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Has anyone kicked the diet soda habit?

I need advice on eliminating or greatly reducing the diet soda I inhale. I drink 3-4 cans of diet pepsi a day, always in the morning at work. I do not like hot beverages so coffee and tea are out. I've tried bringing unsweetened iced tea, which I really like, with lemon added but a couple of glasses of tea gets me too hyper with the caffeine. For some reason the soda doesn't hype me out like the tea does. Decaffeinated won't get me going. I stick to ice water in the afternoons and evenings.

I eat fairly well, lots of fresh veggies and fruit and low-fat dinners, but I can't seem to kick this diet soda habit. I know the stuff is really bad, especially with the artificial sweeteners. I guess I need the caffeine boost in the am so just plain water doesn't do it. I'm also trying to reduce sugar so fruit juices are out as I believe they are heavy with sugar.

Any recommendations are welcome.

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  1. Yep, me. try to identify what it is that draws you to soda. I love carbonation--it's zesty and wakes me up. I switched to seltzer, and often drink it with a splash of lemonade or orange juice. Try Arnold Palmers: half unsweetened ice tea and half lemonade--refreshing without too much sugar or many calories.

    Try to give green tea another shot (it really doesn't have *that* much caffeine, and you can get very light-tasting and fruity varieties), it's sooo good for you.

    You also might try Kombucha--it's a bit like soda with all-natural ingedients and few calories. It's got a very distinct taste that many people hate but I love.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Mandymac

      This spring I kicked a long-time diet coke habit. I looked for a substitute that was just as easy and portable and also did not have any calories or artificial sweetners -- I ended up with Mendota Springs bubbly water in lime: just carbonated water and lime in a can. I also relied on green tea or iced tea for times when I needed a little caffeine boost. Good luck!

      1. re: Mandymac

        I just started drinking Synergy Kombucha tea to compensate for cutting back on regular Coke. I like it a lot because it's a little fizzy and gives me a little of an energy kick--not like the kind you get from caffeine--but still makes me feel halfway decent as I ween myself off caffeine. Plus I feel like I'm drinking something healthy. It kind of tastes like Prosecco gone sour. I've only tried the Passionfruit flavor so far but I like it very much.

        1. re: Mandymac

          I second Mandy's suggestions, down to a T. I love the kick of the seltzer carbonization, and frequently "flavor" it with some juice or iced tea. But Kombucha really does it for me. I have taken to brewing it at home, so I can add in the special ingredients I like, freash beery juice and lots of ginger juice. And It is Probodic so it adds good things as well.

        2. If you don't like hot beverages, I suppose you could always do iced tea and iced coffee.

          Once you've hit your fill of caffeine for the day, you might turn to some of the fantastic ideas in this thread, which helped me a lot: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/35801...

          I've cut my diet pop consumption way back. First of all, I've brought a giant 32oz mug I fill up with water when I get to work every morning.

          I keep frozen strawberries to use as "ice cubes” in my water throughout the day.

          I keep packets of "true lime" at my desk and at home to flavor my water when I think I need to.

          I also have a Bodum iced tea pitcher I keep at my desk—you put tea bags (you can use de-caf; mint is lovely this time of year!) in the special tea bag compartment, fill it to the “line” with hot water, let it steep, then fill it to the top with ice. It makes a lovely, easy iced-tea.

          Also, I've bought low-sodium club soda/seltzer and I mix it with things: V-8 juice+lime+tabasco; pomegranate juice; OJ sometimes with a splash of grenadine--etc.; when I need something fizzy.

          I hope some of these ideas help! Good luck!

          ~TDQ

          2 Replies
          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            Make sun tea. I often use one or two family size regular or decaf lipton bags and 4 regular size tea bags of the herbal variety. Mandarin orange, raspberry, and lots of other flavors. Then just put it in a mason jar and stick it in the fridge at work. :D

            Also, have you tried the non carbonated fruite flavored waters like Propel? There are some others that are good too. They are very refreshing and have no caffeine.

            I also like plain old ice water - sometimes with lemon juice in it.

            1. re: Bratdawg

              Yeah, that's what I was going to suggest: make your iced tea with part decaf tea, adjusting the caf/decaf ratio until you get the right amount of lift without the buzz.

          2. Club soda with lime. Cold, very cold, club soda with lime.

            I agree with giving green tea another shot. It makes you feel all hydrated and healthy inside.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sed231

              Lemon or berry flavored water, fizzy or still. I like the lemon flavored water because it reminds me of iced tea (and I can't have the caffeine, even if it's decaf, it still doesn't sit with me well). A big jug or water with lemons, oranges, cucumbers, and mint is also very refreshing and can be made in advance (plus sit overnight).

            2. I've been keeping a selection of those little packets of stuff you mix into a half liter bottle of water. Lipton makes them and Crystal Light makes them. There's an astonishing variety of flavor options, including regular, green, and white teas. Yes, they're instant, and yes, they're artificially sweetened, but they might be something to fill in the gap while you get off the soda, and you'd be getting more water.

              Personally I've never been a real big diet soda fan, and I'm starting to lose my taste for regular soda. I either drink these flavored things, or just plain water.

              2 Replies
              1. re: revsharkie

                I don't drink soda much anymore, and I do drin a lot of the Crystal Light single packets in a bottle of water. I especially like the green tea raspberry flavor. It's very refreshing.

                But I have to admit, while it is decaf, other than that is it really any more healthy than soda?

                1. re: puppymomma

                  Well, I don't know, although I think you're getting more water with them, at least a little less adulterated. What I'm thinking is they might be something that would ease a transition between diet soda and plain water--which is, I'd think, the ideal.

                  I'm not much of a soda drinker, really, especially not lately--and I never have been able to drink diet soda; my soda of choice is Dr Pepper and I haven't found an incarnation of Diet Dr Pepper that tasted like the real thing (haven't tried it lately, and don't feel any great need to). I either drink those Crystal Light things or just plain water. And the Crystal Light things have only been drinkable for me since the sweetener has been Splenda. I just can't handle aspartame or saccharine.

              2. I have a similar issue, and it's definitely partly an addiction to the artificial sweetener, and to boot, for now, your tastebuds are somewhat numb to the sweetener and require more of it to stimulate the buds, more so than if you had an occasional soda (when I've given up soda and then have one, it's painfully sweet and spicy (the bubbles hurt on my tongue) like firecrackers on my tongue).

                My substitution is water with a little lemon juice, and a LITTLE splenda. I can control the amount of sweetener, and there's none of the acid that's in soda or carbonation (that contributes to cellulite). I love my faux lemonade at night!