How to kick the Diet Coke habit – and stay sane

June 9, 2013 at 8:44 am | Posted in Daily Life | Leave a comment
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So, I have a bit of a habit.  A Diet Coke habit – an addiction maybe.

I’ve always loved fizzy drinks since my teens – fat Coke then as we used to call it.  Followed by a switch to Diet Coke in my later teens once I started pairing it with Vodka.

I don’t have a Vodka habit these days, more a taste for good red wine – but that’s fine.

On doctors orders this week, Thursday at 3.10pm to be exact, I gave up the sweet, fizzy stuff, for good.  A wave of panic swept over me as I took in the finite request.  No more fizzy drinks.

The doctor did say I may be able to reintroduce them on a reduced scale in the future.  I’ve been getting migraine symptoms you see – so this could be a cause.

And I’m not even a full-blown addict.  Not in my eyes anyway.  I have one small bottle a day – 500ml I believe.  I didn’t have fizzy drinks as a child and we don’t allow our nearly five year old to have them.  I don’t think I’ve rebelled against that, I’ve just somehow developed an addiction – it’s not even the taste – it’s those sneaky chemicals and sweeteners that lure you in, like a child into a sweet shop full of cola bottles and strawberry laces.

So far I’ve made it through three days.  I like a challenge  but regularly fall after the first few hurdles – much like with exercise, diet and general health-orientated challenges.  Actually the tingling in my face has reduced.  I should also add that the doctor suggested coming off the contraceptive pill as this can cause headaches and lead to a risk of stroke.

On a lighter note I am currently quite positive about the challenge ahead.  Anyone who drinks Coke or Diet Coke will know that it’s a real boost – a mid afternoon pick me up and friendly arm, helping you through the rest of the day, easing away work stresses, nagging children or other annoyances.  Until wine o’clock.

I’d be really interested in any tips or advice on giving up Diet Coke.  A quick trawl of the internet has revealed the following advice on how to quit Diet Coke.  I’m taking it in absence of any known support groups – if there is one please tip me off.

How to give up Diet Coke

– According to Bangs & a Bun the only way is to go cold turkey.  I did share her pain when she fretted over never hearing the pssssd of an ice cold can opening on a hot day…..sob.

– Although Shape.com suggests not going cold turkey, they do advise that you drink loads of water which has got to help – and make you feel healthier in general.  If my Bobble Bottle that I excitedly purchased from eBay hadn’t arrived as not only a fake but a squashed fake then I’d be drinking a whole lot more already.

Modern Mrs Darcy says you need to recognise your weak spots and be prepared – so if you love a Diet Coke with certain foods or at certain times of day, plan a substitute to get you through this.  So, I need to find something else nice to drink at lunchtimes and mid afternoon.  And weekends in the car.  And early evening before wine time.

But why is Diet Coke addictive?

Thank the gods of all things sinful, I’m not drinking eight litres* of pop like this woman featured in the sun, but I still do want to kick the habit.  A drink readily available in the supermarket, even if it does have your name on the bottle, should not be addictive.

The reasons it is:

– Caffeine – although it contains a lot less than coffee.

– Artificial sweeteners like aspartame.  Read the controversy about aspartame here – some feel that these types of sweeteners trick your brain and upset your hormone balance.  And we all know that really Diet Coke gives an artificial high and we’re not just naturally elated because of a fizzy drink.

– Our own minds – many people swap another habit like smoking or drinking alcohol for a fix like Diet Coke believing they’re doing the healthy thing, only to become hooked on this instead.

 

So, I’ll keep you posted with my progress – please do send in your tips.  I’m not shaking or panicking at all, but I do have a nice glass of Malbec next to me.

* Could have been eight teaspoons before the researchers got a hold of the story.

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