Saturday, November 6, 2010

You must read this if you love Starbucks Holiday Drinks

Like many others, I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of Christmas at Starbucks. It always comes in early November, one of those things you can always count on. The morning of November 2nd, I couldn't wait to sneak a peek at the new cups, to see what new gift things they came up with this year and to see if they had any new special Holiday Drinks.
All week I have been reading my Facebook and Blogger friends status updates about holiday drinks at Starbucks. This afternoon a friend told me she was terrified to find out how many calories were in a Eggnog Latte. I've never been into Eggnog, but I was curious and did some research.
I'm sorry. It's not pretty.
Before I go on, here's the thing about Starbucks Holiday Drinks. It's so exciting because they are here for a "limited time". Which is two months. That's not limited. That's  1/6th of the year! That's a lot of opportunities to have a "special treat" at Starbucks. The problem is when you have something that's that good, it can turn into a bit of an addiction.
Last year, around this time I discovered the London Fog, now called Earl Grey Tea Latte due to some copyright issue, but nonetheless, still delicious. I used to get one as a special treat once or twice a week. This turned into straight up every single day. "It's raining, I want a London Fog, I'm tired; I want a London Fog; I'm cold, I'm sick, I'm having a bad day, I'm having a good day, I'm breathing; I want a London Fog." Not good.
Anyways, thankfully once summer came I kicked the habit, but I am telling you I know first hand how addicting these things can be. So I'm here to give you some information about them. If I can't scare you with the numbers, I will give you some tips on ordering to save calories. Remember, it's not like these are the only calories you'll be consuming over the holiday season. Don't forget how you will be faced with goodies everywhere you go, including your place of work! 
The first thing I'm going to tell you about Starbucks drinks are, if you want to save calories and a bit of $, order with the four following requests:

No Whip Cream
Nonfat Milk
Half-Sweet (I promise you will NOT miss the extra sugar!)
Order a Tall instead of Grande

 I'm going to tell you the calorie counts now. Don't hate me.
 **Please note: all drinks are for Grande sizes. The calculator on the Starbucks website uses 2% milk automatically. I'm not sure if that means that they automatically use 2% or if they use whole milk. Anyways, these calorie counts are for 2% milk. Also I don't know how many calories are saved from ordering half sweet, the nutrition calculator doesn't have that option. It would also change the grams of sugars, I would assume to about half. Next to the regular calorie count is what the calorie count will be if you use my tips, including ordering a Tall instead of a Grande.

Eggnog Latte               510 Calories (21g fat,49g sugar) (350 calories, 15g fat, 39g sugar)

Gingerbread Latte      320 calories, 13g fat, 36g sugar (150 calories, 5g fat, 19g sugar)

Peppermint Mocha     400 calories, 15g fat, 49g sugar (210 calories, 2g fat, 37g sugar)

Pumpkin Spice Latte  380 calories, 13g fat, 39g sugar (200 calories, 0g fat, 39g sugar) 

Toffee Mocha               350 calories, 7g fat, 54g sugar (230 calories, 0.5g fat, 42g sugar)

As you can see, this way of ordering saves a ton of calories. It's still a lot, but it's much more reasonable. Life is all about balance. I'm not a nutritionist and I'm definitely not telling you to not get Starbucks Holiday Drinks, I'm just saying this is a much more guilt-free way to have them and you'll feel a lot better too! 

Another great way to save calories and money is making drinks at home. There is a great website for guilt-free pretty much everything, it's called Hungry Girl. You can see her Starbucks Holiday Drinks recipes here.

Another tip: Around this time of year, my husband and I love to go for walks to Starbucks after dinner. This way, we are burning at least some of the calories on the way there and back! I also love doing this because we get to look at all the Christmas lights on people's houses along the way.
Exercising is really important as the days get shorter and darker. If your like me, you could easily go home and fall asleep on the couch. Two nights in a row. This is a lame way to spend your evenings. Working out gives you more energy and helps with your sleep schedule! Clearly, I did not do enough of it this week. Oh well, it's the weekend, time to catch up!

Have a great Saturday!



  1. Awww gross!!! I have checked out my regular drinks but not these ones.. they are high up there! Thanks for passing this on (I told my hubby who LOVES Eggnog Lattes- he's thankful they're a treat after hearing that). Imagine that some people drink these daily??? I invested in a coffee machine at home to save money on the Starbucks trips but it truly is an outting in itself!!!!

  2. I love having Starbucks as an outing, but it's not good as a daily thing. I like things to be special so I only go with Leigh when we walk there. I'm so thankful I have a coffee machine at work, it's not the greatest coffee but it curbs the craving!