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How do I give up carbonated sodas?

JimJimBinksJimJimBinks Registered User regular
edited May 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
For the last 3 months I've been in a pretty decent workout routine (Decent for someone who's never exercised regularly for this long in his life) and now I'm thinking it's time to give up my one big vice. Diet Mountain Dew. I drink waaaaaaaay too much of it. We're talking like three 20oz bottles and two 12oz cans per day. Sometimes a little less, sometimes (but rarely) a little more.
I've tried to quit before. But eventually end up back to it.
The last time I tried to quit I was doing a low carb diet. So I couldn't drink any fruit juices or anything like that. This time I'm not so restricted. I'm not sure if I should try to give up now, or in a few weeks. In a week I'm going on a 2½ week vacation to Hawaii and California, and I'm going to be around a lot of family and a lot of carbonated beverages. When I'm at home it's just me and my wife, she doesn't drink any sodas at all so I won't have to worry about being constantly surrounded by carbonated drinks.
Another thing I'm worried about, and my constant excuse every other time I've tried to quit, is the headaches I get when I have no caffeine are horrible. Is there any way to quit and avoid the headaches.

tl;dr: I need advice on how to give up carbonated beverages.

I drank a 20oz diet mountain dew while writing this. Just find that kinda funny.

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    deke55555deke55555 regular
    edited May 2008
    I recently gave up on soda, and while I agree the headaches kinda stink, you don't need to drink soda to get rid of em.

    What I did was have a small bag of sweet candy around and used that to cure the headaches, since I wasn't drinking soda at all, the habit got kicked pretty easy, and I can tell you that I feel pretty good, so you have that to look foreward to.

    Also: Crystal Lite (unless you're allergic) is tasty.

    deke55555 on
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    Ziac45Ziac45 Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    When I gave up soda I just went cold turkey, Ever once and awhile I would succumb to a temptation. I think the trick is, do not have it in your house at all, and if you are just dying and going to have one buy it from a vending machine. That helped make it a bit more inconvenient until eventually I just quit it. Also a flavored drink of some sort helps, I drank a lot of propel when I was quitting soda and now I just drink water.

    Ziac45 on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Start drinking coffee. A cup in the morning, another with lunch.

    Thanatos on
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    DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2008
    Step down to a cup of coffee in the morning or something (yes, one cup of coffee has more caffeine than a 20 oz bottle of Mountain Dew, but not more than 3 20oz bottles).

    One thing that helped me reduce soda intake was to keep a plastic jug of water on-hand as often as possible, and drinking from it regularly, even if not thirsty. It will keep you from getting thirsty and grabbing a soda; just don't go crazy and drink too much water, it can be harmful if you force it down.

    Doc on
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    MurphyMurphy Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Doc wrote: »
    One thing that helped me reduce soda intake was to keep a plastic jug of water on-hand as often as possible, and drinking from it regularly, even if not thirsty. It will keep you from getting thirsty and grabbing a soda; just don't go crazy and drink too much water, it can be harmful if you force it down.

    This is what worked for me as well. Having water right there with me kept me from being thirsty and craving soda. I'll second the suggestion of coffee as well. It'll help you with the caffeine withdrawal.

    Murphy on
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    CauldCauld Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I drink a lot less soda if I don't have it in my house. If its not there then whenever I want one I have to go out somewhere to get it. Even if its a nearby convenience store I find my desire for it is often not enough for me actually go buy it. It helps even more if you only buy one bottle/can at a time. That way if you want another one later you have to walk that far to get it.

    For me I missed the carbonated part sometimes, so I picked up some H20 carbonated bottled water. I prefer the berry flavor.

    Cauld on
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    DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2008
    If you like carbonated drinks, both Perrier and San Pellegrino are (sometimes) cheaper than soda. Plus the S. Pellegrino bottles look classy in your fridge or empty holding some flowers or something.

    Doc on
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    AtomBombAtomBomb Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    The good thing is, if you keep it up long enough soda will start to taste like ass. Or like carbonated battery acid. It did for me anyway, and I was raised on Costco pallets of the stuff as a child. I found that the same thing happened with carbonated beverages (soda was really the only carbonated beverage I drank). I picked up a lemonade at Trader Joe's, turns out it was carbonated and I couldn't finish half of it.

