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How To Kick A Soda Habit

how to kick a soda habit

Are you addicted to soda? Do you like to pour back those pops? Drinking these sugary beverages has been associated with rotting teeth and obesity.

It doesn’t matter if they’re organic, if they use real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. Drinking sweet drinks is simply not good for your health. Downing just two sugar-laden fizzy drinks per week has been shown to increase risk of pancreatic cancer.

And, if you think you’re safe because you drink an artificially-sweetened pop, think again. Even those have been associated with kidney decline and weight gain.

So, what’s a health-conscious person supposed to do? Here are my tips for kicking your soda habit.


Make Your Own Soda

I know! It seems hard. But it’s ridiculously easy.

And it’s fun!

If you like fruity flavors, try combining seltzer water and fruit juice at a 3:1 ratio.

Kick Soda Habit Homemade Soda

Others surprise themselves by adding seltzer water to a creamy coffee, or by mixing vanilla extract and honey into seltzer water to create a classic cream soda.

homemade soda - soda siphonIf you’re going to give making homemade soda a real chance, I recommend buying a soda siphon like this one.

I use it to carbonate my own water.

This way, I know that my water is beautifully clean and pure. I’ve got a Berkey Water Purifier with the attached fluoride filter, so I know my water is 100% safe and chemical-free. (where to buy Berkey water purifiers)

Alternatively, you could try it out with plain, store-bought seltzer water like this one from Blue Sky.

Start Drinking Kombucha

This is how I beat my own addiction to Dr. Pepper!

Kombucha is mildly tart and sweet, wonderfully fizzy, probiotic, and full of energy-boosting B vitamins.

Also, because it’s a naturally-fermented beverage, it can help zap sugar cravings.

You can start by buying store-bought kombucha to see if the beverage grows on you. If you like it, then consider making your own kombucha at home. Here’s how I make homemade kombucha.

Make Water Kefir Soda

Kefir Soda Pop

Like kombucha, water kefir is a fizzy and naturally-fermented, probiotic beverage.

Ann Marie of Cheeseslave has a great post on making homemade kefir soda pop.

Notice a trend?

Quitting things cold-turkey can be hard.

If you’ve tried to stop drinking soda and failed, then perhaps it’s time to start eliminating the bad by crowding it out with better alternatives.

Each of these alternatives is far healthier for you than store-bought sodas.

Give them a try and let me know what you think!

Did you successfully kick a soda habit?

How did you do it? Let us know in the comments. What you say can help some other poor soul stop drinking soda once and for all.

(photo top: andrewa11, photo of fruit soda: aida_mollenkamp, photo of kefir soda pop: cheeseslave)

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I am a passionate advocate for REAL FOOD -- food that's sustainable, organic, local, and traditionally-prepared according to the wisdom of our ancestors. I'm also an author and a nutrition educator. I enjoy playing in the rain, a good bottle of Caol Ila scotch, curling up with a page-turning book, sunbathing on my hammock, and watching my three children explore their world.
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68 Responses to How To Kick A Soda Habit
  1. Julie Rains
    January 28, 2013 | 1:36 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this. Are you psychic? Haha. I am currently having a really hard time kicking my Dr. Pepper habit. This has given me some more ideas on what to do to push it out without feeling like I’ll die if I don’t have one soon. Of course, when I do have one it is like mana from heaven and I can’t get enough. I’m going to look for some of these drinks and try making my own. Thank you.

    • KristenM
      January 28, 2013 | 4:07 pm

      I hope it helps!

  2. Andrea
    January 28, 2013 | 2:29 pm

    Great post! Pop=liquid poison (in my view)

    My adult son started drinking pop (I would never buy the stuff) when he became an adult & could come & go as he pleased. I was very disappointed. He’s been trying to beat the habit & one of the things he says really helps him is naturally-carbonated mineral water. It’s in glass bottles, there’s a natural “fizz” to it, and it quenches the thirst if you’re wanting the fizz. He said that’s the thing he craves the most… not the sugar but the fizz.

    –Andrea
    XOXOXO

    • KristenM
      January 28, 2013 | 4:08 pm

      That’s why each one of these alternatives is fizzy!

  3. erin
    January 28, 2013 | 2:49 pm

    i just recently kicked and soda AND soda habit, and i feel SO much better! i actually replaced them both with green juice and haven’t missed it a bit! thanks for the post!

