Diet Soda Addict

dietsodaaddictI used to drink a liter of diet soda every day. My love for Diet Mountain Dew was unparalleled. I drank it constantly, especially at college, where there are soda machines everywhere and when you buy a drink with a meal you can refill it – again and again and again.

Diet soda has been a part of my life since I was a kid. I was a chubby child, and when the doctor told my mom I had to cut back on sweets, regular soda was the first thing to go and, diet soda was in. Even after I lost the weight, diet soda had become a regular visitor in our house.

It was the perfect invention. Zero calories and, I could drink as much as I wanted without any sugar, fat, or carbs. When I started getting into caffeinated sodas like Diet Mountain Dew, diet soda became my go-to drink. It gave me energy and, I downed multiple cans and bottles a day.


Then, in January of last year, I saw a movie called Food, Inc. For those of you that don’t know, Food, Inc. is a documentary discussing the modern food industry and the consequences of modern production processes (I really recommend it  to anyone interested in nutrition). After watching it, I was taken aback.

Never in my life had I thought about what was in the food I was eating. I never thought what had to be done to make a 100 calorie ice cream bar versus the 300 calorie full-fat version. But most importantly, for the first time I wondered what exactly was in that diet soda I was drinking so much of.

What I found is that diet soda has a lot of chemicals. Plain and simple. It’s not good for you, no matter what way you spin it.

coke zero nutritonal

I decided to stop drinking diet soda in January 2013 and, I gave up all drinks that included artificial sweeteners, stopped adding artificial sweeteners (like my beloved Splenda) to my foods and drinks, and gave up sugar-free mints and gum.

The first week that I stopped drinking diet soda, I had headaches. I was tired. The caffeine withdrawal was pretty bad, and I craved the bubbly concoction that I had spent my entire life drinking, but I persisted.

Today, It has been seven months since my last diet soda, and I have to say it was worth it.

diet soda addict 2

I can’t even explain how much sweeter food tastes now. The first time I bit into a strawberry this summer, I was shocked at how much different it tasted. I used to cut up strawberries and add Splenda to make them sweeter, but now fruit is so sweet to me on it’s own that it’s like eating a dessert.

I was afraid that when I gave up diet soda, I would gain weight without being able to drink my calorie-free staple. However, it didn’t happen. If anything, giving up diet soda has eliminated a lot of the bloat from the carbonation and funky chemicals.

I wish I could say that I have totally abandoned aspartame and other artificial sweeteners from my life, but that has yet to be a reality yet. Summer always brings Skinny Cow ice cream, and even though the ingredient list gives me the creeps, I am not ready to part with them until after this summer ends.

And, I still indulge in a mocha light frappuccino every few weeks. However, having given up my only real source of caffeine (Diet Mountain Dew), now the caffeine from a Starbucks drink gives me so much energy, I bounce off the walls like a five year old at a birthday party and later, I crash hard.

starbucks first day of fall

I won’t lie and say giving diet soda is easy. There isn’t a day that goes by that I see a Diet Mountain Dew and, I just want to give up everything and have a bottle, but I know it won’t be the same as I remember it.

In June, I accidentally took a swig of Propel (sugar-free flavored water), which I used to drink all the time, and I almost had to spit it out because it tasted so bad to me. I was shocked that a few months could have changed my taste buds so quickly.

I am not writing this to tell you to give up diet soda. My choice was entirely my own, and I wouldn’t force that on anyone, but I am writing this for the people who have ever thought about or wanted to give up diet soda. It can be done.

I’ll say again that I was a diet soda addict for 10 plus years. I drank it everyday. I had headaches when I didn’t get a fix. I spent so much money buying it, and giving it up was one of the best decisions I have made.

Now, who is going to help me with my makeup addiction?

Are you a diet soda drinker? 


23 thoughts on “Diet Soda Addict

  1. kflowermaquillage August 26, 2013 / 10:06 am

    Wow that is amazing! Great work. It would have been so hard going cold turkey after drinking so much! I rarely drink soft drink (that’s what we call it on Australia! :) ) I’ll have coke zero occasionally when I’m out, but not often.

    • Sam August 26, 2013 / 10:11 am

      Coke Zero was also one of my favorites. Soda is called different things in different parts of the US – cola, pop, soft drink, and soda. Apparently, we can’t make up our minds what to call it. ;P

      • kflowermaquillage August 26, 2013 / 10:13 am

        Haha that’s awesome! It’s interesting to see the different names different parts of the world use for the same thing

        • Sam August 26, 2013 / 10:29 am

          The southern thing about saying Coke confuses the heck out of me. Saying a “Coke” is very specific to the soda Coke here in Maryland, so it’s weird to think that it is applied in reference to the generic term for soda in the South. When you say you want a Coke in Maryland, you get an actual Coke – they don’t then ask you what kind of Coke/soda you want.

  2. Wild Juggler August 26, 2013 / 10:08 am

    Great post. I’m glad you gave it up. This is why I only drink homemade, natural, probiotic “sodas” from kefir. I was never much of a soda drinker before though.

    • Sam August 26, 2013 / 10:13 am

      Thanks. I’ve never tried natural soda, but I know there is a big movement of people making their own soda to save money and for the sake of being cleaner.

