Author Topic: Resolving to phase out soda  (Read 6805 times)

nstro3zy

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Resolving to phase out soda
« on: March 09, 2014, 05:08:28 PM »
I am a regular lurker but I believe this is my first actual post. My wife evakatharina posts often. Anyway, this is a huge deal for me. I've resolved to phase soda out of my life. I think it's kind of insulting to people with serious problems to refer to things as addictions that really aren't, but I sometimes feel like I'm exhibiting addictive behavior when it comes to soda. I've scaled down a lot over the past few years, mostly in the name of mustachianism, but I still can't help loving soda. If I could drink as much as I wanted with no consequences, it would be a lot, like way WAY too much, particularly Coke.

At my peak, when we were living a not aggressively anti-mustachian lifestyle in New York but simply didn't know how to manage money, I could easily down 40-60 oz. of sugary beverages in a day just by walking across the street to our corner store. Now I'm down to basically 16-20 oz. per day, give or take, but I'll sometimes find myself in a gas station parking lot scrounging for change under my car seats or something pathetic. It's largely associated with food for very convoluted reasons, since I don't like to eat very much because I associate food with anxiety attacks. It's something a professional would need to untangle. In any case, meals are often staged merely as an excuse to enjoy a soda, so I do think I've gotten into the addict feedback loop where my reward centers are warped and demand soda anytime I've made a habit of drinking one in the past, a la cigarette smokers and coffee. Like I can't eat a potato chip without immediately desiring a soda.

I shudder to think what my habit does to my body. I am not overweight, in fact I am quite thin and always have been, no matter my lifestyle choices (I ate at McDonald's all the time in my teen and college years but am now a vegetarian). It's been hard to get motivated when much of the literature on soda deals with obesity, and I could literally drink a gallon of soda per day and not see one extra pound. I mainly have problems with my teeth. Despite reasonable care, I have way too many cavities for someone my age (27) and even had to have a molar pulled in my late teens. I do not want dentures someday, but that's the path I'm on.

I quit cold turkey for six weeks a few years ago but fell off the wagon even worse than before. I'm not sure of the best way to go about it, but my issue last time was that I didn't do the classic "take it one day at a time," saw some sodas in a store, and started wondering how I'd go the rest of my life without a Coca-Cola. My friend says he deals with it by just allowing himself one very rarely. Anyway, I'm posting this in share your badassity because it sounds silly but it is a big deal for me to even get to this point. Soda is sadly kind of tied up with my identity with my family, like I always have to have a Coke at gatherings or whatever, and I don't want it to be like that anymore. Thanks for listening, I would love any and all encouragement!

Oh, and the most obvious thing, I am disgusted at the amount of money I waste on a toxic substance that is harming my body. We've made GREAT progress in managing our finances, but this is one area I HAVE to tamp down on or I'll feel like I'm not a true mustachian no matter what else we do.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2014, 05:10:10 PM by nstro3zy »

EK

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2014, 06:08:27 PM »
Way to go! I'll believe it when I see it ;D

lexie2000

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2014, 09:21:00 PM »
The first step in solving a problem is admitting that you have one.   I like to have a soda occasionally, especially when it's really hot and after I've been working in the garden.  It sounds like you might not be the type of person who cannot just have ONE as a treat or reward though.

Gook luck; I hope you can kick your habit.

 

Cwadda

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2014, 09:30:54 PM »
Some ideas I'm throwing out

-Have you tried gum as a substitute for the sugar?
-Do you drink soda with a straw so that it has less impact on your teeth?

nstro3zy

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2014, 09:38:20 PM »
Cwadda, I am not really a big gum chewer. I won't turn it down if offered, but it's just not my bag for some reason. Plus I don't want to waste the money on the copious amounts of gum that I'd end up chewing. It's a good tip, though. At work, which is one of my biggest trouble spots, I will suck nonstop on Dum-Dums, which are always in copious abundance, so I guess that's kind of similar.

