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How to cure a Diet Coke addict?

I’ve never met a casual (occasional) Diet Coke drinker; they’re all die-hard addicts. How do I know? They show up at the office in the morning with their giant quick-mart cup, have bulk stashes under their office desk, and/or it’s the first thing they reach for in the morning when they get out of bed. In the morning, my Diet Coke Addict goes straight from bed to fridge and “pop” goes the Diet Coke can - the first of at least six for the day (who can keep count?). What is in that stuff and why are they so hooked? How do you even wean one off it?

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  1. Hi, I'm roro and I am a casual diet coke drinker, so now you know one. lol
    I too know the type of people you talk about and while I wouldn't say I was one (if it was in the house I would have had 2 a day), I know people like you mention. I had a friend who I stayed with during my exodus from new Orleans after Katrina and he would literally drink a 2 liter, hot every night, maybe more. And that did not include what he drank during the day at work. Some people don't like coffee so coke, whether it be diet or not provides them with a bit of caffeine. People get hooked on it the same as they get hooked on anything else, they feel like they can't function without it. For me, I have never had an addictive personality, so quitting soft drinks was easy, first I quit regular stuff, then I switched to diet. After a while I said enough of that and I just quit, no problems. I admit that I will get one every now and then just because. As I get older and try to take better care of myself I find I read more labels and the whole aspartame thing scares me.

    1. I work with people who have the gallons of pop habit, but it's not only Diet Coke. One gal picks up a giant cup on the way to work, then another one at lunch, and sips progressively diluted Pepsi all day long. Yech! I would never be able to sleep at night. I think it's just a coincidence that the people you work with happen to drink the same thing.

      1. To paraphase the TV ad, I don't always drink soda, but when I do, I prefer diet Coke. So now you know one who is not addicted.

        Now if you are talking about coworkers showing up with their morning whatever chino, then you are talking addiction.

        1. slowly mnove from DC to "fizzy water"--seltzer orr club soda. It satisfies that craving for carbonation and has no bad ngredients (the list should be just water no added sodium, etc.

          I love fizzy water so much so that, due to my 2 liter per day habit, I got a "Soda Stream" soda maker. (sodastreamusa.com). I have no relationship withthe organization other than as a very happy customer.

          8 Replies
          1. re: SeaSide Tomato

            I'm addicted to "fizzy water" seltzer & club soda. I started drinking it because I didn't want all the sugar in soda, just the carbonation so now I buy it by the caseload. I'm going to check out the soda maker you talk about...

            1. re: SeaSide Tomato

              Thanks Seaside Tomato, this sounds like a great idea. I wouldn't have thought of it. Seltzer plus a splash of fruit juice used to be my favorite summer refreshment. There are plenty of other sources for caffeine and/or beverage - teas, coffees, juice, shoot...beer even, why hang on to just DC, which is, as others had pointed out, is just chemicals?

              1. re: redbeanbun

                None of this has never worked for me. I just drink tons of water/seltzer/tea IN ADDITION to diet coke. After 20-plus years (since it came out when I was 12) of a rough average of 6 a day, I'm convinced that it's the sweetener that's addictive (enhanced by the caffeine, of course). I mean, I bet you can't get rats off Nutrasweet. And just to wax conspiracy-theoretical:


                Not to distress you.

                1. re: tatamagouche

                  since i'm fighting an addiction to the caffeine-free diet coke, i can tell you that something in there, other than the caffeine, is also addictive

              2. re: SeaSide Tomato

                thank you SO much SeaSide, I am ordering this now. I also have an addiction to fizzy water and it was becoming an expensive habit! :)

                1. re: eviemichael

                  You are most welcome--you will love it!

                2. re: SeaSide Tomato

                  That is how I kicked the habit. Not the brand - although I think it sounds interesting - but with seltzer. I would mix it with cranraspberry juice. Now I only have a coke or diet coke on a rare occasion - usually with rum or when I need a sugar fix because I am feeling strange and hungry. Now when I taste diet coke it tastes metallic and strange. I drink tap water now. And coffee.

                  It can be done. I never counted how many I drank, but I was one of those who never walked around anywhere without one in my hand and always had a cold one at the ready at my desk.


                  Also - we should address the caffiene. Sometimes that is the worst part of quitting DC. Caffiene withdrawl. I forgot about that. HEADACHES. Maybe it is best to wean. Drink the seltzer until you detect a headache coming on and then have a little coffee or limit yourself to a half cup of soda.

                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                    ice tea is also a good caffine replacement. not as much as the coke, but it takes the edge off, take it from a recovering coke drinker (not diet, the hard stuff.)

                3. "How do you even wean one off it?"

                  I have no idea other than to just plain stop. I know several people, very much like you're describing, who actually have coke/diet coke dispensers built in to their kitchen.
                  One of these women takes medication for osteoporiasis and still won't stop.
                  Phosphoric acid is one of the main components in cola and it's been linked to bone demineralization causing bone loss and osteoporiasis. it's the same with people with emphasema who continue to smoke. Who knows? Laziness?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: latindancer

                    My sister has emphysema and still smokes. Nothing I can say or do.

                    1. re: latindancer

                      Well, not exactly the same. You know death versus brittle bones. And there is nothing saying drinking diet coke will kill you. Pretty sure they are saying that about ciggies.

                      I do not think it is laziness. Well, not just laziness. Laziness may be a small, initial factor. Maybe it is will or impetus.

