By: DOREEN GENTZLER | WRC-TV
Every coffee shop has its regulars, but 66-year-old Christine Hall calls Starbucks her second home.
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. But I realized I could do it. I found a system that worked," Hall said.
Hall said she lost all that weight by counting calories. Starbucks puts nutrition information on the labels of its packaged foods. It made it easy for Hall to keep track of exactly how much she was eating.
"You know a lot of people look at the top shelf and they think it's muffins and fattening things, but look down on the second shelf and there's really healthy choices," Hall said.
Hall starts her day with oatmeal and black coffee, totaling 145 calories.
For lunch and dinner, she has a panini or a bistro box. Depending on which kind, that's anywhere from 220 to 460 calories a meal.
"To get the protein every now and then, I get the ham and cheese panini and that's 340 (calories). If I go for a bike ride, I can come back and have a brownie," Hall said.
Registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield said 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.
Scritchfield warned that 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 said she's feeling better than ever.
"Nothing hurts anymore. 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 said.
Hall said there is another big key to her weight loss success. She used a free online calorie counting website. She 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. Be sure to talk to a physician before starting any new weight loss plan.