Confessions of a Former Diet Coke Addict


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  614 comments   :  49,679 Views

There were lots of foods and drinks that came quite easy for me to give up when I started this journey, with one exception--DIET COKE. I had always been a big fan of diet drinks from way back in the days when TAB and Fresca were considered the quintessential diet drinks. But that all changed in July 1982 when Diet Coke hit the stores shelves-- from that point on, I was hooked.

I was not a big coffee drinker in college. Keep in mind I grew up in the pre-Starbucks, pre-coffee house age. Coffee was coffee. Of course you could choose between decaf and regular coffee, and if you wanted to add a hint of cinnamon or hazelnut, you could indulge in a little smidgen of flavored non-dairy creamer. So in order to meet my caffeine requirements for studying I would drink my beloved Diet Coke.

I would have a Diet Coke early in the morning and throughout the day. I would occasionally drink water, but once again, bottled water was not the norm in vending machines at the time. When I became pregnant in 1987 I did give it up. There was something about not knowing how aspartame would affect my pregnancy. Sadly though on the way home from the hospital I had my husband stop by our local McDonald's to pick up a Diet Coke.

For the next 20 plus years, not a single day went by without me nursing a Diet Coke. My addiction was so bad that my local convenience store workers knew me by name. In fact it wasn't uncommon for me to go in and buy a Double Big Gulp the minute I was done with my workout at the gym in the morning. Now you may be wondering why I didn't buy it by the can. Well, for some reason the can was not the same as the fountain. If I had my choice I always would choose the fountain version over the can version any day. Was there really a difference? I have no clue, but if an establishment did not have the fountain version, that would be the only time I would pass up my drink of choice.

When I started my journey almost 5 years ago, giving up candy, cookies, chips and all the other tempting foods was quite easy, but my Diet Coke well, let's just say that took me a lot longer to give up. But on January 1, 2009 I decided it was time to let go of my Diet Coke habit--a habit that had me drinking well over 100 ounces of diet soda in a single day. I had read the research stating that those who imbibed in diet sodas would crave sweets more so than those who did not drink them. I am not too sure if I fell in that category, but I knew that if I was really going to embrace healthy living, for me, the Diet Coke had to go.

It has been 11 months since I had my last sip. I went cold turkey and I haven't regretted a day since. I did suffer from headaches during the first few weeks, but by the end of January I was holding my own. I now drink water and unsweetened ice tea occasionally. Not only do I save $3 a day, but I feel so empowered by not allowing a food or drink to control me. I realized I am more in control than I ever gave myself credit.

Since you started your journey, has there been one food or drink that you have not been able to give up, but would like to? Would you go cold turkey or would you slowly wean yourself off?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
See More: confession, diet, drinks,
Got a story idea? Give us a shout!
NEXT ENTRY >   8 New Ways to Get Fit, Firm and Fired Up


