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We live in a world where Starbucks is on every corner so, whether you like it or not, it’s a part of our lives and often a part of our diet.  What you may not realize is just how much that daily Starbucks fix is impacting your waistline!  Because your caffeine fix might be impacting you more than you realize, here a list of ways to make your coffee shop order a bit healthier!

1) Order “Light” or “Skinny”

Starbucks offers Light and/or Skinny versions of some of it’s highest calorie beverages (hint- rhymes with Trapaccino).  Ordering a light version usually subs the whole milk out for nonfat milk and omits the whip cream.  Ordering a skinny version usually replaces their regular flavored syrups with sugar free substitutes.  If you don’t like the taste of the sugar free version, or want to avoid artificial sweeteners, simply ask for only 1 pump of the regular stuff.

2) Keep it Simple

When you strip everything away, Starbuck is a coffee shop, so it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that the best thing to order there is coffee!  It has no calories and, in moderation, can have positive health benefits.  When ordering a plain coffee, the only thing to be mindful of is what you are adding in (milk, cream, sugar, sweetener).  So focus on a minimalist approach and try to add a little less each time.

3) Ice it Down

Iced coffee and Iced Tea are also low calorie, refreshing options, especially in the summertime.  But be wary of their attempt to sneak in sugar and always order it unsweetened.  If you need a little sweetness, you can always add your own and it will probably be less than what they would add.

4) Misto Instead of Latte

Misto is half coffee and half steamed milk- as opposed to a latte which is espresso and steamed milk.  Because the milk accounts for the calories and fat of the drink and a latte has more milk, a misto is going to be fewer calories.  As an added bonus, a misto is also less expensive!

5) Tea It Up

Tea Lattes are a common order at most coffee shops and they can be a healthy choice, especially when using non-fat milk or a milk substitute.  Be aware that many tea lattes (ex. chai lattes) can come pre-loaded with sugar.  To avoid that trap, ask for a tea bag latte instead.

6) Skip the Whip

One of the simplest ways to make your coffee drink healthier is to omit the whip cream.  This can save you up to 120 calories and 11 grams of fat!

7) Improve your Milk

Nonfat milk is lower fat, of course, but also lower calorie.  In addition, soy milk, almond milk, and oat milk are much lower calorie alternatives to whole milk or half and half.  Since milk is a huge portion of most coffee drinks, making this change can easily cut 1/3 of the calories in your drink.

8) Spice it Up

Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cocoa powder are some examples of the spices that are readily available at most coffee shops.  They are a quick and easy way to add a pop of flavor to your drink without adding significant calories or fat.  Instead of sprinkles, chips, or whip cream, top that frappuccino with a shake of cinnamon.

9) Customize It

Starbucks prides itself on customizing its drinks to each customer, so take advantage!  Longing for a White Chocolate Mocha?  Save yourself 230 calories by ordering an Espresso Macchiato with a pump of white chocolate syrup!  Get creative and don’t be afraid to ask our barista for help.

10)  Avoid the Super Size

Ordering a smaller size naturally will decrease your calorie intake but a lot of people go larger because they want more caffeine.  Instead of super-sizing it, go with the small size and simple ask for a double- twice the caffeine without the increased calories!

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Dr. Candice Seti


California-licensed Clinical Psychologist, Certified Nutrition Coach, and Certified Personal Trainer

Dr. Candice Seti

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