Soft drink intake is linked to childhood obesity, obesity, and higher risks for heart disease and diabetes. One 12 oz can of Coca-Cola is 140 calories and a 12 oz can of Pepsi is 150 calories. To give you an idea, the average person would have to walk briskly for 35 minutes to burn 150 calories. For more activities to burn 150 calories, check out this Everyday Healthy post. Diet drinks are not a free pass as they can still contribute to weight gain and still contain many chemicals.
Perhaps you’d like to cut back on your consumption or eliminate it all together. Quitting can be tough! If you’d like to kick the can, here are a few ideas to help you get on your way.
- Research – Do research, read the labels and find out what you are putting into your body. This can help motivate you to treat yourself with positive refreshments and drinks.
- Seltzer water – I’ve come to realize that what I like about soda, or pop as I call it, is the fizzy characteristic. I enjoy the bubbles and carbonation. I realized I can still enjoy this sensation with seltzer water – and it has no calories! Mix up your fizzy drink by adding lemon and lime. It may take a little while to adjust to the lack of sugar or artificial sugar that you’ve become accustomed to but you might find that you love it.
- Drink water – Tap water is the cheapest option of all! I like to use a water filter and keep the pitcher in the fridge so its always ready, crisp and cool. Add a slice of lemon, lime, or orange to add variety and flavor. In the summer, try a cool cucumber or mix in fresh berries. Fill up a travel water bottle to take on the go. Be sure to stay hydrated and give your body the water it needs.
- Brew Tea – Iced tea is a delicious, cooling beverage in the summer and hot tea is excellent on a chilly day. Don’t limit yourself to black tea, brew different flavors. A lot of teas have a natural sweetness to them. Try iced green tea, jasmine tea, or mix up a spicy chai tea. If you want to add a bit of sweetness try fruit, honey, or agave nectar. I’ve gradually adjusted my tastes from adding several tablespoons of sugar to drinking my tea sans sweetener.
- Smoothie – Blend up a quick smoothie, this is an opportunity to add the antioxidants of fruits and veggies to your day and it’s interesting!
I hope these tips gave you something to think about or a starting point.
Do you drink soft drinks? Are you trying to cut back on them? If you’ve stopped, what did you do to help transition? Do you love lime seltzer as much as I do? I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.