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My addiction began when I was twelve years old. When I lived at home with my parents, it was kept in check, but once I grew up and started living on my own, it ran rampant.

It replaced too many things in my life, including water, and even food at times. It encouraged me to consume too much junk, as crap eating was the perfect accompaniment. It kept me awake at night, and left me feeling ill, bloated, and crampy.

It wore away some of the enamel on my front teeth, creating a deep groove. And god only knows what it’s doing to my bones. Not to mention it’s becoming quite the expensive addiction. I’m paying quite a bit more than I should for something that is bad to me.

It’s time to say goodbye, Diet Pepsi.

You may laugh, but addiction to diet soda is no funny business. I can expect a few weeks of headaches and general crankiness, which is why I’m weaning myself off the crack gradually. I hope to keep myself to one can per day until my current 12-pack is done, and then that’s it: it’s over.

Problem is, I really don’t know what to replace it with. I know I should drink a lot more water in general, but it’s so boring I can’t see drinking it all the time. Sugary drinks like juice and ice-tea can’t replace my habit, or I’ll have another issue. Milk is okay, but it’s not exactly thirst-quenching on a hot day, which can also be said for regular tea. I’m sure I’ll have my share of Crystal Light and the like, but I want to curb my aspartame consumption…I want to make sure that if I give up my beloved Diet Pepsi, it really will benefit my body.

I used to think I wouldn’t stop drinking Diet Pepsi until a doctor ordered me to. But it’s kind of scary to think I knew that day would come. Why not stop now?

Have you ever kicked a soft drink or caffeine addiction? How did you do it? Or are you still addicted? Any thought of giving it up?

Wish me luck! This is gonna be hard!

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  1. Kim

    I just gave up coffee… just because I hoped it would make me sleep better. BUT… I didn’t vow to give up caffiene and the deal for me about staying off coffee is that it CAN’T mean I drink more Diet Coke. So far I don’t think I’m doing more of that. I did vow to drink more water and I’m definitely not doing that.

    Try herbal tea (black) or water with cucumber is supposed to be good but I haven’t been able to bring myself to try it. Crystal Lite is not bad if you are OK with Splenda (which if you drank all that Diet Pepsi, I’m guessing you are). And I like those ICE drinks at Costco that are carbonated and Splenda based and don’t have the erosive crap that pop does. But…. water should be the way to go. There are detriments to having a lot of Splenda too.

  2. Chris

    I’m so proud of you, Holli! You already have such a healthy lifestyle, and this will take it to the next level. Those teeth photos are scary.

    I’m with Kim on the water; it’s the best primary drink there is. I know that when I’ve had a soft drink or something else sweet, water doesn’t cut it as a thirst quencher: I crave more sweet drinks. But once I stop with the sweet drinks for a while and drink nothing but water, the craving for sweetness goes away and water does a great job slaking my thirst.

    How did you like the cucumber/lime water? I wonder if you could try carbonated water as a temporary bridge to drinking regular water?

  3. Lisa

    I just love ice water with a squeeze of fresh lemon. You get the flavor but none of the calories. I’ve never found it boring but then I’ve never used it as a replacement for something sweeter.

    When I was pregnant I gave up caffeineated coffee and found it quite tough for the first week and a half. I suffered headaches and was irritable, but the reasons for doing it made it worth the discomfort. But I’m back on the full-test these days…I just don’t overdo it.

  4. Cigarista

    A place in the middle is to drink iced tea that is not sweetened. I know that’s sacrilegious for a Southern boy but you really do get used to the taste. Make it a decaf version as with iced tea, you can’t tell the difference in taste. Doing without sweetener does take a while to get used to.

  5. Story Teller

    Thanks for your comments, everyone! How are you feeling, Kim? I’m pretty headachy and tired today…haven’t had a Diet Pepsi yet.

    @ Chris – I want to stay away from the carbonation, but the lime water was okay. I just have to make a point of drinking it next time! A pitcher of stale water with slimy limes just isn’t appetizing!

    @ Lisa – I envy you for never having a soft drink habit. I don’t think coffee is nearly as bad, although I was surprised to be told by a personal trainer that if it’s consumed less than four hours before training, caffeine actually weakens athletic performance.

    @ Cigarista – thanks for the tip! I just might try it.

