7 ways to kick a caffeine habit

There’s no shame in saying it: you’re at least a little addicted to coffee, or at least caffeine. It’s no surprise either, considering you’re a typical college student with an overflowing pile of exams to study for, papers to write, books to read, and plain old homework to get done. And oh yeah, you have a social life, too. But instead of guzzling gallons of caffeine—which just can’t be good for you—here are some tips to get you away from the coffee grounds and closer to a healthy lifestyle:

1. Figure out if you have an addiction.

Do you get headaches when you haven’t had your morning dose of coffee? Is caffeine on your brain until you get the chance to throw it down the hatch? If so, you might be a caffeine addict. With that in mind, be honest with yourself. There’s no shame in admitting it.

2. Try a different approach.

If coffee is where you get your caffeine, then you just might be able to trick yourself. For instance, try decaf coffee. That way you’ll be getting the taste of coffee without the caffeine. It’s win-win.

3. Think gradual.

Just a note, here: if you do try the decaf thing, you won’t love it overnight. Instead, practice a little patience and get used to the idea that what you’re trying to do is kick a habit, and that you’ll like the whole thing better in the long run. For example, if you drink more than one cup of coffee a day, start by drinking some regular coffee and some decaf. Then slowly kick caffeine altogether.

4. Find a replacement.

You’ve already worked up the habit of downing a cup of Joe every morning, and if decaf doesn’t do it for you, then you need to find something that will. Try herbal tea, for example. It’s pretty delicious, good for you, and has much less caffeine, if any.

5. Exercise.

Go to the gym or just go for a run. I guarantee you’ll feel more energized than ever, and that should be all the energy-boost you need. Forget coffee when you get a good workout, right?

6. Eat right.

Think about it: you need caffeine because you can’t stop yourself from falling asleep on your desk. The weight that’s holding you down? The salty, sodium-heavy, caloric food in your belly. Try to eat a little healthier and you’ll feel yourself bursting to life.

7. Throw out your coffeemaker.

In other words, don’t even tempt yourself.

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