How to Give up Coffee – Steps for Kicking the Coffee Habit
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Coffee, that world changing product that wakes people up, and gets them prepared for the long day ahead of them. What's the normal everyday routine? Wake up, cup a coffee, drive to work, drink ANOTHER cup of coffee, Lunch time, usually people stop drinking coffee around this time, but who knows, maybe you have a ton of work left, so you drink a third cup of coffee.[adinserter block=”4″]
Three cups of coffee a day? That's insane! That much caffeine intake every day is awful for you, and while it may wake you up, there's many other ways to do just that! Personally, when I started working the job I'm at now I couldn't even get started without a cup of black coffee.
Within an hour, I'd be finishing my second one, then, and only then, was I prepared for the day. It was fine, at first, I never thought anything of it, until I went to the dentist, and they told me I needed to cut out the coffee, my teeth were more stained then, than at any other point in my life.
So, I caved, figured the dentists know what they're talking about, and declared to myself that I'm going to quit coffee! Which took me WAY too long to figure out how to do. At first I tried cold turkey, which I quickly realized was a difficult thing to do when you work a full-time job. You can't be cranky at work because using the excuse “I'm giving up coffee” doesn't fly. So after a few different tactics tried and failed, I learned that slowly pulling coffee out of my system and onto whatever other product I would exchange with it was probably my best hope. The following are some steps i discovered to give up coffee.
Step 1 – Have a decided alternative in mind
When you start to give up anything, having a vision of what you're going to use instead of coffee. Even if it's something simple, like water, having something locked in your mind as your next route gives you a better chance at quitting.
After all, say you try to go cold turkey, you make it a week, then you come in Monday morning, exhausted and kind of upset that it IS Monday, so you just grab a cup of coffee. Boom, streak broken, and then it's twice as hard getting back on track. So, if you have another route, then you can just easily supplement your day with more of your new habit.[adinserter block=”5″]
Step 2 – Slowly break yourself of the coffee habit
According to James Clear, Habits take about a minimum of 21 days to form or break, which means that trying wean yourself off the drink in 3 days is ludicrous and unnecessary.
This isn't a sprint, it's a marathon in the simplest sense. Over time, your goal here is to slowly get your body used to using your new method rather then slamming coffee. Personally, each day, I would drink less and less coffee, I used the same cup (it took about 40 days for me to get over it) I made 50 little marks on my with a sharpie on the outside of the cup, and each day, I would fill it up to the marker just under the one I filled it up to yesterday.
After the coffee, I would wash the cup, and refill it with my first personal choice, vanilla chai tea. So to make sense of this, you slowly associate your brain with the one thing, and de-associate it with the second! After a long time (sometimes as short as 66 days), you will be able to stop that last bit of coffee!
Step 3 – Don't fall back into old habits
The dangerous part of your new habit is how easy it can be to slip back into your old one. Your goal here is to maintain your new habit, don't break, not even once! You busted your tail trying to make sure that you don't drink coffee, whatever your coping mechanism, make sure you use as much of that as necessary to make sure that you don't revert to coffee even that one time. After all, you aren't truly kicking a habit if you just drink coffee less then a week after you finally clean your system of it right?
So What Else Wakes You Up?
Three things come to mind when this subject comes up. They're usually the three things that people recommend in place of coffee, and it's quite easy to change over without losing that energy bursts you're so used to, plus the benefits from any of them greatly outweigh the side effects you get from drinking coffee.[adinserter block=”6″]
Alternative #1 – Tea
Oh the miracles of tea, it seems like everyone is using tea as a nice, healthy, and plentiful alternative to coffee. While tea has caffeine in it, what sets teas apart from the group is it's two qualities. One, all teas are less caffeinated then coffee, and all true teas have L-Theanine!
L-Theanine calms the body, so you don't get those jitters that come from drinking massive amounts of teas, it keeps you calm, and releases the caffeine into your body at a more controlled rate so that you just burn through all of it quickly.Learn how create a tea drinking habit
Alternative #2 – Apples/Apple Juice
Did you know that apples actually give you more energy than coffee? Caffeine is really stimulating, which means that you get all of the energy in one large burst! Which is were those occasional jitters and occasional too much energy comes from.
Apples, on the other hand, have natural sugars in them and give off lasting energy. Which means that not only will you need less to get you going, it tastes much better, and you can honestly have as much as you want to keep you going (after all, when was the last time you ever heard of someone getting over-weight on apples?).
Alternative #3 – Early Morning Workouts
If you have the courage to take this route each morning, I give you major props. Wake up in the morning, roll out of bed and do a set of pushups, it snaps your brain out of its slumber, and kicks your body awake! Not only does it wake you up quicker, morning workouts are often the best, because your body usually isn't prepared for the energy expenditure, and then it burns energy a little more trying to keep up with the sudden change of pace.
After a few days of being busy in the morning, you can keep changing up the workout, or adding to it, to keep your body unprepared. Studies show that keeping your body confused is one of the easiest ways to keep burning fat and building muscle, because your body can't anticipate what your doing! Shrugging off coffee and getting fit?
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It's easy enough to talk about quitting, taking action and doing it, that's the key to getting anything done. It sounds hard, after all, kicking a habit that you might have had for many years? It's probably easier to just keep doing what you’re doing right?
Nothing good comes easily though, and if you want to change something, you have to commit to it! Making the change sooner, and with conviction pays off in the end, and I can guarantee that you'll feel so much better because of it!
About the Author
Steven Schwanitz is a personal development writer based in Detroit, MI. His main focuses are Social Skills Development, Confidence Building, and Revealing Individuality. His website The Social Write is based around these core concepts!