Are you forever uttering the phrase “I’m definitely going to cut down” just before ordering an extra large coffee in Starbucks? Amazingly (or maybe not) there are 100 million Americans who drink coffee every single day without fail, 60% of whom say the ‘need’ coffee before they start their day (stats here).
As a coffee shop worker, and a coffee lover, I don’t grudge anyone a steaming hot cup of Joe, especially first thing in the morning. But if you feel you’ve become addicted, reliant, or feel worse without it (withdrawal like symptoms such as headaches and low mood) then you may decide to cut down or try to live without it. I gave it up last year for a month and I ended up accidentally living without it for much longer. I guess I didn’t love it as much as I thought. In fact, I think I preferred the caffeine-free groggy mornings to the afternoon headaches I suffered from post-caffeine fix! Here’s how I did it:
Focus on the positives
Write a list of all the great things that are going to come out of your new caffeine-free life and pin it up next to your kettle/coffee machine to keep you motivated. Here’s my list:
- I will save £2 each day on coffee shop trips
- I can use my break at work to take a walk outside and get fresh air to invigorate me as well as burn calories
- I will save calories by cutting out milky coffees
- I won’t crash and burn in the afternoon after my caffeine high
Recognise the routine
A lot of people get into a routine of having coffee at a certain time. At work we always have coffee at 9.30am then 3pm, and its almost like a social gathering and time to draw breath before getting on with the day. It can be really hard not to cave in during this time. I broke up the routine by making sure I was the person to instigate ‘coffee time’ and I actually made everyone else’s coffee for them, which weirdly gave me the same satisfaction as drinking one myself. Then I made my little peppermint tea and didn’t feel like I had missed out on the event.
There’s no getting around it, you will have to try and find a substitute for coffee. In an ideal world we would all drink filtered water, but I crave the comforting grip of a warm mug as much as the next person. Make it your mission to try out new drinks like green tea, hot chocolate, warm milk, hot water and lemon, and earl grey with honey. You could even substitute it with decaf coffee, although I personally have never been a fan if it.
Don’t really give it up
OK that might seem like a bit of a contradiction, but as soon as you say “I’m not having ANY coffee” you know its going to be the one thing that you want the most. So what I’m saying is if you have it once a week, don’t beat yourself up! Just try to give it up and see how it goes. If you make it through the first week you’ll be fine. Don’t reward yourself with a double espresso but when the mood takes you, why not indulge?
Comment below if you gave up coffee and feel great!Follow @fifi_reid