5 strategies to kick the soda habit

My first diet soda was Tab. I think I was in eighth grade and I thought it signaled I ready for high school.

Nevermind that it tasted like carbonated motor oil.

And, then Diet Pepsi became my go-to caffeinated drink in college. I can’t begin to add up the gallons of Diet Pepsi and Diet Dr. Pepper I consumed over multiple decades. 

When I made the decision to train for this I decided to cut out the soda. I was drinking more water and the contrast between water and soda was my “aha moment.”

It was the hardest habit to break because I associated soda as fuel to power through the days filled with endless carpools and late-night real estate contracts.
It turns out, soda has the opposite effect.

There was a lot of soda between college and just a few years ago.

And now?

I have not had a diet soda in three years. Here are the strategies that helped me kick the soda habit.


Many of these steps and strategies happened concurrently.

1. Review the number of soft drinks you drink per day.

What time(s) of day do you crave a diet soda? Do you order soft drinks thru the drive-thru or do you have a case in your fridge? Do you have a diet soda roadie for errands? Pay attention to your habits.

We all have them.


2. Introduce a non-sugar caffeine drink like tea or coffee.

For me, I switched to iced tea. It was served cold with ice and contained caffeine. how-to-kick-the-soda-habit

I typically only drink coffee first thing so iced tea was my replacement beverage for those mid-day energy drops.


In the beginning, I allowed myself to order (and pay $3.00) for an iced tea in a drive-thru. Because part of the habit was the mid-day drive-thru order to power thru the second half of the day.

3. Replace the full size 12 oz cans with the smaller cans.

Yes, the smaller soda cans cost twice as much but trust the process. And here is the key; start using a smaller glass. The visual makes a huge difference.
The smaller glass means you will not use the entire 8 oz can when you pour. There will be a second pour (and still not have the full 12 oz can).

4. Find a substitution for the carbonation.

Over time, I realized what I loved about the soda was the carbonation. I began buying and trying carbonated waters and realized it was the tiny bubbles I loved.

5. Add limes or lemons to water

I added sliced limes or lemons to dress up my water. If I had an orange or raspberries I would toss those into the mix too. Some days the bottom of my glass looked like a fruit salad.

Just something to make it feel like a bigger deal until the soda craving passed. here was something about adding a lime that made me feel like it was a fancy drink.

To this day I keep limes in my refrigerator!

I also added a splash of cranberry juice to add a little pink to the bubbles.

For most of my adult life, I associated Diet Pepsi with either a crazy schedule or something to grab at the end of the day or a drink to order poolside or at the base of a mountain after a day of skiing.


Isn’t it funny how our routines and memories are sometimes the stronger pull than the actual habit we try to quit?

Now? I start and end my days with a glass of water (with ice). And add the bubbles around noon.


It took more than a year to finally quit and kick my soda habit. Now, the taste reminds me of carbonated motor oil.

Before you go would you pin this, please? Or follow me on Pinterest for more ideas, hacks and strategies for everyday edits in our lives.



Thank you for stopping by today. If you have a tip to kick the soda habit please leave it in the comments!


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  1. I stopped buying soda and that really helped. Now it’s a treat once in awhile when we go (when we used to be able to go out!)

  2. I drank Diet Coke for years and then Sweet Tea. Lately I’ve finally turned over to liking water more. I can’t believe I am actually typing out those words. Great tips! Do you have any for carbs. Heck, lets just start with chips or potatoes or mac n cheese! I’d be in your debt forever!

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