How to kick unhealthy habits: Drinking soda.

Sometimes an ice-cold soda on a hot day really hits the spot. But many Americans enjoy soft drinks more often than is good for their health. In fact, the average American drinks more than 38 gallons of soda in a year. That’s almost enough to fill an entire bathtub.

Drinking soda is an unhealthy habit that can really hurt your overall health. Most sodas are loaded with sugar and caffeine – both of which are linked to negative health outcomes when you eat or drink them often. And while diet sodas are marketed as “sugar free,” they still contain controversial ingredients like artificial sweeteners, dyes and chemicals that many experts agree you should avoid for your health.

Even though we know soda isn’t the healthiest option, it is hard to resist. It tastes good, and we usually drink them while we’re doing things we enjoy, like going to the movies, eating at a restaurant or attending a sporting event. So, if you’re looking to reduce your soda consumption, what should you do?

Find an alternative drink that you love.

When kicking your soda habit, it’s important to find another beverage that you enjoy. While water is the best beverage option, it may not satisfy your taste buds in the same way soda does. Finding something else to drink that you enjoy can help you break your soda habit. Some healthy options include fruit-infused water, sparkling water or tea without added sweeteners. If the caffeine is what you need, having a cup of black coffee can give you the boost you need in the morning!

You might be thinking, “None of these options will satisfy my sweet tooth!” And, that’s true! Most healthy drinks do not include a lot of sugar. To help with the transition away from sugary soda to healthier options, try adding a little honey to your coffee or tea. Over time, you can slowly decrease the amount you use until you’re not adding any at all.

Always carry water with you.

Sometimes we drink soda out of convenience. It is easy to choose an unhealthy option when it’s right in front of you! One way to combat this is to carry water with you everywhere you go. There are many water bottle filling stations in public places now, which makes refilling your bottle easy and free. You’ll not only be making a healthier choice, but you’ll also save money in the process! You can get started by purchasing an affordable water bottle on Amazon or at a store like Walmart.

Keep soda out of your home.

It’s easier to resist soda when it’s not around you. One of the best things you can do to reduce your soda intake is to not bring it into your home! Instead, fill your fridge with healthier options, like those we shared above. Encourage your family to limit their soda with you. When everyone is working toward the same health goals, it makes it easier on each person.

Practice moderation.

You’re more likely to overcome your soda habit for good if you don’t quit cold turkey. Slowly make changes over time so that you don’t have intense cravings and aren’t tempted to binge. Like with all things in life, soda consumption is about moderation. There’s nothing wrong with having the occasional soft drink at a Grizz game – but the goal is for that to be the rare exception.