  • 614
    i was the same - diet mountian dew. oh. it was heavenly... i gave it up a year ago. I replaced it with seltzer or soda water with a splash of grapefruit juice.
    - 7/22/2015   11:53:57 AM
    I was a diet coke addict. I preferred cans to fountain. There is a difference. Gave it up for Lent and then learned that caffeine could aggravate kidney stones which I had with no symptoms. That was enough to stop. Still dream about having a diet coke. Its ben over 4 years but people think I still drink it. - 7/20/2015   12:38:39 PM
    Hi my name is Liz and I am addicted to Coke Zero (especially from the Coke Freestyle machines where you can add cherry and vanilla). I don't get up to 100oz but I will drink at least 2 32 oz ones at work per shift. The days I magically don't drink any I have a migraine but if I drink to much I also get a headache. In the future I hope to cut it out but for now it's my vice. - 3/27/2014   5:47:29 PM
    I am a definitely a Diet Coke Addict. If I ran out over the weekend, I would beg my husband to go get me a couple bottles to tide me over till I could buy more at the store. Due to a "No Cheat Challenge", I was able to stop drinking it entirely a couple months ago. It was the hardest thing for me to give up. I still want it sometimes when I'm stressed, but now it's more of the mental yearning for it. I drink a lot more water than I used to. I started drinking Green Tea for the caffeine to keep from getting so run down through the day. Hopefully, the benefits of the Green Tea outweigh the effects of caffeine. I don't want to ever go back to drinking Diet Coke, but I know its one my may main weaknesses to living a healthy lifestyle. - 6/20/2013   1:52:50 PM
  • 610
    My weakness is not diet coke but half and half in my coffee. I love the taste and I drink about 6 cups a day of this mixture. - 10/13/2012   7:35:36 AM
  • 609
    I'm a fountain pop drinker also with lots of ice. Some places have way too much carbination in the pop. I will do cans only with lot's of ice and I let it water it down a bit before drinking. That carbonation really gets me. Except for me it is now Diet Dr Pepper. Good for you in kicking that addiction. - 8/29/2012   12:26:21 PM
  • CAI1959
    I've been thinking about quitting diet coke again. I have had as much trouble with this or maybe even more than when I gave up cigarettes 15 years ago. Thanks for the positive feed back. I've had my last diet coke this morning. - 8/28/2012   3:24:36 PM
    I am proud to say I am still Diet Coke free over 3 years later...not a single drop has passed these lips. WOO HOO! - 6/14/2012   10:02:50 AM
  • 606
    I still drink the occasional soda (when we eat out) but I am so glad I gave up my Diet Coke! Since we are also trying not to eat out as much I don't have the opportunity available to order a soda. Water with lemon and Crystal light are my favorites now. I can definitely tell I no longer crave sweets like I used too. I was sitting right next to an open bag of my favorite Easter chocolates and didn't even feel tempted to have 'just one'! I like saving money too. Before I was buying 3 12 packs every 1-1/2 weeks. Ick! - 6/14/2012   9:17:03 AM
  • 605
    I'm down from 1 diet coke a day to 1 a week. And most of the time I can't even drink a whole can anymore!
    - 6/14/2012   8:06:51 AM
  • 604
    I am no longer addicted to Diet Cokes and I feel WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!! - 6/11/2012   10:25:34 PM
    I was like you but mine was for regular coke and I was adicted to it. I went cold turkey and it was amazing how much the body and my health changed. I may have a ginger ale once or twice a month but it's considered a treat now instead of my go to drink of the day. - 6/11/2012   8:47:21 PM
    I was inspired by your words. I really want to give mine up. We have cut back, but I still think addict would apply. Tomorrow will be my first day to go for just water or caffeine free iced tea - 6/11/2012   7:15:37 PM
  • 601
    I just love potatoe chips! I don't really know if it is the taste of chips or the salt & crunch that I crave. That would be a hard thing for me to totally give up. I have cut way back to only a handful once or twice a week. That is really good for me. I Use to eat half a bag a day! Do feel much better not as bloated. - 6/11/2012   11:38:36 AM
  • 600
    I like this. I used to be an addict for diet Pepsi. I gave it up for new years 1 year and then continued during Lent. That was over 17 years ago now, I wont say that some times when you would go out to a (fast food) before it's hard if there isn't much else to pick from? Im now hooked only on water, sometimes with lemon. But i'm still in there! And thanks for this. - 6/10/2012   10:55:06 PM
    I have cut back considerably on soda, but still have an occasional one. Each time I read a negative report on a particular type, I try to eliminate it. 50% more likely to have a heart attack if you drink one diet cola daily -- in fact any dark drink is a risk. If you must drink diet, drink clear. So far, they have found no healthy substitute for sugar. Yesterday, while reading a report on the need for more iodine in our diet for thyroid health, I discovered that some sodas also include bromine -- which is a toxin and does not leave the body without iodine. Bromine is now used in all baked goods instead of iodized salt. Substitute I have found quite easy to take: water (or unsweetened tea) -- instead of ice cubes, use frozen (no sugar) fruit. - 6/10/2012   1:01:10 AM
    This is me! I love diet soda. I usually limit myself to one a day, but this habit prevents me from drinking water like I should. I loved this blog and it motivates me to challenge myself to just quit like you did. - 6/9/2012   9:33:55 PM
    I dont to much care for diet drinks. - 12/30/2011   9:01:29 PM
  • 596
    I guess it would be chocolate. I have changed to dark chocolate and one Special Dark bar has only 170 calories and 12 grams of fat and 25 grams of carb and 21 grams of sugar. I don't eat the entire bar. I pinch off of it. I also eat the smaller York peppermint pattys. I have found when I eat the dark chocolate that it helps my appetite and if it was the milk chocolate I crave more. But I don't buy it often and it helps cravings for chocolate and other sweets for me. Thanks for sharing. I gave up the diet sodas a while back. Sometimes I get one for the caffeine. lol - 11/2/2010   7:46:28 PM
  • 595
    Hi Nancy,
    I used to drink 2 or even 3 diet cokes(20 ouncers) a day. I started having stomach issues from the carbonation and stopped. Haven't drank any for about 2 years now and when I do have some I don't like the taste. Give yourself 6 months or so and you probably won't either. Good luck!
    Chris - 7/21/2010   7:08:19 PM
  • 594
    Yesterday I bought some zero calorie soda from a new brand - "Zevia" - www (dot) zevia (dot) com. I bought the Black Cherry and the Root Beer flavors. They are flavored with Stevia and Erythritol (sp? sugar alcohol), and they do make a cola version. I'm not particularly a cola fan (note the "DrPepper" part of my name). There are other flavors like orange, "twist" (lemon/lime type), gingerale...oh hey (reading the website) they also have a "DrZevia" so maybe? it would taste? better?? or not...

