WASHINGTON - Every coffee shop has its regulars.
But 66-year-old Christine Hall calls Starbucks her second home.
That's because Hall eats all of her meals there, and she says it's helped her to lose nearly 85 pounds in two years.
"Losing weight is hard,” Hall said. “But i realized I could do it. I found a system that worked."
Hall says she lost all that weight by counting calories.
Starbucks puts nutrition information on the labels of their packaged foods. That made it easy to keep track of exactly how much she was eating.
"A lot of people look at the top shelf and they think its muffins and fattening things, but look down on the second shelf and there's really healthy choices," Hall said.
So she starts her day with oatmeal and black coffee – a total of 145 calories.
Lunch and dinner is a panini or bistro box - depending on which kind, that's anywhere from 220 to 460 calories per meal.
"To get the protein every now and then, I get the ham and cheese panini and that's 340 (calories),” Hall said. “If I go for a bike ride, I can come back and have a brownie."
But registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield says Hall may have trouble maintaining her Starbucks diet.
"What we know about diets is that they don't work in the long term,” Scritchfield said, warning if Hall isn't careful, she could suffer from malnutrition.
"When you follow something that eliminates entire food groups or limits you to one particular restaurant, it's very difficult to be healthy and meet all of your nutrition needs," Scritchfield said.
But Hall says she's feeling better than ever.
“Nothing hurts anymore,” she said. “I used to attribute some of my aches and pains to aging. My joints don't hurt, nothing hurts. I don't take any medication. I feel like a kid again."
Hall says the other big key to her weight loss success is an online calorie-counting website. So she just kept notes of everything she ate and knew exactly how many calories she could consume to keep losing weight.
What worked for Hall may not work for you, so be sure to talk to a physician before starting any new weight loss plan.
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