I had this friend in high school who would have a cigarette and a Diet Coke for lunch. She always seemed to have a can of it in her hand.
Her behavior mystified me because I thought that both the cigarette and the Diet Coke tasted awful. Many years later in graduate school, I faced a set of vending machines every time I wanted a break from my challenging studies. That is when I decided that I not only liked Diet Coke - I LOVED Diet Coke.
Here it was, a treat without any of the calorific consequences of the Snickers bar - Hurray! I started drinking 2-3 cans per day.
I had formed a “Diet Coke Habit” just like my pal in high school. I really didn’t see anything wrong with it. Lately, there have been some studies that say that artificial sweeteners can lead to weight gain see: Three Reasons to Rethink that Diet Coke You’re About to Drink.
I’ve gotten quite a few e-mails from people who want to stop drinking it and I want to support those readers. How did I stop drinking it? The short story is that I started drinking sparkling water (also called club soda or seltzer) when I was pregnant with my daughter. I was avoiding caffeine and I just never started drinking it again.
For those who don’t want to get pregnant to end their habit, I have some much better suggestions.
- Try mixing the ½ Diet Coke and club soda. You can cut your daily intake in half in one short step and you will be amazed how much this tastes like full strength Diet Coke.
- For every time you drink a glass of water instead of soda, put the money in a jar that you saved. Make sure you can see the jar fill up with all the cash that you can spend on something else.
- Get a home soda maker (see below) and mix the sparkling water with a little orange or apple juice. This tastes much better and is better for you.
- Find some cans of seltzer with natural flavors (no sweetener added) in your supermarket. It tastes a lot like soda but has zero calories see: A Refreshingly Sweet Zero Calorie Beverage With No Artificial Sweetener.
I did find that after a year of not drinking Diet Coke, I no longer liked the taste. Diet Coke was something that I had gotten accustomed to, like holes in my socks that I should throw out.
Just buy new socks and drink something that tastes better.
How do you deal with your soda or Diet Coke addiction?
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