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The Pain-free Way to Quit Drinking Soda

DietDrPepper_400My biggest food weakness wasn’t chocolate or fries. Nope. Mine was diet soda. I used to have seven pallets (96 cans per pallet) of Diet Dr. Pepper delivered to my home because it was cheaper to buy in bulk, and I would drink 12-ouncers all day long. Crazy. When I decided to quit, I found a substitute that served a similar role. From This Is Your Do-Over.

Immediately, I began drinking coffee. Except for a small percentage of folks who get headaches, abnormal heartbeats, anxiety, or gastric upset from coffee (they are the 12 percent of Americans genetically typed as slow metabolizers of caffeine), the research shows that coffee makes you younger, in that it decreases the chance you’ll develop the following age-related diseases: eight cancers, diabetes, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. If you’re jonesing for java, make sure that it’s brewed through a filter; if you don’t, it can increase your lousy form of cholesterol. And you can’t turn your coffee into a dessert drink with syrups, creams, and other sweeteners, though some natural sweeteners are fine, such as Leaf Stevia and low-fat dairy alternatives like almond milk.

Ideally, though, you’ll transition to pure youth-giving black coffee. Almost all genetically fast metabolizers of caffeine get younger from it. It worked for me, because it helped replace the Diet Dr Pepper but still gave my mouth and hands something to do, and I liked the taste. I haven’t missed Diet Dr Pepper in the four-plus years that I’ve been away from it. My point isn’t that you have to drink coffee. It’s that for every vice, addiction, or unhealthy habit, there’s a healthy substitution that can meet your needs—and get you on track to make sure your Do-Over is a success.

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