Changes for Better Health

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Laurel and Hardy
Creative Commons License photo credit: Or Hiltch

Recently, I decided to give up certain habits in my life to help improve my health. Now that I've formed the exercise habit, I wanted to improve other areas of my life as well. Two of the things I've given up altogether are coffee and alcohol.

Giving Up Coffee and Why I Won't Drink Decaf

I gave up coffee because of the caffeine. Switching to decaf was not an option because even decaf brands still contain some caffeine. Here is an old article which states how much caffeine is present in decaf coffee:

Decaffeinated Coffee Is Not Caffeine-free, Experts Say

I used to drink coffee every day, however, it wasn't difficult to give up. Now I drink caffeine-free tea (herbal.) There are coffee substitutes available such as Teeccino Herbal Coffee. I haven't tried it yet but it sounds like a good alternative.

Giving Up Alcohol

I used to drink some type of alcohol about once or twice a week. I decided to quit because it was just another one of those things that my body didn't need. The very last time I drank was at a party about 2 months ago. I drank enough to feel lousy the next day and I decided that day to quit for good.

One thing I'm glad about is that I never picked up the smoking habit. I have heard how difficult it is to quit. I am also glad that caffeine and alcohol were not difficult for me to give up.

Have you given up anything in the pursuit of better health? Was it difficult to do?

Author: Eartha Haines

My name is Eartha and I created this blog as a motivational resource for myself to keep up with exercise and eating right. I enjoy reading, learning, and writing about all things fitness related. I hope that as well as motivating myself, others may find motivation to try fitness as well. Learn more.

20 thoughts on “Changes for Better Health”

  1. I left eating all kinds junk food like burger, patties, pizzas, samosas, etc for about 2 years. Then one day I ate one burger and then 1 turned into 2 and 3 and so one. Now I am back to junk food. Though I dont have it much but still it is better not to have it.

    but I feel that sometimes there is no harm in indulging these pleasures. You said you drank 2 months back at a party. Thats good but have you quit it completely?

  2. My journey is quite similar to yours. I have actually given up coffee, soda, and alcohol in the last few months. Now there are some exceptions. I still drink tea in moderation and I will still drink wine but soda is out.

  3. Soda is out from my diet also. Here in India it is tough to get rid of Aerated drinks. Coke/Pepsi gives instant relief from heat. Now instead of soda I take lemonade or lassi (Indian drink made from curd mixed with little water).

    I am now trying to reduce the junk food intake from my diet. BTW tea is considered healthy here in India. People here say it is good for digestive system.

  4. While I have not given up coffee or alcohol, I try to give up cow’s milk and gluten. They just do not agree with me.

    This is very hard. Friends choose to ignore my dietary requirements and eating in social situations is often too much of a challenge.

  5. Hey Eartha – Congratulations on giving up the coffee and alcohol. I’ve not given up anything completely since I started working out. However, I’ve cut down on quite a few things and do eat a lot healthier than I used to. My coffee intake is down to one or two cups a day (I know it’s not great but I am limiting myself). I’ve also cut right down on my soda intake – probably have one can every week or two. Plus, I rarely eat junk food now.

  6. @Ravi – I have heard the same thing about tea and digestion. I love tea and will continue to drink herbal.

    @deb – Milk disagrees with me from time to time. I do drink skim milk with my shakes but I probably should look into switching over to almond or rice milk.

    @Tom – Thanks 🙂 Giving up things like coffee, alcohol, soda doesn’t work for everyone but you are doing a good job with moderation. I think just cutting back does a lot in terms of health.

  7. For the past two years, I’ve been trying to eliminate drinking soda and alcohol but I always end up breaking this habit during the summer months. I’m constantly being invited to so many cookouts and the smell of beer can, at times, be so irresistible. I agree with Deb, that eating in social situations can be a huge challenge if you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet.

  8. Congrats on giving up the alcohol. More people in my family have been destroyed by that 1 thing than anything else. I’ve decided to give up making excuses. It’s a struggle sometimes because there’s a thin line between an excuse and an explanation, but nevertheless I’m taking more responsibility than I ever did before in my life. A little progress is made each day from doing this.

  9. I don’t think it is totally necessary to give up regular coffee and alcohol. Coffee and caffeine do have their benefits, but can definitely be overdone. There are better choices to be made when drinking alcohol. Eat this, Not That is a great source for this. I am very realistic with my personal training clients in St. Louis and do not ever tell them to stop drinking coffee or alcohol- just to limit both and make better choices.

  10. I agree with the previous comment that it is not necessary to give up coffee and alcohol. Alcohol is not as bad as you think as long as you take them moderately.

  11. I think the UK would be a far better place without alcohol. Drinking in moderation is something we’re just not very good at. The problem is that drinking… and drinking a large amount… is such an integral part of our culture and social lives. Personally if I gave up alcohol I know my fitness would reach all new levels but my social life would take a hit.

    You’ve done very well to give up alcohol and I’m sure your body feels great for it.

  12. I did something similar to this about five years ago now, became completely addicted to working out and exercise, but also realized i needed to make changes to benefit from the hard work and long hours i was putting in. Back then i gave up ALLLL fast food pizzas, chinese foods, fast digestion carbs (except post workout, I.E potato) ice cream and pretty much anything that could add fat to my stomach.. I still to this very day have not eaten any of them, not even on a cheat day. It feels great not waking up to go to the toilet every few hours after a friday night of pizza and beer. Alcohol on the other hand, if you like the right ones than it really is not that bad for you. I drink tanquery mostly, usually i will have it straight with a lemon.. on occasion i will have it with sprite zero( yeah i know its weird, but tonic is nasty to me) Most of the time its not the alcohol being consumed, but the foods that are following close behind. Beer is usually paired up with fast foods, or pizza shops, but besides the alcohol its the sugars and refined ingredients that are entering the body and mixing with the beers. Gin has no sugar and no carbs so straight up it has no effect. The cleaner your overall diet, you can get away with your drinks a little easier. just dont be washing down a pizza slice at 230am with budweiser and wonder why beer makes you gain weight. Mind over matter, its easy if you put your mind to it….

  13. Oops, didn’t finish my sentence! *It was hard at first, but after learning about all the health benefits from green tea such as potential to fight heart disease and cancer I realized I made the right switch.

  14. I will be the first to admit coffee is a weakness for me, I think that we spend so much time looking for the right things to eat and drink we have to at times treat ourselves. I am a firm believer that in moderation is ok, when you spend a morning drinking a pot of coffee or eating a bag of candy whatever your weakness, it is all down to habit. Habits can be broken but over indulging is where I believe the true issue lies, one maybe two coffee’s a day are all we really need, but in actual fact do we need it all. I enjoy my morning coffee, but just one and my body is satisfied. Remember don’t eliminate your pleasures in life, just stay focused on the task of not over doing it. In time 1 coffee a day will become your habit.

  15. I gave up black tea with milk and flour products.
    the black tea was the hardest thing to give up – I was told by a doctor that my iron levels were low – asked me how much black tea I drank and when I said about 10 cups per day he told he I had to stop.

    Also the milk I was having in it was also causing me lots of gas so I stopped that too…

    I gave up white flour products (bread cakes pasta etc) for weight loss and now I can’t imagine eating them… it has changed my life… I now love experimenting with green teas – my current favourite is Japanese green tea and I probably drink around 10 cups a day so I now have a good habit instead of a bad one…

    I have lost weight and feel fantastic…

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