I thought I would never get my husband to give up sweet tea, but I was wrong! Here’s how to get your husband to give up sweet tea too!
By Will and Erin Odom
Even after several years of being on a healthy living journey, one vice Erin thought Will would never give up would be his sweet iced tea.
A Mississippi boy from birth, sweet iced tea is a staple in his Deep Southern state.
We lived in Mississippi during our newlywed years, and Erin claims to have seen toddlers chugging the liquid sugar from sippy cups.
(Will notes that most adults water down sweet tea for their kids, although Erin isn’t convinced. 😉 )
With Will’s sweet tea addiction, Erin often wondered if Will was setting himself for early-onset type 2 diabetes. His dad and three paternal aunts all have the disease, and Erin knew a high-sugar diet was a huge risk factor.
Even though it bothered Erin that Will continued to drink sweet tea, she thought any pleas for him to give up his beverage of choice would be in vain and only make matters worse.
Sweet iced tea was not an occasional splurge for Will; it was his primary hydration every single day.
Since Erin isn’t a prolific baker and primarily uses natural sugars for the occasional baking she does, the only reason she would buy sugar at all was to make Will’s sweet tea.
We don’t even want to know how many pounds of it we went through during our first 10 years of marriage!
Then, it happened: To Erin’s complete and utter shock, Will gave up his sweet tea addiction cold turkey this past summer.
In the process, he lost 10 pounds in one month! And he hasn’t looked back since.
Looking back, we can trace 7 things that helped him give up sweet tea. You can do these, too!
image from pixabay.com
1. Don’t drink sweet tea yourself; model good habits.
If you want your husband to give up sweet tea–or any vice for that reason, it’s important to practice what you preach.
Although Erin had occasionally drank sweet tea throughout her childhood, when she gave up soft drinks at age 18, she gave up sweet tea as well.
Our fridge was always stocked with Will’s sweet tea, but he didn’t see Erin drinking it. He knew her beverage of choice was and still is water.
2. Suggest ways to “healthify” sweet tea–even if he doesn’t give it up for good.
Tea itself is not unhealthy, especially if it’s organic. If your husband is a huge sweet tea drinker (or even if you are!), you can try to “healthify” it without giving it up all together!
Try using organic tea bags.
Your best bet, though, will be to use a more natural sweetener instead of cane sugar.
3. Offer alternatives.
While water is ultimately the healthiest beverage you can choose, some people are bored with plain water.
Will is one of those people.
The key to him giving up sweet tea was to replace it with Ultima, which is a natural electrolyte beverage sweetened with stevia.
This was actually unintentional, as we had taken packets of Ultima with us on our Costa Rica trip, in the event that we needed to replace some electrolytes during our travels. Will started drinking it there, and he was hooked!
I now order various flavors of Ultima from Vitacost each month (you can use my referral link to get $5 off your first order), and drinking it has helped Will keep from drinking sweet tea at home for eight months now!
Other alternatives to sweet tea include:
Flavored Kombucha: Kombucha is chock full of healthy probiotics. Erin and the girls absolutely love the Kombucha Wonder lemon flavored kombucha. A much cheaper alternative, though, is to try making your own. Cultures for Health is a great site where you can buy kombucha starters.
Water Kefir: Kefir is another probiotic-rich drink that you can also make at home. You might enjoy trying this cherry-mango water kefir smoothie!
Smoothies: Erin is a HUGE smoothie fan. Here are some of her favorites:
Homemade Flavored Waters: This will probably be your cheapest alternative to sweet tea! Homemade flavored waters are incredibly healthful, too!
Fruity Herbal Teas: Even when not sweetened, fruity herbal teas have a natural sweetness to them. You can brew and ice them just like sweet tea, but they won’t contain the harmful sugar!
4. Don’t nag.
Erin can’t say that she never nags about anything, but she didn’t nag Will about his sweet tea addiction.
Both Erin and Will know that if she had nagged, it would have made things worse, and Will might still be drinking sweet tea today!
Instead of nagging, she modeled healthy choices by forgoing the sweet tea herself. Why she didn’t drink sweet tea would naturally come up in conversation, but she never begged Will about giving it up himself.
In fact, she thought he might never give it up. She didn’t think this was a battle worth fighting!
5. Try going somewhere where sweet tea is not readily available.
This might not be possible for everyone, but, especially if your husband is willing but struggling to give up sweet tea, going somewhere where it is not readily available might help.
This was key for Will: We left the country, and we were traveling a lot where it was not possible to make sweet tea. He had to make another choice!
6. Be ok with “cheating” while not at home–but only if it doesn’t tempt to bring back the addiction.
After Will weaned himself from his sweet tea addiction, he realized he was OK with occasionally having it while out to eat or with friends. Although we have not had the beverage in our home for over eight months now, he does occasionally drink it while out.
We are both OK with this. We think it might even keep his sweet tea addiction in check.
7. Let him revel in the results of giving up sweet tea.
Will made the choice to give up sweet tea on his own, and I believe this made his victory all the sweeter.
Within one month of giving up sweet tea, he had lost ten pounds, and he felt better, healthier.
Erin is so proud of Will for kicking his sweet tea addition to the curb–for good!
And now, if only he can convince Erin to quit her coffee habit as well!