A co-worker of mine has a Diet Coke addiction. Every morning before 8:30 a.m. I hear that familiar pop and fizz as she gulps her first soda of the day. She has only been awake a couple of hours, but can no longer resist the urge for the familiar tang.

For many diet cola drinkers, it provides a much needed caffeine to start the day. Many think of it as a replacement for their morning coffee. That morning (afternoon and evening) jolt becomes a sweet escape from the day. And with new no-calorie sodas, what’s the big deal?

Aside from staining your pearly whites, diet soda can actually make you gain weight. Studies have shown a direct correlation between soda drinkers and larger waist lines. This is still true for zero calorie soda drinkers.

“They may be free of calories but not of consequences,” said Helen P. Hazuda, a Ph.D. and author in a study about the negative affects of soda.

These consequences include a higher risk for type 2 diabetes, stroke and other diseases often correlated with a higher weight. And have you every wondered what was in your soda? Soda’s main ingredients aspartame, phosphoric acid and caramel coloring. Caramel coloring!? Your little liter bottle of joy is actual full of chemicals. Is your favorite vice worth risking your life?

No the artificial sweeteners are not as addictive as something like nicotine, it still can have negative psychological and physical affects on you. Soda has truly become an addiction for many people. Do you find that you start to get severe headaches when you don’t have a soda? Notice that you feel uncomfortable or somewhat agitated without your regular soda in your hand? If you answered yes, you have a soda problem.

Diet soda drinkers be on the defense: you need to kick the habit now to better your life. Here is how you can change your life by ditching diet soda.

  • Withdraw slowly. Stopping cold turkey will only cause your body to have withdrawals if you have been drinking soda for a long time. If caffeine is what you are after, replace the caffeine source. Try switching to a caffeinated tea which will be gentler on your body. Ditching caffeine cold turkey will result in agitation and severe headaches, so slowly ween yourself off.
  • Find a replacement. Drinking soda becomes a habit or a routine that we can’t seem to break. Discover what about the routine is comforting. Do you stop by your friends desk at work right after getting your soda? Trade the soda for a flavored seltzer water and stop by for a chat with your friend.
  • Drink water like it is going out of style. Drinking water has so many health benefits, and it is extremely important to helping you kick your soda habit. In fact, soda and water have complete opposite effects of each other. Water hydrates you naturally but soda actually dehydrates you. If plain water is not enough for you, grab some Crystal Light to liven up your water.

 

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