Steps for transitioning to a Soda Pop free 61 days

If you are joining your DMC family and the many community partners in taking on the 61 Day Challenge, here are a few tips to help with your transition to being Soda Pop free for the remainder of the year.

Step 1

Start with asking yourself the BIG question:

Why did I volunteer to not drink pop for 61 days?
• to save money?
• to reduce the caffeine?
• to reduce sugar intake?
• to avoid high fructose corn syrup?
• to limit carbonation intake?
• to limit exposure to the teeth-staining dye?
• to see it you lose weight?
• to limit your acid intake?
• because it was the right thing to do?

All of the above answers are great reasons to decide not drink pop for the 61 day challenge. Below are 8 additional reasons why your decision to participate was the right one.

Step 2

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage, willingness to change and decision to get better; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready.”

Understanding that this will NOT be an easy challenge is very important. Just as important as understanding that you have friends, family members and co-workers that will also be taking the 61 challenge or supporting you along the way. We will also be providing various types of support (e.g., blogs, cooking options, websites/link, etc.) to help you get through the 61 days.

Step 3

Estimate your current soda pop consumption. Knowing the approximate number of ounces of pop you drink each day will be important for the next step. It would be a good idea to also record when, why and where you drink pop. Do you drink pop at lunch time? Do you drink on your way to work? Do you find yourself drinking when you’re stressed? Do you only drink pop at home?

These answers will help you develop a strategy to avoid your exposure to pop. For instance, if you only drink pop when you are at home, consider not adding it to your grocery list. Not having it available to drink when you crave it is a sure way to avoid it.

Step 4

Make yourself a weaning schedule.
For example, your goal could be to reduce the amount of soda pop you drink 50% by October 19th, 75% by October 26th and then have very little to no soda pop on October 31st. Just in time to start off the 61 day kickoff with ease.

To help with this, make sure you only have the cash/coins in your pocket to purchase a reduced amount. It is important that your family, friends and co-workers support you by not drinking pop in your presence. Besides, they should be participating in this challenge with you anyway!

Step 5

Prepare for caffeine withdrawal. As you know, caffeine is a drug and you may experience withdrawal symptoms for the first few days of November. You may also feel a bit tired during this short period if you were dependent on the sugar and caffeine for energy.

Step 6

Choose your substitutions wisely. Continue to drink the same or similar amounts of fluids but make sure to NOT replace the soda pop with high sugary drinks. This would eliminate the benefits you expect to experience after completing the 61 day challenge.

Stay tuned for recommendations or healthy substitutes for soda pop.

Join us by following the campaign on Twitter at @PagingDrEadie.

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