Soda consumption has increased three-fold over the past half century and the addition of high fructose corn syrup in the 70’s has in large part fueled the present obesity epidemic. More than 20% of the sugar in our diet comes from sweetened beverages and nutritional researchers indicate that for every additional daily serving, the risk of obesity increases by a factor of 1.6. Drinking diet soda also hampers weight loss efforts as the artificial chemicals used to sweeten these drinks play havoc with your appetite control hormones, meaning you don’t get the signal to stop eating.

Empty Calories Drive Obesity and Disease Rates

The impact of sugary drinks and empty calories has caused more than 23 million children and adolescents to fall into the overweight or obese classification. This will have a significant impact on their future health as the risk for many chronic diseases, especially heart disease and diabetes rises dramatically with excess weight.

An article published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association concludes with the chilling statement, "High added sugar consumption which occurs most commonly in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a constellation of cardiovascular risk factors, both independently, and through the development of obesity.” You can modify the soda drinking habit for you and your family by following these health promoting tips.

Tip 1: Employ Mind Over Matter for Your Health

You have to make a firm commitment to flush sweetened and diet beverages from your diet. For many people, soda is habit forming and very difficult to eliminate from the diet. Go slowly by cutting one serving every few days until you officially kick the habit. Some research indicates that the caffeine in many soft drinks can have a mild addictive effect, so you’ll need to be strong in your resolve to cut soft drinks from your diet.

Tip 2: Make the Switch to Fresh Brewed Tea and Water

Nothing is more refreshing and thirst quenching than an ice cold glass of fresh brewed iced tea or a glass of filtered water. Stay away from pre-mixed teas and opt for brewing your own tea or make a pitcher of sun tea. You can brew black, green or white tea and add the all natural no-calorie sweetener stevia to suit your taste. Both tea and water provide essential hydration which will hold your appetite in check.

Tip 3: Keep Non-Sweetened Alternatives Handy

Make sure you always have plenty of cold alternative drinks ready to serve at a moment’s notice. One of the most appealing attributes of soda and fruit juices is that they’re readily available and provide a fast sugar rush which many people mistakenly believe results in more energy. The sugar high is temporary as blood sugar spikes out of control and drops quickly, forcing you to go for another jolt. Naturally sweetened tea and water provide essential hydration without the dangerous metabolic swing.

Empty calories from soda and fruit juice consumption account for a disproportionate number of calories consumed for many children and adults. Extensive research details the negative effects of these drinks on our long term health and increasing waistlines.

You can slowly cut back and eliminate sweetened beverage by substituting healthy fresh brewed teas and water once you’ve made a permanent commitment to make the switch. Cutting these nutrient void drinks will have a lasting and beneficial effect on your health and weight loss goals.

Author's Bio: 

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John Phillip is a Health Researcher and Author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise and Targeted Supplementation to naturally achieve your healthy Weight Loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to download your Free 48 page copy.