When we lived in New York, I did start drinking soda with a straw, as that's the custom up there. Even when buying a soda in a bodega they'd offer you a straw, which seemed insane to me when we first moved, but it did help out with my teeth once I got into the habit. Much harder here in Virginia, unfortunately, where no one drinks out of a bottle or can with a straw and none are offered except in restaurants.

lentilman

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2014, 09:40:58 PM »
Have you tried Selter?  It turned out I enjoyed the bubbles more than the sugar and acid in the soda and now drink carbonated water.

Cwadda

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2014, 09:57:42 PM »
Quote
Cwadda, I am not really a big gum chewer. I won't turn it down if offered, but it's just not my bag for some reason. Plus I don't want to waste the money on the copious amounts of gum that I'd end up chewing. It's a good tip, though. At work, which is one of my biggest trouble spots, I will suck nonstop on Dum-Dums, which are always in copious abundance, so I guess that's kind of similar.

Gum in wholesale bulk wouldn't be too expensive. I have a box of 14 pack 14 pieces that I got as a gift. I can't see it running more than $15. That's 196 pieces. If each piece substitutes one can of soda, you're saving money.

Quote
When we lived in New York, I did start drinking soda with a straw, as that's the custom up there. Even when buying a soda in a bodega they'd offer you a straw, which seemed insane to me when we first moved, but it did help out with my teeth once I got into the habit. Much harder here in Virginia, unfortunately, where no one drinks out of a bottle or can with a straw and none are offered except in restaurants.
If you're going to continue drinking soda, buy straws. You can buy several hundred of them for a few dollars. Yes, I am saying you should go as far as carrying them around with you. They can really help keep the sugar away from your teeth. You know how expensive dental work can be. Thousands on thousands. Straws would definitely worth it to me in a monetary sense.



nstro3zy

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2014, 10:13:45 PM »
lentilman, I have occasionally done seltzer mixed with juice in the past and enjoyed it. That could be a good idea.

Cwadda, the straws are a really good idea, it just seems like it would be a runaround for me, though. I want to quit soda because I know it's wreaking more havoc on my body than just the harm it does to my teeth. Even if I'm not fat, I can't imagine it's doing any favors for my bones, for example. I think I just need to tell myself I'm not a person that drinks soda anymore and just stop, like was suggested in another thread I saw.

bikebum

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2014, 10:40:51 PM »
lentilman, I have occasionally done seltzer mixed with juice in the past and enjoyed it. That could be a good idea.

Check out this DIY home water carbonator:
http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Soda-Water-%26-Home-Carbonation---Pays-For-Itsel/
http://www.truetex.com/carbonation.htm

My brother and I made one. Kind of expensive to buy all the parts, but it'll pay for itself if you use it enough. And if you're like me, you'll choose to use it rather than buy soda from the store so you can recoup the start-up costs. I usually drink the carbonated water with some lemon or lime wedges. I don't like sugary sodas anyway.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2014, 01:54:40 PM »
I gave up soda 8 years ago with some minor exceptions. One, I have a root beer float once every 1-3 months. Two, a friend gave me a bottle of Rum from Costa Rica and I'm going to buy some ginger ale. I agree with the comment about carbonated water. I use it for vodka mixed drinks. Can't do it with Rum though.

I don't believe it diet soda, unless it's carbonated water. 

Greg

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2014, 02:09:38 PM »
I won't go into the huge health impacts of cola consumption here, and I'm not a doctor.  But, I'm married to one so I suggest asking your doctor about the health risks.  They're huge.

I gave up a severe coke habit (the cola kind) about 15 years ago.  I stopped having it at home, and actually what made it possible was starting to drink coffee and espresso, mostly espresso.  Without the caffeine needs, the appeal pretty much went away.  I also stopped drinking Snapple type iced tea around the same time.  Ended up losing 10 lbs. without trying.

I switched to soda water at some point and now prefer plain or lightly lemon flavored soda water to most other things.  A coke now tastes sickeningly sweet, which it is it turns out.

