3 Tips to Give Up Soda

By Nikki Doering, RD, LD
November 5, 2019

flavored_water.jpgAlmost everyone at some point has a sugar craving. I know because I hear it every day from my clients. And one of the hardest cravings to overcome is soda—diet or regular. Can you believe Americans drink on average 38 gallons of soda per year? That’s 13 ounces every day! But kicking the soda habit is one of the best ways to improve your health. Here’s what I tell my clients…

1. Set realistic goals. How are you going to quit?

Think about a habit you’ve successfully formed in the past and how you achieved that goal. Some people can give up soda completely on Day 1, and others need to slowly wean themselves off so the task seems less daunting. Which one are you?

First, figure out what type of person you are, and then develop a goal. Are you going to stop on a certain date and not have any soda after that date? Or, will you decrease your intake by switching from 20-ounce bottles to 12-ounce cans? There is no right or wrong way to stop drinking soda, as long as your end goal is to kick the soda habit completely. We love helping people change their habits through our radio show Dishing Up Nutrition. Check out one of my favorite episodes called Mastering our Habits with Gretchen Rubin.

2. Drink more water and make it fun!

We drink soda because we’re thirsty, right? And it makes sense because soda is a tasty liquid! But thirst is a sign of dehydration, which means your body is actually asking for water.

It’s not surprising that our taste buds would prefer a sweet treat over flavorless water. So give flavored water a try. How about making fruit-infused water by adding some frozen berries to your glass? Maybe lemon or lime sound more appealing? I know what you’re thinking—“I’ll miss the bubbles from soda!” Then how about having a LaCroix water or Zevia while you get used to drinking pure water? Other delicious and healthy ways to flavor your water are Stevia Drops or Key Greens & Fruit.

Herbal tea can be helpful as you transition away from soda, too. Pay attention to your temperature preferences. Do you find that you drink more water when it’s ice cold? Then don’t forget the ice cubes. Do you love to sip a warm beverage? Try hot water with lemon. Filtered water is best and can be more refreshing and tastier, making it easier to drink. Remember, the ultimate goal is to eventually be drinking pure water most of the time, with one or two other beverages mixed in. You can do this!

But some people just hate plain water. If that’s you, it may be the time to evaluate your health. Schedule a nutrition counseling appointment with one of our nutritionists who can help you make a plan that works for you.

3. Eat in balance.

Did you know that you can decrease sugar cravings simply by eating balanced meals? When we eat protein, healthy fats, and vegetable or fruit carbohydrates, our blood sugar stays balanced and our brain’s desire for sweet treats decreases. Over time, our taste buds become used to less sweetness, and soda will start tasting too sweet and less desirable.

Quitting soda may seem impossible right now, but you can do this. Take it one day at a time, and if you need additional help, our nutritionists would love to walk alongside you and support you.





About the author

Nikki is a licensed dietitian at Nutritional Weight & Wellness. Nikki has seen firsthand the tremendous impact nutrition can have on your brain and body. After suffering a concussion with a multitude of related symptoms, Nikki felt lost. “Fortunately I stumbled on a Dishing Up Nutrition podcast on just that topic full of nutrition advice that helped me immensely.” Nikki’s main goal was accomplished when she healed her brain and improved her memory and concentration. Nikki is a registered dietitian and licensed dietitian through the Minnesota Board of Nutrition and Dietetics. She received her B.S. in Nutrition from the University of Minnesota and completed her dietetic internship at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.

View all posts by Nikki Doering, RD, LD


Julie Chau
Hi Nikki,
Do you have any recommendations for giving up drinks Diet Coke?
November 6, 2019 at 8:32 am


The tips in this article are great for anyone working to give up regular or diet soda. 

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