Weight Loss Support - Soda Addiction Please help

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Oak Moon
08-26-2004, 06:41 AM
Hi all!

One of my major issues to beginning my changes is giving up all the soda I drink. I drink about 2 liters of soda a day :( I try to fit in a glass of water or two, but I really am having a rough time with this. I don't like juices, cannot drink diet drinks due to problems with artificial sweetners, and Im not good with tea. Anyone have any idea on how I can make water flavorful or more appealing? Im trying lemons and it helps a bit.
Any advice on how to give up soda would be appreciated.
Thank you!

08-26-2004, 08:26 AM
I would say go splurge on some pellegrino or perrier, if you like those. Or, I have had some really great flavored seltzer waters from the grocery store (Albertson's brand I think).

08-26-2004, 01:50 PM
I had the same problem, I drank about 2 liters of Mountain Dew a day and it was so hard not to drink it. I though diet soda was gross then, but I can tolerate it now. Mostly I drink water. I use lemons in it. Or tea.

My sister slices up a strawberry and adds it to her water, but I have never been big on fruity water so I don't like it.

08-26-2004, 02:33 PM
I'd say if you're into the carbonation - try Pellegrino or (for a BIG carbonation kick) plain seltzer water (like Canada Dry or Schwepps) with a lemon or lime squeezed in.

It's a GREAT idea to kick the sugared soda habit. I remember back in 1985 during the "New Coke" hoo-hah - that month or two before Coke came to its senses and brought back Classic Coke - that there was a gal here in the Bay Area who was part of the anti-New Coke clique here who was in the news constantly (I believe the parent organization was called the Old Cola Drinkers of America). This gal who was on the hefty side said that prior to New Coke, she was drinking either a 6 pack or 12 pack of regular Coke each DAY. Of course once Old Coke was no longer available, she quit cold turkey and before Classic Coke was reintroduced, I remember she lost somewhere in the area of 25 or more pounds! :lol:

So those liquid calories can really add up...

Anyway - I enjoy Diet Cokes myself, but I also know that it's VITAL for me to get in my H20 on a daily basis. So what I do is NOT drink sodas at work. I have four 24-oz water bottles that I refill every day at the water cooler - my goal is to empty those bottles between 8 am and 5 pm, plus in my morning workout I drink another 24 oz of water, also if I have a Pilates or Yoga class (2-3 x week) I drink yet another bottle during the class. Diet Cokes I limit to one or two a day. (Actually our latest taste thrill at home is the Minute Maid or Tropicana Light Lemonade in cans...those are the bomb!)

08-26-2004, 02:36 PM
I, too, used to be a soda junkie. I recommend going "cold turkey." It will be hard for a few weeks, but after your body gets all of that sugar & crap out of your system and you begin to feel what it is like to be truly hydrated, I don't think you'll be tempted to go back to your old ways (at least I wasn't). I can't stand soda now. On the rare occassion that I do have a soda, I find that it makes me feel sluggish and icky. I drink tons of plain water (adding slices of orange, lemon & lime is yummy, too). When I want a soda-like treat, I drink the sparkling Talking Rain with fruit essence (I think the flavors are berry, lemon lime, tangerine & plain...I love them all). Also, if I want a sweet treat I occasionally indulge in a big bottle of that Propel Fitness Water. It's 30 calories for a big bottle, which isn't too bad. However, I try to limit myself to one or two Propel's a week (usually after a hard workout). Again, I encourage you to go cold turkey. Cutting out the soda consumption alone should lead to weight loss. You are drinking tons of calories that are doing nothing positive for your body. You will look and feel so much better if you make the switch to water. Your skin will glow and your body will thank you! Good luck!!! :)

08-26-2004, 03:06 PM
I highly recommend Crystal Light and sugar-free Kool-Aid. :)

I don't know if you would have the same problem with the sweeteners or not, but they are basicly flavored water.

08-26-2004, 04:09 PM
Most flavored waters use either sugar (and thus calories) or aspartame. So, if you want to drop the sugar and you can't have sweeteners, I would suggest seltzer water. It does not have the salt that club soda does, it doesn't have sweeteners in it, and also has flavors that don't have sweetners either (I THINK). It's cheap, too. Perrier makes flavored versions, but that's a lot more expensive.

The others are right, you will lose your taste for it over time. The more you drink plain water now, the quicker that will happen.

