Diet Coke Detox

Last you heard of me, I was having problems being motivated and I was spending the weekend binging. I decided that as long as I was having a hard time getting outside to run because of the weather and my lack of motivation, I might as well take the opportunity to bite the bullet and drop the soda.

Here’s where I stand right now: I decided to quit starting Monday. It has gone well. I can definitely feel my body being sad about the lack of soda and caffeine, but I haven’t had any of the really crazy quitting side effects that you will find if you Google something like “aspartame addiction.” (Don’t do that if you’re going to stop drinking Diet Coke, by the way.)

I haven’t been 100% successful though. I have had two cans of soda each day this week, but that waaaaaay less than I usually drink. There are only three or four cans left in my fridge though, so when those run out, I’ll be carbonation free!

There is no doubt in my mind that I will successfully quit. I’m sad about it—I really like soda—but I know that will fade and I will be healthier. Yay, me! Even if I didn’t do a lot of running, I would say that this was a week well spent.

That said, I will now subject you to an overdramatic, minute-by-minute retelling of the GREAT QUITTING. Because I’m me. And we all know that this is what I do.

photoSunday, 11 pm: I chug a can of Diet Coke—my last Diet Coke ever! I then lie awake in my bed until the caffeine wears off.


Monday, 7:30 am: I wake up and feel sad that I can’t have my morning soda. I already miss the bubbles. I look wistfully at the fridge, but go brush my teeth instead.

7:48 am: Panic ensues. I consider quitting the quitting. I take Advil with water instead. Water is stupid.

8:39 am: I’ve already drunk 30 ounces of water this morning. Huh. So this is what being hydrated feels like.

8:52 am: I reminisce about soda. Remember how delicious it was? I miss it already. I also remember that there are several leftover cans of soda in the fridge. I decide that I will allow myself one EMERGENCY SODA per day until they run out. (We already know that this evolved into two sodas. Let’s just pretend I planned it this way.)

…the morning passes with yoga and a run and some work at my desk…

1:55 pm: I feel awesome! This is a piece of cake!

2:10 pm: Imma take a naaaaappp…zzzzzzzzzzz

5:24 pm: I feel a little fuzzy, but maybe I can make it through the day without the EMERGENCY SODA.

6:02 pm: I scream at the dog for a minor infraction. I decide to have that emergency soda.

6:04 pm: I FEEL SO GOOD!!!!!1!!

7:30 pm: I want to go to bed.


Tuesday 7:09 am: Water is stupid. I hate water. Advil on the other hand…

7:45 am: I am sad. The novelty of this whole thing is wearing off.

10:59 am: I realize after spending the morning volunteering at Quinn’s school that soda was like a nice little treat that I would give myself after completing something—like volunteering at Quinn’s school. WHERE IS MY GODDAMN TREAT?! I sadly drink…wait for it…more fucking water.

11:55 am: I retire to my bed in depression and take a ridiculously long nap.

3:12 pm: I decide to drink my EMERGENCY SODA to prevent me from shrieking at my children for existing.

9:43 pm: I feel kinda…tingly.


Wednesday 8:22 am: I’m figuring out that the very first thing in the morning is the hardest for me. I miss my morning soda. Water just doesn’t have the same kick. And carbonated water is the most disgusting thing on earth, so I can’t even substitute with that. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.

1:33 pm: I am sitting at my desk thinking, “I feel great! I am not even tired at all. I am going to come through this with flying colors. A++++++!!!” Then I remember that I just drank my EMERGENCY SODA at 1:00. Oh. Right.

1:48 pm: I am starting to feel extremely virtuous for drinking so much water.

1:49 pm: I get tired of taking obsessive notes on my state of mind. I decide to declare success for quitting soda even though I haven’t actually technically quit anything.


And there you have it. I win life.


If you want to read something else I’m great at, I wrote about 10 Things Parents Know (That Kids Don’t Want to Hear) over at White Knuckle Parenting this week. My kids may not agree that I am great at knowing things.

54 thoughts on “Diet Coke Detox

  1. I quit diet soda two years ago and it was harder than quitting crack. (I’ve never actually been addicted to crack. Or tried crack.) Hang in there, it takes two weeks, and then the cravings stop. I promise.

    • Expect a call from me fifteen days since last Sunday if the cravings aren’t gone.

      You’re actually one of my inspirations for this.