  4. Amy
    January 28, 2013 | 3:14 pm

    I’m one month pop free, which is a huge deal to me as someone who always had a bottle of pop on her desk at work and thought i couldnt make it through the day without it. I just keep focusing on how much better I feel without pop! No more bloated, sluggish feeling after drinking a bottle at work. No more 3pm crash. And sure, i still get a craving as i pass the pop machine in my office. But I beat it by keeping my office stocked with water and juice, and focusing on a health new me :) Thanks for this article – i’m going to try some of these suggestions for pop replacements

    • KristenM
      January 28, 2013 | 4:10 pm

      Congratulations on your success. :)

  5. a. borealis
    January 28, 2013 | 4:37 pm

    I’ve never been addicted myself, thank goodness. My husband beat his addiction very similarly to a previous poster: mineral water. He liked the fizz. :)

  6. Kristie
    January 28, 2013 | 8:02 pm

    What a great idea :-) I have cut out about 98% of the pop I drink (I have an occasional one with regular sugar once or twice a month). For me, it wasn’t about needing a substitute. I LOVED Dr Pepper, and drank a ton of regular and diet. I found myself having pain in my knees and feet, and my thumb started hurting and swelling. I was in so much pain I could hardly walk each morning. I did some research and found I was having gout-like symptoms (I am in my 30s!). Apparently fructose is a suspected trigger food. After cutting out soda, my pain level decreased by at least 1/2 to 2/3 of what it was! :-) Now I am working cutting out processed stuff, hoping my pain will go away totally!

    • Allison C Bayer
      January 29, 2013 | 1:12 pm

      Great for you Kristie! I want to really encourage you to work on cutting out the processed stuff. My gout was contributed by all the inflammation in my body with bad/processed food choices I was making. Once I started eating “clean” no more gout!! The ringing in my ears stopped too. Our bodies are letting us know we need to make changes; so lets make them. It is so worth the sacrifices you make now. I’m rooting for you!!

  7. Jo-De Davis
    January 28, 2013 | 8:42 pm

    My husband wanted to kick his soda habit three years ago, and I told him, as you suggested here, to combine seltzer and a splash of juice and he’s never drunk a soda since! We have a New Year’s Day party every year and we used our leftover (unopened) sodas from 2012 at our 2013 party this year! Had a brief thought about filling the Scouting for Food bags (Boy Scouts) with them, but truly would not consider giving those young men such awful, horrid, reching beverages!

  8. Carolyn
    January 28, 2013 | 8:49 pm

    When I was 13 (I’m 59 now) I decided I needed to kick my diet soda habit. I made a new rule for myself: I HAD to drink a full can of TAB right before going to bed. Within a week, the stomach upset and having to wake up in e middle of the night to pee the stuff out got to me and I was done with soda for life
    Years later, I found myself drinking a raspberry peach SNAPPLE everyday for lunch. One of my employees accused me of being addicted to them, to,d me I couldn’t quit. What incredibly stubborn person could turn down a dare like that? I proved her wrong and never had another one
    Now I make tea with filtered water and a little raw honey or I drink filtered water, raw milk or juiced vegetables

  9. Lea
    January 28, 2013 | 8:55 pm

    I had a serious Diet Coke habit. I drank it for years. Then I began to have severe dizzy spells. My chiropractor gave me a book about aspartame (NutraSweet) and it said that dizzy spells was a common side effect. So I stopped cold turkey because I felt so bad. The dizzy spells were gone within a few days. I started drinking plain water and now I love it. I very rarely ever drink soda. I also have gout, so I can’t drink regular soda, because the high fructose corn syrup really makes my gout flare.

    • KristenM
      January 28, 2013 | 10:23 pm

      Anytime I read up on aspartame, I marvel that people STILL consider it the healthier alternative.

    • rachel
      March 3, 2013 | 7:28 pm

      this same thing happened to my mom! it started out as dizzy spells at first, but it got much worse. one night she had this weird seizure and didn’t know where she was. i was 11 when that happened and scared to death, as there were no other adults around. we went to the hospital and the doctors couldn’t find a thing wrong with her. she was going through CASES of diet coke in a very short time. she keep drinking it and continued to feel terrible. she had no clue the DC was causing it. luckily one day a lady she worked with mentioned how bad aspertame is and that it could be causing her illness. mom still didn’t want to give it up(it is likle a drug!), but when she finally did ALL of her symptoms DISSAPEARED! she hasn’t touched it since. aspertame is FAR worse than most people know. the FDA knows how bad this stuff is, yet the continue to deem it ok. how can they knowingly allow something that causes serious, potentially lethal illness??? now i just have to give up my addiction to regular coke…! great advice, i will try it!

