How I kicked my Coke habit
September 28th, 2011
09:15 AM ET
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Holy crap, did I used to drink a lot of Diet Coke. Not just a can or two at lunch and one with dinner. Not just a pick-me-up in the afternoon or the tail end of a droopy morning. More like two liters a day at the very minimum - sometimes four.

Had the end times come and yea and verily the East and Hudson rivers risen up and swallowed New York, I could have easily lashed together a raft of the empty plastic bottles I'd amassed in my recycling bin since the last trash day. First port of call: wherever they're keeping the rest of the Diet Coke. And I'd probably have to fight for it.

I can spot a Diet Coke addict from across the room. At the first sip of one freshly poured or popped, there's a barely perceptible sigh and slump; their itch has been scratched.

A casual drinker will simply slug, quench and continue about their normal activities, but the Diet Coke freak cannot be so nonchalant. They'll pause for a moment, sinking in and surrendering to the sweet fizz. Then comes the surreptitious scan of the premises to ensure there's easy access to more.

For many, it's less enjoyment than appeasement of a bubble-hungry little beast within. It's a physical need with definite emotional underpinnings, bordering on addiction. While the root causes of that are a matter of great debate among healthcare professionals who claim it's tied to everything from caffeine dependence to chasing an ever-elusive high triggered but not satisfied by artificial sweeteners like the aspartame in my precious Diet Coke, that meant jack to me over the course of the twenty or so years I spent trying to kick the habit.

Frankly, I didn't care to give much mind to experts, friends and partners who suggested I cut back a tad, citing expense, lack of storage space, late-night convenience store pilgrimages and (in an anonymous, locally-postmarked letter later traced back to my roommate) concern over "Where does the caramel coloring go?"

One boyfriend went so far as to ask me, on the eve of our anniversary meal at a high-end Manhattan restaurant, "Would you mind not ordering a Diet Coke at dinner tomorrow night?" I refrained from ordering one (not on his account, but because I opted for the restaurant's notable wine pairings), but not from pointing out the tables around us with Diet Cokes upon them. There, it came in small glass bottles for fanciness' sake. I was clearly not alone in my obsession.

We take care of each other, the Diet Coke addicts of the world. My grad school roommate and I had an unspoken pact that even if we were running late to campus in the morning, we'd take five minutes to stop off at the local convenience store and stock up for the day - me with a well-iced fountain cup and her with a two-liter that she'd swig from throughout the day, even after it reached room temperature. Gross, but her devotion paid off; she married the cashier who sold us our fix every day.

After that came a boss whose office I dared not enter for a long meeting unless I came bearing a cold bottle for her, a friend who'd also show up at parties with the requisite wine for the host - along with a two liter of Diet Coke for her own personal consumption, and my now-husband who I adored on his own merits, but even more when he started stocking Diet Coke for me in his own fridge. Bad habits appreciate the heck out of company - and I'd justify it by noting that I didn't smoke, drink to excess, do drugs or bungee jump - but it was time to quit.

It was, in fact, quitting time for a long time. I was sick to death of the expense, the hauling of bottles, the financial support of a company with which I had some serious ethical issues and perhaps more than anything, the feeling that I had no control over this particular area of my life.

It seems like such an insignificant thing, but there's an inherent anxiety to any addiction. I wasn't going to go all foamy-mouthed and twitchy on the floor, but I felt tremendous stress if I didn't know there was another bottle or can close at hand. If I knew I'd be staying over, I'd show up at a friend or boyfriend's home with a supply so I'd be assured a cold one in the morning, and keep bottles stashed in office desk drawers just in case the vending machine ran out.

My attempts to quit were a running joke with friends, but truly, it hurt - both physically and psychically. I shook and worried and my head pounded. I'm an exceptionally friendly person (or at least I try to be), but I was crabby and short with people I love and I'm convinced it wasn't just the caffeine. That, I could get anywhere. There is something specifically in Diet Coke that pushes buttons in me that others might simply be missing. Lucky them; this was humiliating.

And then the Sodastream happened. I'd wanted this magical machine for ages, but couldn't justify the counter space or the purchase price. It is simply a carbonation device - screw a specially fitted bottle of plain tap water onto a nozzle, press a button, and release. Some people choose to augment the water with flavored syrups, but as it turns out, I'm a purist. Who'd have guessed?

