Posted on December 16 2019
Time to Read: 5 Minutes
Whether your reason is because you want to go vegan and give up dairy milk or it is caffeine causing side effects, overcoming tea/ coffee addiction can be hard. Caffeine is addictive and if you have been having it for years, it is not easy to give it up overnight.
Understanding how it can be harmful might help you get started, but you soon lose the motivation. So here are some tips to help you give it up for good.
Firstly lets just discuss some of the side- effects of caffeine.
It interferes with digestion, causes bloating, linked to causing acne, linked to insomnia, increases the hormone cortisol (linked with belly fat), suppresses hunger (thus you tend to binge eat when you eat) and so much more. Lets now just jump into how we can fix this issue:
- 'Go up instead of giving up':You will only give us coffee/ tea when you have a better option instead of that. So don’t look at this as ‘giving up’ but instead think of this as replacing it with a better option. A banana- date smoothie (2 medium banana’s+ 2-3 pitted dates+ almond mylk) instead of coffee is a great option and tastes even better. Though, this only works if you are home and have access to a kitchen. But have you tried my energy bars (click here for recipe) . Make these once a week and keep them at your office desk for easy access. They are yumm and a much healthier option to tea/ coffee. Basically eat instead of drink. A fruit like banana is also a good option.
- Wean of slowly: Do not try to give it all up overnight. Trust me it is hard. Play mind games with yourself. Like you will not have tea/ coffee on days that start with a T! Or you will only have it if you make it for yourself instead of having someone make it for you. You get the point. This way you are testing your will power while also giving up a habit you should get rid of. Of course there will be rainy days with pakodas and soy chai or like Starbucks and long drives and is ok. The idea is to get rid of the addiction and feel free to have it when YOU decide not your body demands.
- Prepare for detox symptoms. If you have been having caffeine for a long time and your body is depended on it, you will have initial detox symptoms like headaches, nausea, laziness, frustration etc. Mentally be ready for these so you do not crave in. Maybe start with giving it up only on the weekends when you are home and can divert your mind with family time or go in for a head massage. Try it on days at the office when the work load is the least and build up from there. Trust me, after a few weeks, you will not crave or miss it anymore. Just don’t make too many changes at once. Go slow and steady.
- Try detox tea’s- Note: No tea leaves are used in making these. Herbal infusions like cinnamon sticks in hot water, clove and jagery mixed in hot water is a great option for two reasons. Firstly, it is hot so feels like you are having tea/ coffee, and it will help you with detox symptoms such as headache’s. There are hundred’s of herbal tea combinations on the world wide web. Look up and try a few or get creative and make your own. At office, ask for hot water and keep a box of herbal tea's at your desk.
- Make a permanent lifestyle change: Don’t go on week long caffeine detox breaks only to get back on it. This does no good to the body and will only leave your cravings more knowing you have to give it up only temporarily. You want to make a lifestyle change and not go on another ‘diet’. Think of giving up coffee/ tea as a positive lifestyle change. Most of us drink endless cups without even thinking the amount of saturated fat (from milk) and sugar we are consuming because we are so used to it. Let your progress be slow but permanent. Never go on temporary ‘diet’ changes to achieve the permanent results you want with your body.
- Be aware of the food you are eating: A lot of soda's and drinks we consume contain caffeine. You might be falling into an addiction even without knowing about it. In fact, many off the counter pain killers and medicines also contain caffeine. You might want to check with your pharmacist regarding the medicines you take regularly and swap for a caffeine free version if required. If you take supplements, caffeine often can be a common ingredient used in making the same. In short, read the label and be aware of what you are consuming.
- Try and fade it out: Ask for a small coffee instead of a large at your regular cafe. Brew tea for less time than you are used to. Try decaf whenever you do not feel the urge to go for a cup but instead want something out of habit or simple reduce the number of servings you have per day. This is they best way to help you drop the addiction since you will not have a lot of detox symptoms. Maintaining a food journal or using one of the habit tracker app's such as Quit That is extremely helpful. This app will not only monitor your caffeine intake but give you motivating updates such as how much money you are saving by not drinking etc.
Giving up anything can be hard since it requires you to modify your entire lifestyle. You might even have to explain your colleagues and family members about your new transformation, which might or might not be taken positively always. However, if you are reading this blog, there must be a reason you want to drop this habit. Every time you feel like quitting, think of this reason and try for one more day.
Should you give up caffeine entierly or does it have any benefits at all is a topic for another blog post. For now, share your experience with the above points below or let me know what you think.
Do visit my customised meal and fitness plans by clicking here.