Your daily coffee stop is probably not helping your diet. A lot of us stop by our local Starbucks on the way to work for a cup of coffee. While coffee itself barely has any calories, everything we add to it can pack on the unnecessary calories.
If the morning lines at every Dunkin’ Donuts are telling us anything, a lot of people are masking the coffee taste with flavors and syrups, replacing coffee with calories as their daily caffeine intake. Did you know that a frappuccino can have up to 680 calories!? That’s over a third of your daily calorie intake; I won’t be ordering any mint chocolatey chip frappuccinos any time soon!
The ever-popular pumpkin spice latte, available seasonally, has 410 calories in it. If you are craving this fall treat, at least hold the whipped cream, and lower the calorie count to 340. If Dunkin Donuts is your morning stop, a small coffee with cream and sugar will only set you back 120 calories, but that’s still 120 calories for a drink that won’t even fill you up.
Luckily, there are ways to avoid these high-calorie goodies. Instead of buying a cup of coffee every morning, try brewing your own coffee at home. This will remove you from the temptation of sugary and calorie-filled drinks. Not to mention that you won’t be throwing away a paper cup every morning, so you’ll be saving the Earth, too!
Try to learn to enjoy your coffee black, or with a bit of skim milk instead of cream. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon to your coffee grinds before brewing for a calorie-free twist on flavored coffee. These tricks will save you both money and calories!
As for low or no-calorie sweeteners, a lot of them replace the calories with chemicals, so while you’re saving yourself extra calories, you’re still harming your body in other ways. If you can’t drink unsweetened coffee, a tiny bit of natural sugar works.
No time to make coffee every morning? You can still buy coffee, but pay attention to what you order. Order plain brewed coffee, 5 calories, and add a bit of skim milk, your cheapest and least-fattening option. If you prefer espresso drinks, request skim milk in your latte or cappuccino. Many places will use 2 percent, or even whole otherwise. Try not to order flavored lattes, which are made with calorie-filled sugary syrups. Baristas usually generously pump these calories into your drinks; if you insist on a flavor, specify just one or two pumps.
You may also consider switching from coffee to tea. Green tea still has caffeine in it (though not as much), plus a bonus of antioxidants, making it a healthy caffeine fix (but don’t mistake this for a green tea frappuccino, which has 650 calories in it).
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t enjoy a large mocha latte with whipped cream every now and then, but consider it a treat, not a routine.