  6. Laura Best

    I’m not one for drinking soft drinks, never was. It’s also bad for your bones and robs them of calcium. All the carbonated drinks do. You’re definitely better off without it Holli!

  7. Story Teller

    Thanks, Laura! I completely agree. You’re so lucky that you were never hooked in the first place. What do you drink instead? Are you a water person?

  8. Vanessa

    I like Perrier water…which is “naturally” carbonated? I especially enjoy the lime Perrier.

    I also agree that the “Ice or Talking Rain” drinks from from Cost-co aren’t too bad. One is carbonated and one is not.

    Good luck Holli!

  9. kungfusinger

    A few months ago, I gave up wheat, dairy, refined sugar, and artificial sweeteners. The worst of it was the sugar. Even though eating sugar made me feel physically ill, I found I had to have that chocolate bar or donut every single day. It took about three weeks before I could walk past a plate of donuts without stopping to gaze at them adoringly. It was hard, and I still have to stop myself sometimes. If I can do it, anyone can. Best of luck with the diet pepsi Holli. I feel your pain.

  10. Tyhr

    You can try juicing vegetables.
    It’s healthy for you.
    It can help more on the flavor front than going cold turkey on “Plain water”. The novelty of it might be enough of a distraction for you initially to miss pop.

    It’s just the cleaning at the end that slows me down. Then again, it’s the cleaning of anything that slows me down…

  11. Kim

    I had one day of bad headache around Day 4 and then I was fine. I still crave coffee at times though. But I think it is the sweetness I crave not the coffee itself.

  12. Story Teller

    Thank you for all your comments, everyone! Some very good suggestions, but Tyhr…vegetable juice? Ick! Somehow, I don’t think a nice tall glass of broccoli is gonna cut it. 🙂

    Vanessa–I will check out that lime perrier. Sounds awesome.

    And good luck to Kim and KFS.

  13. bellsbookspace

    I recently gave up diet pepsi when I discovered I was drinking 10 litres a week, yikes!!!

    soda water and lime wedges – try a glass at a time, rather than a pitcher full 🙂 and gradually wean yourself off the soda water by doing half soda and half still. Eventually the still water and lime wedges works a treat and you don’t look back.

    I’ve been clean for 3 months now – good luck

  14. Story Teller

    Welcome to the blog, Bellsbookspace! It’s great to hear from someone who has overcome the same addiction I’m struggling with.

    Do you notice any advantages to not drinking Diet Pepsi? Do you feel noticeably better? Did you suffer through any withdrawal symptoms?

  15. Elspeth Cross

    My husband has been cutting back on diet soda (the aspartame) and has said that his joints are less achey and more flexible. Good luck – I’m about to cut out my daily afternoon diet Coke. Not giving it up altogether but cutting back.

  16. Tyhr

    No ick. I’ll treat you to a nice juiced treat the next time you come visit me.
    I think most of mine taste good. All of them have except my failed onion experiment…
    Start off with something like carrots, ginger and apple.

    Carrot juice and coconut milk are my 2 favorite drinks – I’ll take them over a Coke tastewise anyday.
    If not, there are flavored waters now.

  17. Story Teller

    @ Elspeth–good luck to you as well! And that’s nice to hear about your husband, since I’ve been having trouble with my knees.

    @ Tyhr–I’ll take your word for it! But you do make them sound kind of good. Aren’t they really high in calories, though?

  18. Mina

    Damn, i know how bad coke is, and my teeth are ”dieing” from it, three years ago i started to drink coke,almoust every day… and i can’t stop …

  19. Story Teller

    Hi Mina,

    Thanks for your comment. I know how addictive this junk can be. Is there anything you can replace it with?

    I know it’s hard, but it’s worth the effort. Your teeth (and body!) will thank you.

  20. phylcampbell.com

    I am addicted to Dr. Pepper. Have tried cutting back, but water is my only alternative. I don’t like fruity drinks. I don’t like much of anything taste-wise. My teeth are paying for it — I don’t think as bad as those pictures, but enough. I’d prefer to think one day Dr. Pepper will learn of its loyal fan and pay to have her teeth fixed/replaced. I eat less than a chocolate bar per month, don’t drink alcohol, and don’t eat red meat. Dr. Pepper is my only true vice.
    But that is just me. I wish you every success kicking the habit, since that is what you want for yourself. Best!


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