If you eat out a lot, it will be harder.  At self-serve soda fountains, look for the lever that some have next to the soda buttons for plain soda water.  If you must have a little flavor, use concentrated fruit flavors.

furrychickens

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2014, 04:10:03 PM »
I can honestly tell you that you'll be happier! I had a similar food-soda feedback loop. Cutting out processed, salty type snack foods at the same time as soda will also help. Soda doesn't "pair" nearly so well with fresh fruit/veggies and other whole foods.

BIG fan of plain seltzer, mixed with a splash of lemon, lime, or sour cherry juice. The longer you're away from sodas, the less "sweet" you'll want things.

On the straw front, do the environment a favor and don't stock up on plastic straws! I bought my kids reusable stainless steel straws. They like the novelty of straws but I hate adding more plastic garbage to the world.

spoonman

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2014, 10:15:38 PM »
nstro3zy, good to see you in the forums!

I am not a foodie, but I sure as hell enjoy my drinks.  My Coke was the highpoint of my meal, I was basically having food with my Coke, not the other way around.  I weaned myself from Coke slowly: first by drinking diet Coke, then Snapple, then diet Snapple, then I just started drinking water and haven't looked back. 

These days when I take a swig of Coke I remember how good it was and how easy it is to plunge right back.  I was definitely psychologically addicted.

OldDogNewTrick

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2014, 06:39:08 AM »
A decade or so back I had a serious Diet Coke, (not Pepsi, not any other brand would do), addiction, (up to 6! a day). When I would try to quit, go cold turkey, I'd actually get sick headaches that would last days. That scared the heck out of me.

So I adopted the same trick I used when I wanted to cut back on alcohol.... club soda with a squeeze of lemon or lime.

That broke the vicious cycle and now years later I have maybe 6 Diet Cokes a year... mostly with Captain Morgan Rum.

I even stopped ordering drinks at restaurants because the prices on them are so often ridiculous. Nowadays I reach for iced water at home before any other drink.


Allen

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2014, 07:12:46 AM »
It sure FEELS addictive.

People who smoke know it's bad for them, expensive, and they feel bad about it, but they enjoy it.

Soda drinkers know it's bad for them, expensive, and they feel bad about it, but they enjoy it.

Both are surprisingly difficult habits to break.  Same with candy-bars.  Sounds like addiction to me.  All the processed food companies spend a lot of money to get their formulas/snacks 'just right' so that we always want more but are never satisfied.  Engineered addictive! 

amyable

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2014, 09:41:27 AM »
It's largely associated with food for very convoluted reasons, since I don't like to eat very much because I associate food with anxiety attacks. It's something a professional would need to untangle.

Have you considered actually seeing a professional?  I have an anxiety disorder, and when it is really bad, I basically live off of small amounts of junk food (chips, sodas, etc.)--the thought of actually sitting down and enjoying a meal makes me feel queasy when my anxiety level is really high, so I just slam empty calories to keep going (which makes anxiety worse).  I don't gain weight from it, because when I get in this "loop," I'm not consuming too many calories--but I'm also not consuming many nutrients.

What are your eating patterns like?  If your having trouble eating enough calories, part of your "addiction" may be your body crying out for the energy it needs?


skunkfunk

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2014, 09:56:25 AM »
Iced tea. Drink it unsweetened. It will give you the caffeine and it tastes better than soda pop anyway. I like to make it using a regular black tea bag and a small green tea bag. Healthy and delicious.

Iced tea is ridiculously inexpensive compared to soda.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 10:27:52 AM by skunkfunk »

Wolf_Stache

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2014, 10:26:47 AM »
I'm struggling with the same thing. I found that I just like the sweet flavor and having something to sip on during the day. I bought some caffinated tea, and have been keeping a cold pitcher of pre-made tea in the fridge at work. When I'm tempted to have a soda I drink that instead.

