One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life is overcome my addiction to fizzy drinks, and it’s something I haven’t been able to stick with even despite cutting them out of my life twice for over a year each time. Despite my inability to keep off them on a permanent basis, hopefully my advice here will help you in being able to overcome your addiction to fizzy drinks.
Cutting down on fizzy drinks like Coke, Pepsi, 7 Up and all forms of energy drink is insanely hard, and much harder in my experience than cutting down on smoking, which is comparatively easy to give up. Smoking by comparison was far easier as I gave up in 2006 after being a chain smoker for 8 years and I never looked back.
For me the most addictive of all fizzy drinks is Coca Cola. There is something about the refreshing taste a nice cold coke brings when watching an episode of Red Dwarf, or relaxing at home after a run in summer. A nice cool beverage that instantly calms, relaxes and fills you with happiness. You can probably tell how much I want one as I’m writing this!
So having given up on fizzy drinks entirely twice before for a yearly period, each, I have some experience of coming off of them. As to why I’ve gone back on, it’s a simple story as troubles in life cause one to fall back on bad habits. Still, I a, starting again with this tried and tested method of giving up!
There are several techniques I use to try and overcome my addiction.
1: Punishment taxing. The first technique I try is one which lasts throughout the entirety of my getting out of addiction phase. This is where I make a pact with myself that every time I buy a fizzy drink, I should put the exact same amount of money into a savings account. I double this for Coca Cola, because this is without doubt the worst of my vices. This generally persuades me to go for cheaper alternatives like Dr. Pepper and stops me from immediately going to the thing I crave most.
2: Seperation. I have a mini fridge in my room, just big enough for bottles of coke. Normally if I have the fridge full of fizzy drinks, I will sit there and write or play computer games and drink and drink without thinking. If however I put the coke downstairs and bring it up in a small glass, I find the coke lasts a lot longer and I consume a lot less of it. By separating it into a glass, I stop myself from just bringing up the cold bottle and binge drinking it. It’s amazing how useful it is to be a bit of a lazy bones when it comes to this kind of thing!
3: Watering down. This is pretty horrible because if you’ve ever done it you will know how horrible and unnatural it tastes. When watering the drinks down do it really gradually over time until you get to about half way, otherwise you are going to occasionally get caffeine or sugar headaches, both of these absolutely suck, and they’re the worst part about quitting if you go cold turkey, as it’s too easy to just go out and buy a couple of energy drinks to make the pain go away.
4: Use a high caffeine replacement that you don’t like the taste of. I absolutely hate green tea, and I definitely owe it for helping me get off Coca Cola without having to deal with the insane caffeine headaches. Put a green tea in between the times you will drink fizzy drinks, so you will never drink two in a row. Try to avoid putting sugar in these as you will want to try and reduce your sugar intake.
5: Finally, after working this way for a while, when you are comfortable, stop drinking the fizzy drinks and just continue with your replacement. You should continue with the caffeine replacement for a while whittling it out bit by bit. Eventually you should be fine coming off those drinks as well even to the point it’s just water.
Giving up fizzy drinks is really hard, and most people don’t see them as a problem, however the adverse health effects over time can have a horrible effect on your body. By following these techniques, hopefully you’ll be able to overcome fizzy drinks and make life a little bit easier!
I am a motivational speaker and business consultant based in London.