For many people, Starbucks is an addiction. Their day isn’t complete without at least one mocha or caramel macchiato. They might even get something extra to enjoy, such as a blueberry muffin or a slice of lemon loaf. Unfortunately, a Starbucks habit is more expensive than you might think: In addition to sucking cash from your wallet, a typical Starbucks drink delivers a ton of calories. For example, a grande white chocolate mocha made with 2% milk is 400 calories. A venti java chip frappuccino made with whole milk is 460 calories. And that’s before you add extra syrup and whipped cream!
But fear not: There are ways to cut back on the calories without giving up Starbucks altogether. Here are five simple ways to do just that:
1. Hold the Whipped Cream
The next time you order a frappuccino, ask the barista to leave off the whipped cream. Yes, that dollop of whipped cream drizzled with chocolate syrup might be scrumptious, but it’s also an extra 60 calories you’ll have to burn off later.
2. Skip the Pastry
If you do nothing else, give up the baked goodies. Your typical Starbucks pastry contains, at minimum, 250 calories–and it’s usually much worse than that. A slice of lemon loaf, for example, packs a whopping 500 calories. Add a 450 calorie venti Tazo green tea latte, and you’ve consumed 950 calories in one sitting. That’s almost half the USDA recommended daily allowance.
3. Avoid Whole Milk
If your drink contains milk, you can bet the barista is using either 2% or whole milk by default. Consider switching to skim, soy, or nonfat milk. Switching to nonfat milk, depending on the drink, can shave off anywhere from 20 to 50 calories.
4. Go Light
If frappuccinos are your thing, consider ordering one of the “light” blended coffee versions. A regular grande caramel frappuccino is 280 calories; the light version is only 140 calories.
5. Go Small
Bigger is not always better, especially if you’re talking about drink sizes. A venti caramel macchiato made with 2% milk is at least 300 calories, which is more than the number of calories you’ll get in a regular McDonald’s hamburger. Cutting that same drink down to a tall reduces it to 180 calories. But you can take it even further: A short caramel macchiato is only 120 calories.
If you’re trying to be more health-conscious, you don’t necessarily have to give up Starbucks. By making a few simple changes, such as switching to nonfat milk and ordering smaller sizes, it’s possible to enjoy some of your favorite Starbucks drinks without going “whole hog” on the calories.