Did you know that some of the most popular coffee drinks contain up to 700 calories? Even if your first meal follows our program perfectly, you could consume an entire day’s worth of calories before you start your day. Even worse, those calories from your coffee drink offer very little nutritional value.
Fortunately, there are a variety of ways of decreasing the fat, sugar, and calories when ordering your favorite coffee drinks:
- Start with black coffee. It’s not the coffee that’s fattening, but all the extras that get added. An 8 oz. cup of coffee has just 10 calories and no sugar. You can control how much of those extras you put in your coffee, and you can make wiser choices. Try ordering black coffee with a little stevia (natural sweetener) and unsweetened almond milk.
- Go nonfat. Always start your coffee drink order by requesting nonfat milk. Some coffee shops might advertise that a drink is low-calorie, but the barista may use whole milk, which has a much higher fat and calorie content.
- Skip the whipped cream. It melts into the coffee, so you can barely taste it anyway. If you add whipped cream to a tall mocha, you’re adding as much as 100 calories and 9 grams of (unhealthy) fat.
- Ask for extra foam. The foam takes up more space in the drink, so this helps decrease the amount of milk or cream used and the number of calories in the drink.
- Add ice. Any drink with ice will have fewer calories than its hot alternative because the ice takes up space and has no calories. For a drink that already has ice, ask for extra ice to make it lower in calories, and cooler and more refreshing.
- Add spices. Most coffee shops have cinnamon, cocoa, and nutmeg you can add for extra flavor without adding many calories.
- Use sugar-free syrups. Flavored syrups are common additions to coffee drinks, but they are almost pure sugar and add lots of extra calories. Try the sugar-free versions that use all-natural sweeteners (e.g., stevia).
- Order smaller. If you are currently buying a grande (16 oz.) or even a venti (20 oz.) size coffee drink, you can easily cut calories by gradually working your way down towards a tall (12 oz), mini (10 oz.), or even a short (8 oz.).
Also, you can check the calorie count of your customized Starbucks drink online. In fact, most coffee shops now have websites with the nutritional information of each drink. The more you’re aware of what you’re drinking, the easier it’ll be to make the right decision.
Keep in mind too that you can make a much healthier, less expensive coffee drink at home. Here are 6 coffee drinks that contain 100 calories or fewer:
- Tall Skinny Latte: You’ll get a boost of protein with this coffee drink, which is a healthy way to start your day. Add sugar-free syrup for flavor if you’d like, or order it iced to decrease the amount of milk and the number of calories. It has 100 calories, 0 grams fat, 15 grams carbs, and 10 grams protein.
- Skinny Cappuccino: The great thing about cappuccino is the foam. The light fluffy top of this drink makes you feel like you’re drinking something much more decadent and fattening when you're really not. It has 60 calories, 0 grams fat, 9 grams carbs, and 6 grams protein.
- Brewed coffee or Caffè Americano. Brewed coffee and espresso contain essentially no fat, sugar, or calories.
- Skinny Peppermint Mocha. This coffee drink is sweet and delicious enough to substitute as dessert. A small serving is plenty to satisfy your sweet tooth. It has 100 calories, 1 gram fat, 13 carbs, and 10 grams protein.
- Iced Skinny Flavored Latte: Add your favorite sugar-free flavor syrup. Try vanilla, hazelnut, almond, peppermint or other varieties. It has 60 calories, 0 grams fat, 9 grams carbs, and 6 grams protein.
- Caffe Misto: This drink is half filtered coffee and half heated nonfat milk. It has 40 calories, 0 grams fat, 6 grams carbs, and 4 grams protein.
I’ll work on recipes for each of these 6 coffee drinks soon and post them here on FITera! I hope this was helpful and I’m here if you have questions!