How I quit diet coke and how it drastically reduced my daily bloating, (My waist will be 6 inches lower.)My experience is based solely on my personal account and not facts or research.) These are not intended to replace professional medical advice.
After an all-day binge on diet coke, I decided it was finally time to quit. Diet coke is not good for your health, and my health was never good reason to quit.
Bloating Before and After Pictures
But, over the past year, my waist has gotten bigger and bigger (from bloating), even though I’ve maintained my weight loss, and am still quite lean (under 110lbs at 5ft), my waist grew by 6 inches at the worst of it, and stayed around 4 inches bigger from July 2021-February 2022.
I always knew the excessive diet coke was to blame, even though I didn’t want to admit it to myself! Afterall, I had been drinking it for 25 years, and it hadn’t been a problem until this past year.
My waistline was 110 pounds higher than when I was just 122 lbs a few years back. You can read my weight loss story right here. It was inflammation and water retention, I believe.
At the heights of the bloating, July 2021 – THIS is my waist compared to the same weight three months after quitting diet soda (May 2022). 31 inches on the worst day, and 25 inches today.
My symptoms of excessive diet coke consumption
I wanted to document ALL the physical things I was experiencing, because I didn’t know if it was connected or not. Before quitting, I noticed the following:
- I was tied to my bathroom. Seriously, I couldn’t go anywhere without knowing exactly where the bathroom was and going to it as soon as we arrived somewhere.
- I felt like I had a weak bladder.
- I was experiencing increasing pain in my joints
- Because I was so bloated, my stomach was constantly leaking over my pants.
- I was always thirsty.
- I had weak abs and constant bladder pressure. I couldn’t hold ab muscles tight because it only activated my urge to pee.
- I felt no connection between my brain, and my ab muscles. I couldn’t even hold my ab muscles in if I wanted to.
- I felt constant swelling in my joints. My wedding ring was always tight.
- I feel FRENZIED, almost like a caffeine addict.
A few NON-physical issues I had with my Diet coke addiction
- It was a waste of time to stop at the gas station.
- Garbage piled up with cans and thrown away in landfills!
- I was tired of being a slave of the habit and I started to drink can after can, not realizing how many I had.
- And I spent SO MUCH MONEY!!
Eliminating other options for bloating
I tried to figure out what was causing my constant bloating last summer. I bought the book. The Bloated Belly Whisper(which is a wonderful book by the way). Then, I was convinced that my bloating was medically caused by my visit to my gastroenterologist. I thought I was suffering from FODMAP intolerances. I had many tests.
I was tested
- H.Pylori – which came back negative.
- Since I have ulcerative colitis, I had a colonoscopy. The test was positive.
- I had a full food allergy panel (IgE panel) run, and I had the same results I’ve had for the past 10 years- slight reaction to eggs, bread, and dairy- and I have no plans to cut those out)
- A full CMP/CBC w/diff profile was obtained, which was pretty normal.
- A giardia test (normal)
- And several visits to the doctor.
- I even cut FODMAPS!
I also had persistent pain in my lower hamstring/upper groin area. I tried everything, including a steroid shot, accupuncture and CBD, as well as physical therapy. It did not go away. It was so painful, I had to take 10 days off from running.
I suspected it could be the chemicals from the diet soda causing joint pain, but there’s no good scientific study to back that up.
After I’d exhausted all the medical reasons for excessive bloating, and spending way too much money on the habit, I just decided It was time to quit.
The problem is I didn’t want to quit. It can be difficult to stop if you are so passionate about the habit. It was for aesthetic reasons and to feel more comfortable in my clothes, so I tried it.
These are the steps I took in order to quit diet coke
I began searching the Internet for anything and everything I could think of to find people who quit diet coke, and how they did it.
I was first convinced that cold turkey was the only way to go. Moderation doesn’t work well for me. I will drink one can, and then I want another.
I also decided that I must DRINK all the containers in my house (as a true addict would). It was a bingefest. I am ashamed at how many I was capable of drinking in a single day. More than a normal person should. I laughed at the thought of people thinking they were having a problem with drinking just 1 or 2 cans per day. I drink it by 7 a.m.
Step 1. I joined a Facebook Support Group
Since the science about the harmful effects of Diet drinks just isn’t very strong or convincing, I knew I just needed anecdotal evidence that it was a beneficial to quit.
You can read a few articles online. This Facebook group was recommended to me by a friend.. Although I haven’t been very active in the group, I found it TREMENDOUSLY helpful to read about other members success in quitting. I could have read every post in this group!
It was very motivating to see others quit and feel great.
Step 2: I downloaded Quitzilla.
I noticed that many people downloaded the app and used it in the Facebook group. Quitzilla.
HOLY COW. This was so helpful for me. But it’s SO rewarding to watch the days tick by indicating how many days I’ve been abstinent. I would have NO idea today how many days ago I quit drinking if it weren’t for this app.
Quitzilla helped me to say no to diet sodas at a friend’s house. I can honestly tell you that I thought about how horrible if I went back to DAY 1, and log it in the app, just because I did.
It also sends me daily motivational messages. It reminds of my daily commitment.
Step 3: I replaced Diet Coke’s sparkling water with sparkling water and caffeine pills.
When I quit, the most important thing I missed was the psychological, daily nature of opening a can soda. “BURN”I feel the impact on my mouth.
Although I had never liked carbonated/sparkling waters before, suddenly I was craving them.
I also took 100-200mg caffeine in the morning to avoid headaches. (I just get the Jet AlertWalmart
Step 4: After 2 months, I replaced carbonated flavored water by flavored drink mix.
Lastly, for the last week at least, I’ve replaced the bubbles with drink packets and straight water. I have a bikini/bodybuilding show in 2 weeks, and I just need to bring my waist down as small as I can, and I don’t think the carbonation is going to give me an edge.
How I feel today
I kept a journal in my phone the first few days, and here’s what I wrote:
36 hours after I had my last drink, it was time to notice:
- Morning run was the best energy I’ve ever had! Bouncy. Better lung capacity, tight core, and didn’t feel like a slog.
- I added 10 lbs to my kickbacks, which were previously weak because of the glute/hamstring pain.
- More energy at night!
- And then I got diahrrea, which is really awful! Perhaps my microbiome was changing in my gut??
48 hours after I had my last drink
- Lower ab measurement, 1.5 inches lower
- Amazing morning run, with energy and speed. No nausea, no EXTREME post run fatigue
3 months after my last drink
- I’m not constantly thirsty
- My waist has dropped 6 inches since the worst, first day of bloating.
- I’ve saved money.
- I no longer need to pee constantly.
- I’m not always thirsty.
- My water retention has decreased significantly (as demonstrated by my ring fitting).
- I can contract my abs and feel the muscle again!
- I can control what I urinate again.
Final thoughts on quitting diet coke
This is my story. It’s completely anecdotal and not scientific. However, I cannot deny how much I feel better physically and mentally after quitting.
Let me know what you think in the comments! Are you a dieter and have you noticed a difference?