  10. stuart large
    January 28, 2013 | 10:21 pm

    Well I live in Philippines, so it was very easy for me to kick my soda habit, I just buy up to thirty green coconuts per week, cut open as needed, put the water in the fridge to cool, and I have a healthy low calorie, low sugar drink that’s delicious.

    • KristenM
      January 28, 2013 | 10:22 pm

      I’m jealous! I love coconut water.

    • Robin Helms
      January 29, 2013 | 10:38 am

      That sounds delicious…Think I may buy a coconut!

  11. AmandaLP
    January 28, 2013 | 11:23 pm

    I’ve now gone 3.5 weeks without soda. Didn’t really do anything to quit, just decided that soa wasn’t worth it to me, and I felt guilty drinking it while talking about my food having to be better.

    I really wish I could have gotten some amazing “I feel so much better” reactions for quitting. But, other than some intense cravings and dreaming about it, I pretty much feel the exact same.

    • KristenM
      January 28, 2013 | 11:24 pm

      LOL. I also didn’t get any great reactions for quitting. I just figured I *ought* to because surely all that sugar couldn’t be good for me!

  12. Lee
    January 29, 2013 | 7:40 am

    Those are some really great tips! I have quit drinking soda for almost 3 weeks now and I did it cold turkey. I just did it to see if I could do it because for years I told myself that since I didn’t drink that much soda in the first place, I wouldn’t need to stop. I feel less bloated (because I drank the diet stuff), don’t need to worry about how much Coke I drank before bed so I could actually sleep, and am now saving a couple of bucks every week. I recommend drinking sugar-free flavored seltzer water (the ones that don’t have any sweeteners–real or artificial–at all) and lots of tea in order to kick the habit. Best of luck to all those attempting!

  13. RSB
    January 29, 2013 | 9:41 am

    I got up to brush my teeth one morning and realized with GREAT horror, that the “food” stuck between them was ROT! Cavities! The cost of dental work exceeds $3,000 to “fix” what soda did. I just think of that and my teeth falling out and all the hours of dental work, pain, embarrassment every time some well meaning soul says, “I think you’ve got some food stuck between your teeth.” I’ve switched to green iced tea (NO SUGAR!) which is wonderful. I drink the fizzy flavored seltzer water (Mandarin Orange is fav) if I crave the fizz. But good old bottled water is fine now.

  14. Tracey Cullen
    January 29, 2013 | 9:54 am

    I had a love affair with Diet Coke for approximately 25 years. I switched to a combination of black teas, white teas, and fruit teas sweetened with organic Stevia. Best choice ever!!! It is absolutely delicious and healthy and do not miss the soda!

  15. Jorjan W
    January 29, 2013 | 9:58 am

    What about the Blue Sky Free sodas that are sweetened with Stevia? That is the only sodas we have.

  16. Saeriu
    January 29, 2013 | 9:58 am

    We’ve pretty much kicked the habit. I probably have only one a month. I started with reducing all other sugars. Then, it just started tasting too sweet. Even now when I have a Sprite, I water it down about 50% because it’s too sweet. Half water, half Sprite, and a slice of lemon–much better for me, but not perfect.

  17. Heather
    January 29, 2013 | 10:40 am

    I needed the kick in the butt reminder… Used to brew my own kombucha & had the soda habit nipped in the bud! But things happened, as things tend to do… And the diet soda made a stealthy comeback! I need to kick it, badly! Off to get my tea & sugar out, and check out my scoby to see if it still looks good!

    • Michael Walters
      January 29, 2013 | 8:15 pm

      Yes Heather get back to the kombucha tea. I use to drink Dite coke all the time 2L to 3L a day quit and started drinking the kombucha tea now I wouldn’t even want a pop over the kombucha tea. get that SCOBY going.

  18. Robin Helms
    January 29, 2013 | 10:40 am

    I have been soda free for only 3 days! I have to admit it is so hard to not reach for those soft drinks…I am feeling better, but I think I am having sort of a withdrawal from them..I am looking forward to when I can say I have been soda, splenda and nutrasweet free for a year!

    • Allison C Bayer
      January 29, 2013 | 1:18 pm

      Hi Robin, Hurray for being soda free for three WHOLE days! Yes, you will have withdrawls. Knowing that will help you come up with a plan to deal with them. What got me thinking was a sign in downtown Ottawa, Canada when we were on vacation. Each Coke ad at the bus stops had “POISON” spray painted on them. Poison? Really? Yes, do the research and it will convince you that the sales are more important to the company than your health. They have not received any of my money since the early 1980’s. Also, the book “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water” by Dr. Batman
      was a real eye opener!! I’m rooting for you to win the battle!!

