Now that you have an arsenal of soda alternatives, you’re well on your way to ditching it forever (just in time for summer)!
If that doesn’t sound so exciting to you, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered.
This four-week plan will wean you off gently and easily. It’s designed to minimize cravings and withdrawal, and if you stick to it, you could be soda-free in four short weeks!
We’ll start by cutting your soda intake by a third (roughly). You can do this in one of two ways:
- Drop a serving completely (I’d start from the end of the day and work your way up), or…
- Consume about 1/3 smaller serving each time.
Do this by diluting your soda with seltzer, or simply enjoying a smaller amount.
Also, before you consume each serving of soda, drink at least 8 ounces of water FIRST.
Reduce your intake by another third. Apply the same methods as week one.
If you’re only consuming one serving of soda a day, you can probably shorten this whole process by a week, or even two. You can only wean yourself so far until you run out of soda. 🙂
Continue to have your 8+ ounces of water before each serving of soda. And this week, add one glass of water to your overall intake.
Wherever you are, reduce your soda intake by half.
If you’re still consuming enough soda that diluting it makes sense, go for it.
Otherwise, you’re probably at the point where a 50% reduction equals dropping one of your servings completely.
If you’re already down to one serving per day, don’t reduce the soda itself; but do drop a day, so you’re only having it every other day.
Add a second additional glass of water to your day as well. The best way to ensure you’re consuming enough water is to start each day with a pint glass of water, before you do or drink anything else.
(And yup, still drinking water before soda. You may find that after the water, you no longer want the soda as much.)
Here’s where we rip the band-aid off, y’all.
If you’re already down to every other day, switch to every two days. (Or, if you’re ready, try to go completely soda-free, treating your go-to soda beverage as just that — a special treat.)
Implement two — or three, or even four, if you’re ready — soda-free days this week. Have as many soda alternatives as you need to, but stay away from the hard stuff.
If, with the recent water additions, you’re still consuming less than 8 glasses of water a day, add one more glass to your day.
Continue to drink water first thing in the morning, and whenever you have a craving. Especially if you decide to give into that craving — drink water first.
Because soda is so addictive, it’s really easier to just institute a never-ever-drink-it policy. It’s pretty painless to maintain. Even at barbecues and restaurants, there’s always an alternative. Iced tea, seltzer, etc. Not hard to come by.
And unlike some more “extreme” dietary changes, like going gluten-free or dairy-free, kicking soda is a widely accepted positive change for your health. Meaning: lots of people are doing it, and your peers and loved ones will have an easier time supporting you.
And remember, ANY reduction in your soda intake is good.
Because it’s not about being perfect.
It’s about feeling better, all the time.