Replace Soft Drinks

Small Step Toward a Healty Eating Lifestyle:
Replace Soft Drinks with Healthy Beverages!

Cartoon man drinking large soda

Replace Soft Drinks

Small steps

If you have ever seen the movie, “What about Bob?” you will remember that the theme of the story was that Bill Murray’s character, Bob, was advised by his psychologist, played by Richard Dreyfus, to take “baby steps” each day to achieve his goal of a healthy mind and a normal life. In spite of the hilarity, which a Bill Murray character inevitably creates, there is actually some real truth in the concept of taking small steps to achieve your large goals.

Of course, it would be better to replace all of the soft drinks in your diet with healthier alternatives, but you can start by replacing just one each day, and you will be on your way.

The bad news

We all know that drinking soda, pop, soda water, or whatever you call those fizzy soft drinks that have become so popular, is not conducive to good health. They are loaded with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, caffeine, artificial colors and flavors and a mild acid that, over time, can be corrosive to dental enamel and may upset your potassium balance.

In addition, if you are drinking soft drinks, you are probably not drinking the water your body needs to function and to cleanse itself. Without enough water, your kidneys will have a difficult time flushing all the toxins out of your system. If the toxins don’t get flushed out, they stay in your body, wreaking all kinds of havoc! Health risks associated with drinking too many soft drinks may include kidney stones, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, and tooth decay.

Interesting Fact about Replace Soft Drinks: I heard a story about a cab driver in New York that lost several hundred pounds of excess weight by simply eliminating soft drinks from his diet. Wow! That is hard to imagine, but it demonstrates the sheer calorie load of drinking soft drinks.

Diet soda is still soda

You may think that you have solved the problem by choosing diet soft drinks, but by doing that, you are just replacing the sugar with a chemical that your body has to contend with in other ways. Numerous studies have shown that, on average, those who consume diet drinks actually gain weight and may even increase the risk for Type II Diabetes.

One theory that may explain this phenomenon is that, when you drink diet soda, your brain reacts to the sugary taste, with no sugar being supplied, by creating a craving for food that will actually supply the sugar. So, you drink diet soda to save calories, and then your body wants you to eat more calories, thus defeating your purpose! In addition, although the calories are not there, you still have all of the other deleterious effects of drinking soda  mentioned above to contend with.

Here are some strategies to help you replace soft drinks:

glass bottle

-Keep a glass jug of water in the refrigerator, for easy access to cold, refreshing water.

-Take water to work with you in a thermos (especially if you filter it at home) and keep it available for sipping.

-Start each day with a glass of water to help your system flush the waste products accumulated while you were sleeping and to get your system moving.

-Add a lemon or lime twist to you water for extra flavor.

-If you don’t like plain water, add a bit of fruit juice for flavor.

-If you rely on the caffeine in soft drinks to keep going, try getting more sleep! You an also brew some antioxidant-rich green or white tea. There are some great flavored teas that you can find, if you don’t care for the flavor of plain green tea.

-Resist stocking up on soft drinks at your home, where they are too easily accessible to yourself and your children.

-Get in the habit of ordering water when you eat out to replace soft drinks, at least some of the time. In addition to the health benefits, it will make your bill smaller. 

-Even if you order a soft drink, get a glass of water, too. Keep in mind that unlimited refills of soft drinks can cause you to drink more than you should.

-Drink water out of that special stemware in your cabinet, to make it feel like the very special beverage it is.

What has worked for you?

If you have a good idea for how to replace soft drinks in your diet, send us an e-mail. We'd love to hear from you!  Click here to e-mail us.

Click here to go from Replace Soft Drinks page to 10 Tips to Healthy Eating page.

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