It started with a text to my wife, it was a picture of a cup of coffee, it read; “Here is my last coffee for the next 30 days”.
I meant it. This was a culmination of several weeks, who am I kidding, several months of feeling less than optimal each time I drank a Grande Americano. I have read about the positive effects of caffeine for training, racing, and body fat loss.
So why not consume it at will? But why did I feel worse after each cup?
So I had it and decided that for the next 30 days I would not consume a single coffee product. I haven’t drank dairy since January, so no latte, no problem. It was going to be that Grande Americano I grabbed on the way into the office each morning that was going to be the devil.
I was determined to give it a go, so here is what I found helpful for me to kick the addiction:
1 Find your trigger, replace the habit. There is something that triggers every addiction, starting the habit loop. Mine? The familiar coffee shop on my route to the office and the lull at the office at 1000. Solution? I changed my route to work and grabbed a tea or water at 1000.
2 Decline invitations for ‘coffee’. I have a couple of acquaintances who always want to meet over coffee, typically at a good coffee house. I haven’t seen these people for 30 days now. I know if I agree to meet, I will be restarting at day 1.
3 Remove any temptation. Will power is a tricky thing, sometimes you have it, and sometimes you don’t. Put a tray of muffins in my kitchen, and I can resist for about 2 days, then they will disappear in a glorious insulin induced coma. Get rid of the temptation and your will power can take a break.
4 Replace with a different beverage. I had to be careful with this one, replacing coffee with say, scotch, may not be the best idea. I researched the benefits of tea, and found Yerba Mate. The health benefits are too numerous to list on this blog.
5 Announce your challenge. It’s is no secret, if there is someone to hold you accountable, you will be less likely to give up. My wife is great at holding me to my words (and promises for that matter).
As of the date this blog post was published, I have gone 31 days without coffee and have never felt better. I didn’t celebrate the end of the challenge by brewing a 20oz cup of java, that wasn’t the goal of the challenge.
Question: Have you given up coffee? What strategies did you use?