08-26-2004, 04:25 PM
Calistoga (don't know if they're available outside California) makes flavored sparkling water with 0 calories and no sweeteners, in 10 oz (I think!) bottles. I've had the lemon, lime, mandarin orange, and berry flavors and they're all very good! Just been awhile since I've bought them so I didn't think about it until now.

Jim is a Schwepps Seltzer Water maniac :)

08-26-2004, 05:30 PM
YOU MUST MUST MUST give it up completely FOREVER if you really are serious. I used to drink 6-10 cans A DAY and January of 2003 I swore off them and drank only water. i did not drink anything else for 6 months then someone told me to try diet only when eating since I hated the taste. I did but only occasionally and now I probably don't have a diet more than once a month or so. YOU CAN DO THIS!

08-26-2004, 05:31 PM
I too dislike the diet drinks for the most part, but have found that a relatively new one "fruit2O" is really nice. I think that they use Splenda and there are loads of flavors. I find that a little splash orange juice in seltzer works pretty well for me as well. Like the advice of the others, try giving up soda cold turkey. I found that it was the easiest way for me and I got used to living without it within a couple of weeks.

08-26-2004, 06:50 PM
YOU MUST MUST MUST give it up completely FOREVER if you really are serious. I used to drink 6-10 cans A DAY and January of 2003 I swore off them and drank only water. i did not drink anything else for 6 months then someone told me to try diet only when eating since I hated the taste. I did but only occasionally and now I probably don't have a diet more than once a month or so. YOU CAN DO THIS!Am I missing something here? Did you give it completely forever or are you drinking diet cola once a month or so? I think everything (except poison) in moderation is quite alright. Remember to drink your water! Things can always be worse or better.

08-26-2004, 09:30 PM
About a year and a half ago, when I started losing weight, I had never ever been a big water drinker. I was told repeatedly by soooo many people, including my WW leader, that drinking lots of water is essential to losing weight. Now, I LOVE plain ole bottled water. And I drink at least 80 ounces a day. Trust me, once you get used to drinking water, your body will "cry out" for more! I always have a bottle of water with me wherever I go, and once you get used to drinking water, you will begin to enjoy it. I truly believe this. Of course, this won't happen overnight.
Good luck to you-

08-26-2004, 10:25 PM
I'm so glad I found this thread!!

In the last month I've tried to give up soda 4 times!! But I can't seem to hardly make it through a day! So hopefully **FINGERS CROSSED** Tomorrow will be the day!

08-27-2004, 11:21 AM
i find one of the hardest things baout giving up soda is giving up the caffiene. if you keep going back because you are feeling lethargic, try some tea with caffiene in it. i drink green tea an green tea with mate to ward off caffine withdrawal. its not a lot of caffine but its enough to keep headaches and fatige away. drinking water is something you have to get used too but im with carol on this one, i cant live without it. i carry a liter water botel with me every where i go and try to drink 3 liters a day. i also drink a lot of hot tea as well. the first week is going to behard but after that you will feel like a new person. now when i drink soda i feel bad. i drank some the other night at the movies and i felt sick for the rest of the evening. it is its own deterant.

08-27-2004, 05:10 PM
Fruit2O is really good and it doesn't have any sugar, which is the problem I found with Propel. Mandarin Orange Calistoga is soooo delicious! Also, "SmartWater" has some very natural fruit flavors and I find it to be very very tasty. I can tell a difference when I have too many sodas (I only drink diet now, but they're gonna get my Diet Mountain Dew when they pry it out of my cold, dead hand.)

08-27-2004, 05:56 PM
I'm actually addicted to Diet Coke - I know all the horror stories about osteoporosis and joint disorders and stuff but I probably drink 2-3 litres a day. I do generally drink about 3-4 litres of water as well so at least 500 of my daily calories are used up running to the bathroom!

You guys in the US seem to have a greater range of "calorie free" drinks than the UK. I get horrified when I look at 500ml bottles of Fanta, Sprite, etc and they are 250 calories! What chance do kids have when they are being sold that!

Suzanne 3FC
08-27-2004, 09:08 PM
I love diet Sierra Mist. It's the only diet soda that I think really tastes like it's sugared version. I still prefer ice cold filtered water, though.

08-27-2004, 09:53 PM
When my wife gave up Diet Pepsi she had trouble with the caffeine loss. She switched to Green Tea as a buffer and found it easier to quit than Diet Pepsi!

