Since Anthony and I have dubbed our local Starbucks “Hybrid Headquarters” we hear people order the most ridiculous drinks on the planet. Sure, the name might be a little silly, but it is what is in the cup that gives me pause. Tell me this, what is the purpose of ordering a “skinny” (code for low calorie) drink, and then asking to have it top off with whipped cream? I hate to say this, because I am constantly touting the importance of personal accountability, but I don’t think people realize just how unhealthy and fattening their daily caffeine fix can be; even if it does taste great.
Consider this; if you go to Starbucks three days per week and order a Grande (medium) Mocha Frappuccino with whipped cream and flavored syrups, you are taking in 410 calories at a time. That’s 1230 calories a week and 63,960 calories or 20 lbs per year. Scary, huh? What’s worse is the fact that most people go more than three days a week and, according to our local barista, the most popular drink is the Venti Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino. This bad boy packs a whopping 590 calories, 22g of fat, 89g of sugar and only 8 g of protein. I will leave the math on that one up to you. Suffice it to say, it’s not pretty
Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about what you can do to rein in control of your coffee conundrum. First, let’s go ahead and step back from the defensive position you have assumed. I am not banning you from Starbucks or telling you not to have a delicious and refreshing blended beverage from time to time. I know all about stress and cheat days and falling off the wagon. However, you can’t expect to splurge three days a week and see a noticeable difference on the scale. You are also going to have to choose which vice will be your cheat. You don’t get Starbucks, ice cream, chocolate and a pizza. If I have said it once, I have said it one thousand times; if you want to stop sucking and look different you are going to have to do things that suck. Add rationing your Frappuccinos to that list.
I bet you’re wondering what you are supposed to do with yourself if you are reeling in your consumption of sugar and artificial sweetener, aka Frappuccino. Well, for starters, give yourself a hand. By simply removing this drink from your diet you can shed some unwanted weight with the addition of some moderate exercise. Next, think about all the money you will be saving and what you spend it on. Like the calorie equation, the Grande Mocha comes in around $4. That’s $624 a year in savings if you were on the 3 day a week kick. If that alone is not motivation, I don’t know what is. Finally, consider replacing your $4, 400 calorie drink with a cheaper and less calorically damaging alternative.
Personally, I like dark roast black coffee. I take my espresso the same way. When I am feeling especially adventurous (watch yourself) I go with an extra dry, whole milk espresso or misto. This way I am getting more coffee than milk, and fewer calories. If you are looking to make a change, but can’t go straight to black coffee try adding a little bit of almond milk, a sprinkle of cinnamon or Stevia. Heck, topping your coffee off with a little milk is not going to kill you. Fifteen calories is way better than 400. Or, if all else fails try an unsweetened black, green or passion fruit iced tea.
If you are opting out of Starbucks all together, try some drink experimentation at home. Mix some chilled coffee with a French vanilla protein powder and ice. Blend that baby up and enjoy a delicious, nutritious and caffeinated smoothie. Some other fan favorites include the addition of nut butter, carob powder or pumpkin spice. But, before you go wild and start adding everything in sight to the blender, think portion control. Remember, it was the total number of calorie in the Frapp that set us down this road, don’t go sabotaging yourself with a 1,000 calorie homemade shake.
So what Starbucks drink is interfering with your nutrition goals and what are you planning to do about it? Not a fan of Starbucks? I bet if you look closely at the things you eat and drink you could find something that, if removed, could help you shed some unwanted weight. Tell us about it in the comments below.