Italian Soda: The Great Alternative to Cola

Almost everyone I talk to that’s trying to diet right now says their biggest weakness isn’t what they eat, but what they drink: soda. It’s not just one can, either.

I understand how hard it is to stop drinking soda. I was hooked on it too. A few years ago, I finally reached a point where I said: I can’t do this anymore. I was drinking three to four cans of soda a day and didn’t feel that great about it.

Part of what got me un-hooked is that I finally decided I had enough. That’s crucial. Another part, for me at least, was living with someone who didn’t drink soda. If I didn’t buy it, it wasn’t around to tempt me. Also, I found something else to help me cut down the cravings: italian soda.

Italian soda is just club soda, flavoring, and occasionally cream. What is great about Italian sodas is that you can control how much sweetener, fizz, and calories go into each drink. I weaned myself off of soda slowly through drinking Italian sodas. I would put sugar free hazelnut or almond syrup (found in my grocery store) in some club soda, no cream. Over a span of a few weeks, I slowly decreased the amount of syrup I added until I could barely taste it. It still has the fizz and feeling of soda, but it doesn’t contain all the preservatives and acid of soda.

A basic Italian soda recipe is this: 1 oz syrup to 16oz club soda. That’s about the sweetness of a regular cola. Add more or less based on your taste. You can also add cream, but that kind of defeats the purpose.

There are also tons of other possibilities that have fizz. You can buy a carbonator and make carbonated lemonade, juice, wine, etc. Some carbonators run in the hundreds of dollars, but Isi has a system for about $50.  I don’t know how well it works because I don’t own it, but the reviews are pretty good. Either way, there are options if you are addicted to the fizz. Caffeine, on the other hand, is a different story.

Part of the moral to this story is that you can’t stop eating things you love. Going cold turkey works great for some people, but most I’ve spoken to say it only lasts so long. Italian sodas are a great way to mimic the soda you crave without consuming tons of calories, acid, or caffeine.

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