Stop the Chemical Dependency
In order to stop being dependent on caffeine, it's important to detox in stages. Follow these guidelines below:
- Week 1: Reduce caffeine intake by 25%.
- Week 2: Reduce caffeine intake by 50%.
- Week 3: Reduce caffeine intake by 75%.
- Week 4: No more caffeine.
If you stop caffeine cold turkey, you will go through withdrawal and may experience headaches and fatigue. This gradual decrease while also adding foods and activities that will become your source of "feel-good" chemicals will lessen the blow of coming off caffeine.
Replace the "Feel-Good" Chemicals
Addictive substances create an influx of chemicals, including dopamine in the pleasure and reward centers of the brain, which is why it's hard to come off of them. Combining certain foods together can help release the same chemicals in the brain that make you feel good after getting your dose of caffeine. A perfect meal for this is an egg omelet with spinach, asparagus and mushrooms. When you combine an egg with the iron from spinach, the folate from asparagus and some copper from the mushrooms, they all work together to trigger a release of those "feel-good" chemicals. You can also get this release through rewarding activities you enjoy, whether it's through exercising or socializing with friends and family.
Replace the Ritual
When it comes to addiction, there is a bit of ritual involved, such as a coffee drinker putting their hands around a warm mug first thing in the morning. It's mindful and soothing, and it doesn't always have to be taken away. Instead of caffeine, sip on hot tea, water with lemon or an herbal coffee that's caffeine-free.
Use this caffeine journal below to document your 28-day caffeine detox and hold yourself accountable. Print a copy for every day of the plan and see your progress. Plus, try these dopamine-boosting recipes to increase your "feel-good" chemicals all week long.
This plan was originally created for Dr. Oz's Truth Tube. See how Tracey did with her caffeine addiction when she followed these steps.