      • Robin Helms
        January 30, 2013 | 12:56 am

        Thanks so much,Allison!

  19. Nicole
    January 29, 2013 | 11:12 am

    When I was a young teen (12-13-ish) I used to drink 48 ounces of soda a day. As I got older, and learned more, I substituted water for 24 of those ounces and felt better for it. When I reached college I was drinking 32 ounces of water a day, but still drinking about 24 ounces of soda. When I reached 23 or so I was down to one can of soda a day, but when I managed to go a day without soda, the next day I would have three times as much. I was drinking 64 ounces of water at this point, but even more water wasn’t helping. So I turned to a developing love of mine: tea. There are so many varieties, so many flavors, so many taste buds to explore! I started drinking tea when I wanted soda. The sweeter teas (clarification: the teas that had fruit or naturally sweet spices, not those with unhealthy amounts of sugar added) were the best, because my tongue still registered sugar, even if there wasn’t any in my cup. Using tea as my crutch, I’ve managed to stop drinking soda entirely. About six, maybe seven, months ago I stopped drinking soda every day. Then I stopped drinking it for a few days at a time. There were a few slip-ups, but I stayed the course, as it were. When I got to a week without, I celebrated with something else sweet – a piece of truly decadent cake, for example. Then I went a month. After that, I didn’t even need the sugar prize. Now I get my sugar from my breakfast – 2 clementines and a banana. If I’m craving something sweeter during the day, I grab another clementine. I still drink a sweeter tea occasionally, but by completely cutting the soda out of my diet, I’ve noticed that I don’t like the flavor of many sweet things anymore. I almost couldn’t even eat my birthday cake a few weeks ago, and that was a spice cake! If I can offer any advice to someone it’s this: DON’T GO COLD TURKEY! It’s immensely easier to gradually let go, using a crutch if you have to, than to just stop entirely. Also, I found that drinking more water (I’m at about 76 ounces a day), especially in conjunction with fresh fruit, helped more than anything.

    That’s my story! I hope it helps someone.

  20. Nadine Feldman
    January 29, 2013 | 11:47 am

    I have tried unsuccessfully to kick the habit for years. This past year I learned about kombucha, and it’s the first time I’ve found a flavor that I prefer to the diet soda. Though I haven’t stopped entirely, I am in transition and am making good progress. It’s the most hopeful I’ve been.

    I also have been experimenting with different homemade soda recipes, and I also really like Rosemary Gladstar’s Root Beer Tea recipe. It can stand on its own with natural sweetness of the herbs, or combined with carbonated water to make it more soda-like.

  21. LisaJP
    January 29, 2013 | 11:52 am

    I LOVE Coca Cola and then my second choice would’ve been Mountain Dew. Yuck! I watched a lecture on YouTube called ‘Sugar-The Bitter Truth.’ Can’t stand the thought of drinking any of it now. Poison! Dr. Lustig suggests keeping only water and milk in your house, so that’s what we do. I was also a fruit juice junky, buying a gallon of Dole Orange/Peach/Mango a week. I’d splash a little of it in a glass of Diet 7-UP thinking I was doing better than drinking soda. NOT, especially after I read what you wrote about how they really make the fruit juices. Thanks for that, by the way! :)

  22. Carmen
    January 29, 2013 | 11:59 am

    I did my second Whole 30 starting September 16, 2012. I haven’t had any pop since then. Sometimes I think I want one, then I just tell myself “I don’t drink pop.” I’m 50 and it’s been a lifelong habit, but I feel so much better without all that sugar in my system, not to mention all the other chemicals and poisons.

    Great ideas for alternatives, though at this point I’m mostly happy with water, some tea, and a treat of kombucha every now and then.

  23. Kara
    January 29, 2013 | 12:10 pm

    Also: Oxymels

    An Oxymel is a concoction of herbs infused in vinegar and honey over about 6 weeks. I put about four large table spoons in a half pint jar, add herbs, fill with vinegar, and stir. Let this sit for a number of weeks, and then strain. Remember to put a slip of parchment paper between the metal jar lid and the Oxymel to the metal won’t react and rust. I add this syrup to soda water.

    some fun flavors:
    Chai spice – clove, cinnnamon, allspice, black pepper, star anise, cardamom

    elderflower

    lemongrass and ginger (tastes a lot like coke…)

    thyme

    plus, if you use apple cider vinegar and local honey you get all the health benefits of these ingredients, plus the herbs.