My husband presented me with one of these for Christmas, and I appreciated the novelty. It makes a comical little honking sound upon operation, and one can opt for everything from a mild sparkle to a riotous, nose-tickling rush of bubbles. I began drinking a glass or two of carbonated water a day, then three or four or more and it wasn't until I tripped over an unopened bottle of Diet Coke on the kitchen floor one day that I realized I hadn't bought any for weeks.

I have no idea how I was released from diet cola's hold, but I opt for seltzer or water in or out of the house every time now. I haven't supplanted the caffeine or the sweetness with anything else, and the most I'll adulterate the sparkling water is by adding a dash or two of Fee Brothers peach or celery flavored bitters or a dash of Tabasco sauce, because I have really odd flavor issues. I'll chalk it up to a fizz addiction which is - lame, I admit, but I'll take it.

Tallied up, that's a savings of (with New York City pricing) $850 a year at the very low end of an estimate and a cool grand or more if we're figuring in taxes and bottle deposit - not to mention the 400 or more plastic and metal containers I'm no longer chucking willy-nilly at the planet. That's pretty darned cool to me.

I certainly don't mind if folks around me are having a Diet Coke and a smile. I just won't be chilling out with them - for now.

soundoff (650 Responses)
  1. matt houston

    Clever. An advert crafted like a personal article...topped off with a census mechanism for how many people actually read the advert. Marketing is evolving to more advanced strains every day.

    Sodastream and hats off to you for hiring the firm that though of this. And also hats off to CNN for trying to scrape in as much money any way they can from advertisers. And folks say that CNN is not as good as FOX...

    September 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • KC4DC

      Wow, you're right. This is a friggin' advertisement in disguise. CNN is sinking to all-time lows.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Terry

      Funny...I was thinking the exact same thing.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • sfvcyco

      You are spot on! I thought this was going to be an article about kicking the habit of drinking soda, instead its an advertisement to make soda at home. Just when I thought the media couldnt sink any lower....

      September 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Shirley

      oh, please. nobody puts this much time into digital content ads anymore. more often than not, the pr company writes it for the sites and the sites publish it as is–and those pieces are not very good. In this, I see no grammatical errors, no cheesy jargon or serious cliches. For once on CNN, this is a well written and entertaining article. More like it please, thanks.

      September 28, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
      • Schnozola

        Agreed. If they are claiming it is an ad they obviously did not read the piece.

        September 29, 2011 at 7:56 am |
  2. Shani

    Wow, this woman was an addict in almost every sense of the word, except that it probably did not interfere with her life. (But with her health?... Only time will tell that.) More science needs to be done on soft-addictions such as these, including addictions to bizarre objects, habits, behaviors, and to social media, i.e., FB, twitter, etc.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • BJ

      It DOES interfere with one's some of this again. She (and I at one time) have to plan to have her 'fix' wherever she was going. If you travel, you better have access to a Diet Coke in the morning. I don't drink coffee, but I expect it is the same thing. Everywhere you go, you have to plan for your fix. That what it is to be addicted. And, if you don't get it at lunch, that horrible headache is coming. It does start to run your life, in a way.

      September 28, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  3. Neil B

    It's not an addiction. The author of this "article" should look up the word in the dictionary.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Definition Nazi@Neil B

      So should you. She is the epitome of definition #2.

      1. A person who is addicted to a particular substance, typically an illegal drug.
      2. An enthusiastic devotee of a specified thing or activity.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  4. TCat

    For me, it is regular Coke I crave but only if I am under stress. I just started back to work and my boss is a wienie. (For example, he asked me to come in late so I would not go over my hours then yelled at me for coming in late on the day of a meeting he did not tell me about.) I work near a Quik Trip and as soon as he starts up all I can think about is that happy, 32 oz fountain Coke with a splash of cherry. Ahhhhhhhhhhh.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  5. Diamond Dave

    Kat, you and your grad school chummies are a bunch of tools

    September 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Kat Fan@DD

      Your dick's so small, bacteria laughs at it.

