Years ago, soda was considered to be something reserved for an occasional treat. A bottle lasted a week and was rationed out and limited. That has all changed now. Drinking soda with every meal, and without a meal, just as a general thirst quencher, has become the norm for many, especially kids.

The Big Problem with Your Soda Habit

Regular soda is loaded with sugar and calories. A standard can of Coca Cola Classic contains 90 calories and 25 grams of sugar and there are plenty of other sodas that have calorie and sugar counts that are much higher. The sugar in that can of soda is higher than the amount you would find in a pack of M & M’s , and yet many people think nothing of downing four or five cans a day but would never eat five bags of candy a day!

Realizing just how sugary and calorie laden regular soda is, some make the switch to diet sodas and think that’s O.K. The sugar is gone for sure, but they are still a cocktail of chemicals and studies have shown that commonly used artificial sweeteners trigger additional insulin production, sending the body into fat storage mode, potentially leading to weight gain anyway. And the caffeine levels in diet soda are just as high, if not higher, than in regular soda too.

Breaking a Soda Addiction

It’s easier said than done to give up soda for good if you are used to drinking it. It has been proved that just like cigarettes and alcohol, soda can be very addictive. People used to drinking even just two or three cans of soda a day often become cranky, tired and complain of terrible headaches if they go ‘cold turkey’ in their attempt to break a soda habit.

It can be done though, and there are lots of reasons to do so. Replacing that three can a day habit with say, lemon water, will cut the number of calories you consume in a single day without leaving you hungry, will drastically cut your sugar and caffeine intake and will spare your body being flooded with artificial dyes and flavorings (check the ingredient list for a can of soda, there are a lot of added extras that sound none too appetizing).

The best way to kick a soda habit is to do so gradually and deliberately. In the first week cut your soda intake in half, replacing it with lemon water, and then drink less and less soda every day until eventually it has been completely replaced.

Why lemon water? Believe it or not plain water, when infused with lemon, not only tastes better but offers health benefits too. Lemons, as they are citrus fruits, contain B Complex vitamins and vitamin C as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber, all of which are good for you.

If it was the fizz that attracted you to soda, you can keep that too. Sparkling water will cost you a little more than still water will, but it can certainly help you kick your soda addiction by allowing you to hold onto the ‘sparkle’ you love, while adding a new glow to your skin, helping you cut calories and even boost your energy levels with all of that sugar gone.

     © 2016 The Fitness Center of Lilburn.

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