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    KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Tea is a great salvation and can be pretty healthy for you too.

    Kyougu on
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    DalbozDalboz Resident Puppy Eater Right behind you...Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    When thirsty, reach for a glass of water. Get in the habit of drinking water regularly, like a glass every 45 minutes to an hour. This leaves less room for soda. Your body will also get used to the feeling of being well-hyrdrated, and it feels good.

    However, I've said it before and I'll say it again: All the tricks in the world aren't going to help you if you don't have the will power to make it happen. It ultimately comes down to you having the will to stop drinking soda.

    Dalboz on
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    PongePonge Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Maybe you should watch this...

    http://funhouse.bubble.ro/311/How_much_sugar_is_in_a_can_of_soda_/

    There's almost 40g of suger in every can of juice, according to this guy that's 7.5 heaped teaspoons of sugar. You should probably go into your kitchen and tip 7.5 teaspoons of sugar onto a plate and look at it, because it's a horrible amount of sugar for what your drinking. When you multiply this by the amount of soda that you're drinking per day you are actually consuming a horendous amount of sugar.

    In all reality, you probably really enjoy the taste. And so the only way to get yourself off of it is to physically disgust yourself at the amount of absolute shit that you're drinking every day, and what an adverse affect it's having on your body. Seriously, go put that amount of sugar into the equivalent amount of water and try and drink it, and see how it tastes.

    Ponge on
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    Unearthly StewUnearthly Stew Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I also reccomend tea here. Although you can find kinds that have a lot of caffine, there are types that don't have much at all. Which makes it great since you can go gradually from types that have a lot > to a medium amount > to little/none. If you're eating out anywhere try to get the non carbonated stuff as your drink. I know nestea doesn't have so much tea as it does sugar, but it's still slightly better for you than carbonated sugar waters.

    Unearthly Stew on
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    EchoEcho ski-bap ba-dapModerator mod
    edited May 2008
    Mineral water works great as a soda substitute for me. It's mostly the carbonation I get hooked on, and I tell myself that mineral water isn't as unhealthy as regular soda.

    And I second the pure water thing. Fill an empty soda bottle or two and stick in the fridge and have ready for when you're thirsty.

    Echo on
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    JimJimBinksJimJimBinks Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Thank you all for the suggestions. Tomorrow I'm going to wake up with some coffee, I'll have tea at lunch and on my way to work I'm going to grab a liter of Dasani water. I'll keep it filled up at the water cooler all day. I eat out a lot, I'll stick to the non-carbonated beverages when I head out.

    You all have been a big help. Now the ball is in my court. Let's see if I can keep it up.

    JimJimBinks on
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    TiemlerTiemler Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Sounds like you've got a good plan together. Just two things to add that helped me.

    Lime juice in water. It's surprising just how good this tastes, especially once your taste buds are no longer accustomed to sugar water. It wasn't convenient for me to keep limes around to cut up, so I picked up one of those little lime-shaped squeeze bulbs at the store. Check the ingredients list, some are just concentrated lime juice, others have nasty additives.

    Also, caffeine tablets. I love coffee, but still have those days where I just don't even want to look at a cup. This is an alternative eye-opening fix, that can be washed down with plenty of healthy water.

    Tiemler on
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    urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Echo wrote: »
    Mineral water works great as a soda substitute for me. It's mostly the carbonation I get hooked on, and I tell myself that mineral water isn't as unhealthy as regular soda.

    And I second the pure water thing. Fill an empty soda bottle or two and stick in the fridge and have ready for when you're thirsty.

    Mineral water is amazing, but it's really hard to find around here. When I was in Germany I could find it all over the place.

    But yeah I have completely stopped drinking soda myself (I'm down to probably one can a month). If you need caffeine coffee works great, as does green tea.

    urahonky on
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    PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2008
    Learn to love black coffee. It replaces the caffeine need, and once you learn to savor the taste of a good dark roast you'll find most soda way too fucking strong and not nearly as interesting to drink. On top of that it's got about as many calories as hot water does, and the caffeine helps your metabolism up.

    Pheezer on
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    Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2008
    Just drink water? All I ever drink is water, I can't even understand how people are addicted to soda none of it tastes that good and caffeine isn't that addictive.