      September 29, 2011 at 7:49 am |
  6. Robin

    Has anyone ever investigated the addictive nature of Nutrasweet? I swear that stuff is more addictive than drugs, and is what keeps Diet Coke/Pepsi drinkers attached.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
  7. Sussay

    Good for you for kicking the DC habit. I noticed you didn't bring up health risks, which are NUMEROUS and scary for diet soda. But whatever motivated you, cost, space, loss of control, be glad you did it.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:24 pm |

    Aspartame is the fecal matter of E-Coli. Google it.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • ME

      ... And honey is bee vomit. Get over your scare tactics.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
      • AspartameistheFECALMATTEROFECOLI

        Honey is natural. Aspartame is not. It is a potent neurotoxin, and has been attributed to many disorders and diseases. Most notably, Alzheimer's disease, mood disorders, cancers, and epilepsy.

        Facts are not scare tactics. Facts are facts.

        September 28, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Descartes@AspartameistheFECALMATTEROFECOLI

      You are fecal matter .... therefore your name is Aspartame. And look! There's your name, right up there!

      September 28, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
      • Aspartame kills brain cells

        Aspartame will, over time penetrate your blood brain barrier and kill what is left of your brain. As you can see in this juvenile commentator's case, he has drank way too much aspartame.

        Aspartame is bad for you. It is the fecal matter of e-coli.

        September 29, 2011 at 7:40 am |
  9. Kyle

    I've been addicted to water all my addiction is so bad ..I just can't live w/o it.. :(

    September 28, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  10. Len

    I hate diet soda but I am a Pepsi addict. I will drink two liters a day if my husband doesn't stop me...

    September 28, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  11. ari

    Wow, the woes of the Western world. And I thought starving babies in Africa had a chance.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Todd

      Africa is the way that it is because the leaders don't know how to run a country... it's the US of A's fault Africa is as poor as it is.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
      • Don

        How would it be the US of A's fault for Africa's state of being? Its so easy to just blame it on the US of A...yes the US of A can do more, but so can other countries. So can African countries.

        September 28, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Ziva@ari

      For 24/7 gloom & doom, head over to FoxNews – otherwise stfu.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Ms. Messy

      lol...sorry...but if you're looking for that kind of news, someplace other than Eatocracy is more likely to have it. I too kicked the diet coke habit....and lost 22 lbs in 2 months. I'm sure it wasn't just that ( am watching what I eat more and drinking tons of water) but still.....

      September 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
      • Jerv

        Love your Nacho Scoops recipe.

        September 28, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  12. dragonwife1

    I hardly ever drink any kind of soda anymore, just occasionally when we go out. My husband is the full-blown diet soda addict – not any kind of cola (he can't stand the taste) but pretty much anything else. I wish he could cut back or give it up altogether, because I know it's making him eat more, but it is definitely an addiction! My personal vice on the sweet side is tea – I grew up in GA and gotta have my sweet tea, made with real sugar (I'm allergic to all artificial sweeteners, including those supposed "natural" ones like Splenda).

    September 28, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Amy

      On a side note, Dragon- Splenda isn't natural. It's chemically derived. Try Stevia (pure), it IS an actual plant, no chemicals added or used... and tastes much better than artificial sweeteners! :) My sweet tea is now stevia sweetened, and it's lovely! :)

      September 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
      • pope jon

        I love it. Its natural so it has to be safe.... Poison ivy is a plant but I wouldn't put it in my sweet tea.

        September 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  13. CJ

    Hi. My name is CJ and I have a problem. I love love love my Diet Coke. Can't imagine living without it. It's nice to see that I'm not alone in my obsession.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Cando

      Very funny!

      September 28, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • scotty501

      I was a diet coke addict. It was an obsession and i was always in a hurry, impatient and i couldnt think straight. I bought the soda stream and it helped me kick the habit. The problem is i drank 6 liters of soda water a day. It depleted my sodium which is a serious problem..i understand it can put you in a coma. I am trying to keep it to 2 or 3 liters a day.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  14. GV

    Strange that I never hear about regular Coke addicts... I drink a lot of Mountain Dew/Mello Yello, but I have never been able to stand Diet anything. The taste is just gross. I used to drink the Dew morning, noon and night, but then I wondered if that was healthy and cut down. Some days I don't have any, although I usually have one with lunch. I never had any sort of withdrawal simptoms, and this is after years of drinking. I also try to balance it out with juice and lots of water, so maybe that helps.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Shani

      I, too, couldn't stand the taste of diet anything until I tried Diet A&W Root Beer. One can barely tell that is diet. From then on, I was able to tolerate the taste of Diet Pepsi, Seven-up, ginger ale, and then diet just-about-everything-else. Fortunately, never became addicted to any of it, however. :)

      September 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
      • Shani

        ... and Diet Dr. Pepper is another "gateway" diet drink for those who can't initially stand the taste of diet.

