Thursday, January 17, 2013

White Mocha-Less

Today is Day 2 of Operation Whiteout.  Operation Whiteout is what I'm calling my new mission to remove the Starbucks Decaf Grande Skim No Whip White Mocha from my daily routine.  This has been my go-to drink for years and years.  I get it almost everyday, and on the days I don't, I get a Peppermint Mocha. 

The origins of Operation Whiteout are simple.   I had a session with my trainer on Tuesday night, and I was venting about how I hadn't lost any inches or weight in about a month.  I felt stuck and I was looking for some answers.  I told him that I know I have the exercise thing down, I'm good with that, so it had to be the diet.  He asked me to run through what I'd eaten that day, and wasn't pretty.  I've been insanely hungry for ages now, and Tuesday was a prime example of the worst outcome from a day like that.

In the end, he told me that I was eating way too much sugar.  He said I was hungrier because I'd increased my metabolism, and that I was making poor choices on the things to eat when I was hungry.  Really, I knew all of this, but I needed to hear it.  He told me that I should be having 25g or less of sugar a day.  I laughed.  But I googled it and 30g a day is the recommended amount for women.

He asked me if I really wanted to keep working my ass off in the gym and with him only to then go home and overload on sugar and bad food.  Solid point.  So I went home and decided to just look up my white mocha out of curiosity for sugar count.  HOLY. HELL.

58 grams of sugar.  58.  In a skim white mocha with no whipped cream.  58.  When I'm supposed to have 30 at most in a DAY.

I couldn't believe it.  I started looking up the sugar on the things I indulged in frequently, including the 1% chocolate milk I'd substituted in as my "treat" at night after gym instead of the ice cream I used to do.  38 grams of sugar in 1 cup.  And I will tell you now, I never drank one cup at a time.  :-o

I decided right then and there that I had to change this.  That was shocking to me.  I went out to the store and bought some lean meats, some nuts, some fruits and veggies.  I packed my lunch for the next day, packed breakfast and snacks.  And on the way into work, I bypassed Starbucks, and I had a decaf coffee at work with two packets of Splenda.  I had a measured out, calorie counted day of food. 

My body sabotaged my first day of great efforts, though.  I got home, had dinner and then got smacked with a horrible migraine.  I ended up bypassing the gym in favor of sleeping for about 10 hours.  I needed it, but I felt guilty, anyway.  Because of that unexpected event, I ended up not doing perfectly with my nutrition and calories.

I went over my recommended calories by 71, over my carbs by 17, and over my sugar by 13 (with the sugar goal being set at 25 by  You know what?  I'm still pretty pleased with that.  I would have easily burnt off those calories and about 500+ more if I'd been able to go to the gym, which I do 6 days a week.  Carbs I'm not obsessing over, and going over by 17 isn't awful, anyway. And the sugar?  Well, when you consider that the day before, just between my white mocha and my post-gym chocolate milk I had 111....38 isn't so bad.  ;-)

I woke up this morning feeling pretty good and very well rested, which was nice for a change.  I walked past Starbucks again after pit stopping at Whole Foods for some vanilla coconut milk non-dairy creamer I'd read about.  It was really good, gave me the milk taste and the sweetness I wanted without having to add any additional sugar.  Yes, the creamer had some sugar in it, but it was 4g/tablespoon, which is manageable!

I brought my lunch again, I have healthy snacks at the ready.  I realized that if I make better food choices, with more filling foods instead of sugary things that just make me feel hungry again 30 minutes later, I actually get to eat a lot on gym days in particular, and even on non-gym days like yesterday, I ate a good amount. 

So this is the change I'm working on.  It's long overdue.  I've been working so hard on the exercise part of all of this, and I made small changes with my diet before, but I really needed a kick in the pants to jumpstart some real change on that front.  Hopefully the less sugar I eat on a daily basis, the less I'll crave it.  I'm not aiming to quit sugar entirely, or even quit Starbucks entirely.  I'm thinking that maybe once I'm more comfortable with the reduced sugar amounts I'm taking in, I'll factor in a tall Starbucks drink once a week, but perhaps with fewer pumps of the syrup that makes it so sugary.  I'll decide on that maybe next week or the week after, but right now I want to do a more significant sugar detox, so I'm just going to avoid the 'Bux.

