When you wake up in the morning do you instantly reach for a fix of caramel coloring and aspartame? Is it hard to imagine a meal that isn’t accompanied by corn syrup poured over ice? If you’re addicted to soda, you probably know it isn’t good for you, but even if you’ve made the switch to a healthier lifestyle, soda can be one of the hardest things to give up. Unfortunately, soda is probably one of the leading impediments to our weight loss goals.
In fact, according to Paddy Spence, founder of SPINS, the leading market research firm for natural products and CEO of Zevia, “the World Health Organization in 2014 introduced draft guidelines for sugar consumption, recommending that we limit sugars to 5% of our total caloric intake.
For someone consuming 2,000 calories per day, that equates to about 25 grams of sugar, or less than is contained in one can of full-calorie soda.” So if you’re having a hard time reaching your goal weight, that one teeny tiny soda a day could actually be the culprit.
So how do you know if soda is your secret saboteur? According to Spence: “It all starts with understanding where the sugar you consume is coming from. Write down everything you consume for a couple of days, and add up the total sugars in your diet as a starting point.” But even if you’re drinking diet soda, there’s evidence to support the theory that diet soda drinkers are having just as much trouble losing weight as full-calorie soda drinkers.
If the main problem in your diet is that you’re drinking to much soda or you’re worried about the long term health effects of aspartame, why not consider taking a no-soda challenge, where you cut soda out of your system for a week, a month, or indefinitely? But what to drink when you can’t reach for your old standby? There is a wealth of healthier alternatives out there. Switch your soda for one of the following drinks, and we bet you’ll barely miss it.
If you’re drinking soda to pep you up,coffee may be a better solution. According to the Mayo Clinic, a cup or two a day may ward off Parkinson’s and type 2 diabetes as well as help to improve cognitive function. Just try not to overdo it on the sugar or you may find your waistline no better off for the switch.
Many people get hooked on soda because they simply hate the taste of water. We get it: water is tasteless and basic no matter how much lemon you squeeze in. But coconut water, especially when it’s mixed with fruit flavor like pineapple, tastes like a party and is ultra-hydrating to boot. Why not reach for one instead of soda next time you’re super thirsty?