                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                        Yes, it pretty much is the same. It's denial in a big way. A coworker is black, diabetic, in congestive heart failure, adopted a young son, and still smokes. She also has a gambling addiction. She thinks that because her mom is in her 80s, with diabetes, and smokes, that she has that kind of time left, too. Her mom hasn't been hospitalized six times in the last two years.
                        So it's going to play out that brittle bones vs tobacco- which one will take out more people, AND cause more money to be spent on what should be "your fault" insurance? I think it's coming.

                    2. The only cure is more Diet Coke. ;-)

                      1. I struggle off and on with controlling my consumption of regular Coke. It is a very specific craving--and like many cravings, the more I have the more I want. I was never a multiple a day user, in part because I am sensitive to caffeine (which was part of the appeal, but only part), but I would frequently taper off and then slowly find myself having one every day. It was very hard to not give in when I worked at a place that gave out free pop.

                        My main advice for you would be first: Does your addict want to stop? You can't fight somebody else's addiction.

                        If your DCA does want to ease up, he/she should try tapering off slowly--like with smoking. I'd do it by going from one everyday to one every other day to two a week, one, and then occasionally.

                        I also stopped having it in the house once I started working from home. I found if I had access to it, I would drink it. I told myself I could still have one, but I would have to drive into town to get it--that stopped me nearly every time.

                        Good luck!

                        1. I flirted with a diet coke addiction a few years ago and knew I had to draw the line! My method was to go cold turkey and keep plenty of seltzer water around the house--if you buy it in cans, you can really replicate that delightful feel of cracking open a cold soda. I have had a diet coke every now and then since (maybe something like 4 times) and it really doesn't taste good to me any more. Odd, but I am glad. Also, when I went out, I started ordering iced tea if I wanted more than water with my meal.

                          1. there was another thread about regular coke a little less than a years ago, but I can't seem to find it. The addiction is primarily caffine, plus the boost the sweet taste gives you. Most likely your DCF is not a coffee drinker. Why do we celebrate coffee and despise colas? Its not just the sugar.

                            For me the only way off the coke was to go cold turkey for a year. Not easy, the damn stuff is everywhere, often with few reasonable alternatives. I drank a whole lot of ice tea (caffine fix). For months I was grouchy about it. After a year cold turkey I decided to see if i could handle one or two a week without getting re-addicted. Found out that I could, but I have to be careful. I now allow myself a cola (preferably coke) when I really want one. Not drinking it because it's there. I still don't keep it in the house, and if I find I had coke three days in a row, I stop for at least a week. Been going like that almost a year now.

                            As another poster said, it has to be a personal choice. Not imposed by others.

                            1. I don't know "how bad" diet coke is, but if you were doing Mt. Dew it would be twice as bad.

                              1. Why would you want to be cured?

                                1. I drink a couple of cups of coffee each morning, and when I get to the office I pop a can of DC. Put it in a coozie sleeve so it stays cold. At lunch, I will get a DC with 3-4 refills. Midafternoon, sometimes another canned one (more carbonation) or sometimes coffee.
                                  Might have one with dinner. If we have had a rich meal, I will drink another before going to bed. If I wake up thirsty at 4 or 5 in the morning, I will have another. By the way, I have never had trouble falling asleep even if I drink a cup of regular coffee at 11 PM. But I am not addicted

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: steakman55

                                    You're right....doesn't sound like you're addicted to coffee.

                                  2. Like a number of others who have posted on here, I used to be a DC addict, long ago. I read some stuff about aspartame that made me feel like I didn't want to be drinking it, so I decided to quit. (Also, it was getting expensive.) I switched to seltzer. It's true, I think I craved the cold bubbliness more than the taste. Now I find the taste of DC disgusting, and if I really want a soda I'll have a regular Coke. But I hardly ever want one -- and it seems like a waste of calories. I have maybe three Cokes a year.

                                    I think the idea that it's a "free" treat, i.e. no calories, is what's the most addictive.

                                    1. I live with a diet soda addict. He has tried on several occasions to quit cold turkey...and inevitably I would come home and find him surrounded by empty cans, and there would be several 2L bottles in the fridge. He tried switching to Crystal Light (the most successful attempt)...but eventually I think we both gave up on the idea.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: bluemoon4515

                                        My husband and I are both diet soda addicts. We probably go through over five twelve packs a week. And that's not including my Pellegrino problem.

                                      2. Doesn't seltzer water taste like baking soda? I am a diet Pepsi addict. It's sad, but true.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: tinkerszs

                                          Maybe you're thinking of club soda? It has salt and seltzer does not. Seltzer should taste like water with bubbles, nothing more.

                                        2. I have tried to wean off it at different times: usually because of aspartme scares & the like. So I suppose I am addicted, but my consumption level isn't as high as you've witnessed: I drink 2 cans a day and have for many years (instead of morning coffee).

                                          I definitely think it's a caffeine-delivery system. Some people drink coffee all day in the same way some people drink Coke or Diet Coke. The British drink tea all day long. Granted at least coffee and tea aren't far from the plant; whereas Diet Coke is just a bunch of chemicals.

