Whether you drink it for the sweet sugary taste, the caffeine boost or that famous fizzy feeling, the fact remains, soda can hinder your weight loss and can negatively impact your overall health. Soda is notoriously full of sugar and empty calories, meaning you get almost no nutritional value from it. One look at the nutrition facts label and you’ll see that a 12-fluid ounce can of soda contains 150 calories, 15 milligrams of sodium and 39 grams of carbohydrates while a 20-fluid ounce bottle of soda (more commonly seen today), contains about 240 calories, 75 milligrams of sodium and 65 grams of carbohydrates per bottle.
The real problem with soda comes from the whopping amount of sugar it contains. Soda is a very sweet drink, which is part of the reason many people love it so much, but added sugars like those found in soda are not necessary in our diets and offer no nutritional value. A 12-fluid ounce can of soda has about eight teaspoons of sugar while a 20-fluid ounce bottle contains 13 teaspoons. These amounts may not seem overwhelming, but according to the American Heart Association, men should have no more than nine teaspoons of added sugar a day and women should have no more than six teaspoons a day. So, this means a man consuming one can of soda is just one teaspoon shy of his daily sugar limit. For women, consuming one can exceeds the recommended daily sugar amount by two teaspoons. So, ladies, if you drink a can of soda a day, anything else you eat or drink with added sugar will be putting you over your daily value of recommended sugar. Of course, indulging in a soda can occasionally is okay, but for those of you with a bad daily habit, you may be setting yourself up for increased health risks and detrimental effects to your weight. So, if you are looking to break your soda habit, these helpful tips will help you to just that:
Cut Back Over Time – If you’re a hardcore soda addict, you may need to taper your soda intake, so you do not overwhelm yourself mentally or physically with the caffeine cutback. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says you should cut back each week until you reach your target goal, which should be well under one serving a day. If you are trying to trim down, you should probably limit yourself to a few sodas a week since a can a day still means exceeding your recommended daily value of sugar. When you do indulge, drink your soda earlier in the day so you have more time to burn off the calories and sugar.
Choose a Healthy Replacement – Since aspartame and other ingredients found in diet soda are also linked to health risks, it’s better not to replace soda with diet soda. Replacing soda with more natural alternatives can help you break the habit and improve your everyday diet. For a caffeine fix or energy boost, try a green tea which contains a good amount of caffeine and may even offer health benefits, not to mention it tastes good! For a sweetness fix try fruit juices with no added sugars. Look for labels that say 100% fruit juice. For a fizzy fix, try a sparkling water without any added sugars or sweeteners. You’ll get your fizzy fix and you can even add some berries, mint or cucumbers to make it extra refreshing.
Be Mindful – Writing down your goals on a sticky note on the fridge, on your mirror or any place you can see them daily will set you up to stay on track. Before you put the money in the vending machine, think about your current weight loss progress and whether it’s worth that small can of overly carbonated sugar water.
As we all know, breaking a bad habit is hard, so I hope these tips help you to eventually eliminate soda from your diet and until next time, stay happy, healthy and beautiful!