You Can Get Fit!

Drinking Your Calories

Posted on: May 4, 2011

I’m not talking about the alcoholic sort… (though those certainly add up, too!) I’m talking about the luscious, creamy, yummy…… “coffees” that we’ve grown to love.

Come on… we know they’re “coffee drinks” and not coffee… even I, a true-blue black coffee drinker, occasionally get a hankerin’ for something made with caramel, hazelnut, and white chocolate. (Yummmm. That sounds so… dessert-like!)

Are you drinking your calories?

Consider this

According to a Starbucks website, a 16 oz caramel frappuccino contains 440 calories and 18 grams of fat. Wow! How many of us have this as just part of our midday snack?

If you had one of these every workday, that’s almost 2500 extra calories per WEEK!

You don’t have to be spartan

I remember back in my early weight loss days, all the books that said how easy it was… just trade your usual (ooey, gooey, buttery, cheesy) dinner for a poached chicken breast and steamed broccoli. Oh–and you even get to season it with lemon juice! Seriously, did these writers not know their audience? How did we get so overweight in the first place? You can’t make that sharp a transition!

What I’m trying to say is that if you’re downgrading the coffee drink calories, don’t go cold-turkey. Maybe try getting a smaller one for a few weeks, or try getting half the number of syrup pumps, or one without whipped cream… you have many calorie-reducing possibilities! Then once that feels like second-nature, take another reduction step. After a while, you might find you’re quite pleased with a black coffee with a splash of nonfat milk, and maybe a pump of sugar-free syrup–easier on the budget, as well! (But once again, don’t force yourself there immediately if you’re getting triple-whip chocolate bliss.)

But, don’t take forever to downgrade.

So, you’re slowly making progress toward leaner, healthier coffee drinks (or… substitute anything for coffee drinks: appetizers or cocktails with your friends, dessert choices…) by making one change at a time as outlined above. Just don’t take too long at each plateau, or you’ll never see progress. Make goals for yourself: maybe you’ll be drinking only 3 fancy coffees per week, and those being nonfat lattes, in four months. (Not that you can’t drink coffee, but maybe the rest is just plain ol’ coffee!) Be proud of your accomplishments when you reach your goal… just don’t reward yourself with a trenta caramel brulee frappuccino. 😉

Do you guys like fancy coffee drinks? Do you try to make them healthier, or do you just go for it when you get them? Me, I’ve become so budget-conscious that I only drink fancy coffee drinks less than once a month, so I just get whatever I want as a treat!

5 Responses to "Drinking Your Calories"

This is good advice. It’s easy to end up willpower fatigued. Making small incremental changes and sticking with them is much more effective. With each change you need to be able to say “this is my new lifestyle and I like it”. Once you get comfortable with a change, it’s time to move on to the next one.

Hey, Gary!
Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the comment! (Especially since you agree with my advice, ha ha!)

My only caveat being… don’t stick with the change if it’s something really uncomfortable to you. “Unnnngggghhh.. I hear that lifting my car every day is really good exercise… hopefully, if I stick with it long enough, it’ll be a habit…!!!” Uh… notsomuch. 😉

I agree but I think it depends on your definition of uncomfortable. Giving up on some refined sugar is going to be a bit uncomfortable. The body is used to that insulin spike and it’s not going to be happy about giving it up.

It shouldn’t be miserable though. Lifting a car is a good example. For any reasonable human that task is impossible, so don’t bother trying. But maybe instead of picking up a car, you can pick up a few extra grocery bags on the way into the house. That might be uncomfortable, but the extra weight might also help you build some muscle, which will make the next physical task you have to perform less difficult.

That’s one of the reasons I like your advice. Taking those uncomfortable changes in little pieces allows your body to get used to them and builds confidence for bigger changes in the future.

Great advice. I’m sure it will help a lot of latte-aholics. I don’t buy one but a few times a year, and it sounds like you don’t buy them often either–yet you’re still giving good advice to others on the topic. I’ve given similar advice to people who drink 2% milk and want to make the change to skim milk. They can mix 2% with 1%, then go to 1% only; then mix 1% with skim; and finally drink only skim milk. Or, they could go cold turkey and go straight to skim milk, of course, if that works for them! I enjoy your blog, and will continue to follow it. Good job motivating others.

Hi Mary!

Thanks for the nice comments! I used to be a latte-aholic, myself! What changed me was the price and not having the money to buy them so frequently. So, in a similar style of cutting back, rather than having 3-4 per week, I slowly cut back to 2 a week, then 1 a week, and now… I have one every 2-3 months?

But yes, the same works with changing to a lower-fat milk, or changing your meals in general (make one of your three meals healthier, then add on another meal…). The concept applies to so many things!

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