28-Day National Soda Challenge

Soda is an addictive stimulant. Break the cycle with this 4-week plan.

28-Day National Soda Challenge

The average American drinks 53 gallons of soda a year; if it's regular soda, that comes to about 49 pounds of sugar. Soda is loaded with caffeine, high-fructose corn syrup and calories. In addition to contributing to weight gain, soda increases your risk of diabetes, bone weakening and tooth decay. Break your addiction to soda with this 4-week plan.

Week #1: Quitting any addiction cold turkey is hard to do and it increases your chance of relapse. This week, switch from all regular soda to diet soda. Add foods high in L-glutamine, like eggs, beans and fish, to your diet. L-glutamine is an amino acid that helps to reduce sugar cravings.


Go Sugar-Free
During the first week of the challenge, you will break the addiction to sugar. Switch from regular soda to sugar-free, diet soda only. If you only drink diet soda already, you're one step ahead of the game. Try to consume 1 fewer can per day.

Week #2: As you tackle the second addictive ingredient in soda, remember that headaches are a common symptom of caffeine withdrawal. Take ibuprofen for headache relief, as well as adding foods rich in vitamin B to your diet, like chickpeas, spinach and whole-grain cereal.

Go Caffeine-Free
Switch all sugar-free, diet soda to soda that is sugar-free and caffeine-free.

Week #3: As you cut your soda consumption in half, find other fizzy drinks to replace the sodas you've cut. Try carbonated water with a splash of juice or a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime. Try adding coconut water to your carbonated water, which is low in sugar and high in potassium.

Cut Your Consumption by 50%
No cheating. Whatever amount of soda you are currently drinking, cut it in half. If you drink six sodas a day, decide which three are the most important to you and eliminate the other three.

Week #4: The 4th week of Dr. Oz's 28-Day National Soda Challenge brings total cessation. You are no longer drinking any soda; no sugar-free, diet or caffeine-free soda. At the end of the week, use the money you would have spent on soda to treat yourself to something that is good for you.

Go Soda-Free
If you experience a craving, try chewing sugar-free gum. Additionally, if you find yourself fixating on soda, find a method of distraction, like taking a walk, doing 10 push-ups or cleaning.

Have you ever gotten to the last little bit of a vegetable or fruit and thought they only thing left to do was toss it? Or maybe you didn't get to one before it looked like it should be thrown out? Well there's no need to create more food waste! Here are two foods you can regrow right at home instead of throwing out.

Leftover Ginger

  1. Fill a bowl or cup with water and place your bit of ginger root inside.
  2. After a few weeks, watch for little sprouts to form.
  3. At this point, transfer the ginger to some potted soil. Give it plenty of space and moisture.
  4. After a few weeks, harvest your new ginger root!

Sprouted Potato

  1. Note where the sprouts (or eyes) are on the potato. Cut it in half so there are sprouts on both halves.
  2. Let the halves dry out overnight on a paper towel.
  3. Plant the dried potato halves in soil, cut side down.
  4. Small potatoes will be ready to harvest in about 10 weeks, while larger potatoes will be ready in about three to four months.

There's no need for food waste here when you know the tips and tricks to use up all your food at home. And click here to see which foods you can keep past the Sell By date!