08-27-2004, 10:00 PM
I've been drinking diet Coke ever since it came out. I don't think it tastes like real Coke, but then I never expected it to. I have one caffieneated diet drink at lunch, and it's usually either diet Coke or diet Dr. Pepper. To me, diet Dr.P tastes ALMOST just like the original. Diet Sprite and diet Sierra Mist (both caffeine free) taste pretty close to the original, too, and diet Minute Maid lemonade is REALLY good. So, even if you think you don't like diet drinks, give 'em a try you might be surprised.

But, again, I think it's important to wean yourself of the compulsion. I have a soft drink with lunch and a non-caffiene one with dinner, but I also like plain water and drink plenty during the day. If I had to give up all soft drinks I'd be sad, but it wouldn't change my life.

08-27-2004, 10:00 PM
I love LeNature's lemon flavored water. I also keep a bottle of Reverse Osmosis tap water from home in my car to chase away the hungries after workouts. It fools my system until I can get past the fast food sand traps. I bought this system and installed it in my kitchen so I can have pure 'bottled water' straight from my tap and I have it run to my ice maker in the freezer for pure ice.

Oak Moon
08-28-2004, 05:20 AM
:) I didnt expect to check back and find so many responses to my question. I want to thank you all collectively in this post! You all have some good suggestions. I never thought of cutting up oranges or putting strawberries in my water. I will definitely try that. I'll look for some of the brands you mentioned of water here. Im in the Bay area so I'm thinking Ive seen them somewhere. Safeway perhaps?
Im happy to say that today I drank 4 huge glasses of water. I have a big 64.oz glass, so thats alot of water for me. I think my kidneys went "ooo, whats this?" lol.... I still had 3 glasses of dr pepper though. Im going to keep up with water and just do my best to phase out the soda... dh and I are in agreement that no more soda will be kept in the house as of tomorrow. It's gonna be rough.
Thanks all!

08-28-2004, 09:04 AM
Just had to add something-dicolas with caffeine will rob your body of calcium. I drink about a can a day but it is Waist Watchers or Diet Rite-no caffeine or sugar and made with Splenda-

08-28-2004, 10:26 AM
"dicolas with caffeine will rob your body of calcium"

That's a myth. No medical studies have shown evidence of this.

08-28-2004, 08:46 PM
If caffeine robbed your body of calcium, most of my coworkers would be pools of jelly at their desks! :lol:

The myth (and it IS a myth) that soda robs your body of calcium generally gives the reason as phosphoric acid, not caffeine.

Here ya go from Snopes.com - Cokelore:

Claim: The acids in Coca-Cola make it harmful to drink.

Status: False.

Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2001]

1. In many states the highway patrol carries two gallons of Coke in the truck to remove blood from the highway after a car accident.

2. You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of coke and it will be gone in two days.

3. To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl . . . Let the "real thing" sit for one hour, then flush clean.

4. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china.

5. To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub the bumper with a crumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola.

6. To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion.

7. To loosen a rusted bolt: Applying a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes.

8. To bake a moist ham: Empty a can of Coca-Cola into the baking pan;rap the ham in aluminum foil, and bake. Thirty minutes before the ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix with the Coke for a sumptuous brown gravy.

9. To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of coke into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, And run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains. It will also clean road haze from your windshield.


1. The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. It's pH is 2.8. It will dissolve a nail in about 4 days.

2. To carry Coca Cola syrup (the concentrate) the commercial truck must use the Hazardous material place cards reserved for Highly Corrosive materials.

3. The distributors of coke have been using it to clean the engines of their trucks for about 20 years! Drink up! No joke. Think what coke and other soft drinks do to your teeth on a daily basis. A tooth will dissolve in a cup of coke in 24-48 hours.

Origins: Many
of the entries above are just simple household tips involving Coca-Cola, as provided by Joey Green in his 1995 book Polish Your Furniture with Panty Hose and on his web site. That you can cook and clean with Coke is relatively meaningless from a safety standpoint you can use a wide array of common household substances (including water) for the same purposes; that fact alone doesn't necessarily make them dangerous to ingest. Nearly all carbonated soft drinks contain carbonic acid, which is moderately useful for tasks such as removing stains and dissolving rust deposits (although plain soda water is much better for some of these purposes than Coca-Cola or other soft drinks, as it doesn't leave a sticky sugar residue behind). Carbonic acid is relatively weak, however, and people have been drinking carbonated water for many years with no detrimental effects.

