Losing weight is a difficult challenge for a lot of people. As a nutritionist, I meet with clients who face a wide range of obstacles as they start to create or change habits to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
One detrimental obstacle that is far to common is drinking soda, especially diet soda. That's right, this includes full-sugar and artificially sweetened beverages.
The World Health Organization recently released a statement explaining that non-sugar sweeteners are not any better for you than plain old full-sugar soda.
In fact, diet soda can still increase your risk of experiencing obesity, type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
Reducing your sugar intake is an important part of losing weight, but diet soda is not the answer. You should treat diet soda the same way you treat regular soda.
If this is an area you struggle with, here are a few tricks to help you kick your soda habit.
#1. Drink enough water.
A big reason why soda is so addictive is because it makes you feel satisfied from your thirst. But the truth is, soda can dehydrate you. And, many diet sodas have additives that make you crave that specific drink again and again.
To prevent dehydration and feeling thirsty in general, make a priority of hitting your water needs each day. We recommended drinking half of your body weight in ounces each day. For example, a 150 pound person would need 75 ounces of water per day.
#2. Find an alternative beverage.
One of the best ways to break a food or beverage habit is to find a substitution.
Consider a carbonated beverage that is naturally flavored like Bubly or Le Croix. Get into the habit of making unsweetened iced or hot tea.
Kombucha is another carbonated beverage that can be bought unsweetened and serves as a probiotic.
Homemade flavored water is another cheap and delicious alternative. This is as simple as adding sliced fruits, vegetables, and herbs to a large container of regular water or carbonated water.
#3 Pick a non-food or beverage reward.
One of the reasons it is so difficult to break our diet-related habits is because we perceive them as a rewards, treats, or a comfort. When you choose the soda of your choice as a "cheat" or "reward", it prolongs cravings and causes you to back slide.
You can change your mentality by choosing a true reward that is not soda.
Anything is fair game that doesn't put soda back into your body. Go shopping, see a movie, spend time with your loved ones.
It's important to be kind to yourself, so choose ways to satisfy your needs with the best foods and drinks. Ones that improve your health and increase your energy.