    But.... right now, like with all other pops, I'm not liking it... because I really notice the "aluminum/metallic" aftertaste when I drink pop type beverages in aluminum can (or even V-8). I can completely relate to you preferring fountain drink over the canned version of a drink!! - 7/21/2010   4:38:38 PM
  • CAROLINE8311
    WOW what a great read! I too am addicted to diet coke...i am taking one step at a time also. Right now i am down to one every two or three days. I also drank about 100 to 120 ounces aday. What a HORRIBLE feeling knowing that something like diet coke has control over you! NOT FOR LONG..I AM DETERMINED. THANK YOU AGAIN FOR THE INSITE - 3/25/2010   5:10:20 PM
  • 592
    I'm a 2 litter Pepsione drinker I have hot chocolate on cold morning, milk in my cearal. Since I got here I'm trying to do the water thing, but have not met the quota yet! Sorry - 2/1/2010   10:01:27 AM

    That must have been hard. My husband drinks about a six pack plus a Big Gulp a day of Diet Coke! I get tired of buying it at the store and lugging it into the house! But he doesn't have a weight problem or crave sweets. Congrats to you! - 1/31/2010   10:16:51 PM
  • 590
    I was a definite Diet Coke addict!! Diet Coke was my water, so I seldom drank much water. Since I've had weight loss surgery, I've had to give them up. I had headaches for about 3 days, but then I was ok. I still miss them and would love to have one, but I know I can't, so I grab a bottle of water instead. Feels great! - 1/31/2010   12:09:45 PM
    I gave up Diet Coke just about 3 weeks ago. I used to drink about 64 oz. or more per day. I switched to unsweetened iced tea so I wouldn't experience the caffeine withdrawal and could keep the zero cals.

