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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:

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