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3 Steps to Kick Your Diet Coke Habit

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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?

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11 Responses to 3 Steps to Kick Your Diet Coke Habit

Sara

Great post! Why is it that it’s only Diet Coke that seems to be addictive? I never hear about Diet Pepsi addicts.

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    I was trying to find that out…it might be the type of caramel coloring researchers pointed out in the Diet Coke. So interesting!

Lisa

Great post Lisa! I don’t know when it happened, but I graduated from Diet Coke to Diet Mt. Dew at some point and I agree with the one lady who said the first drink is better than sex. So true for me! I have gotten away from it before, only to be lured back! Thanks for the tips. I will try them and hopefully break the habit for good.

Maria Lavalle

Thank you for your post! I have made the decision to kick my unhealthy diet soda habit. I have been drinking Diet Coke for years, and I have called it “liquid crack” as well. It is so true that the first sip is it, then I am drinking it as I would ice water. I don’t need or want the slew of health problems that come along with diet soda. I cut out alcohol over three years ago and have substituted it with soda in social situations when I didn’t want to get a water. I think your subsitution suggestion is a very good one. I enjoy a club soda with cranberry and lime and I will be asking for that more often.

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    Marie, you are too much…”liquid crack.” I agree! Keep on with your decision to quit the “crack.” You will feel so much better with energy. Hope it is going well!

Eliza

It’s kind of sad when they say 4 cans a day… I easily surpass that! I’m 18 years old and I started drinking diet sodas when I was about 15. My weight has fluctuated through these years, and I really think its due to soda. My friends just tease me about it, but this is a try addiction. I found this because I was googling aspartame poisoning because I had about 60 oz of diet soda today. I feel horrible. I went out and bought green tea, unsweetened ice tea, and threw all my soda, Splenda, and gum away. I’m ready to quit. I have to quit.

Pat

I’m a guy in my mid 60s and have never done anything half-way. I was a late stage alcoholic by my early 30s and with lots of help, and the grace of God, was able to leave that addiction behind me. for the past 30 years I have been drinking diet coke at the tune of a dozen cans per day. Sadly, my biggest motivation to quit is financial. On a fixed income I can no longer afford it. this will be my first honest to quit in all that time. Thank for any thoughts you can provide.

    Jena

    Hi Pat! I too got sober when I was 39 but then easily drank the crap out of Diet Coke until a sober friend of mine got a Cancerous Liver Tumor and she felt it was from the soda. I was drinking 4-6 cans a day. 1/1/16 I am clean- no more Diet Soda. I feel great today but the detox was horrific. Physically painful! My bones ached, my head hurt and I kept waking up at night. I also smelled like a rotting onion. Surprisingly I quit the diet soda and substituted Sprite, Pellegrino, anything with fizz and no artificial sweeter and I lost weight! So odd. I’m an addict to the core. If I can give this crap up anyone can and should! Today I feel great, my eyes are clear and I can see better, I sleep amazing and I’m proud! DO IT!!!

Dee

Eliza and Pat….
I hope your journey to give up Diet Coke has been a successful one! I have tried to give it up several times but always reverted back to my old ways. I have been drinking Diet soda for over 23 years and it is basically all I drink, day in and day out. I know it has negatively effected me in many ways. I started drinking it when I started weight watchers and ironically I weigh 50 lbs. more than I did when I first started drinking it. My college-aged son who is very health conscious has been begging me to quit for years. He wants me to be healthy and I know that I need to make this change once and for all. I’m going to give it one last try…..wish me luck 🙂

Michele Wesselman

I, too have kicked the diet coke habit after becoming concerned about all the bad things I was reading about aspartame. I have switched to iced tea with lemon and sweetened with stevia. What’s your thoughts on stevia?

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