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How I Stop Drinking Coffee? 3 Things I Did To Stop The Habit.

January 3rd, 2011 · 11 Comments ·
 
 

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I grew up drinking soda during college days, then switched to tea when I studied in the UK. The English people somehow like drinking tea, be it in the morning or in the afternoon. Probably because of the cold weather there, I picked up the habit of holding a cup of hot tea too while I was reading. When I was back here to work, Starbucks arrived and suddenly became the de facto hang out place for yuppies. It was there I started sipping coffee. Lasted for two years before I decided to quit drinking coffee. If not in Starbucks, I would buy coffee from other places too, 7 days a week without fail.

People talk about how bad the caffeine in the coffee can affect our health. I myself have also written about the high calories of coffee drinks. But, those are not my reason of quitting. It is the addictive nature that got me sit down and seriously think about getting out from the habit. Today, I rarely drink coffee. Once in a blue moon, I would say.

Here are 3 things I have done in helping to stop drinking coffee:

1) Try Green Tea

Green tea still contains caffeine, but it is actually far less, in fact, only about 10 to 20 percent of caffeine in coffee. I drank green tea by chance, introduced by a friend who have just started trying green tea for weight loss purpose that time. She gave me few and I tried it immediately. Probably the feel of nostalgia for my uni campus day was so strong that I realized having a cup of hot tea actually distract my urge to drink coffee.

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No, I am not addicted to green tea or tea. It more like a transition stage for me that time before I become caffeine free. To cut off completely from coffee was almost impossible for me, but with green tea in between, the withdrawal feeling was less painful.

2) Slash My Budget

Starbucks doesn’t sell its coffee cheap. I call it as “designer coffee”. That’s why people saying it is selling lifestyle or experience like what its CEO, Howard Schultz said in his book, Pour Your Heart Into It. With comfortable sofa seats, nice music, friendly workers and free Wi-Fi access, it is not hard to understand why people flock there. So, while Starbucks sell experience, it sells addiction too so that it can get recurring sales from people like me.

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For me, I looked at my expenses and decided to cut my budget. I told myself, if I were to buy coffee, I must not buy something else. Buy coffee, then no movie, no books, no magazines. This experience was painful and in few occasions, I still went ahead and got my favorite Mocha. I felt guilty. I punished myself of foregoing movie or Kara OK session with friends. So, with this approach, slowly, I have made coffee as a nice-to-have drink and no longer a daily need.

3) Sleep Enough and Take Nap

“I am tired, I need coffee. I am stressful, I need coffee. I feel sleepy, I need coffee.” Those were my lame excuses to drink coffee. In office, many colleagues were relying the same reasons to do so. Later, I realized if I slept earlier the previous night, I would not be feeling so tired in the office. Even during weekends, whenever I felt like needing a boost, instead of relying the caffeine from the coffee, I took 20 minute-nap. So, after sleeping enough, I no longer need the daily coffee addiction. So, get enough rest.

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I managed to cut down 7 cups of coffee weekly to 5 cups, then eventually to a cup a week after 3 months. After that “trying period”, I am able to cut the habit easily. Of course, some people could do better than me, even without resorting to green tea like what I did. That’s my experience. If you don’t count my occasional “social coffee drink”, I am caffeine free nowadays. Getting rid of coffee from my daily life has been a positive experience for me. With better sleep at nights, my concentration has actually improved. I used to drink coffee immediately after lunch to boost the energy level, by saying no to coffee nowadays, I have a more even energy curve till evening.

Coffee is not like smoking. I will not ask you to quit drinking coffee completely, but at the same time, I don’t think you should get addicted to it, years after years, especially if you have experienced insomnia, loss of concentration, bad coffee breath, headaches or some other health issues. Every now and then, you see controversial study saying the health benefits of coffee. It seems like study contradicts each other. What many don’t realize is that those so called scientific studies are sponsored by coffee companies. The same thing happened for soda industry or even chewing gum business too.

If you ready to make a change, I hope my above experience will give you an idea what to do and expect. Good luck!

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11 responses so far ↓
  • Angie Tan // Jan 3, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    A good reason to take green tea – cancer-fighting properties. Also good for diabetics as it helps control their blood sugar.

    Some folks also take a lot of sugar and full-fat milk with their coffee, which isn’t good too…

    I’ve to stop drinking coffee due to heartburn. Anyway, once in a while when I miss the coffee aroma, I will take decaf. Decaf isn’t good too… I heard.

  • keith // Jan 3, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    Coffee can be really bad for you in the long-run. I’m glad that you stopped that habit!

    Oh, and happy New Year.

  • Jonz // Jan 4, 2011 at 9:20 AM

    It’ll b fine if we take it in moderation.

    I’m personally a tea drinker but I do look for those with caffeine in it, this aids fat loss goals in somewhat ways.

  • Zul // Jan 4, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    It’s encouraging to see your determination to change a habit.

    Btw, I’m in the opinion (also, after my own reading and little research) that coffee is not a totally bad thing. It’s the addiction, over-indulgence and the way we consume it (think of nescafe tarik, cappucinos etc). I have a friend who drinks too much coffee per day that he even needs coffee before going to bed!

    I make a habit of having low-sugar (or sugarless) black coffee to start the morning. Like what Jonz said, moderation is key.

  • michael // Jan 5, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    Coffee is fine in moderation. As a matter of fact, it actually has some healthy properties. I drink mine black, and usually never more than two small cups. When you start adding all the sugar or super-Starbucks-caffeine to it, it gets bad for you.

  • Trevor // Jan 6, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    Green tea is awesome for you even if your not in love with the taste. I think coffee is fine in moderation, but it seems like people get addicted to it.

    You are spot on about Starbucks and there prices being outrageous. Nothing like spending $7 dollars on a coffee!.

    - Trevor S

  • lala // Jan 8, 2011 at 5:30 AM

    Coffee is actually quite healthy, most recent research has found that it decreases the chance on some sort of cancer and various other effects, like being a DHT blocker etc.

    There are actually probably only two bad things about coffee, one being the ”crash”, after the increased activity and that it darkens one’s teeth.

  • Jesse // Jan 12, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    A lot of the trouble with coffee as well is people adding high-fat cream and whipped cream and sugary flavour syrups to it. Definitely not healthy and does not promote fat loss!

  • Sling // Jan 12, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    You are totally right with your last point, that coffee is like smoking. The mechanisms are very similar to each other because after a while your consumption based more on a habit as on a flavor wish.

    I quit it both smoking and coffee for over 8 years now and I am missing nothing. Thanks for the post.

  • blackhuff // Jan 12, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    I’m not a big coffee drinker but I do like my perculated cup at noon every day. Before that I only drink water and after that Rooibos tea and water. I don’t buy coffee either on a daily basis, so that won’t help me in quitting my coffee and I do get enough sleep, so neither that. I think it is just the fact that I LIKE the one cup a day at noon. That’s all.

  • Albert // Mar 7, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    Hi, there. Thanks for the nice article. I think that coffee in moderation is fine and can actually contribute in good living. Coffee is rich in anti-oxidants, enhances your metabolic rate and prevents against short-term memory loss.

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