When it comes to beverages, soda tops the list as one of the most highly consumed sugar-sweetened drinks. While it might satisfy your sweet tooth or give you a short afternoon boost, the truth is that consuming excess added sugar can increase your risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes and even cardiovascular disease.

So how do you kick the habit? First, it’s important to determine why you reach for the sweet, fizzy beverage. Is it mid-afternoon and you feel tired so you look for a pick-me-up? Or do you mindlessly order it with lunch on the go? Perhaps you even hit the vending machine for a soda just to give yourself a break from work? Whatever the reason, before you can break a habit you need to determine what drives the behavior.

Once you know the reason for the habit, you can start to work on ways to break it. Now, this won’t happen overnight, but if you stick with it, you will develop new healthy habits to replace the unhealthy ones. Here are five tips, tricks and tweaks you can use to kick the soda habit for good!

  1. Pick a new fizz – Many people choose soda to get a fizzy high, but there are healthier alternatives. One low-calorie option is to put fresh fruit in carbonated water. You can even get fancy and mash mint and lime in a glass, then add ice and fizzy water to make a virgin mojito! Kombucha is another bubbly alternative. Its fermentation process makes it fizzy as well as provides you with probiotics that are good for gut health. Look for a Kombucha with less than 5 grams of sugar per serving for a healthy, tasty treat!
  2. Choose a nutrient-rich energy boost – Lots of afternoon slumps occur because your blood sugar is dropping. In this case, reach for a nutrient-rich snack to help energize the rest of your day. Snacks like yogurt and berries, an apple and peanut butter or a handful of dried fruit and nuts can give you a sweet taste and energy boost loaded with nutrients. Plus, it will stabilize your blood sugar and help prevent future sugar cravings.
  3. Trigger a positive behavior – Instead of reaching for a soda, replace it with a healthy behavior. Try taking a lap around your office building, a few trips up and down the stairs or even some mindful breathing and stretching as a break from work or kids. These activities can help refresh your mind and body by getting your blood flowing and giving you a short mental break.
  4. Fill your piggy bank – Everyone loves rewards so reward yourself for positive behavior! Each time you save money from buying a soda at a local restaurant or vending machine, put that money in a piggy bank, so to speak. Maybe you keep it in a desk drawer, envelope or something similar. Then at end of the month invest that money into something you enjoy other than food and drink. You could even save it for something big like a family trip!

Make it a challenge – To successfully kick a habit, set some goals and find someone who can hold you accountable. Maybe a friend, spouse or family member needs to break the same soda habit; create a healthy competition and set up an encouragement plan. A daily check-in, morning text or mid-day email are all great ways to remind yourself and your accountability partner to stay on track. We all need support to reach our goals, so identify a person who can motivate you to success!

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If you are interested to hear more and receive personalized nutrition, check out STYR’s app, fitness tracker and suite of connected smart devices. Through the platform, you can track and log activity, food, hydration, sleep, nutrition, mood and more to personalize your nutrition needs based on data, science and access to registered dietitians, nutritionists and personal trainers.

Please note that this information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We insist that you always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical/health condition or treatment and before initiating a new health care regime. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the STYR app or on www.MyNutritioniQ.com.

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