Grabbing a cola at lunch may seem like a harmless indulgence. But, ever 12 ounce can contains 39 grams of sugar. This is the equivalent of nearly 10 teaspoons of sugar and packs in 140 calories that don’t provide any nutritional benefit. Find that you reach for sodas more often than you should? This can help you break the habit and substitute healthier options instead.
Keep Cold Water in the Fridge
Very few places have water that tastes great out of the tap. To make it easier to reach for water instead of soda, keep a filter pitcher of it in your refrigerator at all times. This makes it as convenient as reaching for a cold soda. If you do this at lunch five days a week, you’ll save 700 calories.
Add Something a Little Festive
If the lack of flavor in plain water is keeping you away, you can make it more enticing by adding something fun to your glass. Slices of lemon or lime are the usual pick. But, you can also add sliced cucumber, strawberries or crushed basil or mint. Be careful about leaving cucumber or herbs in the water for long periods, as this can cause a bitter flavor. Instead, slice and put into a ziplock bag so you have it when you want it.
Make an Agua Fresca
Agua frescas are Mexican drinks that refresh by adding sweet fruits to water. To make a pitcher of agua fresca at home, toss about four cups of fruit into the blender with a cup and a half of water and buzz until pureed. Put this through a medium strainer. Squeeze in a bit of lemon or lime juice. Stir in another cup and a half of water and chill. You can sweeten a tablespoon of sugar, honey or another natural sweetener if needed. This will work with watermelon, ripe peaches, mango and other fruits.
Occasionally Give in to Your Sweet Tooth
If you totally deny yourself sweet treats, you’ll feel deprived. This can lead to rebellion and a return to soda drinking habits. Once a day, treat yourself to a sweet indulgence like an iced matcha latte. This is extremely easy to make at home. Start by blending/whisking one teaspoon of matcha powder and a small amount of warm water until you have a thin paste. This eliminates lumps. Add one cup of your dairy or alternative milk of choice. This is great with lightly sweetened almond milk. Pour over ice and enjoy. If you make this drink a regular part of your afternoon ritual, you’ll find that you anticipate the treat and are less likely to give in to temptation earlier in the day.
After a few soda-free weeks, you’ll find that you stop craving sweet and fizzy drinks. By adjusting what your taste buds are used to, you can make the switch and make healthier habits stick.