One of the first things that come to mind during winter is getting cozy with a nice, warm mug of (fill in the blank). Many people don’t realize how many of their daily calories come from beverages, and this is especially true during winter months. Every year, retailers come out with holiday drinks to get us in the holiday spirit. A 16 oz salted caramel hot chocolate made with whip cream from Starbucks has 480 calories, 17 g of fat, and 71 g carbohydrates. McDonald’s white chocolate mocha with whip cream has 320 calories, 11 g of fat, and 47 g of carbohydrates. These calorie amounts would be more ideal for a meal vs. a drink that we sip as we do holiday shopping!
Here are a few tips on enjoying these drinks in a healthier way:
- Skip the whipped cream. As this does add a decorative touch, whipped cream is high in fat and calories. Almost 100 calories can be deducted with this change alone!
- Forego any additional toppings such as chocolate shavings or sprinkles.
- Many coffee shops have the option of adding “flavor shots.” Unless they are sugar-free and calorie-free, these shots will add just that! Always order the smallest size. Some of the larger drinks can be upwards of 600 calories!
A healthier alternative would be loose leaf tea. Depending on the ingredients, most loose leaf teas are virtually free of calories. These can be flavored with lemon or a drizzle of honey once brewed. If needing an afternoon pick-me-up, choose black coffee. Plain coffee is low in calories and high in antioxidants. Lower calorie, lower sugar lattes can be made using soy or almond milk, with Stevia or Truvia for an added touch of sweetness! You can also download our “Rethink Your Drink” tip sheet for more ideas.
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- Pinch of cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, cayenne, pepper, and ginger
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 dash Stevia
- Heat almond milk in saucepan and add all ingredients. Use a whisk to mix.