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Monday, May 20, 2013

The Soda Challenge!!

Sometimes starting a journey to a healthier lifestyle can seem overwhelming!  What do I eat? What is the best workout for me? Which "diet plan" do I use?  These are all questions that every one of us has asked ourselves.  

The truth is, starting a healthy lifestyle isn't all that complicated.  All it takes is ONE step in the right direction.  Then, ADD another step, then another.  

Today, I want to challenge you to take the first, or add another, step!  How about you make a goal to get in ALL of your water for a whole week.  Simple and easy, right?  In fact, making sure that you get in HALF of your body weight in water can ensure that you lose any water weight that you are carrying. What if I told you that I could make it even easier??  We can kill two birds with ONE stone!  How??  


NO SODA!



THAT is the challenge that I am setting forth.  I stopped drinking soda pop awhile back.  It saves SO much money, AND you feel SO much better!  I will admit though, I HAVE sort of, maybe, kinda, you could call it that, gotten into the bad habit again..... 


GUIDELINES

NO sodas allowed - Diet or regular. See Q’s & A’s below for tips!

Start a Soda Bowl – Grab a bowl and each day add the money you would typically spend on sodas to the bowl. If you normally buy a case, six pack or 2-liters when grocery shopping…add that amount of money to the bowl. Anytime you find yourself craving a soda, add the money it would cost to purchase one, to the Soda Bowl. You can’t spend this money for the entire month of August. Buy yourself something special with your Soda Bowl money. You will deserve it! Let us know how much money you've collected for the duration of the challenge.

Be Prepared- Carry around your water bottle everywhere!  I like the kind that let you track your water intake by clicking a little tab (it makes me feel good to move it to the next number.) THIS is my current favorite.

Check in Daily - Take a minute each day or every few days, to leave a comment below and tell us about your progress. If you are struggling, let us know and ask for tips.

The possibilities are only as limited as your local grocery store, orchard or garden. Remember that fresh fruit is a great way of naturally sweetening water without the empty calories. This also helps with getting the sugar you might be craving and will help make your challenge successful.

DURATION

The challenge goes for ONE WEEK from the day you start. If you can’t start with me now, or, start when you can and cut soda out for seven days from your starting point.

AFTER THE CHALLENGE


The goal of this challenge is to break the soda addiction. This is not to say, “never have a soda again!"  Having a soda ever now and again, is not the same as having to have 3 and 4 sodas each day. I want to help you get through the first week so you have the motivation to continue on your own, if you choose too. Whether or not you decide to continue living soda-free after the challenge is completely up to you. So what do you say?

GET SUPPORT!

I will serve as a source of motivation and support. You can interact with us on my Facebook page or leave a comment below. Feel free to ask questions throughout the challenge. Put your best effort in and I promise, it will be worth it. Get started with us and beat the soda addiction!! Are you in?



THE DANGERS OF SODA:



Now, you might be saying: 
"Oh!  But I drink DIET soda!  There aren't any calories, AND I only drink the kind that doesn't have Aspartame." Yeah, your're not off the hook!





THE BENEFITS OF NO SODA

I got the following from livestrong.com. 


Reduced Sugar Intake

The average 12-oz. serving of soda contains up to 9 tsp. of added sugar, which is over the daily limit for most people. Willett says that there are several health conditions that may be avoided simply by cutting your soda and sugar intake. When you consume too much sugar, your pancreas has to work harder and produces more insulin, so restricting your intake of sugary sodas can help you reduce your risk of diabetes. Diets that include several sodas a day also put you at greater risk of heart disease, something you can help prevent by avoiding soda.

Weight Loss

The calories in a 12-oz. serving of soda are considered empty calories because they do not supply any nutrition. Over time, drinking several sodas a day can lead to unhealthy weight gain. The opposite is true if you cut soda out of your diet. If you are used to drinking three or four sodas a day, you can cut hundreds of calories from your diet just by switching to a calorie-free drink like plain water. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight decreases your chances of many negative health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Reduced Risk of Bone Fractures

The phosphoric acid in many types of soda cause bone damage by leaching calcium out of them and making them weaker and more susceptible to damage. The Harvard University Gazette says that just two sodas a day can cause significant bone weakening among teenage girls, which can have harmful effects as they get older as well. Bone mass is built during adolescence and early adulthood and begins to decline after that. Replacing soda with milk is an important way to help protect your bones no matter what your age.

Leaves Room for Other Nutrients

According to Bonnie Sanders Polin, Frances Towner Giedt and the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, authors of "Cleveland Clinic Healthy Heart Lifestyle Guide and Cookbook," diets high in soda consumption leave less room for healthier drinks, such as 100 percent fruit juice, milk and water. Filling up on soda often results in a lower intake of fruits, vegetables and grains, as well. Eliminating soda from your diet will leave you hungry for more nutritious foods and drinks that benefit your health.

SO, lets' do this!  Who's with me???  
I am on my way to becoming The Healthy Redhead!


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