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cutting calories, sugar, and fat at starbucks

Posted Sep 14 2012 3:04pm
Two years ago, I was starting work on my undergraduate thesis, spending long hours reading in my library carrel, and enjoying a short, brisk walk to Starbucks whenever I needed a break or a change of scenery.

And then a monster was born. This terrifying beast had previously fought caffeine dependency in the form of Coca-cola, and now was getting acquainted with the vices of coffee. And not just coffee, coffee with rich, decadent creams and syrups and sometimes even chocolate.

Once, before starting her health and fitness blog, the monster chanced to look at the nutrition content of her favorite Starbucks beverage: the rich and delectable White Chocolate Mocha.

This drink, when prepared with 2% milk, clocks in at 400 calories and 11 grams of fat for a Grande size. "Treat yourself" with some whipped cream and those numbers increase to 470 calories and 18 grams of fat. A White Chocolate Mocha, prepped according to the books, is not drink, or even a snack. It is a small meal... with very little nutritional content.

And so, being that the caffeine monster could not exactly measure her caffeine intake at this point in her life, she started altering her beverages instead (though it must be said, even then, the monster was not too far gone. She never exceeded two cups of coffee per day, which, by most standards, is average).

By making small changes to the beverages she chose, such as selecting sugar free syrup or nonfat milk, the caffeine monster was able to greatly cut calories, sugar and fat from her coffee drinks, while still receiving the necessary dose of energy, and she lived happily ever after.

All joking aside, as I think I've had about enough of comparing myself to a monster for the day, here are my favorite tricks for making your favorite drinks at Starbucks a little healthier, while still getting your caffeine fix.

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