  2. I’m so with you on all of this…except for the actual quitting part. The way I figure it, I don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t do drugs, I don’t even change lanes without signaling, ever. And since I can’t stand coffee or tea I don’t even have anything to replace it with. So I’m going to have my Diet Dr Pepper and Diet Coke, dammit!

    But good for you. You’re a better woman than I am.

    • I hear you. I felt like that for a long time. Of all the vices, soda is probably the least bad. For me it was getting to the point that I was tired all the time so I started to think that maybe all that caffeine was to blame. Next time I see you, I will gaze wistfully at your soda. Please don’t be alarmed.

  3. I feel ya. I gave up pop (soda) for Lent…to be healthy. I think I had the shakes the first two days…but it is much better two weeks into the whole process. I allow myself some flavored seltzer as a “treat”. Best wishes with your detox!!

    • Thank you! It sounds like two weeks is the magic number. I can do two weeks. Congratulations to you too! (Also, it is “soda,” repeat after me: “sooooo-daaaaa.”)

  4. Wow, great timing–I started the Whole30 program this week, which means that for 30 days I have to give up, among other things, all foods containing even a trace of grains, soy, legumes, vegetable oils, and sweeteners of any kind…including my beloved Diet Coke, which I drank nearly constantly from morning to bedtime just to function at a cognitive level above a paramecium. (Guess what foodstuff’s been hardest to give up so far.)

    I’m on Day 4 of cold-turkey withdrawal from all that stuff. So far, so good…but boy, it’s hard to get through a journal article about combined sewer systems without the reassuring jolt of bubbly sweet caffeinated alertness that is Diet Coke. Have you tried subbing unsweetened iced tea for the Coke? It does help, although I’m trying to stick mostly to water.

    You’re doing great so far! Think about how awesome you’ll feel when you reach the other side!

    • Wow, you are hard core. I can’t even imagine doing all of that at once. I am super impressed! How funny that we’re both doing this at the same time. :)

      p.s. Reading about combined sewer systems in general sounds…unpleasant.

  5. You go, girl! Is it going to be awful if I drink a Diet Coke in front of you? No, I am willing to stop when I am with you. Unsweetened iced tea is a good thing.

    • Yeah, I am trying SO hard to not let this affect the people around me. I’m not sure it’s working.

  6. I’m still way addicted to Diet Coke, but I’m down to one every few days and that morning DC is a beast to kick. I added a packet of Emergen-C to the water or lemon juice and I found that what I wanted was the acidity of the beverage, not the taste. It helped a lot.

  7. I used to drink Diet Coke & Caffeine Free Diet coke by the 12 pack. About four years ago, I gave it up. It was really hard. I allow myself a soda when I’m out for a meal sometimes. I drink tons more water and hydration helps everything including running. :) I am a coffee drinker so I’ve started to limit that to one cup a day. That is hard. But I feel the dehydration on my runs so I’m doing it.

    Good luck & hang in there!!!

    • That is me too. I think that the addition of water to my diet will be nothing but good. Fortunately, I hate the taste of coffee, so that is one hurdle I don’t have to get over.

  8. Thanks Stimey, I’m slowly becoming motivated to give up caffeine again. Keep up the good work. You’re getting there and I know you can do this. You’re awesome!

    • Thank you so much! I kind of surprised myself into doing it, like, “TOMORROW! TOMORROW YOU’RE GIVING UP CAFFEINE! CHUG ONE NOW!” or else I probably would have kept putting it off.

  9. You are a courageous hero. Why not drink seltzer or something…then at least you have bubbles. A nice seltzer with lemon. And wear more cardigans and glasses that hang from a chain. Nailed it!

    • Because seltzer is SOOOO terrible. Like gagging terrible. I cannot hack seltzer. I wish I could. I’m all over the cardigans though.

      (Meh. You partly nailed it.)

  10. Good for you! Thankfully I can’t stand the taste of aspartame, but well I Love love love regular coke and I don’t think I could give that up. I comprised and drink the caffeine free stuff at night.

    • Yeah, I don’t know which is worse, all the calories from regular soda or the aspartame. Wait. Actually I do know. It’s the aspartame.

