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Old 02-25-06, 09:04 PM   #1
Digital Gee
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How have you weaned yourself off soda?

I'm looking for advice from the 50+ community on how to wean myself from soda. Surely some of you have done it, right? I'd like to hear from those who've been sodaholics for many years but finally figured out how to "just say no."

I have cases of Fresca (I buy it on sale) in my home, all three flavors. These are sugar free, but I'm sure the artificial sugar ain't particularly good for me, either.

When I'm out and about, I'll drink Coke -- not diet, but the real, high-test stuff.

I'd like to eliminate soda from my diet. I've tried switching to water, or water with lemon, and that works for a while, but I'm afraid that forty years of soda consumption (especially as we weren't allowed to have it as a child in my family) have me hooked.

So -- what have you done? Switched to juice? Quit soda cold turkey? Gone to ice tea? What's the number for Soda Anonymous -- and how does one get a sponsor?
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Old 02-25-06, 09:42 PM   #2
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Diet sodas contain aspartame-not good. I also used to drink many sodas every day. Now I put seven bottles of water, 16oz each, on the counter every morning which must be consumed throughout the day. No more room in the tummy for drinking anything else at home. When I'm on the bike, I see no reason not to drink a regular coke. About 32 grams of sugar, 32 grams od carbs, go juice., If you want another reason to quit remember, soda is high in phosphoric acid which eats your bones up,couple that with the fact that bicycling is low impact and does not strengthen your bones and you may be headed for trouble
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Old 02-25-06, 09:45 PM   #3
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This is a tough one for me,too. My method has been to reduce my consumption of fast food - period. Not completely, but substantially. For me, Coke goes with fast food like gravy on mashed potatoes. I love Coke.

Fruit juice isn't really an alternative because the sugar content is high. Even 100% juice is loaded with sugar. It does have vitamins, though. Coke has nothing.

I'm afraid that water is the choice of us calorie-challenged. Double the lemon, please.
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Old 02-25-06, 09:47 PM   #4
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No strategies here.I teach 10 year olds. Once a year I stop by my dentist's office and he gives me some teeth he's pulled...usually nice ones. They're surprizingly big with the roots and all.

Anyway, back in the classroom, we soak them in mason jars filled with coke, pepsi, etc. At the end of a week we fish them out. Invariably they are pitted and stained. At the end of two weeks they have become cratered. Good lesson for the kids.
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Old 02-25-06, 09:48 PM   #5
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I never really got started on sodas, beyond an occasional root beer. Today my only "sodas" are Juice Squeeze and other carbonated fruit juices.
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Old 02-25-06, 09:51 PM   #6
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I used to drink a lot of coke (probably a 6 pack of cans a day at my peak. I find that ice water was what I needed. Even though I could drink coke at any temperature from iced to room temerature, I found that water would only cut through the "thirst" that coke used to when it was very cold.

For me, cold turkey was best...
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Old 02-25-06, 09:54 PM   #7
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Sorry, can't help you! Never was a soda "jerk."

Water is my bag - perhaps two diet lemon-limes a week.

Some recent research suggests some artificial sweeteners increase the desire for sugar.
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Old 02-25-06, 09:57 PM   #8
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On another thread, several people advised making small changes in one's diet to lose weight. So I'm thinking this soda thing might be a good idea.

Anyone have an ice tea maker, or are those a waste of money? I do enjoy making sun tea, but that relies on having enough memory to make it a few hours before one wants it. I often don't have that kind of memory to spare. I'm thinking I could enjoy ice tea with lemon.
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Old 02-25-06, 10:20 PM   #9
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If you would normally maintain weight for a given year, and remove one can of cola per day you will lose 16 pounds in a year... so yes, small changes do make a difference.
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Old 02-25-06, 10:43 PM   #10
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Dang Gary-you really know how to zero in on everyone's vulnerablilities don't you?

I used to be a big Mountain Dew guy. I'd drink a couple in the morning and who knows how many after lunch and in the evening. I'd even wake up at night and run to the fridge and get a few swallows. I had some minor heart issues (atrial fib) and quickly realized that caffeine was not helping it so I switched to caffeine free Mt Dew. Coming down off that much of a daily dose of caffeine caused withdrawal symptons very much like the flu.

