23 In Life

Why I Quit Drinking Diet Coke + My Tips for Sticking With It

Hey there!

Happy Friday the 13th! Anybody had “bad luck” today so far?

So, I have a major confession to make this morning. And it kind of hurts my heart a little bit.

I’ve been Diet Coke sober since January 1!!! Yes, that sweet heavenly sustenance from Heaven is no longer a part of my daily regimen.

i stopped drinking diet coke

Yep, I quit drinking Diet Coke, and all other diet sodas, as one of my big New Years Resolutions. I’ve tried in the past, but was never very serious about it and would last all of a week. But as of today, I’m happy to report I’ve made it a month and a half without a Diet Coke, or any drink containing Aspartame!

Everyone has asked me why I quit drinking Diet Coke since I love it so much, and that’s actually part of my answer. I loved Diet Coke TOO much, and was seriously addicted. Like, crazy lady addicted to Diet Coke. And when I think about how much Aspartame I was consuming, it really was quite unhealthy. I mean, “everything causes cancer and everything can kill you and yada yada yada”, and there really are worse things than drinking Diet Coke. But man, after doing a lot of research on the negative effects of Aspartame to your body, it was enough to finally hang up the habit. Plus, and more importantly, if and when we want to start a family, I knew it would be hard to stop myself from drinking diet sodas and cutting the caffeine addiction cold turkey while pregnant. Not to mention the negative effects artificial sweeteners have on your ability to conceive. And when that time does come, I want my body to be as healthy as possible. So, I figured now was as good a time as any to teach myself how to live without Diet Coke, and lower my daily caffeine intake while I’m at it.

Aspartame is the Queen Bae of artificial sweeteners. It’s bad news bears, but ignorance is bliss and I’ve always chosen to ignore the research and play the “I exercise a lot so it’s fine” card. Keeping in mind that I am by no means a Dr. with any sort of qualified knowledge on this subject, here are just a few statistics I’ve found online about the chemical:

-Aspartame is an excitotoxin or a substance that has the potential to damage or kill cells in the nervous system.
-Aspartame can change the chemistry of the brain.
-Aspartame can lead to decreased vision or other eye problems such as: blurring, bright flashes, squiggly lines, tunnel vision, and decreased night vision, as well as headaches, migraines, seizures, memory loss, irritability, weight gain, menstrual changes, fluid retention, abdominal pain, aggravated low blood sugar, brain damage, depression, epilepsy, cancer, increased hunger, lupus, MS, lymphomas, heart irregularities <— let’s just talk about how bad my short term memory is! I totally blame the DC.
-Aspartame is associated with an increased risk of Type II Diabetes
-Aspartame is composed of two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine
-In the body, aspartame is broken down into phenylalanine, aspartic acid, and methanol
-“Pregnant and nursing moms should know that babies in the womb and newborns are particularly susceptible to having aspartic acid cross the blood-brain barrier, so it’s especially advisable to avoid aspartame during these times.” <— yikes!
-It is sold under the brand names NutraSweet and Equal
-Most studies in people have not found that aspartame use is linked to an increased risk of cancer. <— supposedly!
-Safe in small doses

I do think Aspartame is like most things, not harmful when used in moderation. But when it comes down to it, I’m starting to think my body really doesn’t need that much of it in the first place, and sodas aren’t doing anything to make me healthier.

So how’s it going so far? It’s been good. The first couple of weeks were rough, and I definitely experienced a few headaches and mood swings from not getting “my fix.” But, they say it takes 21 days to form a habit, and after clearing that mark, I haven’t had a Diet Coke craving since! Sure, I would LOVE to have a DC right now, but I’m not craving it by any means, not like I was prior to this little experiment.

This Buzzfeed article perfectly summarizes the process, far better than I ever could.

In case you need help starting your own Diet Coke Free lifestyle, here are a few things I’ve found helpful for sticking with my new habit:

1. Write down your goal, tell someone, tell your spouse, etc. – there needs to be someone or something to hold you accountable!

2. Do some research! – read a bunch of scary stuff online and you’ll be more than happy to quit. The decision to quit DC has to be your decision or you won’t stick with it.

3. Find another drink to have in its place – I have been substituting more coffee, as well as having an occasional regular soda. I think more than anything I still crave the carbonation, so I’ll admit that I’ve had a handful of regular Cokes or Dr.Peppers in its place. I know a lot of people also drink La Croix.

4. All or nothing – limiting yourself to just one a day isn’t going to fix your addiction, you’re just delaying it. I eventually just had to quit cold turkey.

5. Carry a water bottle – I drink way more water when I carry my water bottle with me or take it to work. And when I’m drinking more water, I don’t typically want anything else.

Ta-da!

Have you ever quit Diet Coke? Or something equally as ridiculous? What are you doing this weekend?

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23 Comments

  • Reply
    Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties
    February 13, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Woooo you go! It’s scary how addictive those things can be. I’m not a big soda drinker but it frightens me that I prefer the taste of diet sodas over regular… is that weird? That’s great that you were able to stick to your resolution.. you got this!!
    Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties recently posted…Qdoba’s vday deal + I found a cheap tax softwareMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      February 25, 2015 at 12:13 pm

      Not weird at all!! I TOTALLY love the taste of diet coke and diet dr pepper WAY more than the original!! Probably not a good sign haha

  • Reply
    Michelle @ Fit. Flexible. Fabulous.
    February 13, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Hubby and I both quit DC in the summer of 2013. It was easier than I thought it would be, although toward the end I was questioning whether or not I even liked the taste of it! We do have a soda stream and hubby is big on soda water with lime. I drank this with a splash of 100% cranberry juice for awhile, but now I really don’t crave the bubbles.