                                          I think if I was drinking as much as you're mentioning here, I'd buy some caffeine free diet coke, and alternate drinking those with regular diet coke. I'd also start this over a weekend in a low stress time as to deal with the potential headaches. Then maybe start drinking water instead of the caffeine free cokes. I think it all depends on your final goal: to just get off Diet Coke, or get off of caffeine in general.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: wildehare

                                            you don't need all that much caffeine to stave off the headaches (at least I didn't), just spread the lower doses (ie tea) over the day. Oddly since I never drank coke before lunch, I was fine until around then. Makes no sense, nor does it make any sense that the headache would start to disappear immediately after the first sip. Couldn't possibly be in my system that fast.....

                                          2. No clue why someone would be addicted to diet coke. I actually don't even like diet coke but will drink it if that is my only option when it comes to diet drinks. But soda in general for me I can take it or leave it, don't always have to have it. But I do drink like 2 cans in a week if I am very good.

                                            But like someone else said, they gotta want to do it for it to happen. My siblings are addicted to soda and I think the only way they don't drink it is if we run out of it at home but then they have other stuff like koolaid and what not which I think is just as bad.

                                            1. Maybe try switching diet pepsi for the coke?

                                              just kidding.

                                              1. hi. my name is LaLiz and I am a dietcokeaholic.

                                                It is 11:49 a.m. and I have drank 3/4 of my 50 fl. oz. bottle.

                                                I don't keep it in the house, maybe will have one bottle over the weekend. But also maybe not.

                                                I don't like Diet Coke from a soda dispenser. I like a bottle. not a can.
                                                I can drink it hot, room temp, or cold.

                                                I drink coffee occassionally. I drink Crystal Lite every day at home.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: laliz

                                                  I *hate* it from a dispenser too. They always get the formula wrong.

                                                  1. re: tatamagouche

                                                    I actually prefer Diet Pepsi and can slug cans of that all day long. However, also really like those giant sodas from fountains, and in my estimation, NO ONE gets the Diet Pepsi formula right, while you at least have a shot with Diet Coke.

                                                    Personally, I think it is the caffeine. I used to drink five or six cups of coffee a day, and no longer do, so for me there is nothing as satisfying as the coldest possible can of Diet Pepsi -- not even booze. Diet Coke is my second choise, but I drink it more than you think because it is so widely available in fountains.

                                                  2. re: laliz

                                                    When do you find the need to drink Diet Coke ... hot?

                                                    Do you snuggle up on cold stormy night with a piping hot mug of Diet Coke and your favorite unabridged version of Moby Dick?

                                                  3. Probably have to shoot me and then pry it from my cold dead fingers.

                                                    1. I totally agree there are very few casual diet coke drinkers. I my self started off with a 44 oz every day then 2 a day. I am now up to sometimes 2 100oz refils a day. 200 oz is soo much diet coke. My friend who I carpool with to get diet coke has had bad days where he had drank up to 300 oz in one day!! Why is this stuff so addictive?

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: colsoulfan

                                                        I drink two diet cokes out of the can every day. The first is consumed in the bathroom as I tend to the morning ablutions; after I am dressed I drink the second one with my breakfast. The breakfast is one of those six packs of the square (orange) peanut butter crackers.

                                                        Once I reach the office I eschew the diet cokes and start pounding high octane coffee.

                                                      2. Take the addict to the doctor!!
                                                        My brother in law drank anywhere from 6 - 15 a day! He started having some serious medical problems (really bad shakes, heart racing, not sleeping) a couple of years ago. They were doing tests for Lou Gehrigs desease and a whole host of others. Just as they were scheduling him for an MRI and CAT scan the specialist looked at him and at the diet coke in his hand and put his pen down. He said how many of those do you drink in a day. When my brother in law told him, he said 'well then, we are done here'. I know what the problem is as I have had 4 other patients with the same problems - get off the diet coke it is going to kill you. Apparently it is more common than you know - and it's not from the caffeine.

                                                        He quit the coke and switched to water. It was really hard. Lots of headaches.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: julesincoq

                                                          I pretty much always ask patients how much soda they drink when they are overweight or their blood pressure or pulse is high. It is amazing how many of them slug sodas all day long. And how much improvement we see when they cut sodas out of their daily diet.

                                                          But I have to ask those of you who do drink a lot of soda - how do you fit it in your stomachs? I probably only drink about 2 sodas a year because I really dislike it (but I love coffee) but it's so filling so how can you eat and drink soda at a meal?

                                                          1. re: smartie

                                                            Honestly, the feeling of fullness is part of it for me, and I bet that's true for a lot of people. I bet a lot of people started drinking it to control or lose weight, thinking that if you feel full, you might eat less. Granted, it doesn't really work that way—my stomach capacity is huge, and I suspect the soda consumption has contributed to that.

                                                            And julesincoq—it's definitely not the caffeine, it's the artificial sweetener, as I said above (though the caffeine doesn't help). From the research I've done, I'm quite convinced the stuff is highly addictive, and that soda companies knew it way back, just as tobacco companies knew nicotine was.

                                                          2. re: julesincoq

                                                            Yes, that type of thing is the reason I decided to quit. Just Google "aspartame" (the artificial sweetener in DC) and you will find a lot of information about its potential dangers. I feel that those who drink the stuff in large quantities are actually taking on a health risk and personally I am glad I no longer drink the stuff.

                                                            1. re: visciole

                                                              AND to make matters even worse (even for those who drink soda with Splenda), artificial sweeteners raise your blood sugar...and...wait for it....here is the kicker: It causes your body to STORE FAT! Not a good weight loss plan.