        September 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
      • Shani

        Oh... wait! Almost forgot... I came close to having an addiction for FRESCA. A diet citrus drink made by, who else?... The Coca Cola Co.

        September 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  15. ex soda drinker

    i wasn't a coke drinker but i loved my mt dew. use to drink it like i drink water now. from the time i got up till i went to bed. i quit cold turkey 8 yrs ago and have never looked back. it was hard but so worth it. in a month alone i lost 10 lbs. it helped that i also cut out all junk food i was eating as well and started working out like crazy. i wasn't fat but not healthy. feel great and look great since!

    September 28, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • neva

      Same here. First thing I drank in the morning, last thing I drank at night. Quit cold turkey too. Headaches galore! I thought I would "treat" myself to one one day and just about doubled up it hurt my stomach so bad. Didn't realize how much damage I had done to my stomach until then. Don't miss it one bit.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  16. bloody nose

    OHHHHH... I thought she kicked COCAINE!

    Well then... so much for me getting insight.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  17. KC

    My name is KC and I am a Coke fiend. In my defense, I have digestive issues and flat Coke (the real thing, not diet) settles my stomach.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:53 am |
  18. Guest

    I, too, am a Diet Coke addict, and could relate to everything in this article. About a month ago I quit and am down to one 16-oz. bottle of caffeine free diet pepsi (alas, much easier to find than CFDC) per day, which is like the methadone treatment or nicotine gum for Diet Coke addicts.

    A few years ago my dad passed away after losing his battle with cancer. As everyone unfortunately experiences at some point in their lives, things at my mom's house were rather surreal and chaotic during the ensuing days of family coming into town and planning the services. Lots of wonderful friends brought in meals, etc., but one of my mom's friends simply showed up every morning with a 64-oz. fountain drink of Diet Coke for my mom. It was an awesome showing of friendship and we will never forget it!

    September 28, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  19. Wiz

    Coke Zero is an acceptable diet mixer for rail bourbon or rum (Captain Morgans or Jim Beam). Other than that, I avoid it.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  20. rhobere

    I never liked diet coke. aspartame tastes weird and can have very negative side effects after long-term consumption.

    simply apple is my addiction. I have to avoid buying it because i'll take out the whole bottle before the next morning. its liquid amazing in a bottle.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • denim

      I used to wonder where all my jitteriness and headaches came from. Then I stopped drinking diet caffeinated sodas, and a lot of that went away.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Davethecanuck

      Please don't state myth and your own paranoid as fact... there is very little in the way of proof that aspartame has long term side effects.
      It always baffles me how 99 scientists can line up and make the same claim,
      yet people always want to listen to and repeat the one scientist who claims something else.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
      • plav74

        I don't know about long term effects, but if I drink anything with aspartame in it my digestive system goes crazy with gas and bloating and other bad things going on. If I don't injest aspartame, I don't have the same issues.

        That's good enough for me to read labels and avoid sweeteners.

        September 28, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • usually 2 liter/day drinker

      Back in the 60's they used cyclamates for artificial sweetening, it was better than sugar it tasted so good. Unfortunately it was found to cause cancer. We had rail cars full of it in my town, great for canned fruit.

      September 29, 2011 at 9:11 am |
  21. stoccata

    I don't know how I managed it as a kid but I was never really hooked on soda. There isn't a cola out there, any brand, that appeals to me. I look at people swigging Coke/Pepsi/etc. while eating real food in restaurants and I think "what a horrible thing to do to good food." Drink it if you must but the only benefit is to the bottlers who package fizzy, sweet water and make a bundle off of it.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  22. Descartes

    Diet Coke and Coors Light had very similar designs on their cans. Coincidence? I think not.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • dont be stupid

      you are an idiot. stop looking for conspiracies.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
      • On the

        grassy knoll, with the OTHER rifle, by the two hobos.

