Confessions of a Former Diet Coke Addict

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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?

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ROBBIEY 5/24/2020
I am guilty Report
PATRICIAAK 4/17/2020
:) Report
NENEBFIT 4/6/2020
Read this to help convince my husband why he shouldn’t drink diet root beer. Had to stop buying it because he would drink 2 L in 2 days. He still has a massive sweet tooth though. Report
CECELW 11/24/2019
it's been years since i've drank any kind of sodas. Report
Sugarfree popsicles from Publix (Publix generic brand) and Cheez-Its. I am not sure I could live without either. Report
SUGARSMOM2 6/14/2019
yes, a am guilty of doing this also. I used to drink diet coke. diet cherry coke was a big favorite drink. we drank a lot of it years ago. my husband was a diet Pepsi drinker and I was the diet coke. now we drink water. coffee and tea. occasionally a fruit juice Report
I was just the same, only worse. Before Diet Coke came along, I drank probably six or seven cans of Tab every day. But I drank even more Diet Coke. It took me years to finally give it up. (Oh, yes, and fountain Diet Coke is actually different from Diet Coke in cans. The fountain drink contains some saccharin in addition to aspartame and some other artificial sweeteners.) I wouldn't drink the stuff in cans, either. Report
Great article, thank you. I didn’t DC but drank sweet tea all the time. I quit cold turkey when I started this journey. I did get the headaches and yet I don’t regret leaving it behind. I craved it for a time but realized I prefer water or lemon water now. Now I only drink an occasional tea sweetened with swerve or black coffee with stevia Report
I loved Atkins candy bars! My husband and I would eat about 3 apiece each week. I was suffering a lot of bloating, so I decided to totally give up all artificial sweeteners. Within a week, the bloating was much less and continues to get better. I've lost 12 pounds since the middle of December, but the bloating didn't go away until I stopped the sweeteners about a month ago. Report
I gave it up for a few years but since I am not consuming enough water I think I am growing a taste for it again.....ugh Report
I gave up diet Coke and vodka a few weeks before minor surgery. Never went back. Probably part of the reason I lost 60+ lbs. Report
Me & my Dr. & friends Dr. agree no food is ever off limits, there are no good & bad foods, it is how much & how often. If you like Diet coke, buy 1 a month as a treat, not something daily, I prefer at Costco sparkling flavoured water in 16 oz. size in cases, coke is 10oz, so also more satisfying & try to have 1 daily & the rest plain water. Canned sparkling water taste terrible, must be bottled to taste good. Report
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
I drink very little pop and nothing diet. Report
I want to completely give up sucralose; I'm planning to do so once I use up all that I have. (Just can't bring myself to throw it away!) I have cut back though. Best to all! Report
OMG! I thought I was the only one with addiction. I had been drinking more than a 2 ltr bottle a day until I quit 1 month ago today cold turkey. It has been difficult, I still crave it. I have been drinking home brewed ice tea to get me through. I was told that aspartame can cause inflammation of the joints and since I am taking anti-inflammatory medication it seemed logical to stop. It has been a month and I haven't felt the difference yet, but friends said that to give it 3 months to see a difference....I hope! Report
I give up!! I typed fountain!!😳😳 Report
What I actually typed was soda from the contained tastes much better than canned soda!! Fresh!!😳😳 Report
I've been drinking flavored water and Crystal Light Lemonade in an effort to not drink soda but yes every now and then I give in. Yes, f poo It's in soda tastes much better than the canned!- Report
I would give it up if it meant my health. The good Lord only gave us one body and we MUST take care of it. Report
I have given up diet Pepsi, chips and all other vending machine items the past 14 months. I no longer know where all the 7-11 stores are located. Report
I can't give up potato chips Report
Diet Coke, have not let go,yet. Report
Grew up in a similar time frame (pre-starbucks). Quit drinking soda when HFCS was their main sweetener. Report
Years ago I was addicted to Diet Coke but gave it up cold turkey. I had a horrible headache for about 3 days but then got over that and now can't even think about drinking one. I do like ice cream though and have to just not keep it in the house. Report
Me too. I gave up DC in May because I mixed it with vodka. I had a BCC removed from my face and figured the vodka wouldn't mix with pain pills. I gave both up and haven't missed either a bit. Report
My greatest weakness is ice cream. I would say I really AM addicted to it, and had to quit cold turkey. I have no opinion about diet sodas. I have never cared for colas but I do drink zero-calorie sparkling bevereges like "Ice" and "Crystal Light," and I use no-calorie sweeteners instead of sugar. I have not found that they increase my sugar craving or appetite, and I have been steadily LOSING weight on them for the past 5.5 months. It's like most things: drink and enjoy them if you prefer calorie-free drinks; avoid them if you believe they are harming you, but take the current anti-diet-soda hype with a grain of salt. Report
My favorite is Diet Pepsi, which I still drink, although not ever day and I limit myself to one can a day. as it curbs my sweet tooth! Because of my parents, it was too easy to give up beef and pork. I remember the Fresca as it was such a refreshing drink. Report
I was addicted to caffeine free Coke Zero. When we lived overseas for a decade, it was safer to drink canned sodas than tap water, especially at eateries. But this year, I gave up diet soda for lent, and then I had to have a tooth extracted, and bone growth material was implanted. I'd read that the carbonation in sodas can rob the body of calcium. I felt I had to quit the soda addiction for good. My husband is unwilling to give up his Diet Coke addiction. So when the 2L bottles are on sale, I buy him DC, but no Coke Zero for me. I drink lots of herbal teas, unsweetened. My favorite is Rooibos from South Africa. It is an acquired taste. Report
Diet Dr. Pepper is my weakness. I try to drink more tea sweetened with Trulvia but I think the Truvia tastes like Report
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.
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
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! Report
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! Report
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!
I am no longer addicted to Diet Cokes and I feel WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!! Report
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. Report
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 Report
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
I dont to much care for diet drinks. Report
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 Report
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 Report