Diet Soda Addiction

I need your help.  I have a problem drinking too much diet soda.  I consume a minimum of 4 cans every day.  Sometimes 6.  Probably more.  Sometimes I forget what water tastes like because it’s been so long since I’ve had any.  There are definitely days where I don’t consume any liquids other than sodas.  There might even be weeks.

Also, I generally feel rotten all the time.  The two might be related.

I have made several efforts to reduce my soda consumption in the past, and have failed.  I’m sort of interested in trying to quit cold-turkey, but I’ve got a few 12-packs in the basement, and, well…, that would just be a poor investment if I didn’t drink them, right?

Ever quit a bad habit before?  Found any useful strategies for dropping bad habits?

22 comments to Diet Soda Addiction

  • I have quit soda for the most part. I just don't buy it. It started in college when I was too poor to spend grocery money on extras–and I definitely consider diet soda an extra and not a staple. Now I'm just in the habit and hate to spend money on something that has no nutritional value and erodes my already weak tooth enamel. If I'm out to eat, or it's free at a meeting, I left myself drink it up. But overall financial and dental incentive NOT to drink it win out. Plus, with the money you save not drinking four cans a day, maybe a data plan isn't out of reach. 🙂 Maybe try stepping down with flavored seltzer or something.

  • @Stephanie – you may be onto something here. I easily spend $40/month on soda. Maybe I should make a deal with myself where I reward myself with a data plan if I can successfully quit soda.

    Also, don't tell my wife I spend $40/month on soda or she'll be mad.

  • Think about all the environmental damage caused by shipping soda (liquids are heavy!) and creating soda cans and bottles. Even recycling takes energy. Drinking tap water instead of soda is better for the environment!

    I don't have the soda habit that you do, but I drink a few sodas every week and am trying to cut down to be healthier. The environment is a good additional motivator for me.

  • Joe

    It helps to identify a negative physical side-effect from your habit. Make sure to track the progress of that side-effect going away as you go cold-turkey. That's one thing I've found to be motivating. Worked really well in my attempt to cut caffeine from my diet.

  • The first step is deciding you want a change – that's huge. Looks like you're there. As for the rest, my method for giving up pop was very similar to Stephanie's – being poor in my early 20s and thinking about the health effects. Basically, I just don't buy it at the grocery store – ever, ever, ever, EVER. Sometimes if I crave a can I'll have one, but I find that drinking it rarely almost completely reduces craving. Good luck!

  • I'm the same way…I love diet soda, even though I know it hurts me. I have limited myself to just 1 a day, only at lunch. The caffeine was messing with my sleep, so that helped me cut them out at dinner. Hopefully someday soon I'll quit for good.

  • $40 a month!!!!
    We'll have to talk about this later…

  • @Kara – but it feels so GOOD to put a huge stack of empty cans out for recycling – even if metal scrappers always come and steal it before the city recycling truck gets here anyway.

  • @Joe B – that's quite a data-driven approach! I like it.

    @my name is Amanda – so it looks like all I have to do is quit my job and become really poor again and I'll be set!

    @Hizzeather – you and me both.

    @Melanie – YIKES!

  • Kat

    Now is not the time to quit. Have you smelled/drank the city water lately?! It's gross. All the snow melted too fast for water treatment plant to keep up. Drink up the sodas in your basement and put off the quitting for another week until the water is back to normal.

    Also, Mark ad I keep our camelback water bottles in the fridge all the time and it helps us drink water when its already in there and cold and we don't have to get out a cup and fill it up. It doesn't seem like it should help, but we really drink a lot less water during the times when those water bottles are in the dishwasher.

  • marla

    i have been trying to stop for a while…
    it's SO hard!!!
    this lady taught relief society once –
    she brought in a picnic basket and opened it up — and showed how many cans of soda she drank in ONE week — and she talked about addictions. a little over the top but when you looked at all that pop, staring at you on the table, you realize just how much it's overtaken you…
    so i have zero solutions… but i feel your pain.

  • @kat – you are the devil

  • @marla – whatever you do, don't ask kat for help quitting – she will just try to talk you out of quitting.

  • Tara

    Cold turkey, that was the strategy that worked for me when I quit drinking pop in highschool. I also like a reward system that doesn't involve what I am trying to avoid because then I just go right back to the old habit.

  • Nathan

    Is your pop caffeinated? If so consider tapering to avoid withdrawal headaches. Maybe Julie and I can give you one of Keely's puppy teeth to leave in pop. If it really dissolves like they say then you will be scared straight.

  • Julianna Babics and Theo McCormick

    Try Diet Kola Capsules, has the caffeine, and all the other good stuff, but no aspartame.
    Reuben, Send an email to and we will get a sample bottle to you.

  • @Tara – good idea to separate the rewards from the soda….

    @Nathan – SCIENCE!!!!!!!

    @Julianna Babics and Theo McCormick – but the caffeine is one of the things I'm trying to eliminate!!!! Maybe I'll check out DKC anyway…

  • Haa haa! Like when did you notice you have a problem?

    The only thing I really remember quitting is lying and that was when I was about 13 – oh, I did quit eating meat too after my mission – I'm not so much for cold turkey, but maybe if you have a bunch of soda, you could just quit buying it? And then make an amount that you can buy in a month and keep to it? Nathan is right, if it's caffeinated (mountain dew is) then you might be in for some headaches if you try to quit just like that. What about one soda a day? Or similar?

  • @Tuittu – I first noticed my problem back in 1998. I decided right then and there to quit. I've been quitting ever since.

  • linn


  • @linn – Oh, what a great idea.

  • Unlike you, I look forward to my huge brain tumor.