MHLbannersmallWe're all looking for some healthy tips: saving calories at Starbucks

As part of your monthly My Healthy Lifestyle newsletter, you'll have a chance to take advantage of some healthy tips from fellow employees. This month a Riverside team member offers some good thoughts on how to enjoy your morning coffee at Starbucks or your other favorite café – without overburdening your calorie intake.

What I learned about stopping by Starbucks once a day or several times a week, I learned the hard way. Remember, this was before there were calorie counts on all the products. So years ago, I would pop in on my way to the hospital in the morning and get a coffee which wasn't so bad. On the way home, though, I realized that, especially if I missed lunch or had a minimal one, I was sometimes consuming a dinner's worth of calories before I ate dinner! Now, there may be some time you're craving a caramel Frappuccino and a blueberry muffin. That's OK as long as you also realize you're bringing in almost 900 calories. That may work for a very infrequent treat, but it's not a good habit to get into.

StarbucksSo now there are three things I do to save on calories at Starbucks. The first thing is that I ALWAYS order a "tall" size, no matter what I'm drinking – tall of course, being "Starbucksese" for small. So you get a good taste of whatever it is but a lot less of what you don't want. Next, be sure to ask for nonfat or light soy. No need to pack in any extra calories with your dairy. Finally, skip the whipped, no matter what you're drinking. If they add whipped cream to it, you probably have a problem to begin with. That seems obvious, but you have to remember to remind them.

Finally, if you're looking to use the Wi-Fi or simply want to hang out, consider the bottled coffee drinks like the mocha lite Frappuccino. It's only 100 calories but still gives you a little bit of a treat. And that's kind of the point. Whether it's Starbucks or another coffee source, you can still get the taste you want and the caffeine boost you may need without overindulging.


If you have a health and wellness suggestion that other people can use please send it to Daniel Ballin at