Everyone has some habit or another that is considered unhealthy. A habit that the person tries hard to break only to find themselves returning to it once again. For me, this habit is not coffee, but soda.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a big soda drinker. Growing up, I consumed soda without a thought to how it can affect my health. Yes, soda isn’t the only thing I drink, but it’s the beverage I consume the most above all others. Whenever I find my throat feeling dry or my head throbbing in pain, I go to Dr. Pepper for help. It’s the one constant thing in life that makes me feel better after a long and busy day.

It wasn’t until I talked to a friend of mine that I thought I might have a soda problem. I drink soda without a second thought whenever I find myself wanting it, not keeping track of how much I consume a day. I try cutting back on my soda intake, only to drink Dr. Pepper once again just because I have the taste for it.

But I want to stop drinking soda. Or at least, stop relying on it the way I do. I enjoy the taste of it, but I really need to cut back.

I don’t want to rely on it anymore. Not because I don’t enjoy it anymore but because I don’t want soda  affecting my physical and mental health in any way. As someone with high cholesterol, I don’t want to drink as much soda because I don’t want to put myself at risk for heart disease. I know soda isn’t the only contributing factor for heart disease, but by cutting back on my soda intake, I hope to better even my chances. Here are some ways I believe I can stop myself from drinking too much soda:

  1. Limiting/keeping track of my soda intake: Instead of quitting drinking soda cold turkey, I can start off by keeping track of the amount of soda I drink each day. I can do this by limiting my soda intake. By having a set number of soda to drink each day, it’ll be a little bit easier for me to stop drinking soda completely if I decide to go that route. For this reason, my goal is to try and drink one can, bottle, etc. a day. I think by allowing myself this amount, I’ll still be able to have some soda if I need it, but it will also prevent me from drinking soda just because I want it. This will allow me to better monitor how much soda I consume each day and do my best to control the amount I have.
  2. Replacing soda with other beverages: In order to better control my cravings, I’ll start drinking something else whenever I find myself wanting soda. In most cases, this’ll be either water or milk. Water is a good substitution for me because it can help me manage my weight and keep me hydrated throughout the day. While a high intake of milk can increase the chance of prostate cancer and ovarian cancer, milk is a good source of calcium and is better for me to drink than soda. I can replace soda with milk and water by drinking either beverage whenever I feel tempted to have soda to drink. By replacing soda with these beverages, I believe I’ll be better able to limit my soda intake and be on the right path to consuming less soda.
  3. Not buying soda: Whenever I go out to eat or to the store, I typically end up spending money on soda. I think not buying soda for myself at home or whenever I go out will help decrease my soda intake in the long run. I also think this will be a benefit for my wallet because the cost of soda is much higher than water. Not having soda at home will also make it easier for me to avoid the temptation of drinking it. And not having soda when I go out will save me money I could spend on something else.

I hope that by keeping track of my soda intake, replacing soda with milk and water and not buying soda, I’ll be on the right path to reducing the amount of soda I drink each day. I know this path won’t be easy and that I’ll find myself straying from it from time to time, but I know I can do it. I know it’ll be challenging but by doing this, I hope I’ll be able to reduce my calorie intake and decrease my chances of heart disease. I know the amount of soda I drink isn’t healthy and want to do the best I can to reduce the amount I consume. And I believe these steps will lead me on the path to success.