Kicking Cola to the Curb

Soft drinks are the devil. 

Marketed as thirst-quenching, fun, refreshing, and safe, soft drinks pack a caloric bomb loaded with sugar, sodium, and carbs. 

Consider the nutrition label of a popular cola.
1 Serving = 12 oz.
150 Calories
30mg Sodium
41g Carbohydrates
41g Sugars

Between the high fructose corn syrup and the sodium, these drinks are engineered to overwhelm your brain's pleasure response to sweetness and keep you coming back for more. Throw in a perceived need for caffeine and we've got the makings for a nice little addiction.

Let's assume one soda per day. In 1 weeks’ time, that will equate to 1,050 calories per week. This is roughly half of the daily caloric intake for the average person. Two cans per day put that to 2,100 calories per week and 3 will take you to 3,150!

Bear in mind that these are empty calories. In other words, they provide no nutritional value. 

Cutting soda out of our lives is tough because our brain and taste buds have become conditioned to crave their ingredients, which makes us dislike other drink options. I, myself, was one of the many people who claimed that even water just didn't taste good once I was under the spell. 

When sparkling fresh water no longer sounds good, it's time to re calibrate those taste buds!

Here is a suggestion:

Infused Water

I replaced my 2-3 can / day soda habit with ice water infused with various fruits. You can stick to lemons, limes, oranges, etc... even cucumber! Or you can mix your fruits/ vegetables for a unique taste. The only limit is your imagination, plus you get the nutritional benefits of the juices with minimal calorie load. 

If you find yourself dining out without the ability to infuse, then ask for some slices of citrus fruit and squeeze the juice into your water. This works just as well.

I'm not going to lie; cutting soda from my diet was tough. It took me about two weeks to overcome the cravings, and then a few more weeks consciously avoid falling back into the habit. However, within about a month after switching my mindset (and maintaining my activity level), I found that I had better digestive health and was no longer continually thirsty. Most importantly, people began commenting on how much thinner I started to look! 

I invite you to take that first step to re-calibrating your taste buds and ditching the empty promises of soda.