Baby, Its Cold Outside!

By: Michelle Reich Email
By: Michelle Reich Email

Its that time of year, cold winds and frosty windows (well at least we’re hoping that it will happen relatively consistently soon). There are always hot drinks that warm you up to your toes as you snuggle deeper into that soft blanket. Personally, I am a huge fan of coffee as it gets cold outside, especially one called “International House Coffee”. It is the perfect mix between bitter and sweet, and tastes even better with Bailey’s Irish Cream. Luckily for me, my favorite coffee has only 60 calories (OK without the Bailey’s) so the guilt of enjoying it is basically nonexistent. But most holiday drinks are loaded with calories and sugar, and are easily overlooked when counting calories to avoid gaining 10 pounds over the holiday season. So just so that you can keep track with the calories that are jam-packed in most holiday drinks, here is a basic outline of calories and sugars in some of the most popular holiday drinks, as well as some ways to substitute out some of those calories.

#1 Starbucks’ Eggnog Latte Vs. HEB Eggnog

So surprisingly enough, Starbucks Eggnog has only 240 calories and 24 grams of sugar per 8 oz cup (a short), while HEB brand Eggnog has 420 calories and 46 grams of sugar for THE SAME AMOUNT! While more expensive, in this case Starbucks is the healthier choice!

#2 Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte Vs. Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

My roommate has a particular taste for Starbucks’ Pumpkin spice Lattes, but their calorie and sugar content are through the roof! For a size tall (12 oz) there are 300 calories and 38 grams of sugar! In this one latte, you are getting almost double your recommended daily sugar serving! If you make a homemade one, not only is it cheaper, but it contains only around 100 calories and 12 grams of sugar. In this case, the homemade drink definitely serves a healthy knockout to the Starbucks brand!

#3 Good ol’ Black Coffee

OK so I know this isn’t a match up, but thats because coffee, drank black with no sugar added, will beat any other cold weather drink. It only contains 2 calories and no sugar in a 8 oz cup. Any calories that you are getting from coffee are coming from any creamer or sugars that you are adding to, so be careful as to what kind and how much of these creamers that you are adding. Around the holidays, there are many different and interesting flavors, just be sure to check the back for their calorie and sugar contents before buying. Usually, even with creamers, home brewed coffee contains less sugar and less calories than any flavored hot drinks or lattes.

Coffee Additives:
Bailey’s Irish Cream: 94 calories and 7.4 grams of sugar in 1.3 oz (a little over a shot)
Coffee-mate Creamer (original): 20 calories per tablespoon- calories are usually higher in flavored kinds
Kahlua: 53 calories and 11 grams of sugar in 1 oz (a shot)
Whipped Cream: 15 calories in 2 tablespoons

So for this holiday season, enjoy your favorite hot drink, but make sure you take those calories into consideration when keeping track of your weight over the break. And if there is ever an opportunity to save some calories by drinking a cup of coffee black instead of adding cream and sugar, do it!

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