                                                              If you want to lose weight have a look at what you are eating and drinking and make some sensible changes.

                                                              1. re: julesincoq

                                                                Are you sure they raise blood sugar? I recently had gestational diabetes and met with a nutritionist. I was told diet juice/soda was fine and was required to check my blood sugar 4 times/day. Once I switched to diet soda and crystal light my blood sugar was perfect. Part of my problem was that my nausea had me drinking a lot of ginger ale which i never drink when not pregnant (unless sick of course!)

                                                          3. I'm also a casual diet coke drinker. I basically have one (about 16ounces so maybe 2!) at lunch. However, I have on occasion done a detox diet for 2-3 days where I eat nothing but fresh fruit and veggie juices during the day and then a small dinner of steamed veggies and brown rice. On these occasions I have found it harder to give up my lunch time diet coke than it is to give up food. I do find that a little scary!

                                                            1. I was a horrible Diet Coke addict for over 20 years. I would start with a pot of coffee every morning, then switch to DC and have one on my desk, or in my car, at all times. If I were working straight through the night, I'd switch back to coffee around 4AM and then switch back to DC by about 9AM.

                                                              What finally broke my addiction was when I went to Italy in late 2001. I couldn't find any DC, could barely find any regular Coke and could never stand it because it was too sweet. I started drinking sparkling water and that cured my craving for carbonation. I still got my caffeine "fix" from all the espresso & coffee.

                                                              I was in Italy for almost a month, and when I got back home I decided I didn't need DC anymore. I still drink a big pot of coffee every morning, but I feel so much better not drinking DC. A few years ago it was really hot and I had run out of water. No drinkable water where I was working so I got a DC out of a vending machine. I was really thirsty, but the chemical taste was so overwhelming that I couldn't even finish it!

                                                              1. Hello, I am The Huntress and I am a Diet Coke addict. My husband very kindly restocked my supply yesterday, so we currently have about 210 cans in the house. My day cannot (!) start without a Diet Coke - I don't drink tea or coffee, so I substitute for Diet Coke. I have thought long and hard about my addiction and decided that I quite like drinking Diet Coke and don't feel the need to stop. I have a theory that it's either going to kill me, or preserve my insides in a state of pristine perfection - admittedly I am leaning towards the former theory. I did stop drinking Diet Coke when I was pregnant, I couldn't stomach the thought of it, but strangely enough after my son was born it was the first thing I asked for and I was straight back into it. Most addicts I know who gave it up went cold turkey or give themselves an allowance of one a day. And now I must excuse myself to get another Diet Coke...

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: TheHuntress

                                                                  Same...and by the way, Barbara76137, being in Perugia for a month in 1998 changed nothing, I was right back at it when I got home.

                                                                  Although I should be specific, for the past few years it hasn't been Diet Coke per se, it's been Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi. I think it's even *more* addictive, and the fact that I personally have gotten a couple other pals addicted to it bears that out.

                                                                  A friend of my mom's swore that quitting diet soda was harder than quitting smoking. I believe it.

                                                                  1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                    Speaking of which, does anyone have a cure for overcaffeination? I've had 9 cans in 7 hours, a lot even for me, and my body's hating me right now.

                                                                2. I kicked my diet coke habit. I switched to Coke Zero. :)

                                                                  1. I was a Diet Coke addict but went cold turkey in May of this year because of kidney stones. I had a kidney stone 10 years ago then never again until this year. I had one in March and a second in May that required surgery and a hospital stay. Oh the pain!

                                                                    I was trying to figure out what might be giving me the stones now since my diet isn't one that would make me prone to stones. I had been drinking about 2 liters a day of Diet Coke which dehydrates the kidneys. I wasn't really aware of it but I had gone 3 days without, then had 2 big glasses of Diet Coke and realized how many more bathroom runs I had then when drinking just water.

                                                                    So, because I don't want any stones again I quit cold turkey. However, I still think about it. I still want one. I still salivate when I see the commercials and somebody pours a cold one over a tall glass of ice. But for me, I just have to think about the pain, oh the pain! I could have a glass once in a while but my problem, as an addict, is I can't stop at one glass. Wish I could explain or even understand the addiction. I too do not drink coffee or tea or much else. So now I pretty much drink water, water and more water. Boring but it keeps me out of the hospital!

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Jpan99

                                                                      Diet Coke addict friend of mine had kidney stones too and quit cold turkey. His urologist said it wasn't really the Diet Coke, but something in dark sodas that causes the stones.

                                                                      1. re: monku

                                                                        Ex-bf had to have kidney stone surgery two years ago and was constant diet Dr. Pepper or Mtn. Dew drinker. His doctor told him to quit diet sodas in general and drink more water. He never listened. The kidney stone surgery and recovery were horrible for him, and I don't think he has ever really recovered. Last I knew he had developed more stones. His urologist was prescribing long dosages of antibiotics as well as flomax and other prostate drugs and he was still miserable.

                                                                        The 24-48 hours after his surgery he was a wreck. At the time I had been working graveyard shift in an equine ICU so I was in "critical patient mode", but the state he was in would make most people avoid a kidney stone.

                                                                    2. I can't stand the fake taste of this stuff, and have never understood why anyone drinks it. A great iced tea with a squeeze of lemon tastes so much better to me, but even then, 1 or 2 a day will do it.

