If there is one thing that you should ditch from your diet today, this is it. When you drink soda, you’re ingesting a slurry of controversial chemicals that are screwing with your weight, your health, and your life. I probably don’t need to remind you how unhealthy soda is (most people tend to realize that Coke and Pepsi aren’t healthy) but let me drop some quick facts here to help encourage you to put on the brakes and get these drinks out of your diet for good – including 3 proven strategies to quit soda for good!
- The amount of sugar in sodas is wreaking your insides. Take a teaspoon of sugar and dump it on your kitchen table. Do this 10 times. What do you have? Yes, you’ve got a mess, and no, I’m not cleaning it up for you. But you also have the amount of sugar found in one 12-ounce can of soda. Obviously, if you’re hooked on soda, you’re swilling down a huge amount of sugar and calories (around 140 calories in each can). A sugary habit like that is the doorway to poor nutrition, weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and other health complications.
- Diet sodas are not any better for you. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’ve been “good” by drinking diet sodas. The artificial sweeteners in these drinks have been proven to stimulate your appetite, increase sugar cravings, and promote fat storage and weight gain. Researchers from the University of Texas discovered that drinking diet sodas will expand your waist girth (translation: bigger belly), which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. When you eat something sweet—even when it has no calories—your brain is tricked into wanting more calories because your body is not getting enough energy (i.e. calories) to be satisfied. So you keep craving sweets, eating sweets, and gaining weight. This is why a lot of people never reach their full health potential or weight loss goals, because they are constantly being pushed around by these chemical artificial sweeteners that trick the brain and body.
- They’re colored with hazardous chemicals. Most sodas use “caramel color” to give them that dark, delicious look. Not to be confused with real caramel! It is created by heating ammonia and sulfites under high pressure – a process that produces a cancerous substance called 4-methylimidazole (4-Mel). Although there are no FDA limits on the amount of 4-Mel that can be present in soft drinks, a federal study in 2007 concluded that 4-Mel ingestion led to cancer in mice, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer determined the chemical to be “possibly carcinogenic” to humans. In January 2014, Consumer Reports published a long list of soft drinks tested for 4-MeI. A sample of regular Pepsi they purchased in New York contained as much as 174 micrograms of 4-MeI. Other soda brands contained as much as 352.5 micrograms. These findings concern me. We are being unnecessarily exposed to a potential carcinogen just because companies want their beverages to look brown. Ask yourself: How small of a dose of poison are you willing to consume on a regular basis?
- Soft drinks are laced with GMOs. If you try to avoid GMOs, beware that the main ingredients in soft drinks are almost always made from GMO crops. Besides the sugar itself, additives derived from GMOs such as citric acid, erythorbic acid, fructose, aspartame, and sodium citrate are within many of these drinks. This is why Coca-Cola has opted to use a QR code vs. a real GMO label on their packaging – to continue to try to hide the fact that their drinks are FULL of GMOs.
- Sodas acidify your body and destroy tooth enamel. The ingredient phosphoric acid in sodas is known to dramatically acidify your body and erodes your teeth. Dr. Jameth Sheridan, Doctor of Holistic Medicine (D.H.M.), states that it takes 36 glasses of water to re-alkaline your body after drinking just one diet soda. 36 glasses!
- The preservatives in soda create carcinogenic benzene. Potassium benzoate and sodium benzoate are other soda preservatives that when combined with either ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or erythorbic acid produce benzene, a known carcinogen. This toxic combo is found in some sodas.
The list above goes for pretty much all bottled sweetened drinks in stores – Gatorade, Vitamin Water, Monster Energy, and even sweetened iced teas.
Although these sweet drinks are literally some of the worst things in the American diet, people keep buying them and sales are in the billions! There is even an entire aisle dedicated to them in most grocery stores. What I find even more staggering is statistics that show 56% of 8-year olds drink at least one soda per day, and 60% of schools sell them. Is it any wonder why childhood obesity rates are skyrocketing? It doesn’t have to be this way and we need to be the change we want to see in this world. It starts with each one of us.
Three Steps To Stop Your Soda Habit:
1. Take a hard look at what you’re really drinking.
For starters, look at the back of the can and see how many controversial chemicals you are drinking – that alone should steer you in another direction. Then, be honest about how many sodas you drink in a week. Add them up by keeping a food diary for seven days. For sticker shock, use a calculator to add up how many calories and sugar grams you’re guzzling in that period. Take some time to think about the negative health consequences that you suffer from drinking soda and really take it to heart. Unless you really want to quit, you will not succeed. Create a strong desire in your heart and mind to stop drinking soda and sweetened drinks – this is the first very important step!
2. Ease off soda slowly.
Can’t go cold turkey? You don’t need to. Try cutting back by a fourth the first week, half the second week, and so on until you can quit soda completely. Each week you will be one step closer to meeting your goal and steadily improving your health as a result!
3. Replace soda with delicious alternatives so you don’t miss it.
Drink lots of clean, filtered water instead of soda. Purchase a refillable water bottle and keep it with you at home, at work, and in your car. Plus, find other fizz! Miss the refreshment and mouth feel of sodas? Don’t worry, you can still drink fizzy drinks that taste refreshing, and that are not loaded up with crappy chemicals. Just stay away from most store-bought versions (even those sweetened with stevia extract) and make your own drinks instead.