    Sometimes, I just make my own herb infused simple syrups and add that to soda water, but that doesn’t cut down on sugar much. I’m in it for the herbs.

    enjoy!

    • Laura
      February 2, 2013 | 12:12 pm

      I’ve never heard of oxymels. I’ve been experimenting with shrubs using fresh fruit macerated in Vinegar and honey. They take around 10 days before you strain the syrup into bottles. The ratio is about 1 oz syrup to 8 oz bubbly or still water. Tonic syrup is another one. I guess that is more like an oxymel since it uses mostly herbs and aromatics steeped in water and vinegar, with the honey added later. I’m going to go look oxymels up online:)

  24. Matthew Schomburg
    January 29, 2013 | 12:55 pm

    When I first tried to kick my 8 diet pepsi a day habit I would suffer terrible caffeine withdrawal hadaches. So I immediately went back to it. I tried again but this tim I bought a soda stream because it’s the fizz I really like and opted to flavor my purified water with lemon or limes opting to avoid their flavors. That helped with the fizz addiction but then I heard that Excedrin has a lot of caffeine so Whenever I would feel the headache coming on I would take an excedrin. The headache would dissipate and the time periods between excedrins would lengthen until one Saturday at bedtime I thought to myself, wow no excedrin today or in the past two days. My addiciton was gone to both diet pepsi and caffeine. Now I drink water from my soda stream, save lots of money, help the envirnoment with no more of those empty plastic bottles, have lost weight and feel so much better.

  25. Allison C Bayer
    January 29, 2013 | 1:08 pm

    Quit in 1986 after reading the book “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water” by Dr. Batman. I weaned myself from SIX regular Cokes a day (hey, they were just .25 cent each — worked for an airline at the time) down to a half a Coke a day. When I left the company, I left my desire for sodas. That was a GOOD day!!

  26. Michelle
    January 29, 2013 | 1:38 pm

    I kicked the “soda habit” last year after really reading how bad those fake sugars (and high fructose corn syrup too) is for us. I decided to just stop buying it. It actually also coincided with the purchase of a juicer and the creation of my blog (JuicingJuice.com). I could not believe all that I was (and still am) reading about our American diets and how bad almost any commercial product is for us.

    All the research I’ve done for my blog really opened my eyes to the dangers of the foods we all typically consume. Genetically modified foods are another big worry. I’ve switched to buying mostly organic if it contains soy (huge % is GMO), corn, canola. High fructose CORN syrup is made from corn, so, is it gmo too???? Most likely since thats a huge gmo crop. The corn “seed” is called “Roundup Ready” because it is genetically modified to withstand regular dousing with Round Up. YUM!

    Nice post, by the way! :)

  27. Mary B
    January 29, 2013 | 2:26 pm

    I used to drink lots of diet coke. That was about 3 years ago. At that time I read some of Dr Mercola’s articles on aspartame. After reading those I quit drinking diet sodas right away. I usually drink water or tea (unsweetened). Once in awhile if I really want a soda I get a Zevia. They’re sweetened with stevia.

  28. Julee
    January 29, 2013 | 5:44 pm

    I used to drink at least 6 Diet Mountain Dews a day. Before those were available, I drank Diet Coke and before Diet Coke was available, I drank TAB. Yes.

    My health suffered terribly and I do believe the artificial sweeteners and mineral-wasting chemicals had a lot to do with it.

    By the time I was trying to kick Dew, it seemed to me that caffeine was not the only addictive substance in the diet soda. I would try to replace it with tea or even coffee – only to have MASSIVE withdrawal symptoms in spite of having the same amount of caffeine.

    It turns out that the artificial sweetener might be addictive, too.

    I quit 5 years ago. Just walked away from them and went through the 3 days of h3ll. Haven’t had one since. Had a 1-can relapse about 1 year in and realized that it didn’t even really taste good!

    After reading some of the information available on artificial sweeteners (Dr. M), I’m surprised my health has made the comeback it has.

  29. Rob H
    January 29, 2013 | 5:47 pm

    Excellent write up, can’t wait to try some of these alternatives although I already kicked the “pop” habit a long time ago. For me a few things culminated at once, for example I just learned about the dangers of HFCS and at the same time was trying to cut back my calories and it hit me! Why in the world, when I’ve barely been allotted such a limited calorie intake in order to lose weight, would I decide to take in an extra 300-600 calories a day in liquids? Especially such malnutritious calories. I switched over to drinking water, and lots of it. Now when I drink soda it actually taste like the chemical concoction it truly is. Not good at all! Just give it a chance! If there’s hope for me there’s hope for anyone.

