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    I can live without diet soda!
    Elaine Magee, MPH, RD posted:
    My husband and I have given up diet soda for Lent which means each and every day in the middle of the afternoon when I usually REALLY enjoy my one token daily iced diet coke or pepsi...I can't. I've got less than three weeks to go at this point so I thought I would take a moment to reflect on this a bit. 

    Kicking the soda habit (regular or diet) comes down to three steps:

    Make up your mind to give it up.

    Gradually switch to diet sodas (if you are giving up regular soda) and other calorie-free or nutrient-rich beverage options. Make a list of qualifying beverages you truly enjoy (mineral water, iced unsweetened tea, hot tea, coffee, tap water flavored with lemon or lime or cucumber slices, light soy milk, skim milk, etc)

    Stock up on these non-soda options so they'll be conveniently waiting for you when the "soda" urge hits.

    I was just chatting with my husband on the fact that we both have made it halfway through our "giving up diet soda for Lent" commitment. And I thought about whether I had lost the desire for it (I've heard others talk about how this can happen when you give various food or drink up). I have proven to myself that I can go without my one diet soda a day but I can honestly say I still miss it. 

    I think the first few days were the hardest and it has helped that I really enjoy drinking assorted green and black teas, plain old water and flavored mineral water.

    Have any of you given up something you eat or drink everyday for Lent? If so, how's it going for you?
    Louise_WebMD_Staff responded:
    I am a Coke fiend-real Coke. Not diet.

    I don't give up anything for Lent. I even gave up temporarily on my quest to lower my cholesterol through diet. Stress has been a killer the last 6 weeks or so and I am hoping it doesn't literally become a killer in the years to come-so I will work on that instead right now. (Hey that is good for cholesterol too I hear)
    Jis4Judy responded:
    Hi I don;t do lent give ups , but I did do something a while back similar. I delayed or gave up Icecream and other sweets as part of my Nutrition Quest. I used to eat icecream and other sweets daily that was pre 2003. I told myself that if I stayed on my plan for a whole month I could have 1 serving of icream at an icecream shoppe well my indulgences the first year was maybe 6 times in 2003 and reduced each year with one year 2007 I didn;t indulge at all... last 2 years maybe 2 or 3 times at the ice cream shoppe.. so I still like ice cream but it is no longer a daily indulgence..what I think I did was take away the deptived feeling by putting the condition of staying on plan a whole month ...before indulgeing ,, I rarely crave it now I still like it but it is no longer a constant thing in my life...
    what I think is if I said to myself i I will control icecream totally and never have it again I would have failed makeing it part of my plan with conditions helped.
    Hugs Judy:)
    Elaine Magee, MPH, RD replied to Jis4Judy's response:
    Great point Judy! When you tell yourself you can't have it, it tends to make you want it more. Everyone's different though. I subscribe to the "never say never" philosophy although for some they do need to say "never" (allergies, alcoholism, etc.) But if it is one of the other cases, it helps to know you can enjoy it sometime in the future. My daughter gave up chocolate and she's doing great--but she did make sure I had gotten her a peanut butter egg for Easter day (LOL).
    laura2gemini2 responded:
    I used to be really really addicted to caffeine. I was hooked on Pepsi Max because it had more caffeine and gensing(sp?) in it. When I decided to quit I was up to 8-10 cans a day. My blood pressure was through the roof, and I decided to say goodbye to soda.

    I went through withdrawl for about 4 days, but Ive finally kicked the habit and my BP was awesome the last dr visit.
    ybmagpye; replied to laura2gemini2's response:
    Here's something to think on. Would you consider putting down a bowl of cola for your dog or cat to drink? Course not. You love your pet so you give it fresh water daily. Now. Are you having fresh water every day or do you just drink colas/coffees and other man-made 'stuff'? Really? You mean you don't love yourself as much as you love your dog/cat? Hum...
    laura2gemini2 replied to ybmagpye;'s response:
    I did say I gave it up, right?
    sherm80 responded:
    There is something about diet pop (or regular) that satisfies like no other, at least for me. I'm sure I could give it up for a couple weeks, (I don't do the Lent thing), BUT would really be itching to get back to it!! Other drinks just don't satisfy like the pop, it's the carbonation too. Just too bad it's crap for your body!!
    sherm80 replied to Louise_WebMD_Staff's response:
    Hmm, your response makes me feel alittle better, since you are a medical professional and STILL like your Coke, in spite of the fact that you know better!! LOL I wish I knew just HOW bad pop really was for you, we're bombarded with "warnings" on a daily basis, what's really the deal?? I guess everything in moderation. Same with alcohol and women--I enjoy my wine with dinner, so don't show me latest statistics on how estrogen levels rise when you're trying to enjoy life's pleasures, we are OVERLY informed, and that's why I'm on WEB MD 24/7!! Hah Talk about stress.

