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How Can I Stop Drinking So Much Soda?

Do you have a soda habit? Here's some advice on how to cut back.

What Are Some Soda Alternatives? continued...

4. Make Green or Black Tea Your New Drink Habit. Popkin says tea is a healthy alternative to water for people who prefer flavored beverages. Tea is calorie free and contains powerful phytochemicals like the antioxidant in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Great-tasting green and black teas abound in supermarkets and specialty stores. If you're cutting back on caffeine, look for caffeine-free teas.

5. Think Outside the Juice Box. Although 100% fruit or vegetable juice contains important nutrients, the Beverage Guidance Panel recommends having no more than one serving a day because they can also contain plenty of calories (about 100 in 1 cup of fresh orange or carrot juice). One way to cut those calories is by making a homemade juice spritzer: Combine one or two parts seltzer, mineral water, or club soda with one part 100% fruit juice (try fresh orange juice). Or try the new vegetable juice flavors in your supermarket, as well as fruit and vegetable juice blends. While they're not super low in calories, each serving contains a serving of fruit and a serving of vegetable.

6. Discover the Coffee Cure. For java lovers, coffee can be a calorie-free, flavorful alternative to soda. And you can easily find lower-caffeine coffees in coffee shops and supermarkets. But to keep coffee low-calorie, be sure to keep it simple -- skip the syrups, whipped cream, and whole milk.

7. Make Good Old H2O Convenient. The Beverage Guidance Panel recommends at least 4 servings a day of water for women and at least 6 servings for men. When you need to quench thirst or hydrate your body, nothing does it better than water. If cold, refreshing water was more convenient, and if we were reminded to drink it during our day, a lot more people would reach this daily goal. So keep water bottles ready to go in your refrigerator, and every time you leave the house, take a bottle with you. If chilled water is sitting in your car or on your desk at work, you'll be more likely to get into the water-drinking habit.

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Reviewed on November 19, 2007

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