Whether it’s to get your day going, a way to curb your appetite, or just a taste you love, you might insist on your daily coffee fix.
But depending on what you add to it, that cup of joe can easily skyrocket from zero calories into the hundreds. And that could be as much as a third of your daily allotment if you’re dieting.
You don’t have to give up the coffee — just rethink your drink. When choosing a blended drink, the easiest change is the cup size. Scale down from large to medium and you cut out a quarter or more of the calories. Downsize to small and you’ve cut the calories in half. Or ask for a shot of sugar-free hazelnut or almond syrup in a regular coffee to get a flavor for next-to-no calories.
Maybe fancy flavors aren’t your thing. But if you typically douse your coffee with cream and sugar, you can get dramatic savings by switching to skim or low-fat milk and a no-calorie sweetener. You’ll cut 200 calories and can still enjoy a large serving.
Or order your cappuccino or latte “with no-fat foam” to get skim milk’s calcium and a rich taste without the fat of whole milk or cream.
Can’t sacrifice that frozen frap? Shave off up to 100 calories by skipping the whipped cream topper. Ask your server if there’s a fat-free version to cut out another 100-plus calories.
Be sure to visit the website of your favorite coffee chain and look for the nutritional information on all its different drinks. There might be a great swap that you’ll find as satisfying as your “usual.”
But just remember that if you have more than one fancy coffee drink a day, even downsizing won’t be enough to keep the calories from eating into your food allowance.
For more tips to make all your beverages healthier, read Rethink Your Drink from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.