If you want to lose weight, one of the most important things that you can do for yourself is to give up drinking soda. If you are concerned about optimal health, this includes diet soda as well as normal, sugary sodas.
Why Soda Is Bad
Instead of using sugar, most sodas--including Coke and Pepsi--are made with high fructose corn syrup. This high fructose corn syrup is far worse for your body and weight loss efforts than regular sugar, especially in excess. Because sodas offer very few nutrients, there are few reasons to keep them in your diet when trying to lose weight.
Sodas also provide what is called empty calories. A single serving of soda can add over 100 calories to your diet. If you consider that most sodas are served in greater amounts that one serving at fast food chains and regular restaurants, you can start to see how detrimental they really can be. Therefore, without even noticing, you could add 200 to 300 calories (and beyond) to a single meal from a simple beverage. That is more than the actual calorie value of some diet meals!
Some people might then think that switching to diet sodas is preferable. However, many health experts don't recommend diet sodas, with their artificial sweeteners and sodium.
Strategies to Stop Drinking Soda
Start by taking soda away from one meal at first, if you're someone who has soda with every meal. If you have soda once a day, have less of it. Start by slowly weaning your way off of it. Green tea is a much healthier choice for a caffeine replacement, and it's ideal for a diet. It has no calories, antioxidants and is believed to up your metabolism on a daily basis.
Focus on the tastes of your meal. Water can help you focus on how the food tastes, instead of on the sweet taste of the soda. Drink more water. When you're full from water, you won't as readily crave sodas and other things that are bad for you. Also, try adding natural juices to your diet. Although juice may have as many calories as soda, it's full of nutrients and will leave you ultimately more satisfied.
Reward yourself each day that you don't drink soda by giving yourself small, non-food-related rewards. Do something small for yourself, such as reading a favorite magazine for an hour or a long bubble bath. Be self-indulgent, but don't indulge in sodas.
How Much Weight Can Be Lost
How much weight that you will lose from the cessation of drinking soda depends on a few things. Factors include how much soda you previously drank, how much you cut back, what is used to replace the soda, your own metabolism and calories consumed. It takes burning 3,500 calories in excess of the normal amount of calories you need each day for your body to lose one pound of fat. Therefore, if you had at least three serving sizes of soda a day, you could lose a pound per month from getting rid of soda from your diet alone. If you drank a lot of soda, you can lose several pounds per month from giving up soda.