        Guy Banister and Jack Ruby both liked steak.

        Coincidence? I think not!

        September 29, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
      • It's the

        attack of the dour literalists!

        Run for your lives!

        September 29, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Descartes@stupid

      Sorry to hear you had your sense of humor removed. Crabby people are charged an extra $10 for putting up with their cr@p. Please pay at the door.

      September 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  23. kristy

    I replaced my diet mt dew addiction with S.Pellegrino with lemon. It's the bubbles!

    September 28, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  24. matt

    You people are idiots. Diet soda is absolutely disgusting. The taste of the carcinogenic artificial sweetener is so horrible. I can barely drink a sip of that crap without the urge to vomit back into the bottle ( it would probably make it taste better). Stick to water and if you reaaaallllyy need the carbonation drink seltzer water instead. Its available in all sorts of flavors and has no sugar, salt, artificial flavoring or colors. Just carbonated water and NATURAL flavors.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Someone's Grandmother

      Well aren't you just a little ray of sunshine? You just go and have an ice day under your rock, Sonny.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:06 am |
      • Cando

        I am not sure which is worse, a potentially carcinogenic drink or a confirmed carcinogenic person.

        September 28, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Joe

      You read my mind.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Melly

      Bitter, party of one, your table is now available. Bitter, party of one.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:38 am |
      • Shani

        Ha ha ha.... CTFU.

        September 28, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Chillax

      Wow...maybe you need to chill out with diet coke?

      September 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
      • didi

        Hilarious, all of you, have a wonderful sense of humor!!! Thanks for the smiles at the expense of Mr Grump.

        September 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  25. Jen

    I used to drink a couple of litres a day too. I'd get cranky when I didn't have it, get headaches sometimes too. About five years back I started having problems with caffeine and anxiety, so I cut down to caffeine free diet coke. Over the years I've cut down a lot more, down to maybe two-four litres a week on average. I drink a lot more water now, and some weeks I don't have any diet coke at all. But after a while I'll have a strong urge for a drink that really tastes of something, a desire for a flavour and that's usually when I head down to the fridge for some diet coke. But I'm sure my life now is a little healthier and I'm spending a lot less money too.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:56 am |
  26. Kat

    I started on regular coke for years, then as I got older and people nagged me I switched to the coke that had half the sugar, then switched ot diet and finally to coke zero, then at hubby's insisting i cut back to 4 cans/bottles a day. but I just don't look forward to the headaches that I know I will have, and have tried the flavored sparkling water thing but I missed the sweet. If I could find my next addiction, LOL I would quit Coke Zero.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:46 am |
  27. Dean

    Sweet tastes promote the release of insulin, which causes glucose (blood sugar) to be stored as fat. This is an adaptive response, because for millions of years sweet tastes have meant that blood glucose levels are about to rise, and when there is excess sugar it ought to be stored for times of fasting, when food is not readily available. Artificial sweeteners have the same effect on insulin: sweet diet drinks will increase insulin and thus the storage of fat. In this case, though, no sugar is provided by the beverage, so the drinker stores away glucose already present in the blood, glucose that is needed for energy. The result is a decrease in blood sugar, and a corresponding increase in hunger. The drinker eats more, and gains weight.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Ouchie

      British Journal of Nutrition....

      "Data from numerous publications on the effects of low-energy sweeteners on appetite, insulin and glucose levels, food intake and body weight have shown that there is no consistent evidence that low-energy sweeteners increase appetite or subsequent food intake"

      September 28, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Jimi

      Untrue or doctors would all recommend Diet Pepsi for Type 2 Diabetes patients instead of costly medicine. Nice try to demonize something compleletely harmless though

      September 28, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
      • Shani

        Actually, Jimi, there are research reports out there linking high consumption of diet drinks with weight gain.

        September 28, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
      • Davethecanuck

        those studies more have focused on the correlation between overweight people and the consumption of diet pop.
        Some will use the studies to argue that the consumption will lead to weight gain, while others resonably point out instead that overweight people simply have a tendancy to drink more diet pop that people at a healthy weight.

