How I conquered my Diet Coke addiction

I was addicted to Diet Coke. Until November 2017 I would routinely drink about two litres of the stuff a day, served fridge cold in a glass stacked with ice. Beads of icy condensation would form on my refreshing glass after glass after glass of Diet Coke. But I gave it up, and here’s how and why I did it.

I don’t really remember when I started drinking Diet Coke. I think it was in the early 2000’s and my first few cans were from the vending machine in the college I worked in. From memory, I’d found regular Coke too sweet and I wanted something like Coke but not as tooth-tinglingly sweet. It wasn’t so much the diet aspect I enjoyed, but the cold refreshing, thirst quenching nature of the drink. I was soon hooked and drinking one or two cans a day.

How I conquered my Diet Coke addiction

As the years went by I started drinking Diet Coke at home too. It probably started as a cold one after work and developed into the several litres a day habit I ended up with. I knew that regardless of the minimal calories I was ingesting, Diet Coke probably wasn’t that healthy for me. When I was pregnant I shifted to caffeine free Diet Coke, but soon shifted back. I’ve flirted with the odd month or two without caffeinated drinks over the years, but I always went back to Diet Coke.

Whenever the concerned voice inside my head mentioned that Diet Coke probably wasn’t that great, another voice would remind me that the school nurse encouraged me to drink lots of fizzy drinks as they would fill me up so I wouldn’t eat (who gives that kind of advice to a teenage girl?). I would also tell myself that there were so few calories in it I was doing myself a favour by drinking it. Of course now we know different.

In 2017 I’d spent several months being under the weather or just plain poorly. I knew I needed to make some changes, so in November I undertook a serious detox plan. It was pretty horrible but it did work and I felt better for it. During the detox I gave up pretty much everything except fruit, vegetables and water. When I came out the other side I was no longer craving Diet Coke.

I’ve probably had 15 years of drinking Diet Coke under my belt. Did stopping make me feel any different? Well, yes. Once I’d gone through the caffeine withdrawal headache, I felt much better. I have gone from having under three hours sleep a night to getting almost double that on average. More sleep also makes me a nicer, more humany human.

Tips for giving up Diet Coke

Mentally prepare yourself. Giving up isn’t easy and you will probably get a headache and a raging thirst for Diet Coke.

Find a few alternative drinks that you can drink instead. I’ve started drinking more water and I mostly drink very weak sugar-free cordial with ice. My current tipple is no added sugar Vimto and I also like an orange squash. I make mine very weak so it’s more like a flavoured water than anything.

Keep a note about when you stopped and what is different for you. You will probably find you’re sleeping better. If you’ve got a Fitbit this can help monitor your sleep. Seeing an improvement in this area was a big motivation for me.

Reward yourself. For me giving up fizzy drinks entirely is fairly unrealistic. Every week I choose a few interesting cans of fizzy pop and put them in the fridge, my current favourite is San Pellegrino. When I feel like a treat I will crack open a can. A little of something nice is good for you, two litres a day, probably not so much.

That’s how I gave up Diet Coke. I’ve been Diet Coke free for over two months now and I feel happier and healthier for it. I’m very pleased that I’ve managed to step away from my Diet Coke addiction. 

How I conquered my Diet Coke addiction

13 responses to “How I conquered my Diet Coke addiction

  1. Oh well done Jane!! I was so addicted to Diet Coke and i would drink at least one can a day. I’m now down to half a can a day but need to cut down even more. I try to drink a glass of water first to “fill me up” but it doesn’t work too well

  2. Interesting! I also had an unhealthy addiction to Diet Coke and weaned myself off at the end of last year. I had been drinking it for about 10 years every day but was suffering strange stomach aches. Thankfully they stopped as soon as I stopped drinking it! I now drink sparkling water which I hope is much better for me.

  3. I know how hard it is to give up, so very well done to you.

  4. I think it’s not only the caffeine but the sugar as well. Well done though, not an easy task staying away caffeine. I drink too many energy drinks, something I’m trying to reduce and stop.

  5. My addiction is to Fanta, I love that staff though for the last six months I have drunk like 2-4 cans which is rare for me as I use to drink that many in a day. Well done you

  6. I have found that I am far too caffine sensitive now to be able to drink a vast amount of caffinated soda drinks. (no doubt because I drink too much coffee in the daytime). I think you’ve certainly done the right thing to wean yourself off the stuff, fine for a drink once in a while, but certainly not something I’d want to have everyday.

  7. My dads a Diet Coke addict, about three cups+ a day, definitly going to show him this, thankyou

  8. Well done for giving up diet coke and for educating us on your journey. It must have been difficult but you have shown that making a change is possible. Well done lovely x

  9. This is a really interesting read, and well done you for kicking it. I too love a glass of coke but I never really buy it. It sort of shows how bad for you it really is though when it’s a struggle to give it up! I remember my dad used to drink coke like there was no tomorrow – same sort of time when he was on the Atkins ‘Diet’!

  10. This is a really interesting post, I used to hate fizzy drinks until I was 15 or 16. Then I couldn’t live without Pepsi max, it’s weird how something like a drink can be so addictive isn’t it?

  11. Giving up diet coke isnt easy I know, I swapped it for fizzy water and vimto

  12. Its so easy to become addicted to fizzy drinks. I found myself going through a phase of craving ice cold coke and my intake increased slowly over the months. I only ever have the stuff now if I’m out, having a meal. Good for you for kicking the habit! Do you still have a glass now and then, or are you completely opposed to having any at all?

    • I’ve completely stopped drinking Diet Coke now. I had a glass a few weeks ago to try but it made me feel weird and I couldn’t sleep at all that night. It’s so good that you’ve cut down, I miss it but I don’t regret giving it up.

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