    Fizban140 on
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    BoutrosBoutros Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I used to drink a lot of soda, now I drink a whole lot of coffee. It is so much better, I drink like a pot or sometimes 2 of drip coffee and 1-2 americanos a day. Between the skim milk I sometimes add and the coffee itself it has got to something like 30 calories for the whole day.

    Boutros on
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    Mustachio JonesMustachio Jones jerseyRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I used to drink an abhorrent amount of Coke. Once I realized that I really needed to fix something, I started easing myself into Ginger Ale and half liter bottles of Perrier. Carbonation is just so goddamned refreshing, and I certainly need something refresing in my illness addled body. My line of thinking is that I've got enough wrong with my body that I didn't cause, so if I do a little more damage, then what's the difference?

    Mustachio Jones on
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    VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Okay, hopefully this advice is helpful.

    I was a soda ADDICT for most of my life. Since I was... what, 12? 13? I've consumed at least 5 cans of soda a day. In a conservative estimate, that's 1000 calories a day of the sugary substance.

    About six months ago, I began to realize that I've spent most of my adolescent and adult life killing myself with this shit, so here was the plan I laid out:

    1) Never, ever buy or drink a regular soda again. Not at a restaurant, not on a road trip, not if you're nailed to a cross and someone hoists a sponge drenched in it for me to drink.

    2) Start with diet Dr. Pepper. Diet soda's not great for you in some ways, but calorically and in terms of sugar intake (both of which are 0), you're doing your body an incredible favor. Diet Dr. Pepper is the least "diet" tasting soda I've ever found. Whatever you'd normally buy (quantity wise) of regular soda, buy diet Dr. Pepper instead.

    3) One month in, begin the switch to water. Start by halving your diet Dr. Pepper supply, and replace it with water.

    4) Proceed further at your own pace, and according to your own caffeine needs.

    Using this plan, I (a hardcore soda junkie for most of his life) have quit soda entirely and permanently. Hopefully it can help you as well.

    VThornheart on
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    FirestarterFirestarter ClubPA regular
    edited May 2008
    When I got my teeth whitened I couldn't drink Soda for about a month.

    After the month was up I had gone for so long without Soda that I decided fuck it and I haven't drank soda since.

    That was 5 years ago.

    Firestarter on
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    The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2008
    has anyone mentioned willpower yet? It is handy.

    The Cat on
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    starmanbrandstarmanbrand Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    At one point I wanted to give up soda. Like others I was addicted to the love for carbonation rather than caffeine. I stopped buying normal soda and started buying Enviga sparkling teas and types of sparkling waters. I would still get sodas and stuff at restaurants because, lets face it, they taste good.

    Now I drink a Coke Vanilla Zero (I like this better than Coke Cherry Zero or just Coke Zero, and find it to taste better than normal Coke Vanilla) with lunch and a beer with dinner. Between I drink water. And lots of it.

    starmanbrand on
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    Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Stop buying soda and be glad it's not nicotine you're trying to kick.

    Seattle Thread on
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    VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    The Cat wrote: »
    has anyone mentioned willpower yet? It is handy.

    Pretty much all of this advice requires some form of willpower... so yeah, it's implied if that helps. =)

    VThornheart on
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    The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2008
    The Cat wrote: »
    has anyone mentioned willpower yet? It is handy.

    Pretty much all of this advice requires some form of willpower... so yeah, it's implied if that helps. =)

    Well, not so much. All the ideas about water and other low-cal alternatives are great, but you have to actually want to not drink soda and you have to learn to control yourself. For a lot of people who haven't really had to do that with food before, it can be a big thing. It requires a sustained alertness that can take practice.

    The Cat on
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    oldsakoldsak Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    The Cat wrote: »
    has anyone mentioned willpower yet? It is handy.

    beat me to it.

    Along with willpower, just avoid it. If you don't buy soda, I think you'll find it's a little difficult to drink it.

    oldsak on
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    VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    The Cat wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    has anyone mentioned willpower yet? It is handy.

    Pretty much all of this advice requires some form of willpower... so yeah, it's implied if that helps. =)

    Well, not so much. All the ideas about water and other low-cal alternatives are great, but you have to actually want to not drink soda and you have to learn to control yourself. For a lot of people who haven't really had to do that with food before, it can be a big thing. It requires a sustained alertness that can take practice.

