Oh, coffee. The sweet nectar of life. The java that fuels our souls. The best part of waking up.
I mean, have you seen more memes or funny t-shirts dedicated to any other beverage? (Other than beer — maybe.)
And while coffee does have its benefits, it also has its downsides. In an attempt to have a better chance at making this a reality (which, ahem, worked extra well for me), I gave up my beloved cup of Joe a few months ago. And, even though it was a little challenging at first, I found that when I had the right mindset and the right plan, it was actually … fun.
Yeah, I said fun.
And I am not someone who thought that giving up coffee could be even close to that. But it was! In case you’re looking to give up coffee for fertility, health, or any reason at all, read on for how I did it – and how you can, too.
How to Give Up Coffee Without Going Bonkers
1. Figure out your why. All great goals have a strong why behind them (more on that here) — whether it’s getting fit, eating healthier, or, yep, giving up coffee. This may seem like a silly step you can skip, but really, without a connection to why giving up coffee is so important to you, there’s little chance you’ll actually see it through. Without a why, it’s much easier to give up when things get tough. So, take a few moments and ask yourself why making this change is important. Then, write down or tell someone what you’re going to do and why you’re going to do it. With a reason and an intention, you’ll instantly be closer to hitting your goals (java-related or not!).
2. Create a plan and ease in. Caffeine withdrawal is a real thing. And you might find yourself feeling cranky, lethargic, or with a headache if you go totally cold turkey. To avoid this and to ease into giving up coffee, I started drinking a little less coffee each day for a week and really, really savoring it. (Two cups to one-and-half cups, to one cup, to three-quarters cup…)
Then I transitioned from my usual black coffee to a single cup of Four Sigmatic Coffee With Lion’s Mane (they sent me a few products to try during my coffee break-up, which was amazingly helpful). It has 50 mg of caffeine per cup (the average full cup of black coffee has 95 mg). If I wanted something else to drink after my single cup, I’d switch to green or herbal tea.
After a few weeks of that, I transitioned fully to green tea in the morning — again, savoring it, and allowing myself to have a couple of cups a day. (A cup of green tea has about 35 mg of caffeine, for those who are tracking that.)
3. Get really good substitutes. Restriction is a beast; it literally makes you want exactly what you’re resisting all the time (see more on why that is right here). So instead of focusing on what you can’t have (read: coffee), get awesome substitutes that you do want to have, and focus on that. For me, that meant getting really good tea, drinking it out of a cup I loved sipping from, and enjoying it at a temperature that was hot but not too hot. I liked my tea so much that I didn’t feel like I missing out on anything at all — which is the positive mindset you need in order to make the change stick. When you like the substitution you’ve made, change is way easier.
4. Have fun with it. Who says that morning has to be tea or coffee though? Really get into an open and curious mindset and play around with your morning drink. Maybe it’s warm like this turmeric latte (or this one if you’re time-crunched — I liked it, too). Maybe it’s fruit-infused tea or water. Maybe it’s a superfood drink like Athletic Greens (a super fan and affiliate of that!). There are tons of fun things to try so mix it up!
5. Reflect on the benefits — and celebrate making a change. Each week, check back and connect with your why, and then take a second to objectively see what benefits you feel inside and out from giving up coffee. Are you sleeping better? Do you have more energy in the afternoon (that was a BIG one for me)? Do you feel calmer? Less anxious (also something I noticed). Take notice of these perks, and then give yourself a big ol’ pat on the back (or bottom) for making that change. So often we don’t celebrate our success, but it’s important. Allow yourself to be proud of you!
Okay, who’s pumped and ready to make a plan to give up coffee? Tell me about it! And leave any questions or other tips below! –Jenn