My next issues were kidney stones. LOTs of kidney stones-at least one every 3 mos. The urologist told me that while sodas weren't the primary source they were a large contributing factor-along with iced tea. But, he told me that if I drank lemonade, it actually helps to keep my calcium oxalate stones from forming so quickly.

So, I'm completely off sodas and drink lots and lots of lemonade (Minute Maid in the carton is my favorite-can't stand the Lite versions......) and water. I always order lemonade when it's available or just get water. I know there is sugar in the lemonade but that's another reason I simply pile on the miles.

I'll admit it took a little while to get off the sodas and tea (the really good sweetened Southern version) but I had some good reasons to do it. We all probably have some unhealthy habits and mentally it would be really hard to come completely clean on them all-but I just can't see where sodas are doing us any good.....
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Old 02-25-06, 10:44 PM   #11
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Aside from my smart-ass but true reply above about teeth, regular fruit juices diluted a bit with carbonated water (Calistoga, etc.) and a squeeze of lemon or lim when appropriate can be an alternative-- and a lot of discipline at first I'm afraid. I've never been a soda guy because they seem so sweet to me. Now, homemade cookies.....
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Old 02-25-06, 10:45 PM   #12
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Dropping soda from the diet is indeed a good move. As with so many other things, though, it's a lot easier if you replace it with something else you really like. That's a very personal thing, and your mileage surely will vary. What has worked for me is to replace it with sparkling water with lots of lemon or lime squeezed in. The sparkle gives it the same "feel" as a soda, and if you put enough lemon or lime in you really get some nice flavor too. Chilled down and consumed after a ride, I find it quite satisfying.

Fruit juices are good too. Watch what you get, because a lot of them are sweetened. Shop around, and find something really tasty. Discipline is a fine thing to have, but it's a lot easier to cut something out if you replace it with something you like even better.

Good luck!!!
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Old 02-25-06, 11:02 PM   #13
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Well, I buy cases of Tejava iced tea. It is unsweetened, so you might not like it, but I love the stuff. On my second liter bottle of the day right now. It can be pretty expensive if you buy the smaller bottles at the market, but if you have a Trader Joes near you, it only costs 98 cents for each liter sized bottle.
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Old 02-25-06, 11:18 PM   #14
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Fresca! I haven't drank that since I was in RVN where it could be had for 50cents a case! Be that as it may, try quitting cold turkey. I've read some studies that say that for smokers that is generally the most effective way and I have found that this is the most effective way for me to quit my bad habit du jour. Good luck!
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Old 02-26-06, 12:09 AM   #15
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Tea Recipe

Get one of those 2 qt plastic pitchers with a tight fitting lid.
Green tea bags. Bigelow or Celestial Seasonings are good brands.
Black tea bags. Earl Grey, English Breakfast, English Teatime. Bigelow or Stash.
Good quality tea tastes better.... that's just the way it is.
Lipton's is for restaurants and airlines.

Boil 4 cups of water in a saucepan.
Remove from heat.
Put in 4 green and 2 black tea bags.
Steep for 8 minutes only and remove tea bags.
Pour the tea into the pitcher and fill with cold water.
Store in the fridge.

When thirsty, fill a tall glass with cold tea, squeeze a large lemon wedge in there and sweeten with 1 teaspoon of splenda.

Drinking green tea with meals is supposed to help with weight loss. It has a lot of caffiene if you need to watch that.

For a refreshing summertime drink, stir in a tablespoon of Gatorade lemon/lime powder and some ice cubes instead of the lemon and splenda.

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Old 02-26-06, 02:25 AM   #16
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Coffee- Wine- Water.
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Old 02-26-06, 05:57 AM   #17
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Coffee- Wine- Water.

Addendum to this--- Dentist bills.
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Old 02-26-06, 07:08 AM   #18
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I used to drink about six cans of Coke a day. Here's what I did:

1 Limited myself to one can, consumed right after riding to work. (none on weekends).
2 Started drinking lemon seltzer water as a replacement.
3 Began drinking fruit juices.

The can of Coke is the day's big treat. If I do something energetic (like ride 10 miles towing my kid in a trailer when it is really hot) I allow myself a second Coke.

The result was I began losing a pound a month sinch I started this two years ago. Also, I enjoy my morning drink, but no longer crave it.