  30. Michael Walters
    January 29, 2013 | 7:57 pm

    I stopped drinking Coke Cola and Dr. Pepper the day after the Christmas and don’t miss at all after drink it for 50 years. I mostly stopped because its unhealthy and the aspartame is not good for you plus its a GMO which I am avoiding now as well and I’m 58 and going healthy so pop was out. I started by drinking lemon green tea then I found kombucha tea Synergy brand and I loved the taste. I started with the cherry Chia first then tried the other flavors and just loved it but it was expensive to drink at 2.69 a 16 oz bottle. I learned how to make it and now make my own and love the results. I’m on my 3rd batch now and brewing 3 gallons at a time.

  31. Jamie
    January 30, 2013 | 7:49 am

    I stopped drinking pop a little over 1 year ago. My favorite was any type of cola, but it was the fizz that a really craved. I went cold turkey because I had too much trouble drinking pop in moderation. If I had a cola today I would probably go back to drinking it everyday. I didn’t notice feeling any different, but I was very proud of myself for breaking the habit.

  32. Moni
    January 31, 2013 | 3:05 pm

    It helps to be knowledgable of not only what is in soda, but what it does to the body, both short term and long term. When we went Paleo, we have up soda cold turkey. We already only drank it outside of the house, when out and about. I do still think, oh the burn of a Pepsi would be nice right now, but I would never actually have one. I get sick with a sugar hangover if I indulge in sugar and a soda would be WAY more sugar than I have indulged in since going paleo.

  33. Celeste
    January 31, 2013 | 4:15 pm

    Others have mentioned sparkling water, that helped me too, especially ones with lime in it for a hint of flavor. I wouldn’t do the juice/seltzer idea because juice has a ton of calories/carbs. One thing that helped me was taking nutritional greens (drink) and they gave me a big energy boost…part of what I had liked from Coke Zero was the caffeine, as I don’t drink coffee.
    I fall off the wagon from time to time, as I love having a drink in my hands. Just using a pretty plastic cup with a fancy straw helps me chug more water through the day. Starbucks brewed Passion Tea, unsweetened is nice too. You can make your own sun tea with your fav flavor and add seltzer to keep it low cal.

  34. Dr pepper junkie
    January 31, 2013 | 11:45 pm

    I have quit before and started up again months later. I don’t like the carbonation, I love the sweet, smooth flavor. I do not drink any alcohol, smoke, and I try to exercise. The best I have been able to achieve is cutting down to one a day, sometimes skipping a day.

    Any suggestions? I really do not like the fizz. I even think flat dr pepper tastes better, more sweeter.

    • KristenM
      January 31, 2013 | 11:48 pm

      If the fizz doesn’t do it for you, try switching to hot tea sweetened with honey.

      Eventually you can wean yourself off the caffeine and start making herbal teas, and then you can wean yourself off the honey!

      If it has to be cold, then serve yourself COLD sweetened teas.

  35. Teri Roy
    February 1, 2013 | 10:02 am

    I successfully kicked soda’s behind and had only ONE drink of carbonated beverage of any kind for the year 2012! How did I do it? My 15 year old son declared this to be his New Year’s resolution for 2012 – NO SODA. I realized that my kids were making simple, specific commitments to good health and I needed be the parent and walk the journey with them! In other words – GUILT! haha. Every time I craved that Coke, and believe me – I craved it – my thoughts would turn toward my incredible young man, who was counting on me and I on him. Only on my birthday in June, I was given 1 cup of Coke as I sat by the pool. I literally cried. It was my little “gift.” Once we celebrated at midnight 2013, we both popped open a delicious bottle of nicely chilled Coca~Cola. I couldn’t even finish it! I now have soda on certain occasions, but it is NOT my beverage choice . Now I gotta learn to kick the iced tea habit!

  36. Mary Wallis
    February 1, 2013 | 12:22 pm

    In my early 20s I was ADDICTED to diet coke. I’m talking it was bad enough that I would wake up at 2 in the morning and drive to 7-11 to get a 20 ounce. While traveling in Mexico I wanted nothing more than to return home because in Mexico they only carried a product called “coke lite” instead of Diet Coke – it wasn’t the same formula. After years of trying to quite cold turkey, I just started drinking club soda – often with lime. It phased out my coke addiction and I haven’t had a coke in years now. I also no longer drink anything with caffeine – Club soda/seltzer water is something I still drink on a daily basis. My son calls it “bubble water” and if he wants a “treat” beverage he asks for some “bubble water “.

