Why I Gave Up Diet Soda


diet coke

My mom always had beautiful gold cans of caffeine free Diet Coke tucked away in the pantry growing up, and she usually drank one a day in the afternoon. From a young age, I became a big fan of the stuff, and I even preferred it to regular coke. When I started calorie counting, my Diet Cokes became even more treasured because they were zero calories! It was like drinking water. So Diet Cokes became my sweet treat and I drank them often. I never really thought much of my Diet Coke habit until I tried a new diet prior to our wedding called the Whole30. I read the book and tried to follow it to a T because I had crazy pre-wedding willpower. Though I don’t recommend restrictive dieting, you can learn a lot about nutrition from the Whole30 diet by just reading the book. During this diet, no artificial sweeteners were allowed, so my beloved Diet Coke had to go. I gave it up for the month leading up to my wedding, and never went back to the habit. Let me tell you why and you can see if you are ready to kick diet sodas out too.

Artificial sweeteners make you crave more sugar.

What I learned from the book is that artificial sweeteners are even sweeter to the taste buds than sugar, even though they don’t technically have calories. Plus dopamine is not released from artificial sweeteners, so the sugar craving you have won’t subside. As soon as I read this it made complete sense. I would usually drink a Diet Coke in the afternoon to curb my sugar craving, and instead, the cravings were even worse. I always thought this was because I simply had no willpower, but no, it’s science!

I was drinking it out of habit.

After my month off of Diet Coke, I unintentionally didn’t start drinking it again. I just didn’t have a craving for it anymore. I realized it wasn’t really the drink that I wanted; it was just a habit that I’d formed. I found that I really love sparkling water, and I especially love the La Croix water with an essence of different fruits (or make your own with sparkling water and a few drops of essential oils). And in the winter, I drink herbal tea all day long. Those satisfy me much more than the Diet Coke ever did, and guess what? It’s a lot more hydrating and healthy for me. Double win. 

I’m trying to lead by example.

My husband is a daily coke drinker and knowing all I know now about how bad soda is for us, it pains me to see him drink it so often. He doesn’t respond well to me telling him what not to eat or drink (understandably so), so my hope is that leading by example will help him and others. 

What are your thoughts on diet soda? To drink or not to drink?

7 Responses

  1. Oh, how I miss my Le Croix water 🙂 I decided to kick my Coke Zero habit last month, and I’ve been mostly successful. I also don’t crave sweets nearly as often as I did before I stopped drinking diet soda, so there must be some truth to it.

    1. Ahh why can’t they sell it here?! It’s such a treat when back in the states. Glad it’s helping you! That will definitely help stay off it.

  2. Regarding diet soda, this product is 99 percent water and has proven to be an effective calorie-cutting tool, as evidenced by this research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: http://bit.ly/Ik4zjC. This study also directly debunks claims that diet soda uniquely triggers increased cravings for sweets or uniquely causes weight gain. In other words, there is no need to cut diet soda from your diet. People can have every confidence in enjoying these products, which have been extensively tested and are approved by regulatory agencies around the globe. When it comes to adopting healthier lifestyles, it’s overall balance that matters.

  3. I agree, I feel like I am drinking chemicals instead of something good for me whenever I drink fizzy diet drinks. Why use that time, energy and space in your stomach for industrialised version of fruit or sweets instead of thirst-quenching natural drinks?
    The packaging must be designed to appeal to our ‘inner child’ and when you stop looking at it for a while you notice all the other lovely things that are actually good for you on the shelves. In our preschool we don’t have plastic bottles around, we use re-usable flasks.
    You may not be able to influence hubbie but how we drink ourselves and how we react to artificial drinks will influence our children. Showing children the goodness of pure tap water or juice, that does not come in a plastic bottle, requires adult self-discipline these days given the choices out there, so well done if you manage to stick to tap water or real fruit juice with water, with every meal!

    1. Thanks for the nice comment, Monica! Yes, being an example for our children is so needed…and even my husband is slowly but surely cutting back 🙂 every bit counts!

  4. Oh wow, you had a post about Diet Coke as well!
    I had read about the sugar craving “fact”, too. Now that I’m off Coke Zero I couldn’t really say I don’t want chocolate or cake anymore? So maybe it doesn’t apply to people with a distinctive sweet tooth ?

    1. Well at least you got rid of the chemicals! Sweets are still hard for me too – a work in progress 🙂

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