    Good for you and keep it up! It WILL get easier 🙂
    Michelle @ Fit. Flexible. Fabulous. recently posted…Honoring The Yogi In MeMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      February 25, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      Good for you guys! I think I do just crave carbonation..and right now I’m actually sipping on a Sprite for that very reason! Just something different than water 🙂 We thought about buying a soda stream, do you use yours often?

  • Reply
    kristin | W [H] A T C H
    February 13, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    congratulations! this is an amazing accomplishment.
    kristin | W [H] A T C H recently posted…WINTERTIME BIKE RIDEMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      February 25, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      Thanks Kristin!

  • Reply
    Mom
    February 13, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    You are my hero 🙂 i’ll try, i promise

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      February 25, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      You were doing good there for a while!

  • Reply
    Brooke@SweetnSweaty
    February 14, 2015 at 8:02 am

    I quite Diet Soda about 3.5 years ago and I haven’t looked back. I never drank coffee before….only diet dr pepper in the mornings. I would drink about 2 per day and i loved it so! Now I love coffee way more than I ever loved my beloved DDP morning drink. Now If I ever think I want a drink of diet soda (Steve and I share one about 1 or 2 times a year) and we both agree how sweet and ehh it taste. You will get there too and wonder why you ever loved it so much! If you miss the ‘fizzy” part of the drink try a La Croix sparkling water. They are yummy and much better for you!
    Brooke@SweetnSweaty recently posted…Home Sweet Home & West Palm Beach in ReviewMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      February 25, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      Yess coffee has always been my 2nd love, if there were absolutely positively NO way I could get a Diet Coke of course 🙂

  • Reply
    Molly Rose
    February 14, 2015 at 9:46 am

    GET. IT. GIRL.

    I remember you saying how addicted you were to it, and I am so happy to hear you’ve cut it out!! I typically drink 1-2 a week, but would love to cut them out completely. Thanks for inspiring me! 🙂
    Molly Rose recently posted…Best Damn Race 5k: Safety HarborMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      February 25, 2015 at 12:10 pm

      1-2 a WEEK?! Girl, you are stronger than I! That’s not bad at all!

  • Reply
    Jenn
    February 14, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Congratulations!

    I had a bad Diet Dr Pepper addiction. I was able to kick it after my tonsil surgery. There was no way I was drinking anything carbonated and I was on some pretty serious painkillers, so at least I didn’t feel the hideous caffeine headaches.I really despise water, so it was hard to make the switch, but it was the right thing to do, for my health, especially since I am running now.

    I do still drink one a day, because it’s my treat to myself, and I’m good with that. 🙂
    Jenn recently posted…headed into valentine’s weekendMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      February 25, 2015 at 12:10 pm

      Nice! I think one a day isn’t too too bad, but I always felt like if I was willing to go well out of my way just to pick up a Diet Coke, something needed to change 😉 It was bad! Haha!

  • Reply
    Nora @ 2 Generations Running
    February 14, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Good for you!! I knew artificial sweeteners aren’t great, but I didn’t know all of those details! I usually enjoy a diet coke when I go out to eat at a restaurant, but maybe I should just stick to wine from now on! 😉
    Nora @ 2 Generations Running recently posted…Happy Valentine’s Day {Friday Five}My Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      February 25, 2015 at 12:09 pm

      I think everything in moderation is just fine 🙂 I just really needed to quit DEPENDING on it more than anything!

  • Reply
    Diane
    February 16, 2015 at 2:42 am

    Hi there, good job! I’ve heard good things about La Croix but I like buying juice and adding a little sparkling water to it instead. It’s not the same as Diet Coke but it’s a good substitute for when a craving hits. I used to drink soda here and there as a kid but gave it up in college and I think I managed to go soda-free for like 5 years. I was never a huge fan to begin with though so it didn’t kill me to just drink water. These days, I’ll have a Coke Zero maybe once a month. But I always go back to my juice/Perrier combo. 😉 Now wine? That’s another story. Have a great week!
    Diane recently posted…Fusion Fitness Dream Body Cardio Series reviewMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      February 25, 2015 at 12:09 pm

      Thank you! Yes, a lot of my friends love La Croix for helping them get off DC, but I am not a huge fan of the taste! Still trying though! Lots of water seems to help more than anything! Haha, not going to argue with you about wine 😉 wine’s not as bad as Diet Coke, right??

  • Reply
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt
    February 16, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Congratulations! I have a sweet n low addiction I have been trying to kick. So addictive.
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…A Big AnnouncementMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      February 25, 2015 at 12:08 pm

      Ha! Random! Get after it, girl!

  • Reply
    Jessica @Myhealthypassion.com
    February 17, 2015 at 11:03 am

    FANTASTIC!!!! Diet Coke is soooooooo bad for sooooooo many reasons!!!!! Good for you!
    Jessica @Myhealthypassion.com recently posted…How to Create a Playlist for Group FitnessMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      February 25, 2015 at 12:08 pm

      haha thanks Jessica!!!

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