A couple of weeks ago, I posted about my goals for 2012. Goal #4 was “Quit diet drinks”.
When I decided to get more fit back in June of 2010, one of the things I did was quit drinking my calories. No more sweet tea. No more Dr. Pepper. It was a big change. Several well-meaning people told me “you know, artificial sweeteners are bad for you”. Others said, “carbonated drinks are bad for your kidneys”.
The debate’s still out about both of those claims, but nobody is arguing about the fact that being 150 lbs overweight is bad for you. Everyone agrees on that. So I decided to switch to diet soda, with plans to worry about the diet soda later.
Now it’s later, and I’m using a five phase approach to quit the diet soda.
Phase I: Drink all the diet drinks that I can.
This was my default mode for the past couple of years. Technically this could have been Phase 0, I guess.
Phase II: Don’t keep diet drinks as work.
I usually kept cans of diet soda in a fridge at work. This meant easy access, and I would drink 2 – 5 EVERY DAY. During Phase II, no more steady supply.
Phase III: No diet drinks during work.
On Phase II, I didn’t KEEP diet drinks at work, but I would still buy them at lunch (or breakfast). Phase III ended that.
Phase IV: No diet drinks during the week.
For me, Phase IV starts tomorrow. The weekend starts at 5:00 PM on Friday, right!
Phase V: No diet drinks.
Pretty self-explanatory. No more diet drinks. This phase starts in two weeks.
After 6 months or so of being totally off the diet sauce, I might allow myself an occasional diet soft drink. But for now, this is the plan!
If you’re trying to make a significant change in your eating (or drinking) habits, and you’re having difficulty doing it, I recommend a gradual tiered approach. Step it down bit by bit. However, you MUST HAVE A PLAN…with dates and everything. Seriously.