I stopped drinking my calories.
It doesn't matter what kind of binge I'm on, or how "bad" the food in front of me is, I still chase it with water. I am now in the habit of choosing water and not drinking pop of any kind. This is a capital B "Big Deal." I should have owned shares in Coca-Cola and Pepsi, I bought so many cases of pop. (Uh, "soda" for our American friends). I'd go through phases of just diet pop, fooling myself into believing that zero calories meant it was not a problem, and totally ignoring the chemicals of the various sugar substitutes. There is some debate about whether diet pop helps in weight loss or not, but the evidence seems to point more towards no (that it can increase weight gain). My head knew how bad it was. I just didn't care. I hated water, and drank pop. Period.
Then I'd get out of the diet pop phase and switch back to the regular, full-strength, high-fructose corn syrup drug of choice. I switched back and forth every few months. It might have been for taste. It might have been for the energy boost I needed to get through a three-hour lecture in university. It might have been because I'd get to a point where the aspartame in the diet pop left me thirstier and with a weird tingly sensation in my mouth. Sadly, my Spidey senses weren't tingling loud enough and I just kept drinking it.
I didn't go cold turkey when I made the switch. Like with exercise, which I baby-stepped my way into, I weaned myself off of caloric beverages slowly. Starting with replacing the regular pop with diet. Adding at least some water each day. This was around the time that Tropicana came out with the diet orange and apple juices, so I replaced my fruit juices with those. Once I got myself off of pop, I would still drink juice (note: not "fruit drink" which is basically flavoured water and sugar, but "real juice" from concentrate or supposedly freshly squeezed like Tropicana). I drank skim milk, and played with replacing that with almond or soy milk. Basically, I tried to watch the sugar that was in the beverages I was consuming, but what I realized as I tracked and counted calories was that my real vice was food. Texture. Taste. Smell. I got none of the enjoyment from beverages that I got from food, even healthy ones, making drinks easier to slowly eliminate from my diet.
In addition, there are a ton of benefits to drinking water. We all know this. It is not in the knowing, it's in the doing. But by replacing my caloric and sugary beverages with water, I was also reaping the benefits of hydration. Win-win. Well, except for the raised eyebrows at work with the path I was wearing thin between my desk and the bathroom! Seriously. Water consumption + girl bladders = peeing all.the.time.
So, yeah. I pretty much only drink water or clear tea (ie: no milk or sugar). I'm not a coffee drinker, or I'd include black coffee too. There are loads of reported benefits to drinking coffee, but only the real stuff (and sans sucre, mes amis). Lattes, frappucinos, all the variations that taste good enough that even I would drink them? They're not really coffee. Think of them as warm milkshakes. Tasty, sure. But you're still drinking your calories and they're not what studies are talking about when they say that there are health benefits.
But what I *have* done is taken it out of the home. There's no real need for it, especially since I live on my own. If it's there, it's way too easy to come home and have a glass of wine with dinner. Not a problem alcohol-wise, but it definitely lowers my inhibitions enough to want to eat everything in sight, especially at the end of the day when my willpower is already depleted. So I enjoy a bevvie or several when I'm out with friends. Social drinking? Still enjoy THAT! And there are days when a bottle of wine is required at the end of the day. I'm human, after all. I just have to stop at the liquor store to get it, which makes me really have to think about whether it's worth the effort. When it's in my fridge, I skip that decision making process.
That's not to say that everyone should stop drinking beverages other than water. It's just that, for me, it was the easier change to make than to eliminate certain foods. Not an easy change, just easier. And now it's habit. I no longer have to think about it. I just automatically order water.
Unless they have something tasty on tap that comes in pints.