Diet Coke and I have a long history. I think I began drinking a can a day in high school and upped the game in college. By the time I finished grad school and started my teaching job, I was up to at least four Diet Cokes a day.
Looks like I’m not the only one.
I was listening to the radio the other day, and people were calling in about their Diet Coke addictions. How they have to start their day with one or carry their Diet Cokes everywhere they go. Even one lady said that her first sip out of a new can is like ecstasy. Better than sex. There are even self-help blogs and support groups just for Diet Coke drinkers.
Diet Coke is highly addictive, and it’s getting out of control.
“Hey, it’s diet so it’s okay.”
Actually did you know that diet sodas have more caffeine than the regular drinks?
Diet Coke has 46.5mg caffeine per 12 oz. can. Regular Coke has 34.5 mg.
Plus the sugar…I think we all know that word “diet” in labeling is BS, but it can still be confusing.
Diet soda may not have the calories of regular soda, but it’s chock-full of other health-draining chemicals, like the caffeine I mentioned, artificial sweeteners, and that caramel coloring.
The caffeine and aspartame (shudder!) wreck havoc on your body. Migraines, trouble sleeping, breaking out, gaining weight, feeling lethargic and brain fog are just a few of the symptoms of a Diet Coke overdose. Also, many people use the “diet” drink to justify ordering fattening, unhealthy meals.
I remember teaching and having that can of soda on my desk all day. I ended up passing 3 kidney stones and when the doctor found out that all I drank was Diet Coke, he was appalled. He gave me a good talking to, and it wasn’t pretty. After that, I decided to get rid of the “crack” for good with these steps.
Follow these 3 steps to kick your habit:
1. Replace the fizz. A lot of clients say that they are in love with the caffeine buzz and the carbonation. So you’ll need a swap that addresses both. According to naturopaths, the fizz can indicate a nutritional deficiency of calcium. You can start adding in greens such as kale or broccoli and legumes and see how that makes you feel after a few weeks. Now to get your fizz how about making a fun sparkling drink with seltzer water? Mix in some berries for a sweet boost.
2. Get a caffeine substitute. Even if you get your fizz, cutting out caffeine abruptly can make you feel like you’re dying. Try swapping for either iced or hot green tea, which is loaded with health benefits and has a gentler source of caffeine. If you want to cut caffeine altogether, do it slowly, cutting down the amount a little bit every three days. I went cold turkey which I had the “headache hell” for about 3 days. It’s less time than if you wean bit by bit, but do what you are comfortable with.
3. Replace the ritual. As humans we love routines and patterns. Maybe you have a routine at 3 pm walking over to the vending machine and getting your drink. Or you might just like the experience of sipping out of a can. Once you identify the habit, find a way to replace it. Maybe you can still take your walk at 3 pm but bypass the vending machine and get some fresh air with a friend.
If you keep consistent and get through the headaches (Yep, I won’t lie…they suck), you might be off of your drug in two weeks. I am a stickler with this…there is no benefit to drinking sodas, diet or not. I want the best for your health so I hope you give it a go.
Instead of drinking soda, what’s your idea of a healthy replacement?