“I feel great, life is better without soda, and sugar in general :)” -@Lotta
“I’m really proud of myself, I feel much healthier and don’t really crave soda anymore!” -@FabulousFreya
“Building a habit is difficult, this app helped :-)” -@giacomo
“I actually stopped drinking soda and switched completely to water. I’m looking forward to the next Challenge.” -itscheezybabay
“I feel great. In the beginning I had cravings but those have disappeared completely :)” -FabulousFreya
What’s In & What’s Out
- No soda or diet soda.
- Yes, organic and “all natural” sodas are still sodas.
- Sparkling water and seltzer are great! Get creative!
- 100% fruit juice is better than soda, but it’s still liquid sugar. It’s allowed, but try adding some water (either flat or sparkling) to dilute it.
- Honey and maple syrup are added sugars, but adding a teaspoon to a cup of tea makes for a better beverage than a soda. Just make sure you don’t use too much sweetener. (Try adding ginger and lemon!)
- If you slip, no biggie. Slipping means you’re trying, which is what counts! You can get back on track for the rest of the day.
Why This Is A Good Idea
Sodas, both the empty calories of regular and some of the artificial sweeteners of diet, negatively affect your entire body. Obesity, type 2 diabetes, cavities, heart disease, low bone-density…Yep, soda can be blamed for all of them. In fact, recent analysis revealed that sugar-sweetened beverages account for 184,000 deaths worldwide each year. Whoa! Plus, since most of the added sugar Americans consume is through sugary drinks, avoiding soda will help you cut back your overall sugar intake to meet the World Health Organization’s 2015 guidelines: less than 10% of the calories we consume should be from added sugars. Specifically, the American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 6 teaspoons (about 24 grams) of added sugar per day, and men no more than 9 teaspoons (about 36 grams). For reference, a regular can of soda has 8 teaspoons of sugar.
Over 70% of strokes and colon cancer can be avoided, as can at least 80% of heart disease and 90% of type 2 diabetes, and diet is a significant factor. Along with exercise and not smoking, developing good eating habits (less animal products, less processed food and more veggies and fruit) can help cut your risk of diabetes by 95%, your risk of heart attack by 80% and risk of a stroke by half.
Basic Tips & Useful Hints
- Be sure to check in every time you drink something so you build the habit more quickly. If you drink water instead of soda, check in. If you drink tea instead of soda, check in. If you took a sip of soda, check in and use a free pass. Checking in right when you drink something is more effective than waiting till the end of the day.
- Hang tight, you’re probably going to crave soda for the first few days. But once you get through that first stretch, it will get easier.
- Keep a water bottle with you at all times, and stay well hydrated. (Like an icy cold drink? Try keeping your water in a Yeti, RTIC, Thermos, or other insulated cooler.) You might think you need a sugar fix, when really you’re just thirsty.
- Add chopped fruit and/or mint to sparkling water. A minty, cold, fizzy drink with pieces of cantaloupe and watermelon, fresh berries, grapes or orange slices at the bottom is sweet, hydrating and refreshing—without the sugar rush.
- Clean out your fridge and stock it with sparkling water and unsweetened iced tea instead. If you’re craving a soda and one is staring you in the face, you’re much more likely to slip.
- Make your own green juice, using mostly veggies and adding a few slices of apple for sweetness.
- Stock up on fresh or frozen fruit and veggies. Simply putting something in your mouth will likely take your mind off of your soda craving.
- Eat protein and healthy fats which help keep you full and regulate blood sugar levels; beans, nuts, organic soy products, eggs, hummus, lentils, yogurt, cheese, fish and avocado are all great sources.
- Eat solid, nutritious meals to help regulate blood sugar levels, and keep cravings at bay.
- Sparkling water (or a SodaStream!) to get your bubbly fix.
- Hit the tea aisle (for loose or bagged tea) for a flavored drink alternative.
- The produce section is your new bff! Buy whole fruits to satisfy your sugar craving, and veggies to give you fiber.
- Buy frozen fruit for easy storage and use. Frozen mango chunks double as ice cubes in your fizzy water.
- Buy veggies that can be eaten raw as a snack—zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, celery, bell peppers, green beans.
- Have hummus on hand, for the veggies.
- Your favorite proteins—sustainably sourced fish, tofu, etc.
- Hit the bulk bins, the mothership of protein-rich beans and nutritious whole grains like amaranth, bulgur, brown rice, buckwheat and quinoa.
- Nuts and nut butters
- Brown rice cakes, for the nut butters
Smart Things To Read And Watch
- A video on added sugar from the University of California
- Sugar industry’s funding of research - Marion Nestle’s commentary
- Sugar Shock
- CSPI’s Nutrition Action health letter Interview with Marion Nestle
- Non-Alcoholic Drinks and Fatty Liver Disease
- Harvard Nutrition Source Added Sugar in the Diet
- Labeling the Danger in Soda
- Why You Need To Say Goodbye To Soda For Good
- The Sugar-Heart Connection
- Here’s How Diet Soda Messes With Your Brain
- The sugar conspiracy
- CSPI Downgrades Sucralose from “Caution” to “Avoid”
- The Bitter Truth by Dr. Robert Lustig
- What about fruit juice?
- What’s the difference between added sugar and free sugar?
- What is “Free Sugar”
- No added sugar diet improves metabolic syndrome in kids.
- Why aren’t all calories the same?
- 56 Different Names For Sugar
- Sugary Drinks Take a Deathly Toll
- Eliminate Most of Your Chronic Disease Risk in Four Steps
Note: Foodstand is not focused on the number on the scale. Weight loss can be a byproduct of developing healthier eating habits, but if you have questions about your weight, please contact your physician.