  37. Paige
    February 1, 2013 | 7:30 pm

    I was a Coke addict, and June 1, 2012 I quit my Diet Coke habit for good after reading The Hormone Diet by Dr. Natasha Turner and Master Your Metabolism by Jillan Michaels. I never had a craving for one after I started calling them poison. Occasionally I drink a Zevia or Krisda soda, sweetened with stevia, but that’s it.

  38. Steve Roy
    February 2, 2013 | 10:08 pm

    Kristen,
    Cool site and interesting article, but I have to ask why do we need to make our own soda or find obscure sugar replacements?
    I literally drank 2 Red Bull’s every day for 7 years in addition to drinking at least 2 Dr. Pepper’s as well.
    Of course I had a wicked caffeine addiction and my body craved that high fructose, but when I decided to quit (2 months ago), I just did it.

    I felt like shit for 4 days after I quit, but then it was over. I just don’t see the need to try to trick our bodies into thinking we haven’t quit.

    Just my 2 cents though..
    My recommendation to those fellow addicts, just make the decision to stop drinking that garbage and then do it. It won’t be as bad as you think (after a few days of hell, of course)..

  39. Liz
    February 2, 2013 | 10:13 pm

    Hmmm…that’s strange I got an email about Walmart wanting GMO’s lables, clicked the link to keep reading the story and ended up here….twice….what’s that all about????

  40. Purple
    February 3, 2013 | 3:21 am

    I got out of sugary & sodium loaded sodas/drinks by drinking Perrier with lime and other sparkling waters. Seems I like the carbonation. So i got DIY carbonating bottle and drink a lot of water and green tea. Now the tea & water make up 80% of what I drink…the fizzy water is the rest. The longer I went without sugared sodas, the crappier they’d taste and make my body feel!!!
    It takes patience and I consider food as “poison” or “medicine”…bad for the body and mind or good for body and mind by feeling better and more energy, at minimum.

  41. Rebecca
    February 6, 2013 | 4:06 pm

    I quit soda cold turkey. Well, processed soda, anyway. I drink an occasional Zevia (Which is the all natural stevia soda). I get most of my liquids from water, milk and tea.

    Soda (And processed sugars) are way too bad for you to even ingest “just a little”. I think it is equivalent to what the EPA labels as a class A carginogen… NO SAFE EXPOSURE LEVEL.

    I just can’t believe how much I used to drink! YIKES!

  42. Holly
    February 7, 2013 | 9:58 pm

    I kicked my lifelong Coca-Cola habit last year. First I switched to Ginger Ale, which is just as bad for you. But it helped me ease into becoming a Seltzer drinker. Now I only drink Lemon-Lime flavored Seltzer and I answer the craving for sweets with high quality dark chocolate when necessary.

    Today, I walked by a sales display for Coca-Cola and I literally averted my eyes and left the aisle. So yeah, it’s not easy.

  43. Judi
    February 22, 2013 | 12:46 am

    I am going to continue to keep a watch on this site for support and ideas. I am going to try to kick my soda habit. And as with any addiction it is helpful if you find support. I know that my soda habit is way out of control. I did finally get a Kombucha SCOBY to grow so I am making my first batch of that and I will be getting some Kefir water grains soon. I already started Kefir milk sooo good. I want to quit drinking soda to not only be healthier but to loose some weight, I am concerned though if I add fruit juice to seltzer won’t that defeat the purpose of the weight loss. Or is it still better than drinking a soda, I also love sweet tea but know that can be just as bad as soda. Any ideas?

  44. Wendy
    March 3, 2013 | 10:27 pm

    I was on a 21 day cleanse and could not drink soda. I used to be a huge soda drinker. Now I am dropping both sugar and soda (among other things). I Drank seltzer water flavored but not with sugar. It is sparkly like a soda but there is no sugar. I am on day 21 of my cleanse and hope to never go back to soda ever.

  45. Carolyn G.
    April 29, 2013 | 2:03 pm

    I’m on day 3 of my new Coca-cola free life. I’ve been addicted for years and on Friday, my dentist asked me if I drink a lot of soda. That was it! No more! I never really feel “great” so I’m hoping this is good for my overall well-being. I also have 3 daughters who need to drink WAY less soda themselves…and I need to set a good example.
    So far, it’s been “cold turkey”, but I am feeling withdrawal symptoms (headaches etc.) I think I’ll try the seltzer water. Hopefully, that will get me over this hump.

