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Overcoming the urge to consume soft drinks

Wherever you look there seem to be reminders of how much soft drinks have permeated our lives. There are Coke and Pepsi adverts screaming at us at every nook and corner. How serious are soft drink consumptions? Soft drinks are nothing but junk calories. The companies that promote them might indicate that they can be incorporated in our diet if they are consumed in moderation. But how many of us can exercise that moderation? Fructose and sugar in soft drinks make up more than 21% of the daily intake of calories in many people’s diet. These beverages are an alarming cause of obesity. One may compensate by drinking “diet” soft drinks but sweeteners like Aspartame and Saccharin too need more testing. So, how does one try to give up on the soft drinks?

1. Make up your mind: It’s a bit like giving up smoking, only far easier than that. Committment is all that is needed.
2. Switch to diet soft drinks gradually and then stop.
3. Get yourself soft drinks that are caffeine-free. Part of the reason why soft drinks are difficult to give up is because of caffeine.
4. Stock up plenty of non-soda drinks.

Some soft drink alternatives:
1. Flavored soya milk, especially the lower calorie ones.
2. Skim milk.
3. Add a dash of flavor to water. Water can be a bland alternative but try to add a few mint leaves or lemon juice to water and have it instead. Try a slice or two of cucumber or a frozen strawberry in the water.
4. Drink green or black tea. Tea is rich in anti-oxidants and phytochemicals.
5. Fresh fruit juice: These can add calories too, so limit yourself to no more than one per day. Always dilute fruit juices with soda water or mineral water.
6. Go the java-way: Coffee, especially caffeine-free ones is a great way to replace a soft drink. But avoid the whole milk or whipped cream in coffee!
7. Good old water: At least 4 servings per day for women and 6 for men. Keep water bottles in the refrigerator and carry a bottle every time you venture out of the house.

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