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It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to askdrgourmet@drgourmet.com and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

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Ask Dr. Gourmet



My Starbucks addiction is hampering my weight loss. What can I do?

I'm afraid I'm hopelessly dependent on my once/twice daily "Grande, double-blended, half regular/half light base, Mocha Frappuccino." This addiction of mine seriously hampers any weight loss efforts I attempt though I do try to make other wise food/drink choices. What can I do?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

This has certainly become an issue for many people. Many Starbucks coffee drinks contain a lot of calories and can really derail your weight loss efforts. Their web site reports your coffee at 380 calories and 15 grams of fat (a whopping 9 grams of saturated fat). You're right that this is a lot of calories, especially when you have two a day at 760 calories total.

I believe that this falls into the category of smart planning. Because you have to make a special trip to Starbucks, it's easier to plan this around a single trip per day. Make it a treat. The second part of the plan is to use their nutrition calculator. Here's the link:

http://www.starbucks.com/retail/nutrition_beverages.asp

By playing with this you'll see that cutting the size of your Grande to a Tall you'll save 100 calories. So, a single trip and a smaller choice and that's 480 calories per day which adds up to around 1/2 pound per day of weight loss. Even better, the Light Blended Mocha Frappuccino is only 140 calories for a Grande and a tall comes in at 110 calories.

Coffee is really good for you, but all of the stuff that you put in it can really undo those benefits - as well as your diet. Take the time to find a better choice, plan for your daily visit and enjoy it as your daily break. You'll win both ways: the treat of a good coffee drink and weight loss.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP
Dr. Gourmet