  3. budziak August 26, 2013 / 10:31 am

    I’ve never really been a huge fan of soda, I love juice & fruit in general but Toby is such a root beer lover, its enough for me to take a sip every once in a while. My weakness is coffee, every weekday morning, I have a large mug of coffee with non-dairy creamer (I don’t even want to know what’s in this) & Sugar in the Raw. I used to be a Splenda lover too but thought it was weird that Splenda was sweeter than actual sugar. I need to eat healthier and shop smarter :-(
    Confession: Food kind of grosses me out though, not eating food but food prep & cooking. I always start cooking with an idea of something I really want to eat but by the time I finish, I have one bite and keep everything as leftover… I dislike leftovers too.

    • Sam August 26, 2013 / 11:06 am

      Yeah – sometimes I’d rather not think about a product’s ingredients. lol. I don’t mind cooking most food so much, but I hate cooking meat. I would probably be a vegetarian if I never went out to eat or cooked for other people because if it’s just me, I’d rather just have beans or some other non-animal protein than cook meat. Bleh – it’s too slimy when raw. I can’t even imagine how people have the stomach to chop it up when it is bloody.

  4. Colleen August 26, 2013 / 1:41 pm

    I’ve been wanting to cut back I soda (not just diet) for a long time. What are some of your alternatives?

    • Sam August 26, 2013 / 1:55 pm

      Honestly – the only thing I drink is water and milk now. You could do unsweetened tea or add lemon or lime to a glass of water, but to be honest plain water pretty much satisfies me. I would always get bored with water when I drank diet soda, but now that I just stick mostly with water all the time, I am used to it.

  5. Debbie August 26, 2013 / 3:58 pm

    Good for you! I stopped drinking soda around the same time I became a vegetarian– which was almost 12 years ago now! You’re absolutely right, when you taste it after, it definitely tastes like poison and it makes you wonder how you drank it in the first place. One step at a time and one thing at a time (but aspartame should definitely be next, its really bad for you)! x

    • Sam August 26, 2013 / 4:02 pm

      I couldn’t believe how HORRIBLE it tasted. I have given up a lot of aspartame, but I still eat some products that contain it i.e. Skinny Cow. When I go to England in a few weeks for three months, I will have to find all new foods, so that will probably eliminate the aspartame products I buy in the US from my diet.

  6. producthoochie August 26, 2013 / 4:37 pm

    I have cut out a lot of soda and aspartame drinks. I now make a pitcher of water with lemons,limes, and mint. It is so much more satisfying. I go through a pitcher a day. I also like Hint Water and Hint Fizz. They have fruit essence and no additives.

    • Sam August 27, 2013 / 5:45 am

      I thought that I would get bored of plain water after awhile, but I really haven’t found a need to seek alternatives. Infusing fruit juice is a good idea though.

      • producthoochie August 27, 2013 / 8:19 am

        I never really liked water but when I throw the lemons and mint in, it makes it so much better.

  7. Jenn August 26, 2013 / 6:31 pm

    Makeup is the best substitute, its free of everything that is bad for your body! In reality diet sodas are worse then the regular one, if you see anything with Aspartame in it you wan to shy away from it. They are actually liking now constant high dosages of aspartame has cause brain problems. If I do dink soda it’s the real thing now. I go for regular sugar now if I’m out and want a sweet tea, my sweetener substitute now is coconut sugar or honey since it’s all natural. It makes a difference. I’m weening myself off sodas right now so I’m waiting for the fun headaches to come lol

    • Sam August 27, 2013 / 5:48 am

      Aspartame is definitely bad for the body, but it’s in a lot of stuff. My brother in law has HORRIBLE migraines if he eats just a bit of it. So, anytime he is over for dinner, we have to make sure that there is no aspartame in the ingredients list. You would think it’s just in “diet” products, but now they put it in regular foods just to make it taste super sweet.

  8. (scand)alice August 27, 2013 / 2:21 am

    Thanks for sharing this. I don’t drink soda too often but my boyfriend would have 2 liters every day and has for maybe around the same time as you. I’ve talked to him about reducing the amount but it hasn’t happened yet and I don’t want to force him to stop. It gives me hope however, after reading this, that he’ll be able to do it one day.

    • Sam August 27, 2013 / 5:50 am

      He could definitely do it if he put his mind to it. You could always bring up the cost issue too. Soda is expensive to buy on a regular basis, especially if he drinks one two-liter a day. That’s like $1.50 every day.

  9. bubblegumandpink August 27, 2013 / 3:05 pm

    You should be so proud you gave up soda! For the last 5 years I have been a soda addict too. I was drinking coca cola full fat every single day, up to 4 litres! I had an addiction and I think it had a lot to do with my huge weight gain. Currently I have cut down to a diet one with 0 calories but I am still well aware this isn’t good for me at all and I am slowly cutting down to only 6 litres a week which is a huge difference from where I was. I just hope I have some teeth in a few years lol! Congrats :)

    • Sam August 28, 2013 / 11:09 am

      I think that diet soda can be a good transition coming from regular and then eventually slowly weaning yourself off the diet. Sometimes, it’s just too much of a stretch to quit cold turkey. Losing that sugar intake must have been quite the withdrawal process.

  10. sweetdarlingblog September 21, 2013 / 10:08 pm

    Oh I feel you. Diet Coke has been my obsession since I was a young teen. There’s something that just tastes/feels so good about cracking open a diet can of Coke versus the regular. Props to you for kicking the habit! I’m trying to cut back. A really good alternative is Zevia Zero found at most health food grocers. Stevia!

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