You’ve heard that making small tweaks to your diet can have a big impact on your weight over time, and odds are you try to do it when you can. But new research shows just how important these little daily habits can be.
For the study, Rutgers University researchers tracked the number of regular and “skim” latte drinkers at a campus Dunkin Donuts over several weeks. During the next phase of their experiment (which lasted for 10 days), Dunkin employees asked customers if they “Would you like to make that a skim?” when they ordered a latte.
The prompt worked: More than 50 percent of customers ordered a skim latte when they were asked.
While that doesn’t sound like a biggie, it kind of is. Here’s why: A large 16-ounce (470ml) regular latte (made with whole milk) contains 170 calories and nine grams of fat, while the skim version (made with skim milk) has 110 calories and no fat.
If you have a latte five days a week, and choose the skim option half of those times, you’ll save 4,550 calories a year—saving you from a 800g weight gain.
Keep in mind that most coffee drinkers get their fix seven days a week and, if you go for the lighter option every single day, that more than doubles the weight you’d keep off. If you start taking this approach in all areas of your diet, like using one slice of cheese on your sandwich instead of two, you could see more results over time.
Just a little food for thought.