        Overweight people also tend to consume more preservatives.... this shouldn't lead you to the conclusion that preservatives are the cause of their weight gain because a study correlates the two.

        September 28, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
      • lumps

        Actually, jimi, it is pretty close to the truth. I'm a diabetic. The fact that doctors won't suggest drinking a 75 cent can of Diet Coke (something they won't see a penny of) as opposed to prescribing expensive medicines (something that their livelihood depends on) just goes to show how the whole FDA mafia is making billions off of poor saps that buy into the lies and deceptions that the three piece suit wearing (not the actual scientists, mind you) executives of food producing companies, drug companies, and the 'administration' are forcefeeding our society.

        September 28, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Davethecanuck

      I can appreciate your logical approach but this is complete hogwash.
      Several studies have concluded that aspartame has virtually no effect on insulin levels in the body.
      Here is one reputable link:

      September 28, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  28. Thomas

    I used to have the Diet Coke monkey on my back too. 2 litres every day just at work. Then I got home for more.

    It is an easy habit to get into.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • BJ

      Wow, Thomas! Congrats for getting of that much during the day! Can you share how you did that? Kudos to you!

      September 28, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  29. Rock

    Nothing better than that first diet coke in the morning!!

    September 28, 2011 at 10:35 am |
  30. A

    I remember Shelly on this past season of 'Big Brother' was a Diet Coke fiend.

    It has been years since I've regularly drunk soda, and I don't miss it one bit.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:31 am |
  31. Saragreen

    Not Diet Coke - Coke Zero. Total addict. Help!!!

    September 28, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Jen

      Try drinking a full glass of water before you drink any diet coke. I find I drink the diet coke slower and over time that helps lead to drinking less.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:58 am |
      • Alyssa

        Some of us don't actually like the taste of water. I would get all of my hydration from soda alone if I didn't need water to rinse out my mouth after brushing.

        September 28, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Shani

      So what is the diff between diet coke and coke zero? Never quite understood.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
      • Descartes@Shani

        Marketing and coke zero is "sweetened with a blend of aspartame and acesulfame potassium (Ace K).... It is believed that men are more reluctant to buy diet coke because the word ‘diet’ associated with women. Therefore, to market the product ‘Coke Zero’ been produced to associate masculinity."


        September 28, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  32. martinmunson

    Did a Google image search to check you out. Tough bowl cut. wickedimproper . com

    September 28, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  33. William

    Wish I could escape from the clutches of Coke Zero...but I LIKE it!

    I read years ago that M&Ms are flavor-designed to not completely satisfy the chocolate craving...making you reach for more. I wouldn't be surprised if the soft drink companies designed colas the same way.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:28 am |
  34. Brian

    It's diet Dr Pepper for me. I'm down to one can a day and hoping to quit altogether in the next few days.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:27 am |
  35. beth

    I love my diet coke so much that when I travel to Europe I bring an extra suitcase full of it. They have "Coke Lite" in Europe, but it's just not the same.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • Ben

      That is funny. Every time I vist my mom in the UK she fills the fridge with Pepsi. I can;t drink it though it is completely different. Found out why on the label, NO SODIUM. If the low sodium thing catches on in Morth America we all better get ready for Cola's that suck.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:27 am |
      • Lemon

        All Hail Ben, King of Morth America!

        September 28, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  36. G

    I'm a Diet Coke addict. I have been for 15 years. I don't drink anything else. I rarely get 8oz of water into me in a day. I don't want to quit, I just want to be able not to be "obsessed" about where the next one is coming from. ;)

    September 28, 2011 at 10:21 am |
  37. Painless Black Wolf

    I've been drinking Diet Coke since I was 14. At the heights of consumption, a twelve pack a day, easy. Faves were the bottles while out and about. (In addition to the twelve pack at home) At 51 now with Tinnitus in my right ear, I've had to cut way way back on caffeine so I supplement with caffeine free Diet Coke and save the real stuff for waking up in the morning (a bottle kept on the head of my bed) I've toyed with Diet Pepsi and other diet sodas but the real kick is always the red, white and silver....

