Friday, December 02, 2011

Calling the Kettle Black

During my journey toward successful weight loss, one of the most dramatic changes that I made in my diet was switching to black coffee.  This was no easy feat, as I was an avid coffee drinker and set in my ways.  I used to drink four to five cups of coffee per day, each cup loaded with two packs of sugar and milk.  If you dare to examine the caloric value of all this added sugar, you will see that each pack of sugar contains 25 calories, which equals 50 calories per cup of coffee.  That makes an astounding total of 200 – 250 calories EACH DAY from sugar alone, and this only accounts for the coffee I made myself. 

I also regularly enjoyed a delicious medium coffee with cream and sugar from Dunkin Donuts.  According to their website, the small coffee with cream and sugar has 120 calories, so we know that the medium sized coffee has even more.  I was also a frequent supporter of the Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino, which totals 400 calories!  With coffee shops tempting me at every corner, I was faced with a serious challenge.   

I tried to quit cold turkey, but that didn’t work out so well for me.  So I decided to try a more gradual approach, making one modification per week.  Also, I made Saturday my “change day” so that by the time the work week started again on Monday, I was already a few days into my new routine.    

Here is a suggested four week plan, based on my personal experience and ultimate success.  (If you already only drink coffee that you brew or make yourself at home or at work, skip to week 2.)

Week 1 – Only drink coffee that you brew yourself at work or at home.  Continue to add your usual amounts of milk/cream and sugar/sugar substitute.

Week 2- Halve the amount of sugar that you usually put into each cup.  For example, if you use two packets of sugar/sugar substitute, reduce to one packet.  Repeat this step (as needed) on a weekly basis until you have reduced to one packet or spoonful of sugar/sugar substitute per cup of coffee.

Week 3 – Eliminate all sugar/sugar substitute from your coffee.  Add only milk or cream.

Week 4 – Eliminate all milk and cream.  

Now you are ready to enjoy the rich taste of your black coffee, and you are well on your way to achieving your health and weight loss goals!!  Congratulations!!

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