    It seems to me like that's two sides of the same coin though. I mean, you have to drink something in order to survive, just as a biological fact. So drinking water or diet soda are definitely good alternatives from a health perspective... and you still have to have the willpower to choose them over regular soda. I think what we're doing is saying the same thing in two different ways.

    VThornheart on
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    oddmentoddment Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I'm wanting to cut out cola and stuff aswell as a part of getting rid of my pot belly and getting a bit more toned (which is where the exercise will come in) in preperation for getting married (and just to feel better about myself). I drink about a litre of cola a day right now and am in the process of trying to cut it down to just one glass of the stuff a day... I am replacing it slowly with Ribena (a glorious British drink - the no added sugar version too) as well as drinking a whole lot more water.

    I'm doing this alongside giving up smoking (patches are a godsend)... just trying to make myself more healthy overall. A question I have about carbonated beverages and the giving up thereof - will it help to reduce my pot belly? I don't eat too badly and I walk for an hour and a half every week day. I am going to start introducing more focused exercises for my abdominal area, but will cutting out the cola help towards getting rid of my podge?

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    JigrahJigrah Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    When I am at my parents house Its hard not to be drinking the soda pop because of its ease. Instant refreshing satisfaction, quick and convenient.

    If thats part of the reason you like soda so much try going for other things in bottles, teas, water, whatever that satisfies your thirst as well as your need for convinence.

    Jigrah on
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    AftyAfty Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Can anyone tell me just how bad something like Diet Coke is ?

    I know its 0 fat 0 sugar etc, but what do the chemicals that replace these do to you?

    Afty on
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    SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2008
    The Cat wrote: »
    has anyone mentioned willpower yet? It is handy.

    Is that some sort of herbal supplement? Is it FDA approved?

    Szechuanosaurus on
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    The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2008
    Jigrah wrote: »
    When I am at my parents house Its hard not to be drinking the soda pop because of its ease. Instant refreshing satisfaction, quick and convenient.

    If thats part of the reason you like soda so much try going for other things in bottles, teas, water, whatever that satisfies your thirst as well as your need for convinence.

    how difficult to operate are the taps where you live?

    The Cat on
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    mooshoeporkmooshoepork Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Seriously, invest in a water chiller. It's better if you have a fridge with an ice crusher. You will stop drinking soda pretty quickly. Nothing is more refreshing than water.

    mooshoepork on
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    SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2008
    The Cat wrote: »
    Jigrah wrote: »
    When I am at my parents house Its hard not to be drinking the soda pop because of its ease. Instant refreshing satisfaction, quick and convenient.

    If thats part of the reason you like soda so much try going for other things in bottles, teas, water, whatever that satisfies your thirst as well as your need for convinence.

    how difficult to operate are the taps where you live?

    50 mile walk through tribally disputed desert to the nearest communal well.

    I'd think cold-turkeying on sugar would be a bit harsh, especially considering how much he's already consuming. Fruit or fruit juice to sate those cravings might be a good idea in addition to using plain water to quench his actual thirst.

    Szechuanosaurus on
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    JimJimBinksJimJimBinks Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I left my remaining Diet Mountain Dew on my neighbors front doorstep with a note that said "Not poison." I brought 1 liter of water with me to work, and on my way in I stopped at McDonalds to buy some black coffee. I think they accidentally gave me a form of black lava. So far it seems to be going well. :D

    JimJimBinks on
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    Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2008
    Am I the only one who gets thirsty from drinking soda? I have to chase it with a glass of water.

    Fizban140 on
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    JigrahJigrah Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    The Cat wrote: »
    Jigrah wrote: »
    When I am at my parents house Its hard not to be drinking the soda pop because of its ease. Instant refreshing satisfaction, quick and convenient.

    If thats part of the reason you like soda so much try going for other things in bottles, teas, water, whatever that satisfies your thirst as well as your need for convinence.

    how difficult to operate are the taps where you live?

    Its not the difficulty of the taps, but the quality of the water. Luke warm water is not refreshing satisfaction.

    Jigrah on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I've noticed some sugar comments and some bad-teeth comments, but the OP appears to be drinking only diet soda. Regarding health reasons, he's not exactly in trouble of anything if he only consumes 0 cal soda.

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