  11. What about having coffee in the morning? Even if you put 5 (or 10!) spoonfuls of sugar in it, it would be better that Diet Coke. You could get your boost that way. Or iced coffee might be more to your liking? Then you can slowly reduce the sugar to a more reasonable 1 or 2 spoonfuls eventually….Just a thought. I’m really glad to hear that you’re quitting soda–it is the junkiest of junk to put in your body!

    • I can do iced tea. I can sometimes do regular tea. I have tried coffee in so many variations and it is just not something I can stomach. I’ll have to stick with water—which is probably for the best anyway. :)

  12. You can do it!! I was never a huge soda drinker…I drank it with meals, and maybe an occasional one during the day, but I was *never* a water drinker, ew. But, I got pregnant and decided I should give up the caffeine. I turned to water and haven’t looked back since! I will allow myself a soda if the urge arises, usually when out to eat, though half the time I will get iced tea instead. I find that I can’t drink soda like I used to now. If you are thinking the water is gross, maybe you should try Crystal Light packets? So many flavors to choose from and they are pretty good.

    • I’m okay with water. It is just less delicious than Diet Coke. So naturally I am angry at it. I’ve heard good things about those Crystal Light packets though.

      • The white film Crystal Light leaves on my glass (even after it’s been washed) creeps me out.

  13. I decided to break my Mountain Dew addiction this year. I have gone from 8-10 cans a day (no diet here, so all the caffeine and sugar!) to 1 or 2 cans a week. I still haven’t gotten away from it completely, but I figure an occasional can of pop is much better than mainlining the stuff! And yes, around here we call it pop not soda!

    Also, I am so with you on the water… drinking water sucks!

    • That is an impressive cutdown! Good job! I agree that the occasional soda (SODA) is probably just fine. I hope to eventually get to where it can be an occasional treat.

  14. I use to be addicted to Caffeine free diet Pepsi, but gave it up a couple of years ago. Not because I wanted to but because my husband, then my fiance, kept giving me a hard time about the “unhealthiness” of it. I don’t miss it though. Water sucks but is healthier.

    • I’m encouraged by all the quitters who tell me that they don’t miss it. I’m holding on to that!! :)

  15. I can’t even make up my mind or commit to giving up anything in a serious way. I have lost all control! But I totally admire all your kick-ass resolve and am also SO jealous of your naps!

    • Yeah. Even I am a little bit embarrassed by how much time I spend napping. I’d be a lot more productive if I napped less.

  16. Totally LMAO this morning as I read your post and sip my beloved diet Mt. Dew.

    Thanks for the laughs! Hang in there & best wishes.

  17. My name is Sunday and I am a Diet Coke Addict. I will never give them up completely. BUT, I’m trying to cut back (like to one can a day). I have self diagnosed myself with ADD and I treat it with caffiene. (Dr. Google said I could!) I’ve been getting some caffiene from MIO Energy or Advocare Spark, and I think that helps me. I just really don’t like the taste of plain water and I don’t care for tea or coffee. Good luck and I hope it warms up so you can run outside soon!

    • I’ve heard that about ADD and caffeine too. Quitting OR cutting back is so hard. Good luck to you too!!

  18. I mostly don’t drink soda any more. For about 5 years now. I will say, though, that every now and then, like maybe once every 6 months or so, I will have a Coke and OMGITISSOGOOD. It’s the ‘treat’ that it should be.

    But sometimes it kills my stomach and then I remember why I don’t drink it very often.
    Keep it up!

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  21. Oh my goodness! If I did not know better, I would swear that was me talking. Here is my question. Did you find a way to taper off the headaches? Pain relievers do not work for me when I am trying to quit caffene. I have tried before. I have to say this: I LOVE DIET COKE!!!

  22. I was googling diet coke/detox and got your site. I was cracking up reading your diary posts! I can totally relate as I’ve tried (and failed) to quit twice now. Once before having my son and another right before grad school. Not the best times to try it but still…lol. Good luck! I will be trying lucky #3 soon.

  23. I love this post. I found it while searching for “diet coke detox.” SO, I’m not crazy? this is real? yikes, your posts are so funny and true to this giving up of my favorite thing in the world!!

    • It is real! I’ve been drinking nothing but Diet Coke for like 15 years and I have found it to be the hardest thing EVER. Water sucks soooo bad hahahahah.

      I’ve gone 7 days without one, and while it feels a little easier it is still really difficult I’m hoping the next 7 days get easier because I’m really jonesing and irratable. Stupid water.

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