Coach Ted's Diet Advice

Quit Soda: 5 Tested Techniques That Work

By Ted KallmyerUpdated August 21, 2022

Sugar-sweetened soda drinks continue to get bad press. Recent researchers compared the effects of soda to that of smoking.

That may be a bit of an exaggeration. However, ditching the soda may well be the simplest thing you can do, with the greatest payback to your health and weight.

Simple doesn’t mean easy, so here’s a roundup of some techniques to defeat the sugar drinks.

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 begins to disassociate thirstiness with a desire for sweetness.
  • Forces you to drink the soda more slowly, as you are no longer thirsty.

The Slow Wean

Track consumption, and reduce little by little.

This 5 step 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, and 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.

This is what I drink. I love looking at the nutrition label and seeing zero calories.

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

The Gourmet Can Drinker

Go from 12oz cans to the 7.5oz 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 down on the couch with some kind of 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.

A Word About Caffeine…

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

If you don’t believe me, just read some of the comments from these poor souls. For some serious help: read the caffeine detox guide.

Oh, and Tonic Water…

I once thought Tonic water was a healthy drink. Hey – it’s got the word “tonic” in it! In reality it has the same amount of sugar as any other soda (like Sprite for example). The sugar is used to mask the bitterness of the quinine.

What’s Your Soda Strategy?

Let me know. If you manage to cut down or quit – well done.

All in all it’s a win: less money, less cavities, smaller waistline.

Scientific Reference:
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. Study Link.

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