    September 28, 2011 at 10:21 am |
  38. AleeD

    Years ago, I was something of a caffiene addict. Other than coffee & alcohol, Diet Coke was all I drank. There was little to no water in my daily consumption. When my darling husband came into my life, bringing his Diet Pepsi jones into our relationship, a friendly but hard line was drawn in the sand by both of us: I like what I like and I'm not converting to your soda. We happily supported & supplied our own joneses.

    When tonsil cancer struck my dear, loving hubby and he went thru the chemo & radiation treatments, drinking habit's for both of us began to change. He could no longer drink his beloved DP anymore because it burned his now uber-irradiated throat. To this day, 11 years later, the only thing he can drink that doesn't burn is water. Some of my health issues gave me reason to cut way back on caffeine back then, too. Doing almost a 180, now I have one 20 oz cuppa joe in the morning and one, that's ONE, Diet Coke in the afternoon – almost everything else I drink is water. If I can't get to my one Diet Coke by 4pm, I leave it in the fridge for another day.

    Thank you, Kat, for an inspiring story. Keep 'em coming.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  39. Mike

    Not a diet soda drinker, but recently had to quit drinking the regular stuff due to the fact that I was passing kidney stones for the last 9 or so years. In fact, I just passed one the other day and it took almost two weeks to leave my system.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:19 am |
  40. Dee

    Great story, thanks for the humor!! (As I sit here sipping my first Diet Pepsi of the day....)

    September 28, 2011 at 10:19 am |
  41. Ben

    First, if there are similar sufferers out there, give the author should provide a picture of her freind chugging out of a 2LT diet coke bottle throughout the day. The mental image I have is horrific.

    While I am not sure how this post explains the "how" of kicking the habit, the aauthor might have something with the bubbles theory. I tired to kick a Pepsi habit for at least three years, finally got over the hump by drinking diet 7up. I reduced Pepsi intacke slowly (those 100 calorie mini cans really helped), stopped puitting it in the fridge (warm Pepsi just isn't the same), then when i fell below a can a day average, I made the cold turkey switch to diet 7up which in my opinion is the only tolerable diet drink (freshca maybe), then after a few weeks I realized I hated diet 7up and I was basically cured. So maybe it is the bubbles?

    Thank said, I drink tea like it is going out of style (black, no sugar), so my caffeine is delivered through a different method (helped avoid the headaches which are awful, I can attest to that). My method may have worked, but the the only real or tangible part of my cure was that I stopped buying Pepsi at the grocery store. Don't keep it in the house and it's basically bye, bye Pepsi addiction.

    It really helps to talk about, but man I wish I had a cold Pepsi.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:18 am |
  42. SW

    My drug of choice is Diet Cherry Coke (now Cherry Coke Zero). It's barely after 10am and I'm just about to finish my second one of the day...a little slow this morning. I try to keep myself to just 2 a day and not drink any after noon. It is the caffeine for me...I traveled to Mexico last year and France this year, knew Diet Coke would be unavailable or expensive so I brought along a No-Doz generic to avoid the "caffeine headache" problem. Now I'm trying to quit sodas all together–they can contribute to osteoporosis. Oh well...I still have my red wine with dinner.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • BJ

      Yes, SW! Thank you for brining that up! Caffiene inhibits the adsorption of calcium. So when you have a caffienated drink of anykind and take you calcium supplements, you are throwing $ out the door. Drink your caff.pop with a meal that has some of your calcium for the day, and kiss it bye bye! Osteoporosis is not just for women, either! Stop the caffiene, take your calcium supplements, and you will see a difference in your hair and nails. Thanks!

      September 28, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  43. kristin

    Holy smokes – I could have written this article. I can relate to every single point. I've quit for up to a year at a time but always go back. People who think it's silly just don't have a clue. Lucky them.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  44. Elle

    I absolutely ADORE my Sodastream Penguin. It's sleek and looks great on the counter, unlike the original Sodastreams. I've never been a soda junkie – my mother pretty much banned us from having it, so of course I wnated it – but then as I grew up the dietary concern trumped the syrupy sweet bubbles.
    I completely agree with the 'fizz addiction'. I have that – and love sparkyl; water. I've never bought the syrups; probably never will. Mainly, my Sodastream replaced my canned sparkling water costs (outrageous for water in a can with some lemon!). I recommend this product to everyone. I cringe at work when it's 8am and I hear the sound of an opening can! Yuck!!

