It's one of the most common resolutions people make -- cut back on the soda. As of 2010, AdAge reported Americans consume an average of 44.7 gallons of soda per year, making carbonated drinks the most popular beverage in the country.
With new regulations in New York City on sizes and research continuing to link soda consumption to obesity and diabetes, it's not hard to see why many soda lovers are breaking up with their favorite drink. But actions speak louder than words and the proof is in the pudding, right (bad comparison when talking about getting healthy)?
Here are some great tips to help you ditch the sugary soda once and for all. Your whole body will thank you:
1. Flavor your water.
While making cola from fruit could be a challenge, you can try slicing up fruits like lemons, limes, berries and watermelon and adding them to your water. Make a large pitcher to keep in the fridge, just like a two liter. If you're still craving sweetness, go the natural route, with stevia or agave nectar. You can find them in liquid form, which makes them easier to add to liquids.
2. Grab a seltzer or sparkling beverage.
In addition to the taste, the fizzy carbonation is also a characteristic of soda people crave. You can get the same effect with seltzer or sparking water and many are available in natural flavors. If you can't find one you love, try adding some of the fruits mentioned above or a liquid extract. You'll get all the bubbles without the extra calories.
3. Try chromium polynicotinate.
This type of supplemental chromium contains niacin (vitamin B3), which helps the body metabolize fats, carbohydrates and proteins. It also helps keep blood sugar levels steady so you don't feel that drain in energy that so many people cure with a soda. Your body is also better able to produce insulin. Try 200 mcg a day.
4. Try saffron with satiereal.
If you find yourself gulping down soda when you're stressed, satiereal saffron is a great supplement to get your coping mechanisms in check. The active compounds with satiereal saffron include safranal and crocin. These two compounds boost serotonin levels. Serotonin is the "happy hormone," and when you have enough of it being produced within the body, you feel less stressed and therefore, less likely to sip. Take 88.25 mg twice a day.
5. Think rooibos.
Instead of reaching for the soda, make yourself a glass of this delicious red tea. Rooibos tea is packed with antioxidants to fight off free radicals, is naturally caffeine free and incredibly refreshing. With a light but sweet taste, you can drink it hot or cold. You won't even need to sweeten it.
6. Licorice isn't just candy.
Another great tea to try is licorice. That's right, licorice tea. Recommended on the April 17, 2012 episode of "The Dr. Oz Show," this sweet tea supports a healthy liver for proper detoxification, the digestive system to reduce bloat and soothes to prevent stress eating or drinking. Licorice root is actually 50 times sweeter than sugar, so try it hot or cold next time you have the urge.
7. Snack on fruit.
Fruits are a great way to get a sweet fix without reaching for soda as well as cake or candy. Whether you eat them plain, add them to yogurt, macerate them in seltzer or run them through the juicer, they make a healthy alternative. Be careful though, fruit and fruit juices do contain natural sugar. Drinking glass after glass or eating cup after cup could be counterproductive to your goal.
8. Check out kola nut.
Going back to the point about making cola from fruit. The typical flavor of cola comes from the kola nut before all the sugar and bad stuff if added. In addition to giving you the taste, kola nut also soothes the digestive system and can relieve an upset stomach. Look for a liquid extract and add to filtered or sparkling water.
A healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fiber and dark, leafy greens can also help you keep your diet on track. Eating plenty of whole grains and lean protein will also prevent those spikes and dips in blood sugar levels that can make you reach for the soda. As always, speak with your doctor before adding any of the aforementioned supplements to your routine.
Cut the soda to slim down and stay healthy for years to come. You can still satisfy those cravings with the tips above, so give it a shot! Shop for the products mentioned and more at eVitamins to get started.
Products you may like:
Heritage Products Cola Syrup Natural Why you may like this product? Want to make your own healthy
cola? Try this syrup that's
free of gluten, artificial
colors and flavors. Made from
kola nut and sweetened
naturally, you can use it to
make your own cola and control
the contents. It also helps
soothe an upset stomach.
Now Foods Better Off Red Rooibos Tea Why you may like this product? A great substitute for soda is
rooibos tea. This sweet red tea
tastes great hot or cold and is
loaded with antioxidants.
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