                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                                                        The "fake taste" grows on you.
                                                                        You're lucky you've never drank enough.
                                                                        I go through periods where I feel like I crave it and then no desire.
                                                                        ....nothing as bad as some of the posters have experienced.

                                                                        1. re: monku

                                                                          God, you make this sound like crack. What is in this stuff?

                                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                                            Buy a 6 pack and see what happens if you're so curious.
                                                                            I'd rather drink Diet Coke than regular Coke.
                                                                            But, as you can see from this post it's a real problem for some.

                                                                            1. re: monku

                                                                              Yeah, I can totally understand why people think it's disgusting...it is. But I started at age 12 and here I am 28 years later, totally addicted.

                                                                              I can't speak for everyone, but I was a young girl already bit by the weight-control bug. I don't remember the early diet coke ads, but the TAB ads were so glamorous ("TAB...for beautiful people!"). Diet soda seemed like a sophisticated thing to drink.

                                                                              The carbonation fills your belly, a comforting feeling for a chronic weight-watcher. The sweetness satisfies cravings for sweets (and for me, not having much of a sweet tooth anyway, it really does). And the caffeine does...what caffeine does.

                                                                              And over time you just get used to having all those feelings all the time.

                                                                              1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                Tatamagouche, I am completely with you. Although I didn't start until I was 16, so only 13 years of addiction under my belt. I actually preferred Diet Coke to normal soda and now normal soda tastes syrupy sweet to me. I swear that I have a massive tolerence to caffeine as the sheer quantity I must consume over the day must be huge and doesn't seem to affect me. And I also find I drink Diet Coke as an alternative to eating when I'm bored or just not doing an awful lot. But ya, I can see why people are grossed out by it, but it such a part of me now none of my friends question it - but half of them are addicted too. I did join a Facebook group about Diet Coke addicts once :)

                                                                                1. re: TheHuntress

                                                                                  Interesting you hear about "Diet Coke" addiction....does the same go for Diet Pepsi?

                                                                                  I know sometimes a place doesn't have DC so you have to go with DP, but I would assume people prefer Diet Coke.

                                                                                  1. re: monku

                                                                                    I noted somewhere above that in recent years I've actually become a bigger addict of wild cherry diet Pepsi. It has to be wild cherry, otherwise I prefer diet Coke. Don't like the cherry diet Coke nearly as much.

                                                                                    But really, I'll drink what I'm given so long as it's diet.

                                                                      2. I used to drink 5+ cans of regular coke a day, and stopped by just basically going on a water and milk liquid diet. I eat whatever else I want, but that one thing has surely saved me from a lot of issues down the road.

                                                                        One thing I did was measure out the amount of table sugar to equal the number of grams in a single can of coke.. It was scary, no other way to put it. I might as well have been sitting with a spoon and a bowl of sugar all day.

                                                                        Diet coke should be easy.. What tastes better - A big cold glass of fresh water, or a diet coke? I think water tastes twice as good.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: SocksManly

                                                                          I love good, fresh water!!! It can be from a bottle, or from the kitchen sink, or out of a well. I'm in an apartment where the city water here is so chlorinated that you might as well drink a swimming pool. I have my 2.5 gallon bottle of water on my kitchen counter and drink a lot of it, mostly when I wake up in the middle of the night or after I finish running. When I worked on a ranch in Tennessee we had some of the best well water I've ever tasted! I would fill up my water bottle throughout the day and it was better than any "expensive" water I'd buy in a store.

                                                                        2. Not a diet coke addict but do drink caffeine free occasionally as I'm not supposed to have caffeine per se. I AM allowed to have decaf in the a.m. so now I'm addicted to Starbucks decaf cappacino aaaaah! Anyway, for everyone who is drinking Crystal Light - read the label, maltodextrin is right up there in the front. Alot of that causes gastrointestinal problems for many people.

                                                                          1. Well, you have their doctors show them the studies on the effects of the phosphoric acid on bone density, and tell them what it's like to suffer spinal fractures due to osteoporosis. Nothing like excruciating pain and a hunchback when it comes to motivation!

                                                                            Then you give them an 8-oz. nautural, cane-sweetened Coke from Mexico once a month. Just don't tell them you can find it at Costco!

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                              Meaning of addiction: knowing what it can do to you, you keep on doing it.

                                                                              I did a report in college on the evidence that Nutrasweet caused brain damage in rats. Here I am, chugging away...

                                                                            2. Just give him a 12 pac of Diet Squirt. He'll never drink another Diet Coke again! Diet Squirt is more adictive than crack!

                                                                              1. 1 black talon, 2 if the case is very severe.

                                                                                1. If the damage to tooth enamel and stomach lining aren't enough to make you cut back/quit, consider the cost. Based on amounts cited on this thread, some people are spending close to $1000/yr on soda. Ages ago, I went from decaf diet Pepsi (about 4 liters a week) to diet decaf iced tea. Then money got even tighter, so I switched to tap water, and stuck with it - well over 10 yrs now.

                                                                                  1. I used to be much more of an addict than I am now. Like 20 years ago. The reason I stopped for 2 1/2 years is due to two factors. One is a personal reason I won't discuss, and the other was reading an entire page dedicated to the effects of Aspartame in the LA Times. I suffered headaches every day of my life. Never knew why, just thought it was me. Confusion, disillusionment, frustration, depression, disorientation, headaches and memory loss were all attributed to the use of Aspartame mentioned on that page... I didn't need those too so I quit. Maybe 1 time a month, I have one now.

