Between studying and work-related meetings, I have spent hundreds of hours in coffee shops. Due to my profession, I can’t help but notice the lengthy orders people place and the loud announcement from the employees after they have completed your: grande, half sweet, soy, light whip, extra hot, extra drizzle, “skinny” latte. In a way it feels like they are invading your privacy when they blurt that out. Some people are quick to grab their extra large blended mocha after that announcement, put their head down, and bolt for the door. It is certainly not my dream job.
Hearing these orders time and time again does, unfortunately, show how misinformed we are when it comes to making those healthy nutritional decisions.
First of all, there is nothing skinny about a latte made with skim milk and syrups made from artificial toxic sweeteners. Skim milk is extremely high on the glycemic index, meaning your blood sugar spikes which causes – fat accumulation. Not only that, you will then crave more sugar within about 1-2 hours after having a beverage like that, and the cycle will continue. Try an unsweetened latte made with whole milk. It is lower on the glycemic index, and will help you gain better control over those cravings. Avoid those syrups, there is NOTHING good about them. If you want a little sweet, add it yourself so you can control it. Preferably, use stevia or honey.
Secondly, if you are thinking of having a smoothie instead of coffee is a nutrtional gain, please think again. Coffee will impact blood sugar to a certain extent, yes. Drinking it with sugar will increase that even more. Drinking it black or with skim milk, again you are facing a similar problem. Cream in coffee (real cream) will actually help to stabilize your blood sugar so you don’t start the fat accumulation/craving cycle. About 1-2 Tablespoons should do the trick. Smoothies are almost always made with syrups, some fruit, yogurt, milk, even soft-serve ice cream at times. All of these ingredients are high glycemic carbs, yikes! Unless you are making your own, I suggest you skip smoothies all together.
Thirdly, ordering a chai tea latte or blended tea beverage does not mean they are using real tea! It is a mix that is packed full of sugar, with a hint of tea. I’ve had several clients in the past tell me they order this because it is healthier. If you want healthier, try ordering a chai or green tea bag with hot water. Go to the condiment station and add some cream, cinnamon and honey or stevia to sweeten. Voila, you have a much healthier alternative!
Lastly, lose the soy! Soy milk is not a miracle beverage. You are not enhancing anything about your health or figure by choosing this. Unfortunately, that well-known coffee joint everyone loves only carries soy milk as a dairy alternative. I have found many smaller and local or organic coffee shops actually carry almond milk and sometimes hemp milk. Both are much better choices than soy!
Some people actually do well and maintain a low body fat percentage on a food plan that has many carbohydrates like skim milk, juices, rice, pasta, potatoes, etc. (that is why I test for this at the beginning of our sessions). There are also some who can have just a few grapes and a little cookie every day, and never lose a pound.
If you are stuck on calories, then look at it this way. The 100 calories of fat that you may be adding to your beverage is your ammunition to fight off that 10 a.m. donut craving. How many calories and sugar is in that doughnut?
Order a regular coffee (organic is best), add cream to it, sweeten it with a pack of stevia if needed. Keep these packets on hand with you when you go to these places. Again, one of those tasks that require a little effort. I promise, it is worth it.