Do you know the number of calories you consume when you sip your morning coffee at Starbucks? If you are trying to lose weight, you probably should. Some popular drinks from Starbucks and other popular coffee shops contain up to 700 calories. Even if you eat a diet-friendly breakfast, you could easily consume an entire day’s worth of calories before you start your day.
Why ruin your diet with a cup of java? Satisfy your coffee fix with a low-calorie coffee drink instead. You can learn to make a healthy coffee drink at home or use the tips below to make a better Starbucks coffee choice.
5 Low-Calorie Coffee Drinks (under 100 calories)
- Tall Skinny Latte (100 calories, 0 grams fat, 15 grams carbohydrate, 10 grams protein): 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.
- Skinny Cappuccino (60 calories, 0 grams fat, 9 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams protein): 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.
- Brewed Coffee or Caffè Americano. Brewed coffee and espresso contain essentially no calories.
- Skinny Peppermint Mocha (100 calories, 1 gram fat, 13 carbohydrates, 10 grams protein). This coffee drink is sweet and delicious enough to substitute as dessert. A small serving is plenty to satisfy your sweet tooth.
- Iced Skinny Flavored Latte (60 calories, 0 grams fat, 9 grams carbs, 6 grams protein). Add your favorite sugar-free flavor syrup. Try vanilla, hazelnut, almond, peppermint or other varieties.
How to Order Low Calorie Coffee Drinks
If you already have a coffee drink that you love, use these tips to lower the fat and calorie count of the drink. And remember that you can check the calorie count of your customized Starbucks drink online or by using the Starbucks app on your smartphone. Other coffee shops, like Caribou Coffee also have websites with nutritional information.
- Skip the whipped cream. Don't even bother adding whipped cream. It melts into the coffee anyway and you can barely taste it. The calories aren’t worth it. If you add whipped cream to a tall mocha, you add 60 calories and 6 grams of fat.
- Go nonfat. Always start your coffee drink order by stating that you want nonfat milk. Some menu boards may advertise that a drink is low-calorie but the barista may use 2% milk, which has a higher fat and calorie content.
- Say yes to foam. If your drink is topped with foam, ask for extra foam or ask for it to be prepared “dry.” The foam takes up more space in the drink and you decrease the amount of milk used and the number of calories in the drink.
- Add ice (or extra ice). Any drink with ice will have less calories than its hot alternative because the ice has no calories. For a drink that is already iced, ask for extra ice and you’ll get a drink that is less milky, cooler and more refreshing.
- Add spices, not sprinkles. If your drink is displayed on the menu board with sprinkles, skip them and add spice instead. Most coffee shops have cinnamon, cocoa, and nutmeg that you can add for extra flavor.
- Use sugar-free syrups. Flavor syrups are popular additions to coffee drinks, but they are almost pure sugar. Opt for the sugar-free version to cut calories.
- Smaller is better. By the time you get to the coffee counter in the morning, you might order the largest size available out of habit, exhaustion or desperation. For some of us, the need for a coffee fix in the morning is substantial. But err on the small side. You might be surprised to find out that you need less caffeine than you think.
You don't have to give up the trip to Starbucks just because you're on a diet. If you love your morning java fix, keep it on the agenda. But learn to order a low-calorie coffee drink instead. The calories you eliminate by making just a few small changes could have a big impact when it's time to step on the scale.