The start of the year is a great time to evaluate your lifestyle and see if there are any habits you should do away with. I’m not here to make you set big resolutions, or to force you to do a completely 180 degree lifestyle change, but I do want to talk about something that really doesn’t need to be a part of your life in 2019…and that’s pop (or soda for our friends south of the border).

Pop is slowly making its way out of people’s lives, but some still enjoy indulging in at least one can of their favourite flavor per day, including many of the drivers I talk to.

But what cost does that seemingly innocent single can per day come at? For some, it can be one of the final barriers keeping them from having healthy blood sugar readings, or the one thing preventing them from dropping that final 5-10 pounds.

You see, it’s not what we consume on occasion that is making us unhealthy, it’s the things we consume every single day, or several times per week. It’s that unhealthy consistency that makes our bodies weaker and unable to function properly, which means that just by removing that consistent, unhealthy behavior, your health can drastically change.

So what makes pop so bad, after all?

Well, let’s start by discussing the fact that not a single ingredient in a can of the most popular brand of soda is a naturally occurring food; carbonated water, sugar, colour, phosphoric acid, natural flavor, and caffeine, are all heavily processed, harmful ingredients with zero nutritional value. That’s right, even the carbonated water and natural flavor are processed and not so healthy, although their names are deceivingly-innocent sounding.

We haven’t even talked about the sugar content, which weighs in at about 35g per can, or 9 teaspoons. Ever think about stirring 9 teaspoons of white sugar into a glass of water, adding food colouring, and drinking it? Sounds crazy when you put it that way, doesn’t it? But somehow, drinking it in this form has become a norm.

I won’t get too far into the health issues that can arise from consistent pop drinking, but at the top of the list we see links between soda and obesity, blood sugar issues (contributing to diabetes), loss of bone density, tooth decay, heart disease, cancer, and several more.

Diet soda is equally as unhealthy, with artificial sweeteners being linked to issues such as weight gain, several types of cancer, diabetes, dizziness, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and more.

Ready to kick the can to the curb in 2019?

Now is the time! You may wish to cut back slowly, or stop cold-turkey; either way, you’ll need to be committed and consistent. For some, they find it helpful to switch to clear pop for a couple of weeks, then to flavoured soda water, then water with fruit. For others, switching right to water works perfect. Drinking it becomes habitual, so you’ll want to make sure you have water on hand at all times, especially if you find yourself with some pretty intense cravings or even headaches, depending on how much pop you’ve been drinking.

Don’t let pop hold you back from getting healthier in 2019 – there should be no place for it in your daily diet, so join the thousands of other drivers who have cut it out, and feel great as a result!