I drink way too much diet soda. I know this. I don’t want to go into numbers or amounts, just believe me when I tell you it’s too much.

For the longest time I’ve been wanting to quit diet soda. I just think long term it’s not a wise health decision and there are many health benefits to not drinking it. I haven’t had any since Wednesday and I’d like to share with you a little bit of what I’ve learned the last 4 days.

Over the last few months I’ve been mentally preparing to make a shift to get off of diet soda. I really want to. One problem that I knew I had to prepare for was caffeine withdrawal.

I’ve tried to quit pop cold turkey, several times in my adult life. Each time I’ve done it, I’ve dealt with intense caffeine withdrawal, which included headaches, lethargy, irritability, and anxiety.

However, I’ve never weaned down my caffeine intake during the process, I’ve always tried to just stop caffeine all the way. Usually after two or three days, I can’t take the withdrawal symptoms any longer and I say give me a pop!

My daily caffeine intake is surely way higher than I’d like to admit, but over the past few days, I’ve made the transition off of diet soda and I’m using black coffee to help get me through.

No creamers, no sugars, just a mug of straight up black coffee in the morning. Here’s what I’ve noticed.

First, having caffeine in the morning, versus drinking it throughout the day and even into the night has made for three straight nights of deep, restful sleep. Each morning when I woke up, I could immediately feel a difference. So that’s really cool.

For many years, I’ve had pop usually within an hour of bedtime, and I’m excited to think about getting better rest by eliminating caffeine in the evening time. According to WebMD, caffeine is a stimulant and should be stopped four to six hours before bedtime. If I’m being honest with you, I can’t remember the last time I didn’t have any caffeine four to six hours before bedtime.

Secondly, the headaches I’d planned on getting have shown up, but in less intensity than anticipated. This is probably due to the fact that I am giving my body a dose of caffeine in the morning. Last night my headache was barely there, and I didn’t feel nearly as irritated as I did on day 1 and 2.

Also, black coffee actually tastes pretty good. I always used to think it was gross burnt bean water, but now that I’m using it as a tool to help me, I’m finding it pleasurable and could see myself enjoying a cup of it each morning moving forward.

Here’s the biggest part of my realizations this week. You have to have a plan, and you have to be willing to try something new if what you’ve tried in the past has failed you. This time, I’ve got a new tool named black coffee that I’m hoping will help me reach my ultimate goal.

I know what my goal is; to quit diet soda. I know what has worked and what hasn’t worked in the past. Now it’s time to keep up this good momentum and let black coffee help me out along the way.