Giving up soda was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. More difficult than losing over 100 lbs. More difficult than adopting a new way of eating and nutrition. Hands down more difficult.
I was honestly a diet soda JUNKIE! I could plow through a two-liter of soda in less than 24 hours and go looking for more. I was easily drinking two 20-ounce bottles of soda per day — and that was when I was trying to LIMIT myself!
At first, I really waffled about quitting. I figured that diet soda wasn’t causing me any harm, really, and I was eating so well otherwise…surely it would all even out. Then I read the findings of this study. Then I read about what diet soda does to your body. Then I read that Dr. Esselstyn suggests staying away from it.
So, then I cut back to only one a day…and wrote this.
I finally had to come to a decision about my body as a whole. If my nutrition is going to heal my arteries, help me lose weight and help my body restore the harm I’ve done to it for 40 years, wouldn’t it be better if I didn’t put ANYTHING harmful into it? I read more about the ingredients in diet soda, which made the decision easier.
The process wasn’t fun at all. I tried weaning myself, allowing myself only one diet soda per day. That inevitably led to two. I noticed, too, that when I was drinking them, I would crave more sweet things. I really struggled with wanting sweets with every meal. I knew this road would lead to undoing everything I’d worked for thus far, so I decided to go cold turkey. I splurged on soda that night (making myself a little sick in the process), and went with water the next day.
I started looking for some kind of alternative…something to fill the void, but everything seemed to be either way too processed, have way too much sugar, have way too much sodium…or all of the above. I will occasionally drink 100% Orange Juice not from concentrate, but not often. It’s natural sugar, but there’s still a LOT of it.
So, water it is, and it was definitely the right decision. I feel better, don’t crave the sweets the way I did, and I feel satiated much more quickly when I’m drinking enough of it with meals.