    One more thought--I deal with daily GAD, sometimes for no substantial reason, and I STRESS about that, what is it doing to me, but it's a vicious circle, as you know. Stress begets stress, sux!! My fear is one day my body will truly rebel! I need to figure it out, a very complex road to travel! Thank you for your time.
    feduptwice replied to sherm80's response:
    ok so i don't even drink soda more rhan 4 times of the year but i still rather drink soda than this diet stuff that i believe is doing more harm to our bodies. I dont believe in sweeteners and chemicals that are just not natural
    Natechastain replied to feduptwice's response:
    @feduptwice I agree. Even though aspertame appears to be safe, I don't trust all of the other chemicals in diet soda. At least when I'm drinking soda, I know that it's following the tried-and-true formula of sugar and carbonated water.

    It seems like a lot of people use diet soda as a way to relax their soda habit - like nicotine gum for a pack-a-day smoker. This hardly ever works. Rather than avoiding soda or replacing it with diet soda, making a conscious effort to drink a certain number of glasses of water is the best way to cut down on soda intake. I wrote a blog post about this if anyone's interested in exploring this idea.
    feduptwice replied to Natechastain's response:
    hi natechastain,i liked your blog, i just added a comment
    larsstarscanary responded:
    I gave up anything with artificial sweeteners in it a long time ago now. It was as if I was hooked on the stuff--I was drinking down diet drinks as if they were water. I gave up juice as well. I gave up milk, ice cream and cream recently. I replaced milk with other fortified "milks" such as rice milk, almond milk, soy milk, hemp milk, etc.

    I gave up McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, etc, a little over a year ago.

    I still crave the fast food, and that commercial (Give me back that filet of fish; Give me that fish!) is a great temptation, so I don't go in the fast food places with my friends or alone.

    I recently gave up everything with hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. My labs have improved.

    I gave up going to dinner at restaurants nightly with my ex, and have gotten my health under control since Thanksgiving.

    It is challenging to give things up. I love cookies and will not give them up, but when I make them, it has to be in the morning when I'm going out and can give most of them away.

    Water is now my beverage of choice. Ahhhhh! Refreshing!


    PS: Occasionally, I have a regular soda, if I am at a party, but I rarely go to parties. I'm pretty strict about what I do because I've seen the damaging effects on too many family members who died too young too soon--Amputations, blindness, etc.
    roanhorseluver replied to larsstarscanary's response:
    I have a coffee and diet caffein free soda habit (s). What I have been concerned about is the acid concentration in my body. Apparently cancer cells thrive in an acid rich body as opposed to a more alkalyn body. Question is could I balance the acidity in my body with a glass of H2O with 1/2 or 1 tsp baking soda? What would Web MD recommend? Other than stopping coffee and caffein free diet soda. I drink a liter of diet soda per day.
    Thanks - I will await your response.
    Grammargirl030 replied to roanhorseluver's response:
    I read last fall about a study that diet soda can cause kidney damage. As I get older, I'd like to preserve every vital organ as long as possible, so I gave up diet soda right then. The study didn't mention regular soft drinks, so I allowed myself real Cokes, which I love. And then around Lent I read about a study linking regular soda with pancreatic cancer. My mother died of pancreatic cancer. She didn't drink a lot of soda, so I doubt that was the cause. Still, I figure I don't want to help along a possible inherited risk for the disease by continuing to drink real Cokes, so I'm off soft drinks completely now--except when I make a major trip to the grocery store. Then I allow myself a can from the cooler in the checkout lane.

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