Hopefully the reduced sugar, the increased focus on fruits and veggies and lean meats and nuts will help jolt my system back into motion, and over the next couple of weeks maybe things will get moving again.  :-)

I don't plan to calorie count forever, I think I just want to do it for a week or two to have an explicit awareness of what I'm eating and how much.  I need those numbers to remind me sometimes.  :-)

Sorry for the possibly boring post, but this is what's going on right now.  Will post a more interesting, non-food and exercise related post later I think!


  1. THIS is why I stay away from coffee. I know I'll become addicted and then I'll have to break the addiction at some point. Not having the 'bux everyday when you're used to it is a TOUGH habit to break so kudos to you! You can totally do it! (You'll save some money, too!)

    1. You know, it's been easier than expected so far. I think the shocking truth of those sugar numbers alone jolted me! It's more the habit of it that's hard to break, so I've been trying regular coffee with coconut milk french vanilla creamer in the morning. What I've mostly done is drank part of it and ditched's enough to give me a taste, but not good enough to waste even the seriously lower calories/sugars on, LOL.

      Yes, I will save money, that's true! Too bad I had just put a chunk of change on my Sbux card the day before this epiphany. ;)

    2. Yeah the sugar content is alarming!!! That's really interesting about the coconut milk - I would have never thought about that.

  2. 58 grams? Holy toledo!

    Kudos to you for trying to stick under the 25 (or 30) gram/day limit. I have a bad cereal addiction (it was to the point of where I was eating it for breakfast AND dinner), which I'm sure adds up like crazy. I'm completely addicted to carbs. :P

    1. RIGHT???? It's pretty appalling. I don't know that sticking to under 25-30 a day will be a huge goal in the long term, but just being more aware is a huge change for me, plus the Sbux nixing. Everything in moderation, but I'd rather save my sugar indulgences for a cookie or a sweet food thing for splurges, and try to find sweetness in smaller, less bad for me ways on the everyday. :)

      I hear you on carbs, though, I do so love my cereal (which is a sugar AND carb problem, LOL).

  3. I loathe Starbucks, but I don't drink coffee, only tea. The tea they have sucks, and a chai tea latte? Its all syrupy and disgusting. If I do end up going there I generally get a grande 2 pump chai with 2%. They put 4 !FOUR! pumps in a grande. Ridiculous. I was watching that HBO documentary "Weight of the Nation" last year and they did a display of all the Starbucks drinks in the clear Starbucks cups, and showed how much sugar is in them. It was fucking disgusting. Some of them were half full of sugar! I bet you can find a picture of it on the internet, then in your moment of sweetened coffee sugar weakness look at it and be like "nevermind"

    Counting sugars and carbs is the way to go. Personally I only count carbs, its been the most successful way I've lost weight.

    1. Yeah, I'll see how this goes for a bit. I don't want to count anything really, but I think it's important for me to do this for a couple of weeks to gain a sense of what I'm eating on a daily basis and how it shakes out nutritionally. I really don't want to obsess over sugar, so I think that once I feel more confident in my awareness of sugar counts and how to avoid it, I will focus more on other things. I never thought I could count carbs before, and I don't want to link myself to any particular "diet" per say, but it's something to consider!

  4. don't want to sound like an amway salesman, so i try to avoid bringing up Paleo to people I know, but since I don't know you...

    If you can keep track of numbers and weigh or measure your food, then more power to you! If you can't, or won't, Paleo is good way to eat healthy without measuring your food. And since you are avoiding processed foods and most carbs, you can eat as much as you want and you won't put on pounds. (do you anyone on biggest loser who binged on chicken breasts?).

    Also, avoiding sugar is bad, but cut out bread and pasta too. Anything with wheat/gluten should be avoided. Yes, even whole wheat is bad. Sugar raises insulin, which makes your body store fat, which is why they tell you to avoid sugar. Want to know what has a higher glycemic index than table sugar? Bread!

    1. Hey, thanks for the comment! I've had friends who have done Paleo and been successful for periods of time, but honestly, I don't know that it would be the right fit for me. Right or wrong, I feel like if I have to watch my sodium intake, cut way down on sugar AND give up bread and pasta, I may just cry, LOL. I don't eat pasta very often at all, but I do love bread for my sandwiches.

      The idea of a world where all I can consider "bingeing" on is a chicken breast is too sad to imagine. I don't want to have leeway to binge on anything, but I also do feel like everything in moderation is a better way for me to live! I enjoy food too much to completely sever large groups of food from my diet, even if ultimately it may be better for me.

      I do appreciate the information, though!