                                                                                    So how to cure a diet coke addict? < quit drinking the stuff

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                      I've known others who've quit because of the headaches.

                                                                                      Still, it's a little unfair to say "just quit drinking it." Obviously, the article you read shows it's got a powerful effect on the body. It's had that effect on me for 28 years, over 2/3 of my life. Is it impossible to quit soda or anything? Of course not. Is it easy? Maybe for some. Not for me.

                                                                                      1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                        Unfair? Hum...it's a habit to you maybe, to me it's mind over matter. Do I smoke ? No. Did I? Yes. Did I quit cold turkey with no help? Yes. Was it hard? No. Do I have an addictive personality? I guess not. To me stopping a harmful or dangerous habit is mind over matter.

                                                                                        I meant no disrespect. We're different, I can do what I put my mind to. I also mentioned a reason I wouldn't state, I still won't but I will just say for me, it's all about my health.

                                                                                        Hope you get the info from this thread you're hoping for.

                                                                                    2. I have two, maybe 3 a day. for me, it's not just the sweetness, but the fizzy coldness and even more than that, especially if one has been sitting out a little while, i find great notes of flavor in a DC that always astound me, like wine (totally serious here!) - deep caramel and bright lime. I truly love the taste, and yes, it's about free calories, and no, i don't prefer water but force myself to drink it at dinner. There have been years where I drank only 1 a day, and years when I drank 4-5 a day, but it's never gotten worse than that, and i'm ok with my current 2-3. i don't drink coffee or tea.

                                                                                      1. My mom always had soda in the house, so I was raised on it. Drinking soda instead of water all day, every day until I was in my mid twenties. Luckily, I moved on to Diet Soda otherwise I'd be the size of a house.

                                                                                        I struggled with quitting a few times, but I basically just had to convince myself it wasn't worth it. I won't give up caffeine, but at least coffee or tea have antioxidants and other healthful properties. Soda has no health benefits. It's linked to the erosion of tooth enamel, intestinal problems, leeching calcium from your bones, and I'm sure a slew of other things.

                                                                                        I went cold turkey for a few weeks while I was in the midst of changing to a healthier lifestyle, then allowed myself to have a diet soda if I were out somewhere and didn't like their iced tea (I won't drink iced tea from a soda fountain.) Otherwise, at home I drink iced tea or water. A Sugarfree Redbull here and there, but rarely a soda. It can be done, you just really have to be ready, like any other addiction.

                                                                                        1. My husband was an addict, raised by one too, and as I'm the one who does (and pays for) all of the grocery shopping I got tired of lugging the cases, and paying the insane prices pretty quick. So I stopped buying diet coke, told him to buy his own, and stuck a pitcher of iced tea in the fridge. For a while he was going out and buying his own soda, and then he drank seltzer and iced tea. Now he's drinking water.

                                                                                          It took about 2 years, but he's off the diet coke habit. He'll have one at a restaurant if we're out, but none in the house. We've put a mini water cooler in the office (he works from home) and he's taken to carrying a bottle of water with him when he's out to client sites.

                                                                                          My favorite change is the breath. There's nothing like end of the day soda breath. Urk.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: odkaty

                                                                                            Ew. You may have just made the statement that could cure me!

                                                                                            1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                              Glad I could help ;-)

                                                                                              You'll make the change when you're ready, and it's a completely personal decision. In our case, all I did was quit enabling, my husband was responsible for the rest.

                                                                                          2. I have one, maybe two cans of diet Coke a year. I never drink full-fat Coke.
                                                                                            I'm pretty sure I'm not addicted - maybe they leave out the crack in the UK?

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Peg

                                                                                              Actually, I don't think regular soda has fat, just sugar, so it's empty calories.

                                                                                              I have two cans before 7am.

                                                                                              1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                I know Coke is fat free - but we call it 'full fat' in an ironic way over here. Oh, we Brits and our humour!

                                                                                                1. re: Peg

                                                                                                  i've heard that before!

                                                                                                  i'm having my first one today at almost 10:00 p.m. i guess why i love it so much, as i described above, is because i'm obviously not addicted to it. feel bad for others who are, i know NO addiction is easy to kick.

                                                                                            2. I'm fairly well addicted to diet sodas of all stripes. I've looked quite a bit at the medical research around the stuff, and it is far from conclusive. It's similar to research regarding coffee. There is a consensus that tea is good for you, but little research on the impact of consuming large quantities.

                                                                                              In this arena, it is very difficult to separate correlation from causation. A possibility of an increased risk of something that may or may not happen anyway is not sufficient to compel me to drop the habit.

                                                                                              1. I have to disagree with the OP how there aren't casual DC drinkers. While I'm more than casual (I actually prefer Coke Zero or Diet Pepsi) I'm definitely not addicted. I actually rather drink other forms of diet soda over diet coke any day.

                                                                                                Someone mentioned there are those people who sip diet coke from those big 7-11 cups all day. That for some reason grosses me out. Usually because those people tend to be the overweight types to begin with and think they're being healthier by having diet soda while chomping on some pastry or other junk food.