  46. Kelley J.
    May 9, 2013 | 12:58 pm

    I kicked the soda habit when I first found out I was pregnant. I didnt want the caffiene to affect the baby, not to mention save a little money on my grocery bill. I realized it wasn’t the bubbles that I craved, but the sweetness. So anytime I craved a soda, instead I drank juice.
    Now that I’ve had my son, I had my first soda and now I don’t see why I started drinking it in the first place. I’m proud to say I’ve liberated myself from soda!

  47. Jennifer
    May 9, 2013 | 3:12 pm

    I have been soda-free for almost 2 months. It started when I really started tracking the calories I consumed and realized how many calories I was wasting every day on junk drinks. I slowly tried to cut down. Then, Obama signed the Monsanto Protection Act and that really sparked my attention towards GMOs and woke me up to the scary reality of our food supply. Since that happened, I am literally disgusted by the thought of all the poisons in processed food and drinks. I have since tried to drink Pepsi (my former fav) twice as a treat and both times, I took a sip or two and couldn’t even drink it. It doesn’t even taste good to me anymore – the sweetness is just nasty to me – and this is something I used to drink every single day.

    It’s amazing what you can do when you really believe in something…

  48. Andrew
    September 25, 2013 | 7:46 am

    I used to drink a 300 ml coke bottle in the day and 2 glasses of coke before I went to bed. I recently got angry at that habit and completely kicked out soda so much so that there is a bottle in my refrigerator that I keep there as a test of my resolve. Every time I open the door, my hand goes for the water bottle. The feeling is great! I even feel healthier!

  49. Aleisha
    October 5, 2013 | 3:52 pm

    Hi All, I am currently trying to kick the habit I did so well for about a month but as soon as I got a taste of coca cola I went back to drinking at least one or two a day. I know that’s not as much as most but it’s still doing my body harm :( my partner got me a soda stream and I would like to know if that is any good for you? I had a look at the syrup you buy at Kmart to use does anyone know if its ok or just as bad? Also Schweppes have a mineral water fizzy drink is that bad? Please help I’m trying but this is ALL new to me thanks x

  50. Natalie
    October 5, 2013 | 5:36 pm

    I mix carbonated water (from my sodastream) with tea. Any fruity or citrus flavor works, as does ginger. Same ‘feel’ as pop, but no calories.

  51. Kim
    November 12, 2013 | 9:42 pm

    I just had to go cold turkey. Get it out of the house & don’t buy it. I didn’t like water before that. Now I drink water 98% of the time. I do drink iced tea once in a while. I made that change over 20 years ago. Really glad I did.

  52. kelley
    November 12, 2013 | 10:35 pm

    I have been soda free now for about 2 years. It was a long process for me, but one that was obviously sustainable! At the point that I decided to quit soda, I was drinking diet coke by the case per week. A friend mentioned to me how bad artificial sweeteners are for your health, I researched it, and was horrified. I Immediately switched to Regular Coke Only to discover all of the awfulness of HFCS as well. Still addicted and feeling that I NEEDED soda, I then switched to glass bottled Mexican real sugar Coke. But then that got expensive and I started feeling frustrated with all the hoops I was jumping through JUST to keep an unimportant item in my life. So, I decided to try eliminating the caffeine conponent. I switched to natural sugar Sierra Mist. I drank this for a few months and realized I no longer needed the sweetness. Switched to sparkling water (unflavored) and have been hooked on that ever since. I feel better and healthier and am glad to no longer be dumping all that sugar into mouth and body!

  53. sweetmique
    September 16, 2014 | 11:43 am

    I have had a horrible addiction to soda for years that I have not been able to kick for more than a few days here or there. Right now I am down to only about a half of can a day. It’s much better than it used to be but I long to be free from it completely and once and for all. I never imagined that it would be this hard there are some great ideas here though that I am going to start implementing today. Thanks for the post and even some of the comments. Xoxo cheers!

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Who Am I?

My name is Kristen Michaelis. I'm a nutrition educator, author, and mother of three. I adore hats, happy skirts, horizons full of storm clouds, the full-bodied feel of wind as I ride motorcylces, reading in my hammock, and a hearty shot of Caol Ila scotch. I'm also a rebel with a cause.
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