How ditching fizzy drinks for good can affect your body

One man says quitting soda was a “life changing” decision [Photo: Pexels]

It’s health advice your doctor – or mother, at the very least – has been giving you for years: steer clear of fizzy drinks.

Regardless whether it’s sugar free or in its full fat glory, there’s been evidence for years against some of the UK’s most sugary drinks.

Keeping a fizzy drink bottle at his desk, at all times, one fitness journalist claims ditching the habit changed his life.

Everyone wants that one life-changing moment. I had mine three years ago,” wrote Michael Freidson for Men’s Health. 

Giving up [fizzy drinks] changed my life. In fact, I’m convinced that quitting pop extended my life, shrank my waistline, and made me happier. You maybe already know soda is bad for you, but you might not know just how bad.”

Surrendering the sugary drink forever, Freidson credits a 2014 study headline: “Soda May Age You as Much as Smoking,” as the inspiration to give up soda for good.

According to the writer, quitting had almost immediate effects.

“I instantly began to think more clearly and have more energy,” he wrote. “One month in, I noticed I could ‘cheat’ more at mealtime and still lose weight. I realised my abs were more defined.”

Freidson used to drink multiple cans of Diet Coke a day – and claimed the introduction of Coke Zero marked one of his ‘happiest days.’

Weighing 20 pounds heavier and living with chronic high pressure, the writer admitted soft drinks were affecting him in more ways than one.

I felt unfocused, sluggish, bloated and depressed,” wrote the 41-year-old. 

The idea that fizzy drinks may cause premature ageing gave Freidson the push he needed to quit it once and for all.

Further research revealed that fizzy drinks – diet, included – is directly connected to a risk of obesity, according to a study by the University of Texas Health Science Centre at San Antonio.

Regular consumers were also found to have their waist circumference increased by eight centimeters over eight years.

Potentially causing infertility, increasing the risk of cancer and supporting diabetes and high blood pressure, the case against sugary beverages is strong.

With the introduction of the soft drink sugar tax this year, the government is getting involved in reducing the overall consumption of soft drinks in the UK.

When it comes to quitting for good, Freidson recommends following the five-step plan he compiled alongside the National Institutes of Health, Emory University and Tufts University:

  1. Find a replacement
  2. Make a habit
  3. Reward yourself right
  4. Resist the marketing
  5. Take a sip, avoid a slip

According to Freidson, among the other notable affects of ditching fizzy drinks, he is now often told he looks good for his age – the initial inspiration for quitting for good.

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