                                                                                                I think if you want to be "cured" from your diet coke habit, first figure out why you like it so mich. Is it the fizz? the cola taste? fills you up without the calories and the "sugar" taste? the caffeine? All of the above? Now figure out ways you can find other drinks that fulfill some of these. Try sparkling water (not the artificially flavored kind) and try soaking fruit in it. Try Fresca or Diet Root Beer that has no caffeine. Try out different things. I'd say drink water instead but usually people who drink a lot of diet coke rarely likes the taste of water that much.

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: spinachandchocolate

                                                                                                  I drink just as much as water as diet soda. Usually have a glass right next to my can. Hasn't curbed the habit at all.

                                                                                                  And I've half-heartedly tried at least reducing one of the evils—with noncaffeinated sodas, with sodas that use "natural" sweeteners, etc. They just don't do the trick.

                                                                                                  Which heightens my suspicion that there's something literally addictive in aspartame. Of course there are lots of conspiracy theories out there about it—some of which involve brain tumors and Donald Rumsfeld.


                                                                                                  1. re: spinachandchocolate

                                                                                                    I was horribly addicted to DC. I kept cans next to my bed! There were days when I'd bring one into the shower with me! It all came to a screeching halt the day 2 months ago when I went for a checkup and my doctor told me I was way too wired. "I can't even understand what you're saying" he told me. "How much coffee have you had today?" I'm not a coffee drinker but he then asked me if I drank any cola. "Uh, yes." He told me to cease and desist immediately. My heart was racing, my BP was up.

                                                                                                    I quit that day. Went back to my pre-high school days of club soda/seltzer/sparkling water.

                                                                                                    If I need something with flavor, I'll add some lemon or lime or some other kind of juice. I'll even drink sparkling apple cider on occasion. But I stay way from the DC now. I'm so proud of myself :)

                                                                                                  2. Just out of curiousity - why is this your "quest", or your business?

                                                                                                    I'm sort of thinking that unless this is an SO situation that really bothers you, then it's definitely a MYOB situation.

                                                                                                    1. i know someone that will buy a dessert (like real fudge, cookies, or cake made with real sugar) and wash it down with a diet coke and they do it because they prefer the taste of diet coke; it is very strange behavior to me, but it's what they like

                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                        I have a co-worker who does the opposite of what you mention in your posting. She puts 10-12 packets of real sugar in a cup of coffee, but eats the 100 calorie pack of cookies. If you’re going to eat a cookie, it might as well be worthwhile and if you can save the calories on the beverage, so much the better.

                                                                                                        Pure and simple, the addiction is about taste. While the crux of the addiction is the caffeine, in the end it comes down to a familiarity and simple comfort of the taste. This is why there is such passionate loyalty to any soft drink brand diet or not. I readily admit I'm addicted to DC and go through serious withdrawals when I travel abroad - as much as I hate to admit it, I've actually found that Pepsi Max comes closest to the DC experience in Western Europe. Forget about DC in Europe. For some strange reason, DC in Europe tastes like Coke Zero here - sweeter than the USA version and the European Coke Zero is actually closer to the American stuff. Go figure those wacky Euros.

                                                                                                        Most of us who are addicts have been so for a lifetime, so we can blame our parents. I know my kids can blame me. The other culprit is the restaurant industry. How often do you find a restaurant that offers any diet soda option other than cola? Almost never. If given a choice at a restaurant, I would welcome the opportunity to have a diet root beer, lemon-lime, orange or ginger ale. Yeah, I know, I could simply drink the non-diet version of those drinks, but that's a terrible waste of calories.

                                                                                                        1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                          Not terribly strange, and 800 calories is still better than 1,000 calories.

                                                                                                          1. re: ferret

                                                                                                            ferret, please read my post; i did not write anything about counting calories as being strange; what i wrote was ...."and they do it because they prefer the taste of diet coke"

                                                                                                            what is strange to me is they PREFER THE TASTE; they are not concerned with caloric intake

                                                                                                            1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                              I get you, crow. I'd rather have something like tea or coffee with my dessert.

                                                                                                              1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                                                                me too. and if i had to have a soda with my dessert? it would not be "diet"

                                                                                                          2. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                            I do this (eat something super high calorie with Diet Coke) and for the mentioned reason - I prefer Diet Coke. In fact, I can no longer stand real Coke. I blame this all on a roommate from uni who drank only Diet Coke - I got into the habit cuz that's all that was ever in the fridge. After leaving that living situation I soon realized that not only did I actively *crave* Diet Coke (midnight runs to the convenience store? check.) but, as I said, that regular Coke just tasted heavy and syrupy.

                                                                                                            I am typing this with an open can of it right beside me. :)

                                                                                                            1. re: montrealeater

                                                                                                              I agree. I started drinking diet sodas when they still had saccharin in them, it never bothered me much, but today's sweeteners are much better. I drank diet soda for so long that a sugar soda just about gags me. In fact, I'm down to a diet soda every few months.
                                                                                                              My weakness is iced tea, black or green- NO flavors, NO sweeteners, so refreshing and delicious. My absolute favorite is iced matcha, but it's a little labor-intensive and doesn't keep long. My coworkers are shameless diet soda drinkers, except for the shameless regular soda drinker, and two of them have had multiple episodes of renal calculi. I think "oh how could they?" but then I picture a world where somebody tells me I can never have iced tea again, and I understand why they still drink it. I'm just lucky it doesn't cause kidney stones.

