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  #1   ^
Old Tue, Mar-10-09, 22:08
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
Experimenter
Posts: 25,457
 
Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
BF:
Progress: 80%
Location: San Diego, CA
Default Giving up coffee: A Tale of Breaking a Strong Habit

Ok, so I'd been working up to this moment for weeks. Gradually decreasing my caffeine intake so I wouldn't have horrible withdrawal symptoms. But mentally I was really, really dreading this. I just couldn't visualize my day without a cup of coffee glued to my hand.

This is how it always goes. The anticipation of giving up a food or crutch is always VASTLY WORSE than what it is like in reality. I had the same dread when I was giving up dairy and gluten.

When the day finally came, because I had run out of coffee, I woke up bleary-eyed and made myself some tea. The tea isn't the same. I miss that strong pungent taste of coffee and tea always tastes kind of like weak and wimpy. But really, I spent maybe a total of 30 seconds that first day thinking about coffee.

So don't let your brain, the little lizard-y addiction center, tell you things that aren't true about giving up foods and stuff. Your brain will lie to you and make you fearful about all kinds of things that simply aren't true. Use your reason and just do it!

So my challenge to those of you quaking in your boots about not having cream in your coffee... lets see you tackle the lizard of addiction in your brain and see if strong, reasoning human being-brain can beat a wimpy little scaredy cat lizard-brain. Eh?
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  #2   ^
Old Wed, Mar-11-09, 05:41
PilotGal PilotGal is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 36,355
 
Plan: KetoCarnivore
Stats: 206.6/178/160 Female 5'7
BF:awesome
Progress: 61%
Location: USA
Default

when i gave up coffee, i switched over to tea for 2 months..
1 month was black tea, no cream..
when i finally dumped the tea, it was exciting to know that i killed off a 37 yr addiction to caffeine. it was empowering..
and when the tea went, so did the dairy addiction.

good thread, nancy.
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  #3   ^
Old Wed, Mar-11-09, 07:15
Hairballz's Avatar
Hairballz Hairballz is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 601
 
Plan: Atkins / M&E
Stats: 000/000/000 Female 5'6"
BF:
Progress:
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Hey Nancy, I'm curious about something - what was your normal level of caffeine intake each day? I'm wondering because I'm curious if there's a break-point when someone is taking in so much that it becomes an addiction versus more casual use? I'm certain, like anything else, it varies widely. I drink two LARGE mugs of coffee in the mornings, Monday-Friday, but it's typical for me on a weekend to either skip the coffee entirely or only have a small cup one of the days, and going without doesn't ever seem to bother me.... which I would think it WOULD given the larger intake during the week.

Anyway, I'm just curious how much was your norm?
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  #4   ^
Old Wed, Mar-11-09, 09:08
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
Experimenter
Posts: 25,457
 
Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
BF:
Progress: 80%
Location: San Diego, CA
Default

Well, IMHO it's an addiction when you start saying "I can't" or "I don't want to" when you know you should. It's like the people who say, "But I could never give up my bread/pasta/whatever".

For me giving up coffee is a test to see if it was having an effect on my bowels and blood sugar. A few days into this and it seems that it had a strong effect on the bowels. I wouldn't have given it up but I wanted to check it out. I'm not pushing others to quit coffee but I'd know there's a lot of people having trouble stopping the cream in their coffee or some other vice and I felt it was worthwhile to share my experience kicking food addictions. The overall message is, its far, far easier than you think it is.

Anyway, I had weaned myself down to 1 pot a day but at my hey day it was 2 pots. I had been drinking 50/50 decaf for a loong time but I think even decaf affects my intestines.

Congrats Lynne on kicking the caffeine! I suppose I should try for that next. I'm drinking about a pot of tea a day but it's about 50% decaf. And I have a glass of diet coke when I feel like I really need caffeine (tea just doesn't do it for me). But that'll go too.
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  #5   ^
Old Wed, Mar-11-09, 10:13
lisa53098's Avatar
lisa53098 lisa53098 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 525
 
Plan: Mayo Clinic Diet
Stats: 188/169/158 Female 65"
BF:
Progress: 63%
Location: Watertown, WI
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I started the Mayo Clinic Diet on Feb 15. The diet allows for a cup of coffee, black, with each meal. It says not to exceed 3 cups a day, or weight loss will stall. It also says that caffeinated soft drinks are off the list.

I wanted to give the diet an honest attempt so I followed it to the letter. I don't usually drink coffee past the morning the morning though, so it wasn't that big of an issue with me. I have drank coffee every morning with cream for 30 years! I use half & half in my coffee. I usually drink about 2 mugs with breakfast, or 18-20 ounces.

The first week of the diet, I drank one cup of black coffee with breakfast. I did not drink any other caffeinated beverage during the day. I noticed that I craved the cream in the coffee. It just didn't taste the same. I didn't give in though.

My diet allows for 2 days every 2 weeks that you eat as you please, then get back on the diet for the other 12 days. On day 13 and 14 I of course had my coffee with cream (since it was allowed). I found that it did not taste that good to me! I was really surprised. My husband suggested that we cut the coffee altogether. Reluctant to do this, I switched to 1/2 the caffeine coffee for our 1 cup with breakfast.

I ran out of the 1/2 caffeine stuff last week, and have been just making decaf coffee. We're drinking it black. No caffeine soda either. We never had any withdrawl symptoms. Not really missing the caffeine either.

So, the switch was gradual. We are drinking decaf, black every morning. After 30 years, not missing it. I really don't notice alot of difference in how I feel, except I don't feel jittery (that I used to feel sometimes). I'm wondering why I waited so long to stop the caffeine.

