I don't disagree with her. In fact, I've thought many times over the past few months that it would be a good idea for me to drink far less coffee than I do on a daily basis. Then I go to bed late, wake up tired, make a big pot of coffee, get hyped up enough to start by day, and hop right back on the killer caffeination train.
Now, though, I really don't have a choice. While some doctors recommend cutting out caffeine completely, including the trace amounts found in decaffeinated beverages, my doctor told me reducing my intake would be just fine for me. My aim is not to cut out caffeine completely (people, I'm a single mom, so the chances of that happening or happening for more than a few days are just very, very slim). Instead, I am just ease up, putting the breaks on some sources of caffeine and maintaining a steady but slower pace with others.
Whether you have a health issue to address, are having trouble sleeping, or just need to tame the jitters, chances are good that cutting back on caffeine will help you, too. How do I know? Because 80% of the world's population consumes caffeine, much of that nestled in the 400 billion cups of coffee people on this planet drink each year. In North America, 80% to 90% of adults report that they have caffeine regularly. Most Americans drink one to two mugs of coffee per day or three to five caffeinated sodas per day. Some European countries have higher caffeine intake rates, but in the U.S., we are getting ours from multiple sources each day. One to two mugs of coffee a day doesn't sound excessive, but it might feel that way if you aren't eating enough, if you add a lot of calories to each cup, or if caffeine is (as it is in my case) somehow impacting your well-being. (This site has more fascinating stats on caffeine and a great survey to see if you could be addicted.)
As I make my way out of the coffee pot (rather than through it), I know I need to be armed with lots of information and tips (rather than a bottomless cup of joe) to ease the withdrawal symptoms and help me live a less caffeinated life. After doing a lot of research, I found some fabulous advice on shaking my caffeine dependence.
Here are the six ways I am going to help myself cut back on caffeine.
When the jitters stop, click on these:
[photos credit: Getty Images]