Healthista writer Chloe Nichols has survived two weeks of her caffeine-free challenge and guess what? She’s lost seven pounds, yes seven pounds
Well, I made it this far. I have completed two weeks of drinking nothing but water as part of my new caffeine-free lifestyle and for the H2Only challenge. What a fortnight it has been! Thanks to my birthday conveniently happening in week two, I have managed to have a few slips. But if you can’t treat yourself to a beer on your birthday, you’re just being too strict.
The thing is with cutting out caffeine is that when you do occasionally dabble in a cup of tea, it feels less like a necessity and more like a naughty square of chocolate at night while watching the soaps. This is the kind of attitude I want towards caffeine as the effects of consuming too much were evidently messing around with my body and I didn’t even realise until my body had time to stop
Health-wise, I feel great. That sluggish, withdrawn feeling I had when I started has gone and I’ve lost seven pounds! I’ve been eating better recently, and climbing the three flights of stairs to my office (dubbed ‘The stairs of death’) so that’s probably helped but usually I lose a pound or two when I have a cut down. Great news for me. I would advise anyone to take the stairs.
On a scale of one to ten, my alertness level was probably around six pre-caffeine cull. That was on a good day. Now I’m caffeine-free, I’d say it was a nine most of the time but perhaps slumping to an eight in the afternoon. How bizarre that cutting out something that gives you alertness can make you more alert?
My birthday was on the Wednesday and that was a true test of my will power. I had a Twinings Lemon Zest tea in the morning as a treat, which luckily is caffeine-free. Still, a bit naughty as I should be just drinking water. Never mind. Then came the birthday meal which was gorgeous but how can I avoid beer while eating pizza? And on my birthday? Scanning the menu, I saw a bottle of mineral water and hovered over that choice for a while, then I saw Peroni on the list and immediately my body screamed ALCOHOL. Cold beer. Refreshing cold beer. So obviously, I plumped for that.
My body is still used to the beer pong chugging days of university so I thought I’d be fine and I could drink it and forget it ever happened but wow, it’s amazing how different things taste when you’ve been drinking water for days. I enjoyed the one beer but I was quite happy to leave it at that if I’m honest. Shock horror. Maybe I should have done this before. The only caffeine I had that day was cake, so even then it was not a silly amount.
Except for my birthday blowout, the only caffeine I had for the rest of week was a rogue cup of tea at the weekend before I went on holiday. My hands were almost shaking at the thought of a decent builder’s cuppa and waiting to drink it was agony. I definitely think I had a caffeine addiction, if not a serious tea addiction. Even the smell of the tea was delightful. Perhaps one in a while isn’t so bad. I just don’t fancy feeling rubbish again and I certainly do not miss the extra seven pounds I was carrying.
The last day of my water challenge came as I started my holiday in Berlin, which was perhaps not great timing but it helped me start my holiday with a better body than I had before. I had an orange juice before the flight at about 5am which was a little helpful but I didn’t realise how sickly fruit juice was until now. No more of that please! But the whole day I knocked back water, until a rogue glass of Pinot in the night. Ah well. Cheers!
You would think after the water challenge I would be desperate for the worst kinds of drinks. Orange juice, squash, Diet Coke. Basically, rubbish pumped full of sweeteners/sugar. But it was so hot (It was 38 degrees at one point! Thank you Germany!) that I just stuck to the water until the evening. My head enjoyed the half a litre of wheat beer I had with my dinner but my belly did not. Ouch.
Overall, despite my birthday hiccup, I’m still managing to stay caffeine-free as much as I can. Next week, I’m allowed to drink what I want as long as it’s caffeine-free so it should be interesting to see how that goes. I’m now able to try lots of swish teas! Watch this space.
Follow Chloe on Twitter at @Chloe_MNichols
Read week one of her diary here