Diet Advice

How to Quit Soda: 5 Techniques That Work

By Ted KallmyerUpdated May 22, 2023

Sugary sodas are often a significant, yet overlooked, source of excessive calories in many people’s diets.

Packed with a high amount of processed sugars and devoid of any nutritional value, these beverages can greatly increase your daily calorie intake without providing any feeling of satiety or essential nutrients.

Here are five simple ways to break the habit. This simple change can be one of the easiest ways to lower calorie consumption, aid in weight loss efforts, and promote better health.

Just remember: Simple doesn’t mean easy. Give it a try: you got this 💪🌟👍

The Pre-Soda Water Chug

Before drinking that glass of soda, drink a glass of water.

This successful technique does two things:

  • If you are trying to quench your thirst, this will disassociate thirstiness with a desire for sweetness.
  • It forces you to drink the soda more slowly, as you are no longer thirsty.

The Slow Wean

Track consumption and reduce it little by little.

This technique is helpful if you are a person that does well with data, and a bit of self-awareness.

  1. Track how many cans and bottles you have each day.
  2. Do this for a week. Multiply by 52, then divide by 12. This is your monthly total. It may frighten you.
  3. The next week, reduce by one serving.
  4. Repeat.
  5. Continue until you hit one bottle per week.

The Sparkling Water Connoisseur

Replace sugary soda with sparkling water*. Then wonder why you didn’t try this years earlier.

Drinking sparkling water still provides that bitter tingling on the tongue… just like Coca-Cola. Try it. You might just become a convert.

*There are other names: carbonated water, seltzer, and soda water. You could even get a Soda Stream and don’t bother with the flavorings.

The Gourmet Can Drinker

Go from 12 oz cans to 7.5 oz cans.

It’s not an elimination – but it is a start. If you like to reward yourself and hold an ice-cold can in your hand — try the little cans.

The Self-Starting Experimenter

Chilled water dispenser, ice, and a dash of lemon.

Many of our food and drink choices are governed by habits, or a self-made reward system. This is why it can be so hard to change.

Some of us like to sit on the couch with a special drink in our hands. Lukewarm water from the tap just doesn’t cut it.

One of the best things I ever did was get a chilled water filter (and eventually a fridge with a dispenser). This instantaneously cut down the need for bottled soda drinks.

Throw in some ice and a squeeze of lime, and you’re away.

Don’t forget the caffeine

If you drink a lot of Coca-cola, Pepsi, or Mountain Dew – you might be in for a rough time when cutting down.

You will get withdrawal symptoms, and they are not much fun. Read the caffeine detox guide for help.

Also: Tonic water is not healthy

I once thought Tonic water was a healthy drink.

Hey – it’s got the word “tonic” in it! It has the same amount of sugar as any other soda (like Sprite). The sugar is used to mask the bitterness of the quinine.

View article sources


  • Leung, C. W., Laraia, B. A., Needham, B. L., Rehkopf, D. H., Adler, N. E., Lin, J., ... & Epel, E. S. (2014). Soda and cell aging: associations between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and leukocyte telomere length in healthy adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. American journal of public health, 104(12), 2425-2431.

Unlock your personalized fat loss strategy

Take the quiz