craving soda in the summer

craving soda in the summer

Summer is just around the corner. At least it is if you live in Phoenix, where our 3 weeks of spring goes by in the blink of an eye, before giving way to five months of walking-on-the-sun heat. (I can't complain, though - I'm one of those crazy people who likes the hot..)

Think I'm exaggerating? Here we were a week ago:

74 degrees in peoria az
images clipped from

And here's what's coming up this weekend:

98 degrees in peoria az

This post might be a bit early for those of you still digging your car out of the snow, but your summer is coming soon...

Summer Cravings

I've already noticed my cravings changing, and I know they'll get worse as it heats up: soda, and fruit.

During the winter I can easily get by on one Diet Coke per day, or less. There are many times when I'll get to the end of the day and realize I didn't have a single soda. Or, I might have half a diet soda after dinner, just because I need something to put my bourbon in. (why can't I just learn to drink it on the rocks?) I drink plenty of liquids - coffee, water, unsweetened tea, water with a splash of fruit juice - but I rarely have an all out craving for soda.

Once the weather changes, though, look out!

cans of dr pepper, coke, and diet coke

I want a Dr Pepper first thing in the morning. I want a Coke at about 10:30. Give me a Diet Coke with lunch, and another one in the mid-afternoon. And I'd like to pour a Coke with dinner..

Mix in some grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, and a pear, and I could easily add 500-1,000 calories to my daily consumption. Uh oh.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not anti-fruit. Nor am I anti having a soda once in awhile. Remember, I'm going after being healthy (the 90%), but not necessarily being perfect (the last 10%). But they do contain calories, and calories add up. These extra snacks need to be accounted for, either by reducing the calories consumed at meals or other snacks, or by increasing the amount of active and passive fitness.

How to Fight the Cravings?

Realizing you're having these cravings is one thing. Stopping yourself from acting on them is something else entirely. Here are some of my techniques for fighting off these cravings:

1.) Food Journal. When I write it down, and I know I'll have to look at it for the rest of the day, I tend to have a better chance of not pulling the trigger. (or the pop-top.) This is especially true for the 2nd or 3rd opportunity - I'm not a big fan of failing, and seeing that failure on paper really gets me motivated to not fail.

2.) Chewing Gum or Breath Mints. If I can stall myself for five minutes, and my taste buds get something else to work on, I can usually pass through the craving without action.

3.) Smaller Size. Sometimes a couple sips is enough, as long as the rest of the can isn't sitting there taunting me. If I pour myself a small cup, and then throw out the rest, I'm usually good to go.

4.) Drink Ice Water. I push myself to drink a lot of ice water during the summer, which helps on a few different fronts. A) I'm not as thirsty when I'm fully hydrated. B) If I tell myself I can have a soda once I finish my glass of ice water, but drinking that glass of ice water takes awhile, my craving might pass on its own. C) If my body burns 50-100 calories per day just by warming itself back up, that's a little bit of an offset without me having to do anything extra.

5.) Will Power. Good old fashioned willpower. Sometimes I have to be my own parent, and just say "no, you can't have a soda right now."

That's it. I know I won't be perfect, but I also know I can't give in to every craving I have throughout the summer. A little moderation, a little willpower, a little extra exercise, and a little forgiveness when I fail, and I'll get through the summer just fine.

What do you crave during the summer? And how do you stop yourself from overindulging?

-Chris Butterworth