The rest of the claims offered here are specious. Coca-Cola does contain small amounts of citric acid and phosphoric acid; however, all the insinuations about the dangers these acids might pose to people who drink Coca-Cola ignore a simple concept familiar to any first-year chemistry student: concentration. Coca-Cola contains less citric acid than orange juice does, and the concentration of phosphoric acid in Coke is far too small (a mere 11 to 13 grams per gallon of syrup, or about 0.20 to 0.30 per cent of the total formula) to dissolve a steak, a tooth, or a nail overnight. (Much of the item will dissolve eventually, but after a day or two you'll still have most of the tooth, a whole nail, and one very soggy t-bone.)

Besides, the gastric acid in your stomach is much stronger than any of the acids in Coca-Cola, so the Coca-Cola is harmless.

The next time you're stopped by a highway patrolman, try asking him if he's ever scrubbed blood stains off a highway with Coca-Cola (or anything else). If you're lucky, by the time he stops laughing he'll have forgotten about the citation he was going to give you.

I also have to add (again!) that my father actually was a 'soda pop chef' :lol: i.e. a chemist who started out at Coca-Cola in the late 50's before he moved on to another beverage company here on the West Coast...he retired in 1993 so he knows what's up. Dad doesn't 'do' the Internet but he runs between being amused and ticked off about the rumors about soda pop. Granted - of course regular pop has quite a lot of sugar in it...but we drank diet sodas pretty exclusively growing up, as that was his area of expertise - concocting diet drinks. (I still think my dad's version of diet chocolate soda beats the PANTS off of Canfield's any day, although I don't know if the company he retired from even makes chocolate soda anymore or if they do, they might have changed the formula...). We literally had CASES of diet pop in our garage! In fact we sold it on the corner in the summer...

Whenever Dad hears the stuff about artificial sweeteners being hazardous or acids causing osteoperosis or what have you (he also attended med school at UNC-Chapel Hill and was a medical intern in the U.S. Army so there ya go...) his reaction has been "do you really think I would give you girls and your mom POISON? Or something that I thought would hurt you?" It kind of yanks his chain to say the least...

And from the Coke official site (as was stated when this was posted on another thread - Coca-Cola has staff and legal folk who verify that this is TRUE information, and they have every right to dispel any myths or rumors floating on the Net).

All our soft drinks are wholesome beverages manufactured in compliance with the U.S. Federal Food Laws, the laws of all U.S. states, and the laws of nearly 200 countries throughout the world where our products are marketed.

Unfortunately, the incredible power of the Internet is sometimes used to spread false information about the ingredients in our products. There are several baseless rumors circulating on the Internet claiming that ingredients in our products can cause health problems. We've gathered some of those rumors here so that you can easily get the facts about these false claims.

Rumor: The acidity of cola drinks is strong enough to dissolve teeth and bones.

Our Response: Almost all foods naturally contain a small amount of acid, including fruit juices, buttermilk, and soft drinks. In fact, cranberries, lemons and limes are examples of fruits that are more acidic than Coca-Cola. Acids, such as phosphoric and citric acid, add a pleasant tartness to a beverage. Phosphoric acid provides phosphorus which is an essential element of bones and tissues. None of these foods are acidic enough to harm our body tissues -- our own natural stomach acid is stronger.

Soaking something in a soft drink or rubbing something with a cloth soaked in a soft drink is not at all like drinking a soft drink. People don't hold soft drinks in their mouths for long periods of time, nor rub their teeth with fabric soaked in soft drinks, so it doesn't make sense to extend these possible affects to normal use of the product. Because our teeth are constantly bathed by saliva, which helps buffer the effects of acids from foods and beverages, the effect on tooth enamel is greatly reduced. In fact, the acids in most foods are neutralized to a large degree by the saliva in the mouth long before they reach the stomach.

Rumor: Phosphoric acid in Coca-Cola leads to osteoporosis.

Our Response: Phosphoric acid has been recognized as safe for use as a food additive by the health authorities in every country where Coca-Cola is sold.

And in fact, cola actually contains very little phosphorous -- only about 2% of total dietary phosphorus in the U.S. The vast majority -- 98% -- of dietary phosphorus in the U.S. comes from high-protein foods like meats, cheeses, nuts and grains. Further, among female teens, milk drinkers consume over four times more phosphorus than non-milk drinkers, regardless of soda consumption. The main causes of osteoporosis include insufficient calcium intake, hormonal changes and a lack of weight-bearing physical activity. The U.S. National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference on osteoporosis has also recently (2000) concurred that dietary phosphorus is not an important factor in osteoporosis for individuals consuming a balanced diet.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends the following lifestyle strategies: a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, weight-bearing exercise, and a healthy lifestyle without smoking or excessive alcohol use.