For me, it makes it doubly hard because my work provides a fridge with free soda, so I still fall off the wagon occassionally... I'm currently at 2 days without a soda. My record so far is 4 weeks.

olivia

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2014, 10:37:44 AM »
I agree 100% with the suggestion to deal with your anxiety first if that's the root cause of your excessive soda drinking.  I am a huge proponent of therapy and drugs.  Mental health problems have such a stigma attached, but it's a health issue just like anything else.

As a former Coca-Cola addict, I do have some ideas for quitting.  But without fixing the root cause they may not be helpful.  I used to drink TONS of Coke every day...probably 4 cans a day minimum, but in college I could go through a 12 pack in 2 days or less. 

Several years ago I quit cold turkey and switched to unsweetened, black iced coffee for my caffeine needs.  I didn't want to quit Coke just to switch to another sugary beverage so I went unsweetened.  (I'm lactose intolerant but you may like it better with dairy.) 

I also started drinking seltzer/sparkling water, and got a Soda Stream.  I like the fizzy/burning the most, so this works for me.  I don't use any soda flavoring for the Soda Stream-if I want something, I want the real thing, so I don't think that's a good solution.  Plus it's still sugary.  I do occasionally slip back into the habit of wanting (and drinking) Cokes, but I try to snap out of it ASAP.  I do best by going cold turkey-I'm a creature of habit and I'll find myself getting a Coke (or ginger ale as a "better" substitute) when I don't even particularly want one.

Good luck!

Shor

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2014, 12:25:11 AM »
I feel your pain. I am a repeat offender of soda over-consumption.

Worst times are where it gets so bad, that I just I hop on over to McDonalds just for the $1 Large soda and sit there drinking and refilling, multiple refills.... no food.
 Any time I eat out, the soda is there with me.

Consumption gets so bad to the point where it literally train wrecks right through my digestive system.... Don't do that.. mmkay.

The new quitting plan is as follows:
1 gallon jug of water.
Consume like it is soda
Refill constantly.

1967mama

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2014, 12:31:46 AM »
Club soda and root beer stevia (from amazon) have eradicated my Diet Pepsi habit. About 20 drops for a full can of club soda does the trick! Vanilla creme stevia tastes like cream soda.

mikaty

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2014, 01:57:47 AM »
I have a similar "addiction" to chocolate (candy bars).  For me it's better to go cold turkey - if I had a candy-bar yesterday I feel like I need one today; if I haven't had one in a while it's easier to just say no.  At first I found this really difficult as DH doesn't get it at all and still eats chocolate all the time.  For the first couple of weeks I made him eat it in secret but now he can have it in front of me and it doesn't bother me.  I haven't had any for about 6 weeks now.  I have substituted other sweet stuff but I don't find them addictive, so for me that's a step in the right direction. 

My next step is to cut out sodas (I know these are bad for me) and fruit juice (because I see this as a healthy alternative but can pack more calories than a soda). I have only had fruit juice twice in the past 6 weeks but I'm still heavy on the sodas.  Problem is I just don't like drinking water, I'm probably a little "addicted" to the sugariness of other beverages but the beverages themselves don't matter much to me. 

Most difficult part of any shopping trip is the wait in the isle, when I'm surrounded by candy-bars and sodas, but I'm getting better.

Good Luck to you

golfer44

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2014, 04:39:49 AM »


Seriously. 1L for like 80 cents, 0 sugar, 0 artificial flavors or sweeteners. Just carbonated water and natural flavors.

This is of course to help wean you off soda, not to completely replace it.

NinetyFour

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2014, 05:34:54 AM »
^^^ And LOTS of plastic!!

Just drink tap water!!  Squeeze some fresh lemon or lime in it--or a splash of apple cider vinegar.  Yum.

Bateaux

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2014, 05:01:39 PM »
I've pretty much went cold turkey with all bottled drinks since the Superbowl.   Coke pissed me off so bad with their commercial that I just stopped buying them.  I'm drinking out the tap and buying cheap Golden Coors.

golfer44

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Re: Resolving to phase out soda
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2014, 06:02:40 PM »
Coke pissed me off so bad with their commercial that I just stopped buying them.

Why?