If you know there’s a beverage or two that is doing you more harm than good, it’s time to reduce its place in your life and your diet. It can be hard to cut back on your favorite sugary, alcoholic, or caffeine-heavy drinks, but it’s possible if you follow helpful actions. Here are a few methods for reducing unhealthy beverages that will lead you to success.
Be Strong in Your Determination to Make a Change
The first step is knowing you want to make a change and feeling resolute in your will to follow through. While it may feel daunting to reduce the number of unhealthy beverages you consume, especially if you have a few favorites you know aren’t benefiting you, the good news is that with small steps, you’ll be able to make a lasting change. Remember your health goals and why they matter to you.
Fill Up With Water
Have you ever noticed that when you drink a lot of water, your hunger decreases, as do your cravings? Water takes up room in your stomach when you consume a lot and sends a message to your brain that you’re no longer hungry. Sometimes cravings for a particular food or drink are your body craving water without you realizing it.
Aim to drink water first and foremost and then allow yourself other beverages after you’ve worked towards hydrating yourself and quenching your thirst. You should try to drink between 2.7 and 3.7 liters of water daily, but if you live somewhere humid or are an active person, you may need even more. If you reach for your water bottle first when you want an unhealthy beverage, you can learn to sip that sugary drink for enjoyment rather than to counteract dehydration.
Watch Your Caffeine Intake in Particular
While there are undoubtedly other ingredients that everyone should cut back on (sugar is a big one), caffeine is a great place to start. The adverse effects of consuming too much caffeine have been highly researched and proven. You can even become addicted to caffeine, which makes watching your daily caffeine intake a critical focus. Whether you currently feel like you’re drinking too much caffeine or you want to use caution to ensure you don’t become dependent, pay attention to where the caffeine you consume comes from.
Coffee is a large daily caffeine intake for many people because it contains roughly 40 mg of caffeine per 100 grams. The problem is less about a single cup of coffee and more about how caffeine adds up with each additional cup throughout the day. Some tea includes caffeine as well, like matcha and green tea, as do chocolate, gum, and some energy drinks. To reduce the unhealthy drinks you’re consuming, pay attention to which ones have caffeine in them, and start by cutting back your daily amount by focusing on those beverages.
Set Daily Limits
Although it isn’t always easy, an excellent way to reduce the number of unhealthy drinks in your life is to set strict limits on what you’ll allow. Determine a healthy amount for you and do your best to follow it every day. You’ll probably find that the less you drink that unhealthy beverage, the less you desire it in excess until your limited intake feels like enough. Remember to have grace with yourself if this is especially hard; it’s wise to work down to smaller amounts over time rather than going from your regular amount to a drastically reduced intake overnight so that your cravings can adjust.
Also, remember to allow for flexibility in your lifestyle and schedule that may require a pause to your daily limits. For example, if you’re going wine tasting with a friend, you can allow yourself more than your limit that day; if you go on vacation and find yourself needing extra energy for your plans, you might need to increase your cups of coffee throughout the day.
Replace Unhealthy Drinks With Delicious Healthy Alternatives
The most enjoyable step is the one where you get to sub your old (unhealthy) favorite drinks with delicious healthy alternatives. You have a variety of options for healthy drinks that will satisfy the beverage hole in your life, from tea to sparkling infused water to herbal tonics. Herbal tonics are made with good ingredients that will benefit your body. Tonics are also low in calories, organic, and plant-based. Because of the bubbles, an herbal tonic might be just the drink to replace your old favorites with on a long-term basis; with delicious flavors and ingredients, your body will love, herbal tonics can satisfy your cravings.
If you follow these steps for reducing the unhealthy beverages in your life, you’ll lessen your need and desire for them, or maybe say “good riddance” and cut them out entirely. Your body will thank you down the line for making smart choices.
WRITTEN BYJacob Maslow