When you think of the food and drink selection at Starbucks, what items come to mind? Venti caramel macchiatos, thick slices of lemon pound cake, bagels with plenty of cream cheese? Not exactly a great picture of what any successful diet would look like I presume. However, one pint-sized librarian from Alexandria, Virginia, who has managed to lose 85 pounds by eating nothing but Starbucks would argue otherwise.
Sixty-six-year-old law librarian Christine Hall used to weight 190 pounds, but these days she’s a trim 114 pounds. Several years ago Hall wanted to shed some pounds so she decided to start tracking her calorie intake online at Livestrong.com.
By utilizing the website, Hall begin taking careful measure of everything she was eating. When she discovered that Starbucks puts nutrition labels on all their items, she started going there exclusively for all her meals.
As reported by TODAY, Hall turned to Starbucks because she had a busy schedule and that’s what worked for her. “I know exactly what I’m getting,” she said. “I can plan my day in advance because I’ve memorized the calories in every item.”
Nutritionists may contest that Hall isn’t eating a well-balanced diet since she prepares nothing for herself and eats strictly at Starbucks. However, Hall would argue that she selects items that provide plenty of nutrition and just enough calories, which is what has allowed her to lose so much weight.
“It’s not like I’m having a bagel every day,” she told TODAY. “I’m mixing it up and making sure I get protein, fruits and vegetables.”
Hall points out that many people walk into a Starbucks, look at the top shelf and all they see is fattening items like cakes and scones. But that’s not where Hall shops from; she bypasses the donuts and goes straight for the lower shelf where she says you’ll find some pretty healthy options like sandwiches and fruit and vegetable bistro-style lunches.
Diets in Review’s registered dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD, points out that Hall is right in that the meals she chooses are within the right calorie range for her 5-foot-4-inch frame and that’s why she’s able to maintain a healthy weight.
“For weight loss, the best science is still calories in vs. calories out,” said Hartley. “The woman lost weight because she tracked her calorie intake online.”
As for whether or not Hall is getting proper nutrition, Hartley says she may not be eating the healthiest most diverse diet, but the fact is she’s still eating the right amount of foods. “Proper nutrition and weight loss are two different things,” she said. “Perhaps her diet was adequate, but not optimal. For good health, I think she should supplement with a multivitamin, a protein shake daily, and more produce.”
It’s hard to argue against Hall’s diet approach when at age 66, she says she’s feeling better than ever and nothing hurts anymore. “I used to attribute some of my aches and pains to aging. I [now] have no medical issues whatsoever,” she said. “I just feel like a kid again.”
photo via MSNBC