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Coaching Your Clients to Avoid Drinking Sodas by Sharon Graham

May 6th, 2009 | By | Category: Wellness Coaching

Helping Your Client to “Come Clean”

by Sharon Graham

colas-sugarDrinking soda pop will never create health for any client.  If you have a client desiring wellness coaching, one of the first and most important action items for them to do is to stop drinking sodas.  Following are some reasons why you as a coach would want to support and encourage your clients to “come clean.”

1.  Extra pounds

Drinking soda is a significant contributor to obesity.  Just one can of soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar, 150 calories and 30 to 55 mg of caffeine, and is loaded with artificial food colors and sulphites.  If a person drinks one can of soda per day and doesn’t change anything else about their diet or exercise program, they will consume 55,000 extra calories in one year, which adds up to fifteen pounds of weight gain.  And lest someone think they’re doing a “better” thing by consuming diet soda, think again.  Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and Sucralose are very harmful chemical additives, and they induce a whole set of physiologic and hormonal responses that actually make you gain weight.

2.  Soft drinks = Soft Bones = Osteoporosis

Judith Valentine from The Weston A Price Foundation says that, “Over the last 30 years a virtual tome of information has been published linking soft drink consumption to a rise in osteoporosis and bone fractures. New evidence has shown an alarming rise in deficiencies of calcium and other minerals and resulting bone fractures in young girls.”  Soft drinks containing phosphoric acid causes an increase in phosphate levels in the body which in turn displaces or pulls calcium from the bones, lowering bone density of the skeleton, leading to conditions such as osteoporosis and weak bones.

3.  Cavities and Tooth Decay

Soft drinks are responsible for doubling or tripling the incidence of tooth decay among teenagers.  Soft drinks cause cavities.  Soda’s acidity is even worse for teeth than the solid sugar found in candy.  Normally, the body’s saliva has a pH of about 7.4 which is slightly alkaline. If sodas are sipped throughout the day, as is often true with teens, the phosphoric acid lowers the pH of the saliva to acidic levels. In order to buffer this acidic saliva, and bring the pH level above 7 again, the body pulls calcium ions from the teeth. The result is a very rapid depletion of the enamel coating on the teeth setting the stage for decay and other issues.

4. Heartburn, Acid Reflux, Gastrointestinal Distress

Consumption of soda is a strong predictor of heartburn. Many carbonated beverages are very acidic. They also deliver a lot of air in the form of carbon dioxide, which can cause distension of the stomach. And that distension is associated with more reflux.  Soft drinks irritate the lining of the esophagus as well, creating an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer.  Gastrointestinal (GI) distress is also common in soda drinkers. Soft drinks cause increased stomach acid levels which in turn creates moderate to severe gastric inflammation with possible stomach lining erosion. Drinking sodas, especially on an empty stomach, can upset the acid-alkaline balance of the stomach and gastric lining, creating a continuous acid environment. This prolonged acid environment leads to inflammation of the stomach and duodenal lining which becomes very painful, and leads to gastric lining erosion.

5.  Diabetes

Anything that promotes weight gain increases the risk of diabetes. Drinking soda also stresses your body’s ability to process sugar. Many scientists suspect the reason that Americans with type 2 diabetes has tripled from 6.6 million in 1980 to 20.8 million today is mainly from drinking sodas.  Diabetes is now being diagnosed at a rate 90 percent higher than it was a decade ago, according to a study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  One specific study showed that women who drank one can of soda per day increases her risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 85 percent over women who drank less than one can a day.  Diabetes is a devastating and debilitating disease and eliminating soda from your diet is probably one of the easiest preventative measures you could take against it.

So as a coach wanting to coach a client toward health and wellness, be armed with reasons why drinking sodas can never promote optimal health in anyone.  If someone is highly addicted to sodas and is drinking six to eight cans a day, begin working with them to decrease that number rather than stopping all at once.  Encourage them to begin drinking water more and more.  Set a goal around decreasing the sodas until the client is totally free.

The above reasons are easy to share with a client.  We can trust the Holy Spirit to be at work in the client’s heart once they hear truth.  And this is another truth that will help to set your client free.  Pray for grace for your client as they conquer this “giant” in their lives and as you both reap rewards from God at work.

Sharon Graham is a professional lifestyle coach and a wellness authority who coaches a broad range of clients in how to achieve and maintain wellness.  She is also an author of a recently released e-book on wellness, a blogger (The Coaching Pair), a public speaker, and is currently compiling a cookbook.  (Click here for bio.)

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One Response to “Coaching Your Clients to Avoid Drinking Sodas by Sharon Graham”

  1. Linda Stoll says:

    While losing weight can be a daunting task, this is a great, pro-active 1st step that most of our clients can embrace as they begin to pursue wellness! Taking a picture (with a cell phone or digital camera) of every bit of food they eat or simply keeping a food journal are other tools that spark interest and empowerment among those who are presented with the opportunity to begin to “own” their health.

    One step at a time, one challenge at a time, one goal at a time!

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