How To Cut Calories At Starbucks


If you’re a Starbucks regular — paying with the app and earning stars in a virtual cup until you can proudly cash in your free drink . . . this ones for you.

We’re all fighting the good fight against Starbucks’ beautiful marketing where they throw out gorgeous pictures of drinks that have enticing flavors like “pumpkin,” “maple,” “spice,” and “pecan” in the name.  You walk inside of a Starbucks and between the great music playing, the predictable service, case of pastries, and latest seasonal drink . . . you leave there consuming 700 calories through a venti sized green straw.  You tell yourself it’s a treat because <<insert your latest accomplishment, day of the week, gift card/free drink justification>> and you won’t regularly drink said treat.

But, the drink turns out to be amazing.  It tastes like memories and Thanksgiving and whipped cream and nutmeg which you forgot you even liked.  So you get the drink again the next day.  And the next day.  And even though your pants get a little snug, all of your friends see you drinking the drink often so they buy you a Starbucks gift card for the holiday.  And then you’re addicted to them and if you don’t have one your body will give you a headache.  And then you will go overboard on trying to reclaim your life back and you’ll start a diet like the Whole30 which you’ll quit after 11 days, or you’ll claim you’re eating Paleo now because that’s what cavemen did.

. . . all because they came out with a warm maple latte.

If this speaks to your soul, then here are some quick tips on how to enjoy your ‘Bucks without having to wear elastic pants.


Skip the Whip:  I mean, the best part of the fun drinks honestly is the whipped cream, sometimes.  But, by adding a “no whip” at the end of your order, you’re saving yourself 80-110 calories!

Regular Coffee + the Whip:  Contrary to the point above, sometimes I realize that I actually just want the whipped cream but would be fine with a “boring” coffee (0-5 calories), so if I want something more “fun” but don’t want to go over the top on 300+ calories and a ton of sugar, I will ask them to add whipped cream to my iced coffee which puts me at approximately 85-110 calories total vs. the full blown sugary drink and it tricks my mind into thinking I got something fancier than what I really did.

Go for the Non-Fat Version:  When I started splurging on things like a white chocolate mocha, I’d simply say “Grande iced white chocolate mocha” and a few slurps later I had downed 420 calories, not including my food!  By saying “Grande non-fat iced white chocolate mocha” I’m down to 380 calories and literally cannot taste a difference.  Add in a “no whip” at the end and you’re down to 270 calories but still get your fancy drink.

Get the tall + a Venti ice water:  If you can’t help yourself and really want the full-blown drink like a salted caramel mocha, try getting a tall size and ask for a venti ice water with it.  This will leave you with the drink you want, you’ll still be equally as full if you add the water, and the difference in a venti vs. tall for a drink like a salted caramel mocha is about 200 calories.

Coffee or Tea through the week, fancy drink on Friday:  I was on an iced white chocolate mocha kick for awhile.  I couldn’t stop!  I finally told myself if I drank a non-fat coffee (hot or iced) through the week, then I’d allow myself the mocha on Friday.  By doing this you’ll save yourself approximately 1200 calories that week!

Use the term “light” or “skinny” in your order:  If you’re ordering more than a regular coffee, add in a “light” or “skinny” in your order and that means Starbucks has your calorie counting back — it means they use non-fat milk, no whipped cream, and sugar-free syrup (which, I’m not a big fan of sugar-free products because they can make your stomach feel weird . . . but at least they will make your now flat stomach feel weird, ha!).  This can reduce total calories by about 60%.

Cheers to a low calorie pumpkin spiced filled holiday season . . . no whip.