Eat, Drink, and Still Shrink
At the Coffee Shop
Sleep deprivation has turned you into a gift-wrapping zombie. An eggnog latte or peppermint mocha seems like the perfect pick-me-up, but it's dessert in disguise, with up to 700 calories and about the same amount of fat as a Quarter Pounder with Cheese. And don't tell yourself that a tasty drink will help you resist the pastries (there can be 500 calories in a slice of banana bread, BTW). Studies show that calories from beverages don't fill you up as much as those from solid foods.Trim Tactics
Buddy up. When a java craving strikes, invite a fit friend (the one who drinks small skim lattes) to join you; that peer pressure may help you make a positive choice. "Or decide on a healthy drink before you go, and order first so you're not tempted by a pal's unhealthy pick," says Sofia Rydin-Gray, PhD, clinical psychologist at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, North Carolina.
Use the five-minute rule. Drooling over the pastries? Tell yourself you can indulge if you wait five minutes, Rydin-Gray suggests. Pressing "pause" on a craving helps retrain your brain to resist the urge next time, she explains. Still want a cookie? Waiting in that line a second time may make you reconsider or at least take a smaller portion, says Stella Volpe, PhD, RD, a faculty member in bio-behavioral and health sciences at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in Philadelphia.
BYO brew. Bypass the coffee place by bringing your own joe to work or on a shopping trip. Think about the cash you'll save; that's what Elizabeth Wagner Buehler, 30, an IT specialist in Chicago, did. "I realized my daily coffee habit cost me $25 a week," she says, "and I could use the money on one personal training session a month."
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, November/December 2009.
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