an energy booster.


wordscribe43 profile image

wordscribe43 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA Author

I know! How can it be so bad when it's so yummy. But, alas it is not good for us. It's just a habit, though... just one that needs to be broken. Enough time away from it and drinking healthier liquids and you don't really miss it! Thanks for visiting and commenting, Robert.


Robert Erich profile image

Robert Erich 4 years ago from California

This is an awesome article! I made a commitment to not buy soda this year (of course, if it was present or free, I would still drink it) and it has been great! However, I feel like I need to cut down on it even more. How can something so bad be so good?! Fantastic article.


Lynn S. Murphy 4 years ago

I found I was more addicted to the fizz so I switched when I needed my fizz fix to Pellegreno & Perrier.


neeleshkulkarni profile image

neeleshkulkarni 4 years ago from new delhi

let me add to the soda story.

In some parts of India Coke sells in the largest available size and people keep asking for larger and larger packing, sometimes suggesting that it be made available in 200 liter drums.Reason- they use it as an insecticide on the cotton crop.the farmers found one application and all the bugs die!!Imagine what it must be doing to your stomach lining.

Also in some other parts Coke is sued as an effective toilet cleaner.The toilets sparkle after a coke application!!

Try drinking coke after reading this!!!!1


wordscribe43 profile image

wordscribe43 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA Author

Haha, you caught me, vocalcoach. Thanks for reading and I hope some of the tips help you. It's NOT easy... but it's just a matter of breaking the habit. Good luck!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

OK - You've been peeking around my kitchen haven't you? You KNOW that I have been on a mission to stop diet sodas and that it's not so easy. So here you are to help me along with your very good hub filled with great tips. Especially the fruit bars. Now I know I can do this and I have you to thank!


wordscribe43 profile image

wordscribe43 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA Author

Thanks, Nicola and all! I always feel awful when I get a burst of comments and can't respond personally to all. But, I appreciate everyone who took the time to read and comment. It seems a lot of people have been successful kicking the soda habit (it's not easy!).


Nicole S profile image

Nicole S 4 years ago from Minnesota

Such great advice here! I used to have a can of Coke everyday around lunch time. I have since stopped buying it for about 3 months and I can tell that the extra 'sugar' weight is gone... and now I don't have to worry about the rest of those side effects!


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Hello Wordscribe, I appreciated this very much, as I love soda, but am slowly kicking the habit as well. Our kids do experiments in class how these things can erode through a nail! All the chemicals, especially in the diet ones, and all the sugar in the others, and I am just so done with all of that. If I need caffeine, I am turning more to unsweetened iced tea with a lemon. I love it.

Thanks for sharing!


angela p profile image

angela p 4 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

I am so bad. I have become addicted to Mountain Dew... probably the worst soda there is. I have also gained about 30 pounds over the last 2 years since drinking it. I just told my friend that I was going to stop drinking it and start drinking more water. After reading this I now know that I have to quit! Thanks for sharing this very useful information.


EyesStraightAhead profile image

EyesStraightAhead 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

Excellent! I just quit cold turkey by becoming sick, but I sure wish I had read this years ago. I am now getting in the habit of drinking more water. I made the transition by making homemade smoothies and adding lemon/lime/strawberries to my water. Kind of psyched myself out to believe it was a great tasting drink instead of water with fruit! Thanks for sharing these great reminders and tips.


copywriter31 profile image

copywriter31 4 years ago from Port Neches

I can vividly picture my computer desk masked in red - covered with literally 25+ cans of this poison. I once drank more of this acidic, syrupy junk than I did water. One day, I felt a burning sensation in my stomach, later diagnosed as acid reflux. I'm convinced the phosphoric acid ate away the lining in my throat areas. Needless to say, I immediately quit drinking all soda and I eliminated sugar from my diet. My life is now MUCH more enjoyable and I am healthier.


twinstimes2 profile image

twinstimes2 4 years ago from Ohio

Great reminders, wordscribe43! I am familiar with what you have listed in your hub, but I know I drink, too my pop! Maybe this hub will remind me to drink more water! Thanks!


Georgina_writes profile image

Georgina_writes 4 years ago from Dartmoor

Great article on the dangers of diet soda. so many people don't realise there's a link between diet soda and obesity too. Really well written and designed. you deserve to do well with this one. Rating up and following you.


jesimpki profile image

jesimpki 4 years ago from Radford, VA

Wow, I had no idea that even diet soda was bad for your health! I'll admit that I'm addicted to the original Dr. Pepper, but after reading this...I need to make a change! Voted up!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I went cold turkey with diet mountain dew last year. It wasn't easy. I lasted 6 weeks. I treated myself to a diet coke. I am now addicted to diet coke. 16oz a day is my limit. I drink plenty of water throughout the day. Once we set our minds to kick a habit, it's possible. Excellent hub!


jhunpaler profile image

jhunpaler 4 years ago from Philippines

I need this one.. need to trim down on my soda drinking. thanks for the informative hub :)


wordscribe43 profile image

wordscribe43 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA Author

Yes, Dave... that sounds like me, except my pop of choice was Diet Dr. Pepper. We're the same age, but I only stopped my addiction when I turned 40. I worry about the long-term health effects, too. It took me a while to really enjoy water, even now I prefer it with lime or lemon. You live, you learn, huh?


davenmidtown profile image

davenmidtown 4 years ago from Sacramento, California

Oh gosh... when I was a kid.. I would drink a six pack of regular Pepsi pretty much everyday... I can not fathom the negative health benefits of that... I am 44 now and have not really drank soda like that since I was probably 25... horrid... thankfully I don't mind water much now...


wordscribe43 profile image

wordscribe43 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA Author

Well, Dave... that's pretty darn good. I literally used to live on soda, I drank nothing else. Soooo bad, I know. I really think I was in a constant state of dehydration. I actually feel better without soda now. It's all about getting into a new habit. It's hardest in the beginning, but I don't miss it now. Great to see you!! Thanks for commenting.


davenmidtown profile image

davenmidtown 4 years ago from Sacramento, California

Hello Wordscribe43! awesome hub... I thought I would never give up soda... and I truly have not...but I have a soda once every three or four months. The trick for me we making sure I had other beverages about that were cold...water, juice, etc. So not I don't miss soda much and like beer.. I have about four a year... ohh a rhyme...

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