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