    September 28, 2011 at 10:13 am |
  45. ben dover

    My God you can ramble on

    September 28, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • Robert Plant

      So can I.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:03 am |
      • Bob Seger

        I am, in fact, a ramblin', gamblin' man.

        September 28, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  46. Kathleen

    I'm a Coke addict too, but not the horrible diet stuff. Only someone who could enjoy Tabasco in fizzy water could be a junky for that diet stuff!

    Newsflash: That glorious "sip, sigh, slump" is a trademark of COKE itself, not just diet coke. I get it with each slug off my wonderful red & white can.

    For the record, my blood sugar is fine but I wear dentures and jeans about 2 sizes larger than I should. But you can have my Coke when you pry it from my cold, dead hand!

    September 28, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • JEM

      Oh Kathleen, how wrong you are. I live & breathe for my Diet Coke. I used to be all Coke, all the time until the diet came along. Now, regular Coke is like drinking syrup. And what is up with that sugary film that coats my teeth?? YUK! No, give me my Diet Coke, chemicals and all, any day of the week. And luckily, I can use the calories for a bunch of other yummy stuff.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:27 am |
      • txwtch67

        It used to be that only Royal Crown Cola would coat your teeth like that, but all the non diet sodas do now. What is up with that?

        September 28, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • AleeD@JEM

      Agreed on the Coke-is-like-syrup POV. In fact all drinks sweetened with sugar, HFCS or Splenda taste like syrup to me. I'm from the BDC (Before Diet Coke) generation that drank Tab because we had no other diet cola choices. The second Diet Coke was available, I was off the Tab and on the Diet Coke bandwagon. FTR, I've never had an issue with man-made sweeteners.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Another Addict

      Just like Kathleen, I am addicted to the real stuff. I am trying to cut back, but this is my only addiction. I am a mid-range Baby Boomer with a hgh-stress job and an insane family life and I need my Coke!

      September 28, 2011 at 10:56 am |
      • John Entwistle@Another Addict

        That's what I said.

        September 28, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • L8krLdy

      OMG Kathleen!!!!! You MUST be my long lost twin......there is NOTHING in this world better to me than the sweet bubbily refreshing deliciously smooth and wonderful taste of the one and only COCA COLA CLASSIC.....that beautiful red & white can with all it's wonderfullness inside! God help me I've been an addict as long as I can remember! In fact, I take credit for Coca Cola Classic because I can remember as a youngster Coke changed its formula and I swear I wrote a letter to the Coca Cola company EVERYDAY till they changed it back! I love Coke! Will NEVER EVER EVER stop drinking it! Thank GOD I'm one of the lucky few who has NO health problems of any kind so my relatiuonhship with Coke Classic will never end! God Bless Coca Cola!!!!!! :o)

      September 28, 2011 at 11:10 am |
  47. Craig

    Was hoping this would actually be a useful story, but it ended up being an advertisement. Great. Thanks a lot.

    September 28, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • The Management@Craig

      You're welcome. You didn't have to leave a post, but you did. Thank YOU!

      September 28, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • BJ

      Read the replies, Craig and you will get lots of useful information on how to quit. Good luck!

      September 28, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  48. k

    "How I kicked my Coke habit"

    ...blaa blaa blaa...

    "I have no idea how I was released from diet cola's hold."

    The end.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • ZRS

      You wanted her to go to Diet Coke rehab or something? She drank seltzer. That's cool. I wish I could.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  49. Truth@KAT

    So your grad school roommate met and married a New Paltz local? Did they have the wedding at Mohonk? Beautiful setting if so.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Kat Kinsman

      As a matter of fact, they were! Gorgeous place. We used to live right at the foot of the mountain.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:57 am |
      • Truth@KAT

        BEAUTIFUL Place!
        Have you done the hike to the resort? I used to do that every autumn, and used to think of it as "rock climbing" until I moved to Colorado. I do miss NY/New England at this time of year...:)

        September 28, 2011 at 10:03 am |

    It's not good for anyone .

    September 28, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • nicalover

      I am having that bonding experience that I am sure happens at AA meetings right now!

      September 28, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • snuffaluffagous

      oh, that line is yours.

      September 28, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
      • snuffaluffagous


        September 28, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
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