    So far I have noticed two benefits - my cravings for food, particularly sugary items, has decreased. Also, I have saved a large amount of money because I just use two tea bags and a coffee maker to brew a whole pot of tea (then refrigerate it). A lot cheaper than 1 liter bottles of DC! - 1/31/2010   10:12:46 AM
  • 588
    I have been trying soooo hard to give up cherry coke! I know for more than one reason I need to give it up, but it is hard. I have gotten better I only have it a couple times a week, but when I have it I can't just drink a little cup, I will drink a whole bottle and if I slip a buy a 2 liter it is a wrap!! - 1/30/2010   10:12:51 PM
  • 587
    Man, did I ever gain wgt. on diet coke. - 1/30/2010   7:01:42 PM
  • 586
    I hadn't had a diet cike in 3 weeks and we went out to eat, I ordered one. I was amazed at how sweet I thought it was. I didn't even drink the whole thing. I used to drink 1 DC a day, starting Jan. 1 I stopped buying them....what a difference - 1/30/2010   2:31:15 PM
  • 585
    I had heard recently that drinking Diet Coke will make you hungry. I swithched to water. What a difference! I work in a restaurant, and am always sipping a drink, water was the way to go. - 1/30/2010   2:01:38 PM
  • 584
    I know about being addicted to diet coke. Not ready to change it, but it is in my mind. I usually drink a 2 litre bottle every day and sometimes more than that. When I stop to think about it, it is a little scary. I love water, too, though and drink it religiously, so at least there is that! - 1/30/2010   6:24:28 AM
  • 583
    I have two weaknesses - regular Coke and corn chips. Both fattening and my body certainly reflects it. Sometimes I can go 3 or 4 days with a chip, but Coca Cola is an extreme addiction for me and it's usually a daily problem - my mom put it in my bottle, so I'm going on 58 years of drinking it. My weight gain began at the time they switched away from granulated sugar. Grape juice is just as satisfying to me, but it's fattening, too, and not always available. I was raised drinking sweet iced tea - finally learned to drink it without sugar, but honestly, why bother? To me, tea without sugar is just tinted water. Water is cheaper. I've never had a problem with Diet Coke because it makes my stomach burn. But real Coke - I love it, and it has ruined my appearance, my blood pressure, my teeth and probably my bones, too. My husband is type I diabetic and likes to have Coke in the house for his low blood sugars. Yes, I know that orange juice is better for that, and he does, too, but when it comes to Coke we are weak. People know that I love Coca Cola and they will just buy them and hand them to me. The guys I work with will come back from lunch and set a can of Coke on my desk - they know it improves my mood. If I could overcome this addiction I'm sure my weight would normalize fairly quickly. For me, this is the crux of the problem. - 1/30/2010   1:05:44 AM
    Hi....... I LOVE diet Pepsi..... so much I have two 1.5 liter bottles a day......... I think I can pass up any food... well almost....... but even though I hate giving the example of a Pepsi addict to my two kids......... I find it almost imposible to NOT have a D.P. glass by my side...... - 1/29/2010   8:27:43 PM
  • 581
    I haven't had a diet coke in a week now. I find it's easier to reach for a glass of water when there are no cans of DC in the fridge. Water is so boring compared to diet coke, but it gets less boring as you get used to it. - 1/29/2010   3:38:31 PM
  • 580
    I wish i could quit my love for candy in this same manner! - 1/29/2010   2:54:36 PM
  • 579
    I have not had diet soda in 2 weeks, due to loss of job and I had access to free soda then. I finally did break the cravings for it, but still enjoy my coffee. I heard coffee may help prevent dementia so I will not give up that pleasure.
    2-12 Update-It has been a month now with no soda. I am free! Still enjoying coffee but have switched to saccharine/stevia instead. Both are safe according to Dr. Mercola. He posted a movie called "Sweet Misery-Poisoned World" It backs up what you said. Those sweeteners are poisons, not surprising at all.
    - 1/29/2010   7:41:47 AM
  • 578
    I like diet pop too, not as much as you once did, but I do drink them pretty often... I don't ever log them since they are calorie free and in the back of my mind I know I should give them up, but I'm not ready yet. - 1/29/2010   12:11:36 AM
  • 577
    Mine is Diet Pepsi. I can't give it up. I gave up cigarettes, I am changing the way I eat and severally limiting my favorite foods, I NEED my Diet Pepsi! Maybe one day, but not anytime soon. Once I can do this new lifestyle without even thinking about it, I might consider it. I have, however, limited to 1 a day. Mon-Fri it is a 12 oz can with my lunch at work. Sat and Sun it is either a very large fountain or a large bottle of diet pepsi. (Sometimes the fountains around here are pretty nasty.) - 1/28/2010   9:06:05 PM
  • 576
    This is still me! I've tried numerous times to give up my diet sodas - but to no avail. (In fact I'm nursing one right now!) I really want to try again, but hate the idea of failing - again. - 1/28/2010   12:06:18 PM
  • 575
    My story sounds like yours. Diet coke -- fountain preferred. I'm pregnant and trying not to drink it. I find myself hating women I see walking by with one in their hands. I feel so much better without it, but my cravings never diminish. - 1/28/2010   9:40:41 AM
  • 574
    I have been drinking diet drinks for many years and began to drink them when I would get hungry so I could delay my lunch or dinner. All those chemicals can't be good for you and I think they tend to keep me awake as I am a poor sleeper. I need more calcium so I will forego the diet drinks at fast food restaurants and get milk instead. I will just have to count the milk calories as a part of my daily calorie intake. - 1/28/2010   8:54:43 AM
  • 573
    I also drank diet coke for decades - four years ago, I started suffering from rashes when I ate milk products and headaches from eating wheat. I gave up both and went dairy and gluten free for relief. Two years ago, I gave up anything containing Aspartame, mainly the diet coke, and my symptoms have gradually gone away. I will never go back! - 1/27/2010   11:31:06 PM
  • 572
    Good for you & thanks for writing about it and inspiring others to take control of the food (and in this case drink) choices we make instead of letting them control us. - 1/27/2010   10:35:43 PM
  • KIM1911
    thank you so much for writing such an article. i have been hooked on diet pop since 1999 and i need to get off the stuff. this article has made me go out and buy 4l of water :) i will be investing in a water cooler for my apartment and concentrate on drinking lots of water... and, as of tonight ... bye bye diet coke... you've been a great friend over the years but i'm tired of not knowing exactly what you contain!! - 1/27/2010   6:30:39 PM
  • EMME219
    I'm going on 3 years without soda. Diet Coke was my weakness too, I liked coffee but went straight from the bed to the fridge for a can of Diet Coke first thing. Loved it. But I realized that drinking chemical compounds wasn't doing anything positive for me, so I gave it up. I now have carbonated water (usually plain) if I want the carbonation, but no soda whatsoever. - 1/27/2010   5:14:09 PM
  • 569
    Regular Coke was mine. Only one-a-day, but once I learned that there was absolutely NOTHING nutritional in a can of soda, I made a goal to give it up for one year in 2006. When that was over, I became pregnant, so I just continued without it.