                                                                                                            2. I was a Diet Pepsi addict for many years. It wasn't caffeine for me, because I always drank the caffeine free. It was just about habit. I drank it as a child, had change in my lunch bag instead of a juice box or water all through high school, and it just continued. Then I got old, and started to get indigestion, haha. There were visions in my head of and actual hole being burned in my stomach, so I just quit.
                                                                                                              Tums and soda are two things that are no longer on my grocery list, and my teeth bleaching jobs actually last.

                                                                                                              1. Do this:

                                                                                                                Pour some of your beloved Diet Coke into a cup. Place a few galvanized nails in the cup and put the cup inside a cabinet or somewhere so that you can't see it for a week.

                                                                                                                Come back a week later, and see what happened to the nails. And think of what Coke may be doing to your stomach and insides.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: arktos

                                                                                                                  Leave galvanized nails out in the rain for a week and see what happens to them.

                                                                                                                  Put them in milk/fruit juice/club soda for a week and see what happens to them.

                                                                                                                  Put them in your stomach acid for a week and see what happens to them.

                                                                                                                  This is silly. Nothing stays in your stomach for a week except for the acid that's normally there.

                                                                                                                  1. re: arktos

                                                                                                                    Especially if you have a gizzard full of galvanized nails.

                                                                                                                  2. What makes you think

                                                                                                                    A) There's anything wrong with them?
                                                                                                                    B) They want to be "cured"?
                                                                                                                    C) It's up to you to do it?

                                                                                                                    1. I think I might be addicted to DC. I don't drink a lot of it on weekends, but during workdays I have to have one either with lunch or in the afternoon, and another later in the early evening. It's really weird because I HATE the taste of artificial sweeteners in everything (Coffee, juice, desserts, etc.) except DC. For some reason, in DC I can't taste it (probably all the other chemicals). I think for me it's sort of some stress-relieving ritual to drink DC and things like water and tea just don't feel the same way in your mouth when you drink them... Also, to me, there are certain foods you just "Have" to have with DC, esp. pizza, any junk food like potato chips, Indian chaats and samosas. It drives me crazy to have to eat any of these things without DC accompanying it. My husband can't understand it, because he is convinced that samosas must be eaten with tea, and I go and ruin them with a DC. What can I say?

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: anakalia

                                                                                                                        Ah, see with my Indian husband, I tell him my weird combos (DC and samosas, dal with cornbread) reflect our international relationship--Indian and Southern US!

                                                                                                                        1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                          Oh, that's a good one! I'll point that out next time (and dal and cornbread sounds delicious!).

                                                                                                                        2. re: anakalia

                                                                                                                          Wow, Anakalia, that whole post is EXACTLY how I am with the DC. Seriously, right down to the ritual of it, to the avoidance of anything else artificially sweetened and to the fact that pizza, chips etc. just aren't any good without a cold DC. I usually have one in place of what would be a morning coffee for many, then another in the afternoon and soemtimes another in the evening. We need to start a support group or something. :D

                                                                                                                          1. re: montrealeater

                                                                                                                            Yep, I would definitely be a part of that support group :)

                                                                                                                        3. My wife has this addiction - I used to. Any time she quits she gets major migraines. I bought a drink carbonator years ago, and put in natural juices, Worked for me. I now just have a Moxie, or some other "gourmet" soda as a treat, There is a cherry extract sold locally that two tablespoons in a glass of carbonated water actually helps me sleep.
                                                                                                                          At work, I have a large "Bubba Keg" that I fill with ice, then the home made soda, and if I run out by the end of the day I drink water.

                                                                                                                          1. Well Diet Coke is to the drinker what coffee is to the person who has a timer on their coffee pot so that they have their steaming hot cup of coffee. It is the caffeine. For people with ADD and have not been diagnosed (thus unmedicated), it is self-medicating.

                                                                                                                            While I was a mainliner for almost 30 years (TAB before and then Diet Coke), I have recently researched aspartame etc. due to advice from my psychiatrist and have discovered that it is deadly for almost everyone but especially those with bipolar disorder which I also have. I have stopped drinking and eating all products with aspartame. I found that fountain soda is made with saccharin and treat myself to one when I am out at a restaurant. Diet Coke is one of the more refreshing sodas.

                                                                                                                            Caffeine addiction is actually a medically identified "disorder" and is very painful when you stop drinking caffeine. It gives the person headaches etc. I substitute my need for caffeine with ice tea and have weened that down to a reasonable amount. I am trying to drink more water because I never had bladder infections as long as I drank that much soda and need to increase my fluid intake....enough said.

                                                                                                                            1. Sign me up for diet coke addicts anonymous - confessed diet coke addict and don't see anything egregiously wrong with it.

                                                                                                                              1. I was a die hard DC drinker up until about a year ago. You always saw me with my mug of iced DC and usually had replacements nearby. I'd drink around six plus per day. I knew it was too much, but never was able to quit.

                                                                                                                                We went on a trip last year and were in Pepsi country. hate the stuff, so I just bought a bunch of bottled water. I also bought some of those instant iced tea packets you just pour into the bottle and shake up. Drank water and tea for that whole trip. Came home and decided now was as good as any time to stop. After a couple weeks, I even gave up the regular use of the tea packets and just drink lots of water.

                                                                                                                                I'll have the occasional Lipton ice tea now, but the one time I had DC, it tasted awful. I guess I am cured for good...