In an ADHD hyperfixation spiral, I was thinking about how inflation lately has caused huge shifts in the way I approach nutrition and grocery shopping. Then of course, I dug deeper.
Boomers seem to think "If you stopped drinking Starbucks and set that money aside, you'd be able to buy X,Y,Z." While I don't think cutting out Starbucks is the answer to financial woes, I wanted to see what we're really spending when we take up a daily habit like a morning coffee.
Small habits really do add up. But how much? Let's find out.
Let's say you're an average American. According to Insider and Statistica, the average American gets Starbucks 6 days a week (yep, you read that right!) The most popular drink is a grande vanilla latte.
That means each day 6 days of the week, you're spending $4.15 (not including tax) and consuming 250 calories, 35g sugar. Doesn't sound too bad, right?
Now for the fun part...
Over 1 week you've spent nearly $25, consumed 1500 calories, and 210g of sugar.
Over 1 Month you've spent $100, consumed 6,000 calories, and 840g of sugar (thats 210 sugar cubes)
Over 1 year you've spent almost $1,200, consumed 72,000 calories, and 10,080g sugar (2,520 sugar cubes).
Can you IMAGINE what you could "spend" those calories on? Imagine the home gym you could build with that $1,200! It adds up QUICK.
Instead of giving up coffee, if you reduced your fancy flavored latte consumption to 1x a week and spent the rest of the week drinking coffee from home with some unsweetened vanilla oat milk, you would SAVE:
$1,000 per year
60,000 calories per year
8,400 grams of sugar (2,480 sugar cubes)
That may not seem like much, but to put that in perspective, if your goal was to lose weight, you could EASILY reach a healthy 500 calorie deficit and reach your weight loss goals by cutting back on that daily latte. You can easily lose 1-2lbs per week by being in a healthy deficit, and could lose 5-10lbs per month!
It's not about restriction, it's not about cutting out the things you love, its about reevaluating if your time, money, energy, and health are worth some of the habits we continue to practice. It's about readjusting the habits you have currently to allow yourself to enjoy life while also taking on new and better habits.
On the flip side, if you want to get daily Starbucks and feel strongly about that habit, that's totally okay! It's important in choosing that, it is an informed decision and you know the "cost" of your choice.
Now before I leave you questioning your coffee habits, the real point of this breakdown is this: your small habits can make big impact.
Your daily latte can add up to 72k calories per year, just like 30 min of weight training 3x per week can add up to over 16.5k calories burned over the year. Small habits, good or bad, are going to make big changes over time.
Life isn't always "transactional," while I've mentioned consuming and burning calories quite a bit here, there is so much more to your health than just calories in, calories out.
Health isn't the single hour long workout you do once in a while, or the salad you ate once. It's learning to be more active through your day, it's being intentional with your nourishment, knowing how each small healthy choice will lead to that healthy lifestyle you've been dreaming about.
We're so quick to only count the big wins, and we so often say "I don't know how this happened" when we are near our rock-bottom, but what takes us both direction is (you guessed it) small steps.
I challenge you to think about the ways your small steps are taking you either closer or further from your goals.
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