    Now when I taste it, it seems way too sweet for me. Once in a while I'll have a sweetened green tea or a root beer, but I just don't like it anymore.

    Cold turkey was the way for me. If I give myself permission to have "just one" a week, it turns into two, then three, and snowballs on.
    - 1/27/2010   1:00:49 PM
  • LADYDJ22
    I too am a diet soda addict. I have been drinking Diet Coke (now a Coke Zero fan) since it came out on the market in the early eighties. It has been a staple in my life...Diet Coke got me through a lot of "all night" study sessions and papers that had to be written. I have heard the facts as well, but I struggle to give it up. I drink my water all day long and I look to the diet soda as my treat...I do believe it probably effects my cravings, but so does my PMS...To be healthier, I too, should give up this relationship but for me it will have to be in baby steps. - 1/27/2010   10:18:05 AM
  • 567
    This post really hit home. I have to say this is something that has been nawing at me for a while. I too feel "addited" to Diet Cherry Coke Zero! When I feel like I battling my hunger (not real hunger) I will pour a glass to get over the feeling of wanting to eat. I REALLY enjoy it! I have been using the argument "I've given everything else up...NOW THIS TOO?" In my heart I know it is my attitude that holds me back. In my heart I know all of these chemicals can't be good for me. In my heart anything that has such a strong hold in my life (especially when it comes to eating) can't be good. Right now I am still working on fitness goals, but this one I know will eventually come to the forefront. For now I have committed myself to 4 glasses of water a day...what that means to me is putting down the Coke enough to start a healthy habit. Thanks for the encouragement that you did it and SURVIVED...ha, ha, ha! - 1/27/2010   9:26:35 AM
  • 566
    My husband is in the same boat as you-- he LOVES his Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi, which is actually becoming more difficult to find. If he's desperate, he'll use Cherry Coke Zero. He was over the 100 oz mark this time last year and gradually tapered off to about 40 oz.

    I, on the other hand, don't have a drink addiction per se -- I have a deep and abiding love of my morning bagel. Having that with my chai (with a little bit of milk and 2 Splenda packets) in the morning is a nice ritual at work. Unfortunately, I know how many calories that bagel and the light cream cheese are. I've tried mini bagels from the grocery store, but they were dry and gross. I think I may have to switch to buying bagels at home and then only bringing in half a bagel day.

    Good luck with continuing to resist the siren song! - 1/27/2010   8:53:15 AM
    I went out and bought the prettiest,fanciest drinking glass that I could find.I squeeze 1/2 lemon in it ,fill it with ice ,add water and really enjoy again and again.No plastic bottles for me.Sure helps to get more than enough water down per day.No more soda of any kind. - 1/27/2010   1:29:28 AM

Please Log In To Leave A Comment:    Log in now ›


x Lose 10 Pounds by June 10! Sign up with Email Sign up with Facebook
By clicking one of the above buttons, you're indicating that you have read and agree to SparkPeople's Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and that you're at least 18 years of age.