I've dropped 6 pounds since Feb 15, and my husband has dropped 14.
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  #6   ^
Old Wed, Mar-11-09, 10:26
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
Experimenter
Posts: 25,457
 
Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
BF:
Progress: 80%
Location: San Diego, CA
Default

Would you agree that it is easier than you thought it would be? I'm always astounded by how balky my brain is when it comes to "thinking" about change, versus actually doing it.
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  #7   ^
Old Wed, Mar-11-09, 10:30
lisa53098's Avatar
lisa53098 lisa53098 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 525
 
Plan: Mayo Clinic Diet
Stats: 188/169/158 Female 65"
BF:
Progress: 63%
Location: Watertown, WI
Default

Yes, it definately was easier that I thought it would be. Mark drank alot more coffee than I did. He drank it at home, then kept filling a mug at work all day. At home he drank Diet Coke in the evenings. He stopped all of that since Feb 15. He drinks Diet Rite Cola now, and decaf coffee.
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  #8   ^
Old Wed, Mar-11-09, 11:27
Hairballz's Avatar
Hairballz Hairballz is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 601
 
Plan: Atkins / M&E
Stats: 000/000/000 Female 5'6"
BF:
Progress:
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Nancy, actually I agree with you that such a thing is inevitably easier than we think it's going to be. Our heads defeat us way before reality ever does.
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  #9   ^
Old Wed, Mar-11-09, 12:43
gadge's Avatar
gadge gadge is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 504
 
Plan: HCG
Stats: 28/22/16 Female 72 inches
BF:yes
Progress: 50%
Location: LA Metro
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I agree. A couple of months ago, if you told me I had to cut out my daily cocktail entirely, I would have told you it couldn't be done. I could not imagine coming home and not grabbing a wine glass or the shaker and sitting down to unwind in the evening.
I was--scared I guess.
Scared of what, I don't know. A week or so and the habit was broken. It doesn't even occur to me that I am missing anything anymore. I gave up alcohol for Lent, but by then I knew it would be really easy.
So I gave up whining, too. Now that's been a challenge.
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  #10   ^
Old Wed, Mar-11-09, 13:20
capmikee's Avatar
capmikee capmikee is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 5,160
 
Plan: Weston A. Price, GFCF
Stats: 165/133/132 Male 5' 5"
BF:?/12.7%/?
Progress: 97%
Location: Philadelphia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gadge
So I gave up whining, too. Now that's been a challenge.

That IS a challenge! Every year I try to give up ranting, and in the back of my mind whining and complaining go along with that. But I've never been terribly successful.

Going without food is so much easier.

Keep us updated, Nancy! I never had much of a coffee habit, so sometimes I think I'm a little hard on coffee drinkers. I'm curious if giving it up has any benefit for normal people (it used to give me instant headaches and diarrhea).
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  #11   ^
Old Wed, Mar-11-09, 13:35
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
Experimenter
Posts: 25,457
 
Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
BF:
Progress: 80%
Location: San Diego, CA
Default

Well, so far I'm constipated. But when I was drinking coffee I tended to the opposite direction. I never knew coffee was a problem for me in that area but I thought... hmmm... I should try to quit and see what happens. It isn't caffeine either, it's coffee. I had quit caffeine once for 1-2 months but kept drinking decaf and I don't think it changed anything intestinally for me.

Nothing remarkable yet with the blood sugar. I had decided I would try this for 2 months but I'm liking having the extra counterspace without the coffee maker.
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  #12   ^
Old Wed, Mar-11-09, 14:01
capmikee's Avatar
capmikee capmikee is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 5,160
 
Plan: Weston A. Price, GFCF
Stats: 165/133/132 Male 5' 5"
BF:?/12.7%/?
Progress: 97%
Location: Philadelphia
Default

Decaf actually made me feel worse than regular coffee!
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  #13   ^
Old Wed, Mar-11-09, 21:42
mikesg's Avatar
mikesg mikesg is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 218
 
Plan: ZC
Stats: 140/155/155 Male 5'9"
BF:
Progress: 100%
Default

Get some good loose leaf black tea and brew it very strong, like a tablespoon per cup. That's what I do and I'll tell ya, not wimpy at all! It's delicious! Adagio's yunnan jig and darjeeling 22 are awesome.
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  #14   ^
Old Wed, Mar-11-09, 22:40
gadge's Avatar
gadge gadge is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 504
 
Plan: HCG
Stats: 28/22/16 Female 72 inches
BF:yes
Progress: 50%
Location: LA Metro
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by capmikee
That IS a challenge! Every year I try to give up ranting, and in the back of my mind whining and complaining go along with that. But I've never been terribly successful.


I think one of your posts was what inspired me, Capmikee, so thank you. And you're right, it is totally harder than giving up a food (er, not that I'm whining mind you--just stating a fact). The whole stiff upper lip thing is quite a revelation though. I think its making me happier in general.

Anyway, I've been thinking about this thread today, and when I think of giving up coffee I feel a little panicky. Oh, dear. Now I have to try to give it up, just to see if I can. Sigh.
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  #15   ^
Old Wed, Mar-11-09, 22:45
capmikee's Avatar
capmikee capmikee is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 5,160
 
Plan: Weston A. Price, GFCF
Stats: 165/133/132 Male 5' 5"
BF:?/12.7%/?
Progress: 97%
Location: Philadelphia
Default

Why not just be grateful that you can enjoy it? Give it up next year.
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