Rumor: Caffeine in soft drinks is addictive.

Our Response: Caffeine is not addictive. Caffeine has had a long history in the food supply, consumed as long ago as 2700 B.C. Scientific evaluation of caffeine's physiological effects in light of the criteria for drug dependence clearly shows that caffeine is not similar to the use of drugs of abuse or dependence. It is true that some symptoms of withdrawal can be experienced by some people if caffeine consumption is stopped abruptly. When done gradually over a reasonable time period, most people do not even experience these symptoms. More importantly, the amount of caffeine in typical soft drinks is minimal. The amount in most cola beverages is about 1/3 of the caffeine in same amount of coffee and 1/2 of the amount found in tea.

Rumor: Caramel coloring produces genetic effects and causes cancer.

Our Response: Caramel color is a safe ingredient. Caramel color is made by heating sugar and other carbohydrates under controlled conditions. The FDA has declared caramel color to be a safe food ingredient. All ingredients used in soft drinks have been thoroughly tested and are recognized as safe for use by the health authorities of the countries in which they are sold.

So there ya go - and with that, I'm going to the fridge and cracking open another ice-cold can of Diet Coke and pouring it over ice in my favorite tall glass. ahhh the pause that refreshes!

Jennifer 3FC
08-29-2004, 11:38 AM
Have you tried Stevia as a sweetener? I have heard of some people that cannot tolerate aspartame or sucralose do well with it. It's a plant, and they crush the leaves to make the powder. I bought a sweet-n-low size pack at the health food store for 10 cents. I didn't know it was so much sweeter than regular AS, so I put the whole pack on my oatmeal and it was waaayyyyy too sweet, to the point of bitter. I went back to the store and bought the liquid stevia and started squirting a few drops in smoothies and it works great. Maybe you can make some unsweetened tea and add stevia to it.

08-31-2004, 02:49 PM
You said you don't like juice, but try half-and-half with carbonated water. Grape juice like that tastes just like "sparkling grape juice." Yum. :)

I cut my soda consumption by allowing myself one can (or one glass at a restaurant) per day. Now that they have the mini-10 oz. cans of Pepsi, it's Instant Willpower! :lol

Also, try Gatorade. It quenches thirst but has fewer calories per serving.

Definitely add water.

My husband gave up soda in January. The way he did it was "never say never." He said to himself, "If I really really want it, I can have it." For example, he isn't telling himself that he's giving up rootbeer floats for life. I did the same thing with vegetarianism. I told myself, "I'll eat way less meat, but if I really, really want it, I can have it." Then, when I thought about eating meat, I found that I didn't absolutely need meat. But letting myself know that I could have it if I really, really felt like it made it easier to pass on the meat. There is a lot less psychological pressure if you never say never.

08-31-2004, 04:04 PM
You said you don't like juice, but try half-and-half with carbonated water. Grape juice like that tastes just like "sparkling grape juice." Yum. :)

I cut my soda consumption by allowing myself one can (or one glass at a restaurant) per day. Now that they have the mini-10 oz. cans of Pepsi, it's Instant Willpower! :lol

Also, try Gatorade. It quenches thirst but has fewer calories per serving.

Definitely add water.

Weeeellll...Grape juice - actually ALL juice - is basically pure sugar. In fact, a cup of unsweetened grape juice has more calories - and sugar - than a cup of cola, according to Fitday.

Juice is typically regarded by many as a health food - basically you're better off eating the whole fruit, not only for calories (I'm assuming that since this IS a weight loss site, we are all interested in reducing our food intake!) but the satisfaction of fullness, the fiber and all the good stuff that is eliminated in the process of processing juice.

Actually those mini-cans have been around since the 70's...they come and go, according to popularity. Just FYI ;)

Gatorade's a better choice, but I wouldn't call it optimal.

For some reason, lots of folks seem to feel that 'liquid calories' don't count. Rest assured, your body WILL absorb them as fat, so you need to take liquid, 'healthy' calories into account. Reducing or eliminating sugar from your diet as much as possible can't hurt either IMO.