Refreshing & healthy drink alternatives to soda:
- Organic Raw Kombucha
- Sparkling or Soda Water + Lime Juice + Organic Cranberry Juice (with no added sugar)
- Filtered Water + Fresh Cucumbers + Fresh or Frozen Strawberries
- Sparkling or Soda Water + Fresh Lemon or Lime Juice + Grated Ginger. Consider adding melon, cucumbers, or berries for different flavors!
- 100% Raw Coconut Water
- Organic Unsweetened Green and Herbal Tea (iced or hot). Peppermint and ginger teas are great for satisfying cravings for something sweet.
- Fresh Pressed Green Juice. Keep it low on the fruit, carrots, or beets.
- Unsweetened Coconut, Cashew, or Almond Milk.
- Coffee (iced or hot, with no sugar). See this post for options to sweeten your coffee without refined sugar!
These strategies really work and are easier than you may think.
My friend Derek used these effective strategies to put his soda cravings to bed. This just goes to show that you can do it too!
“I was so addicted to soft drinks that I drank soda five times a day. I rarely drank anything else. My friends would say, “Just drink water.” But replacing soda with water? Impossible! I LOVED soda. My weight climbed to 190 pounds – 40 pounds higher than I should be for my height and frame. I was so fat that my shirts stretched apart at the buttons so far that you could see my BFB (that’s short for Big Fat Belly). My ballooning weight was a “smack in the face” that forced me to take action.
I knew that the soft drinks were making me fatter. I had to do something. Whenever I felt thirsty, I realized I’d open my refrigerator and mindlessly grab a can of soda. That’s the behavior I wanted to interrupt. For starters, I decided to put a roadblock between me and my refrigerator. A scale! I made the rule, “Before I open the refrigerator, I must weigh myself.” Any weight gain was another “smack in the face” to keep me from drinking soda. Being familiar with psychology, I knew that I couldn’t just stop or start doing a bad habit; I had to replace it with something. I replaced soda with sparkling, lemon-flavored water.
All of this worked. I dropped 10 pounds right away, without increasing my workouts or changing what I was eating. All I did was stop drinking five soft drinks a day. Now I have a sparkling water habit… and a shirt that fits.
Let’s break down why this works and how you can use it to hack your behaviors. First, smack yourself in the face. Not literally, but you need a trigger to remind yourself that you want to make a change. For me, the smack was my weight. Second, create a rule to interrupt your usual behavior. My rule was to weigh myself before opening the refrigerator. And finally, replace your behavior with a better behavior. Follow that 3-step strategy and bam! You’re set.” – Derek
This is a preview of the type of health tips & advice that you’ll get from me when you join the Food Babe 7-Day Sugar Detox Program.
This program takes ditching soda to the next level and trains your body to thrive without refined sugar. When we first released the program last spring, a large group of us did it together and reported back AMAZING results. That is why I am more confident than ever that this system really works and is changing lives!
“I have lost almost 5 pounds. I have eaten more delicious food this week than I have in my entire life. I have found the recipes so very delicious.” ~ Glenna
“I thought it would be impossible but it wasn’t and we succeeded! We feel so much better after doing the detox and now know that we have self control and that sugar does not run our lives.” ~ Lia
“I completed the 7-Day Sugar Detox and the sugar cravings actually got better after day 4….The best part of it all is I lost 5 pounds!” ~ JaNette
“My husband and I are absolutely loving it! We never feel hungry and the sugar cravings have virtually vanished! The recipes are amazing and the plan is so easy to follow! We are going to continue eating this way forever!” ~ Lori
This program will provide you with the plan, the support, and the community you need to ditch refined sugar in a way that makes it practically impossible to fail!
Here’s what you get instantly when you join:
Quick Start Guide – Know how to avoid sugar pitfalls and get the keys to success to create a healthy relationship with your body and food cravings.
7-Day Sugar Detox Plan – This will break down exactly how you are going to be eating, where to find strategies to reduce your sugar cravings, and where to spot all the hidden sugars that might be lurking in your pantry and life.
7-Day Sugar Detox Recipe Guides – Two sets of Sugar Detox recipes for 7 days. Whether you are a vegan, gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian or a meat eater, I’ve got you covered. Delicious real-food breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack recipes that are free of grains and refined sugar, along with shopping lists. These recipes are simple, straightforward, and will have you in and out of the kitchen in no time!
Private Sugar Detox Community Forum – Interact with other people on the 7 Day Detox plan just like you. This is a place where we can support and cheer each other on! When you surround yourself with people who share the same goals and help to keep you accountable, you will be successful! I also love that this is a place where we can privately share our experiences without judgement – since a lot of us are all facing the same type of struggles!
Detailed Journal – The ultimate tool to measure your progress and keep yourself on track.
Exclusive Instructional Videos – I personally walk you through the program, give you advice for when nighttime sugar cravings hit, and provide info on healthier sugar swaps to make your detox a piece of cake.
Maintaining Your Success After The Detox Guide – A detailed game plan for long-term success following your detox.
I invite you to join us here now.
If you have any friends or family members that struggle with a soda addiction, please share this post with them.
Hope to chat with you in the Sugar Detox Community Forum this week! There will be no Diet Cokes allowed!