Your frequent coffee runs may be keeping you from getting bikini-ready, CGs! We won’t stop you from visiting your favorite cafés, but try to avoid these seemingly innocent habits that contribute to weight gain.
1. Ordering the frappe.
Frappe, Frappuccino, and other creamy blends are the most fatty drinks on the café menu. In Starbucks alone, a grande (16 oz.) caramel or mocha Frappuccino has 410 calories, while the grande Java Chip Frappuccino has 470! The medium Seattle’s Best chocolate javakula with whipped cream has a whopping 530 calories, while Coffee Bean’s Ice Blended Mocha (16 oz.) has 370 calories [via My Fitness Pal]. The culprit ingredients: full cream milk, sugar syrup, chocolate syrup, and lots of whipped cream.
Combat the fat: Ask for the light Frappuccino, which cuts down the calories in half by using non-fat milk and less sugar. But that’s still 200+ calories, so try customizing your own low-cal drink: coffee, sugar-free syrup, and skim or soymilk blended with ice. Also ask the barista for their recommended low-fat concoctions.
2. Adding sugar.
The next time you find yourself adding another spoonful of sugar in your coffee, ask yourself this: “Am I really craving for caffeine or something sweet to perk me up?” Most coffee shop addicts don’t realize that they’re actually craving for the sugar high more than the caffeine hit.
Combat the fat: Because there is a growing debate on whether artificial sweeteners such as sucralose or aspartame are bad for you or not, we’ll let you decide. Also try lessening the sugar (whether it’s white, brown, or coco) you put in your coffee and train your palette to appreciate the different flavors and aromas of brewed coffee. Like a wine connoisseur, you’ll learn to discern coffee according to its roast and regional variation.
3. Processed creamers
Powdered and flavored creamers may taste delicious, but they’re full of preservatives, fat, and sugar.
Combat the fat: Use skim or low-fat milk, or if you prefer non-dairy, go for almond, soy, or rice milk. If you miss the flavoring, see if the café’s free condiments section has vanilla, cinnamon, or mocha powder. Add just a dash to your drink.
4. Specialty drinks
Next to frappes, a café’s specialty drink is often spiked with extra treats, from chocolate sprinkles to chunks of holiday brownies and extra syrup. It’s easy to fall for the marketing strategy of secret menus or limited-edition concoctions, which are often pricier and higher in calorie content.
Combat the fat: Before you get tempted to order that tall glass of whipped cream-filled brownie shake that the person next to you is enjoying, ask yourself this: Do I really want to drink 500+ calories in one sitting? It’s actually much better to split a brownie with your group while enjoying a regular brew. It pacifies your sweet tooth without the calorie overdose.
5. Ordering from the pastry section.
Pastries and sandwiches from cafés are more calorie-laden than something you can prepare at home. Coffee shop sandwiches are usually filled with hefty servings of of mayo, cheese, and other savory ingredients. A Starbucks tuna melt Panini has 585 calories, while a big chocolate muffin can go up to 500 calories [via My Fitness Pal].
Combat the fat: Prepare your own baon of healthy sandwiches where you can control the ingredients and portions. Just grab coffee to go from your favorite café and devour everything at your office pantry or school cafeteria. The next time the über-friendly barista asks, “Would you like a donut or cookie to go with that?” just say no or split it with a friend or two.
Also, try this trick: When you go on a coffee run, bring just enough cash to buy one coffee drink so you won’t be tempted to buy extra goods.
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