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Old 02-26-06, 07:50 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
Anyone have an ice tea maker, or are those a waste of money? I do enjoy making sun tea, but that relies on having enough memory to make it a few hours before one wants it. I often don't have that kind of memory to spare. I'm thinking I could enjoy ice tea with lemon.
We have a Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker that we use mainly in the summer. Not must taste for iced tea when every thing else is cold and icey. The tea maker works very well. It uses standard coffee filters and you can use tea bags or loose tea. We like to go to a tea shop and buy different flavors of loose tea, especially strawberry or orange spice. The loose teas don't need much sweetening and most are caffeen free. It helps if you have an ice maker, since you fill the pitcher with ice to start (two trays of cubes).
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Old 02-26-06, 08:11 AM   #20
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Up until I was in my late 20's I use to drink coke a lot, but then I stopped cold turkey, it was hard for a while but I got over it. Now I drink water-on a long, hard bike ride I will take Citomax to keep my energy level up. I rarely drink soda now, if we go out to eat, I may drink tea. Changing your diet to better foods will probably help too. Remember, your body is like a car, if you put crummy gas in it, it will run crummy, good fuel, then it will perform well. Garbage in, garbage out.
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Old 02-26-06, 08:23 AM   #21
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I used to drink at least six 12 ounce Pepsi's a day. I could go through a 20 pack on the weekend, no problem. I drank Coke or Dr. Pepper every now and then just to mix things up. In addition to that, here in the deep south sweet iced tea is a way of life. We make it every day for either lunch or supper. I've managed to wean myself off the soft drinks, except for one at lunch two or three times a week. I don't drink the diet ones, my wife thinks the artificial sweeteners are worse than sugar. My wife also thinks that sweet Koolaid with a cup of sugar is better for you than soft drinks. (I'll take her word for it, she's in the food business.)

To quit, I just started not drinking all of a canned soft drink. I'd drink some, then pour the rest out. If I was drinking by the glass I'd just keep adding ice. That way the soft drink part at least gets watered down by the melting ice. I also started drinking water, lots of water. Plain old tap water is cheap. When I was a kid we always had a pitcher of water in the fridge. After a hard day of play nothing was better. Somehow as I got older I got away from that habit.

The odd thing is, even with all the crap I used to eat and drink, I never had a weight problem until I quit smoking. I had lots of cavity problems, but I could go years and not gain or drop any pounds. When I did gain weight it was usually during a quit smoking try, and I could put on 15 or 20 pounds in a month without cigs. When I started back smoking I would lose a little of the new weight. When I finally quit for good two years ago I gained 30 pounds to 195. After starting to drink mostly water I've gotten down to 190 and there I've stayed. So I want to get a bike to see if I can work off the other 25 pounds and get back to 160. I feel like a pig with this much weight. Good luck on quitting soft drinks, they are not good for you.
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Old 02-26-06, 08:47 AM   #22
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I do enjoy an occasional soda, coke, orange but only if it is offered to me, so for me, soda, coffee, ice tea etc. is optional. 95% of the time, I am drinking water, hot tea with lemon and milk. At the young age of 58, I want to minimize dental expenses. I hope to keep my canine choppers for another 50 years, even if they're not in my mouth.

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Old 02-26-06, 11:32 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
I'm looking for advice from the 50+ community on how to wean myself from soda. Surely some of you have done it, right? I'd like to hear from those who've been sodaholics for many years but finally figured out how to "just say no."
Great question. Wish I had the answer. Last time I tried, I remained soda free for three months and gave up because constantly thinking about soda was consuming my life. At least when I drink soda, I don't think about it all the time.
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Old 02-26-06, 12:57 PM   #24
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I think to quit soda addiction you'd need some replacement first. Mineral water, hot tea, coffee, homemade lemonade, juice, beer, vodka.
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Old 02-26-06, 04:24 PM   #25
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If keeping the caffine is important, they make some nice Green Teas - Blueberry & Rasberry, etc. You can choose to add a little Splenda if keeping the weight off is the focus (as it is for me).

If you're trying to get yourself to drink more water specifically, try one of the Fruitwater products. They don't add sweetner or have any calories, and they're suprisingly tasty. There's just a hint of flavor that gives you the feeling that it's a "Beverage" rather than "booring" water.
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