How I Quit Diet Soda (and became addicted to La Croix)

I know this sounds like an ad for La Croix, but I promise this isn't.  They did provide me with free samples, but they aren't paying me to do this.  In fact, when I announced I was quitting diet soda this summer, a lot of people told me I should try the naturally flavored seltzer water, and I was skeptical.

quit-diet-soda-la-croix.jpg

You see, we have had seltzer water in the house for years now (thank you SodaStream).  Abe loves the stuff.  We have even had La Croix before.  But for me, it wasn't enough.  Why would I choose a subtly flavored drink, when for the same amount of calories (zero) I could have a bubbly sweet Diet Coke or Fresca or even Zevia?

Kombucha seemed like it was going to be my savior, but man that stuff is expensive.  Plus, there's something psychological for me about cracking open a cold, super fizzy can that I still need.  The fact that there are numerous flavors of bubbly water for me to choose from makes me feel like I have a lot of freedom.  I like pretty much every single one that I try, with the exception of Coconut LaCroix, which tastes like suntan lotion to me.

It took me about 3 weeks to really see a significant change in my diet soda habits.  My taste buds started to change, and now I find myself craving the muted flavors rather than the super-sweet ones.  Having a fridge fully stocked with cans really did help so I want to thank La Croix for helping me change my life.

Here's my tips on how to quit addiction.

Don't go cold turkey.

I know for myself, the second I tell myself something is off-limits I just want it all the time.  When I stopped smoking, I had a pack of Parliament Lights sitting in my dresser drawer for years.  Just in case I felt like I needed one.  When I did, just a few puffs on one of those super-stale cigarettes made my lungs remember why I wanted to stop.  When I stopped binge-eating, I filled my house with foods that were previously off-limits.  Even though I gained some weight at first, eventually the novelty of having these foods around wore off.  I still have two really nice glass bottles of Diet Coke sitting in my fridge - sort of a reminder that if I really want to crack open one of those $3 bottles, I have to really want it.

Don't tell yourself "I'm quitting forever."

I haven't had Diet Soda at home at all, but I have found that when I'm out and about, not everyone carries flavored seltzer water.  During those times, if the craving is still there, I will order a Diet Coke and enjoy it without guilt.  But the fact that I have gone from 4-5 cans a day to 1-2 every other week - I consider that a success.

quit-diet-soda.jpg

Replace the addiction with another addiction.

This is something my first eating disorders specialist told me that has stayed with me.  I need to have something else to attach my addictive energy on.  With binge eating and dieting, I refocused on blogging - being obsessed with what to write/photograph replaced counting calories.  With smoking, it was candy and gum.  Now with my Diet Soda addiction, it's LaCroix.

Be nice to yourself.

I have been cracking my knuckles for as long as I can remember.  Recently I became particularly fond of rolling my ankle around to the point where it felt like I couldn't go more than 20 minutes without "needing" to crack it.  At first I was concerned about it, but then I just sort of gave myself permission to do it.  Instead of saying to myself every time, "What is wrong with you, why can't you stop this?"  I thought, "It's okay.  Do what you need to do."  My ankle stopped begging for attention, and eventually I realized I wasn't even doing it anymore.