This week’s Ask Denise question comes from Silvia Marie who inquires, “How can I kick the soda drinking habit?” I’m so glad you asked!
We all love a little soda every once in a while, but it seems that we have been overdoing it. Soft drink cups just keep getting larger and larger! In fact, the US represents the highest soda drinking per capita in the world. What is it doing to us? Two out of three adults and one in three children in the US are overweight and rising consumption of sugary drinks are a BIG contributing factor. By switching from soda to a healthier alternative, you’re making a huge change in your overall wellness and your waistline!
There are so many negative effects that soda brings into our health. One can of cola is about 138 calories per can, which can add up to over 150,000 calories per year if you consume 3 or more of them in a day. Drinking soft drinks is an easy way to add in thousands of extra calories, sugar, sodium and caffeine. Trust me, it’s not worth it. Soda drinkers have an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, kidney stones, gout, tooth decay and osteoporosis. Soda drinking has also been linked to migraines, so if you suffer from these debilitating headaches, increase your water intake and kick soda to the curb.
Soda drinking is especially popular with kids and a soda addiction in children can lead to a lifetime of health issues. Children who drink soda have an increased risk of obesity by 60% and are 26% more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes.
Let’s kick the habit together and set a healthy standard with…WATER. We need it. Let’s LOVE it! We MUST assure ourselves that we are receiving proper hydration. Staying hydrated is essential to staying healthy. Because the body is made up mostly of water, it makes great sense to replenish it with fresh H20 instead of sugary sodas or fruit juices.
Also, did you know that the brain can mistake thirst for hunger? It’s true. So before you grab a high-calorie snack, try filling up with water. Then wait 20 minutes to see if you are still hungry. I’ll bet your cravings disappear.
So how much water do you really need? We’ve all heard we should aim to drink 8 cups of water each day. But if you consider that you will lose around 10 cups of water per day, under normal circumstances, but more if the temperature is hot or humid especially in these summer days, then 8 cups doesn’t seem like enough!
If you’re having a hard time getting used to the taste of water, try some of these alternatives:
1. Spice up your water with a squeeze of citrus—lemon, lime, tangerine or my favorite, orange!
2. Try sparkling water. It’s okay to have a little bubbly water. Try to avoid anything with fake sugar or flavoring or too much sodium.
3. I love throwing fresh, seasonal fruit and fresh herbs directly in my water. So refreshing and yummy. Try peaches and basil together for something different!
4. When you do have a sweet tooth and want a treat, add your own sweeteners, such as honey or agave. You’ll know where they really came from and exactly how much you’re consuming. But again, sweetened drinks are also giving you extra calories, so keep these drinks at a minimum.
5. Green tea. For the many benefits of Green tea, check out my blog on the subject (http://www.deniseaustin.com/green-tea/)…it’s so good for you and an excellent replacement for soda! Green tea is my favorite afternoon pick-me-up.
With so many fresh, healthy choices and a little creativity, you CAN kick the soda habit. This small lifestyle change can make a huge difference in your life! You get only one body in this one life! Treat it lovingly and it will make you feel better in return! You are WORTH it!
Love always from Your Personal Trainer,