Soda remains one of America’s most popular beverages, with Coke brands dominating current sales and taking the lion’s share of consumer loyalty. However, despite the love Americans have for their sugary beverages, it is not helping them reduce their waistlines. Many soda brands contain a large amount of refined sugar that can lead to weight gain and the development of obesity. If you are trying to cut soda out of your diet, there are a few strategies you can try that may help you kick the fizzy habit forever.

1. Cut Back at First

Quitting soda is like fighting any other addiction, and going cold turkey is not likely the best course because it can cause headaches, irritability, and fatigue. Since these symptoms might cause you to break and run back to the nearest vending machine, try cutting back instead. For example, if you usually drink four cans a day, cut back to two. The week after, reduce that amount by half again until your body becomes accustomed to the reduction in sugar.

Cutting Soda From Diet

2. Take Soda Off the Shopping List

Quitting soda can be easier if you remove the temptation from your home altogether. While you might believe diet soda is a suitable alternative, it contains additives and artificial sugar that may cause your system to anticipate a sugar rush and then cause a crash when it is not ingested. Scratch regular and diet soda off your shopping list and opt for sparkling water or low-sugar beverages that are flavored naturally.

3. Take Vitamin B

If you are plagued by headaches as you try to kick the soda habit, consider adding a vitamin B supplement to your diet. This vitamin can prevent headaches that are caused by the caffeine and sugar withdrawal you might experience when you quit soda. There are different forms of vitamin B, so it is a good idea to ask your physician which one might benefit you the most. He or she may also be able to give you additional tips for cutting soda from your diet for good.

4. Try Different Alternatives

It may take you some time to find a beverage you enjoy as much as soda, but trying as many alternatives as possible can increase the odds of not feeling cheated out of your old favorite. If you like the carbonation soda offers, try other sparkling beverages, such as fizzy white grape juice cocktail or antioxidant drinks that are naturally flavored with fruit juice.

As you browse different options, remember to note the sugar content of each beverage. Some fruit drinks can contain quite a bit of sugar, including those that are marketed as healthy. Avoid orange and pineapple juice and opt for drinks that have no more than 10 grams of sugar per serving.

5. Discover the Benefits of Water

If soda replaced your water intake, now is the time to discover what pure, clean H2O can do for your body. There are many benefits to drinking water, from improving the appearance of your skin to flushing out bodily toxins and fat cells. Water is not only healthy but necessary for the survival of all living things, which is why programs like the Cadiz Water Project are vital to the country’s conservation efforts.

How much water you need depends on your height and weight, so discussing your hydration needs with a doctor before you begin a new regimen is a good idea. Ask your physician whether you will need to change your water intake depending on the weather or if your health changes. Making a hydration plan with a professional can go a long way in helping you kick soda to the curb.

Soda is a delicious but addicting beverage. Making the switch to healthier alternatives can be a challenge, but the health benefits are likely to be worth the sacrifice.