Starbucks is known for fueling the highly caffeinated masses, but one woman credits the coffee chain for something else: helping her lose weight.
Christine Hall, 66, claims to have lost 85 pounds by eating all of her meals at her local Starbucks, MSNBC reported. Starbucks' prepackaged foods -- located right underneath those sugary cakes and buttery croissants -- make up her breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offer "really healthy choices," Hall explained to a reporter. And because nutritional information is provided on each item, she can keep track of her caloric intake.
"Nothing hurts any more," Hall said. "I used to attribute some of my aches and pains to aging. I have no medical issues whatsoever. I just feel like a kid again."
Her Starbucks diet is simple. Hall said she starts her day off with oatmeal and a black coffee (145 calories); her lunch and dinners are either a "bistro box" (a snack pack of cheeses, breads and fruit) or a panini, which would be between 220-460 calories, MSNBC estimated. "If I go on a bike ride, I can come back and have a brownie!" she said. (That's around $16 a day, not including that good behavior $2.25 brownie, according to a Virginia-area Starbucks barista.
But this road to weight loss may not be sustainable long-term said dietician Rebecca Scritchfield. Scritchfield also warned that Hall's Starbucks diet could lead to malnutrition. "When you follow something that ... limits you to one particular restaurant, it's very difficult to be healthy and meet your nutrition needs," she said.
People have long made claims of fast food diets helping them lose a considerable amount of weight. There's of course Subway spokesman Jared Fogle, who said the sandwich chain's subs helped him lose a staggering 245 pounds in a year. And even though McDonald's supersized documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, over the years a few people have claimed to have lost weight eating at the fast food chain: one man said he lost 15 pounds by only eating the "healthy" options at McDonald's for 30 days.
Do Not Eat: Fried Food
Fried food is loaded with fat and calories while offering zero nutritional value. It's a lose-lose! Sure, fries and chips TASTE good, but healthier items also taste good. Just say no to the deep fried items on your menu. You'll be thinner, healthier and won't have greasy fingers.
Try This Instead: Broiled
If you simply must have a French fry, then make them at home in your oven. Use sweet potatoes, as these are a more complex carbohydrate. Cut into matchsticks, drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil along with a dash of salt, then place in your oven on broil. Turn every five minutes until the fries are tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.
Do Not Eat: White Bread
White bread products have minimal nutritional value and are quickly converted by your body into sugar. So you may as well eat a cupcake. Even breads that are technically wheat, but are as soft and smooth as white bread, should be avoided. Don't be afraid to discard the bread from your sandwich or to push away that bread basket. Your waist will shrink and you'll lose that bloated feeling that high carbohydrate meals give you.
Try This Instead: Sprouted Grain Bread
If you must have bread, then stick with sprouted. Sprouted grain bread is a lot easier on your digestion and is packed full of nutrients. Two delicious brands are Food For Life's Ezekiel bread, and Manna Organics. Sprouted grain breads are often kept in the freezer section since they don't contain preservatives to prolong shelf life.
Do Not Eat: Creamy Salad Dressing
You were so good to order a salad, but then canceled out the low-cal benefits by drenching the salad in fattening creamy dressing. Just a few tablespoons of creamy dressing contain more than 20 grams of fat and hundreds of calories.
Try This Instead: Vinegar Dressing
Vinegar-based dressings pack amazing flavor in with minimal fat and calories. You can even mix your own dressing at home. Take high quality vinegar, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper, your choice of dried herbs, and a bit of olive oil.
Do Not Eat: White Rice
Just like white bread, white rice has minimal nutritional value, and the glycemic load will quickly prime your body for storing fat.
Try This Instead: Brown Rice
Brown rice has three times the amount of fiber, more B vitamins as well as other nutrients and will keep you feeling fuller for longer. That should be enough to convince you to swap your large pile of white rice out for a small pile of brown rice.
Do Not Eat: White Sugar
Sugar and high fructose corn syrup are the epitome of anti-fitness food. Nothing will destroy your progress, expand your waist and plummet your energy levels like sugar. If you only take away one do-not-eat food from this slideshow, please let it be sugar.
Try This Instead: Fruit
Don't turn to artificial sweeteners to get your sweet fix, instead turn to nature's wholesome source of sugar: fruit. Eat organic fruit that is seasonal and locally grown. Stay away from dried fruit and fruit juices, as these are high in simple calories.