Fitness Life Nutrition/Weight Loss

Coffee – My LCHF and Exercise Miracle Drug

Disclaimer: this post is strictly opinion/observations. There are plenty of fat people (their drink of choice is typically the Grande Salted Caramel Mocha) drinking Starbucks coffee. I hope the info helps.

Back last winter when I started this new life of LCHF eating and working out, it just so happened to coincide with a radical change in my job responsibilities. I didn’t change employers, nor did I change job titles, but my actual responsibilities changed greatly and the stress level increased exponentially. But more importantly to my diet/WOL (‘WOL’ is ‘Way of Life’) – my new job role allowed me to work from home 95% of the time. Prior to last winter, I worked in a cubicle most days, working from home maybe one or two days per week but usually not even a full day). I had more people reporting to me back then (if you want to call it that – we have  a pretty autonomous work environment), and since the products/services we were focused on had been in the market for years, everyone was pretty much on auto-pilot in terms of day-to-day work.

My new role is higher stress, much higher responsibility. But I have only a few people reporting to me. One lives in a different state and another prefers to work from home often. So there is simply no need for me to be in the office much, aside from the occasional meeting. This lifestyle, I’m sure, has helped me in my switch to eating LCHF and especially with my physical fitness – I’m able to schedule when I work out easily, due to my work flexibility.

I Rarely Work From Home

Now here’s the catch – I do not “work from home” usually. I can’t stand the silence for long, but more importantly, I no longer have a place to do it comfortably. I happily gave my wife, who needs the office more than I do, our home office. So I am almost always working remotely from a coffee shop or cafe. Starbucks is my local place of choice now, but I’m always on the hunt for a new spot. Prior to Stabucks I was always at my local Borders’ Cafe, which was the perfect place for teleworkers. Sadly, they closed down (no, not because of me mooching wifi all day – I made a point to buy 2 or 3 drinks minimum per day). This arrangement doesn’t work for most people – the noise of a place like Starbucks is probably too much for them. But it works great for me. I’m more productive than I was with the constant interruptions/idle chit-chat I was subjected to in the office, etc. While the impact on my long-term career with this employer is debatable (no face time with senior execs, etc.), I’ll take my chances.

Starbucks’ Customers are Typically Fit

Not all of these people are fit though...

So now, looking back on almost a year now of this radical life change, impact my weight loss? Well, I started drinking coffee. Prior to this past year, I very rarely drank it. Never liked the taste. Still don’t think it’s the greatest usually. But when I started hanging out at the local Borders’ Cafe I noticed something interesting – coffee drinks were almost universally skinny/fit. Some too skinny. But most were in good shape. Try this – go to your local Starbucks and order a Grande Americano and hang out for a while and notice who comes in and what they order. The vast majority of Starbucks’ customers are in good physical shape. Even though 90% of the drinks there are horribly high in sugar/carbohydrates. Why is this? I don’t know. But I joined the club myself after observing this. I now drink coffee pretty much every weekday, partly due to necessity (I have to buy/drink the stuff in order to get the free Wifi/comfy chair at Starbucks to work from), and partly because I think the ‘one grande a day’ has helped with exercise and mood overall. I typically avoid more than one cup a day. Ideally, I would drink the coffee about 45 minutes before a scheduled workout. It gets your blood going and the caffeine seems to make the workout much more enjoyable. I read that in a book about running a while back and it made sense. Try it and you’ll see.

Some Tips

Starbucks’ drinks are mostly junk. But they sure taste good. I do treat myself to something good typically once per week – the Vanilla Latte, Caramel Macchiatto, etc. High carbs but they are a good treat once in a while. Don’t waste your time with the ‘Skinny’ versions – in typical fashion, they just take out the fat and fill it with carbs (via ‘sugar free’ syrups that are processed as sugar once they hit your body anyway).

My drink of choice these days is the Grande Cafe Americano. You can’t go wrong with the Americano, the China Tips Green Tea, the ‘Bold Pick of the Day’, or the plain ole Pike’s Place Roast (i.e., the standard coffee).  They are all no carb. I’ve tried asking for heavy cream to be added to these, but I actually don’t like the taste that much so now I stick to it plain, or I’ll add some half and half if it’s too hot and I want to drink it soon. I am not a fan of sugar subtitutes so I avoid Splenda, even though Sucralose (the active ingredient in Splenda) is not processed as sugar in the body, unlike the other sugar substitutes.

Keurig Machines – Very Cool

If you don’t want to pay for Starbucks then I highly recommend the Keurig machines. The coffees are good, particularly the Newman’s one. It’s really convenient. My wife got one last year and it was a great investment. Again – avoid the sugary stuff like ‘Hot Chocolate’, etc.

I just did a quick google and saw this post, which claims that instant coffee is ridiculously high in carbs. That’s surprising. Instant coffee sucks anyway. You deserve better.

Last thought/observation: the Starbucks I often invade is right next to a Dunkin’ Donuts. Again, just an observation, but it sure seems like all the fat people, and all the emaciated looking people, are driving thru that place for those monster-size drinks…It must be those ‘low fat muffins’. I apologize for the harsh words but it is what it is.

Do you use coffee (or tea) as a tool like me? If so (or not), I’d love to hear your thoughts/tips on this. Please leave a comment!

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