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Is coffee OK to drink?

At just 14 monthsold, our daughter Ella isn’t always the best at sleeping … almost always sleeping through the night, these days, but occasionally (read: LAST NIGHT) she decided she should wake up at 3 AM and not want to sleep for the next hour before we had to get up for Mohr Results Boot Camp

Sometimes leaving me and Kara woozy … tired doesn’t even scratch the surface.

But we of course need to still function during the day — at 5:30 AM during adventure boot camp and throughout the day.

As I sat drinking a few cups of green tea this morning, Kara drinking her coffee, I thought about one of the most common questions we get — "is it OK to drink coffee?"   For some it’s a savior — what I call a "liquid nap."  But is this drug (yes, caffeine is a drug) a true necessity?  It surely can help keep you alert (particularly with a non sleeping baby at home).

I have to be honest, I would never in a million years get between a person and their coffee.  Of course not everyone is a coffee drinker, but for some it’s a staple.

So if you’re trying to lose weight and you’re paying attention to your calories and all of your food where does coffee fit in?  I have to be honest, I’m fine with you drinking coffee … it’s not coffee itself that’s the "issue" it’s everything most put in it.

Sugar, cream, half and half, or that horrendous artificial, imitation, fat free creamer junk.  

Those things all add up — 100 calories here, 100 calories there — and you’re left wondering why you can’t reach your fat loss goals.

A regular cup of black coffee — no calories — no worries.  In fact, there are some very unique health benefits to drinking coffee — in fact, one study recently came out suggesting a couple cups per day can help post menopausal women keep their memory sharp as a tac!  It’s also a powerful source of antioxidants. 

However, on the downside, a coffee shop latte can pack a wholloping 400-500 calories!

Talk about sabotaging your fat loss efforts!  Particularly when coupled with a scone, muffin, or whatever else you may pick up on the way to the office.

The bottom line is you need to know how many calories you’re truly taking in and how they all fit in your daily routine.  Drink an extra 100 calories each day (which would be just a bit of whole milk and 1 tsp of sugar in a coffee) and you’ll pack on 10 extra lbs at the end of the year.  Couple this with other added calories and that weight can come on pretty quickly.

And if you were to rationalize that you’re going to exercise to "balance" out those added calories, remember that walking or running 1 mile burns just 100 calories.

Therefore, drink a latte and run 5 miles — you’ve essentially stayed the same.

Not that I’m saying walking or running is the best way to burn fat, but you get the point.

Moral of the story?  You need to account for the calories you put in your body … all the calories you put in your body.

3 Things will help you do this:

  1. Eat attentively — don’t eat or drink when distracted.  That means NOT in front of the TV, while reading, or in front of your computer.  Doing any of those means you’ll eat more calories, without even "knowing" it.
  2. Avoid the extra BLT’s — bites, licks, and tastes — tasting while cooking, finishing off your kids’ drinks or foods, or eating before putting food away (you know, when there’s leftover dinner and you take a few bites before you put it away)
  3. Write down what you eat and drink — this increases your awareness and will help you lose fat.

 Oh yeah, and coffee is OK — just watch those added calories.


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2 Responses to Is coffee OK to drink?

  1. Tracy August 20, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    I have to laugh when people tell me they cannot funtion without their coffee in the morning. I used to drink a lot of coffee, always with fat free milk and equal. One day my heart started beating double and triple time, I went to the doctors, everything checked out okay but I was told that caffeine and smoking (yes, I smoked), stress, alcohol, allergies and super cold weather could cause this. I was in a very stressful relationship, I had my coffee and cigarettes. I lived in Wyoming (we know how cold it gets in Wyoming) on a cattle ranch and cowboyed (cowgirled) for a living. I am also allergic to many things including horse hair, hay, etc….everything on a ranch. Here is what I did. I could not and would not do anything about my job, I loved it, I just dealt with my allergies and the cold weather. What I did do is, that very same day that I went to the doctors I quit smoking cold turkey and quit my caffeine drinks cold turkey. It took me a week of being in a bad mood about not being able to smoke but after that week, I felt incredible. I did switch to caffeine free coffee, tea and soda’s. I totally quit smoking and quit caffeine (23 years ago) because I really believe that I was determined enough to do it. You have to WANT to quit to be able to quit. I think a lot of people that can’t quit, just don’t have the motivation to quit. It can be done, I am living proof. And I am so thankful that I did. Like I said, I feel incredible and I cannot tolerate any smoking around me at all and I am much healthier for it. If you really want to quit, you can. Oh yeah, I also did something about my stressful relationship. I’m in a great one now.

  2. Spida Hunter August 20, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    Great simple post, we have 2 under 2 so green teas & a strong long black is staple in my daily diet.

    Thanks for the great practical tips,

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