Weight Loss & Diet

10 Best Weight Loss Hacks for Beverages at Starbucks

10 Best Weight Loss Hacks for Beverages at Starbucks
Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health

In this article:

  • Starbucks has many high-calorie, high-sugar beverages. It also has some better choices for weight loss.
  • Check the nutrition information before you go. Decide what you will order. Remember that baristas will make any swaps you ask for. That way, you can reduce calories and limit sugar.
  • Order Short instead of a larger size to get a lower-calorie, lower-sugar version.
  • Other tips are to get fewer syrup pumps, skip whipped cream, and use stevia and cocoa powder, cinnamon powder, and vanilla to flavor your coffee or tea.
  • Lark has more tips for losing weight and eating healthy in ways that fit into your routine.

Nearly 40 million Americans visit Starbucks one or more times each month. Are you one of them? What you order can have a huge impact on weight loss. 

Order wrong, and your coffee shop habit can make your waistline balloon. Order well, and you can lose weight with Starbucks as part of a daily or weekly routine. Here are 10 tips for ordering better for weight loss at Starbucks.

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1. Check Nutrition Information Before You Go

It is always good to check nutrition information before ordering at a restaurant. You can check beverage information in one place here. You can also go to Starbucks’ online menu and click on individual items to see their calorie count and nutrient content. Note that the values shown only change if you change the size of the item. They do reflect any other changes, such as swapping the type of milk, skipping cream, or using less syrup.

2. Order “Short”

“Short” may not be on the menu, but it is an option. This 8-ounce choice has ⅔ the calories and sugar of the next smallest choice, Tall. You can still make some pretty bad choices (say, a Cafe Mocha with Whipped Cream and Whole Milk for 198 calories and 17 grams of sugar), but that sure beats the 448 calories and 41 grams of sugar in a Venti.

3. Limit Syrup

Some drinks come with four or more pumps of sugar-sweetened syrup. That equates to 20 grams of sugar. That is the amount in 5 cream-filled sandwich cookies. That explains why the Dietary Guidelines for Americans say that 11% of Americans’ intake of added sugar comes from sweetened coffee and tea beverages! Instead, limit the pump to 1 per drink. Or ask for sugar-free syrup. It may not be the best all the time because artificial sweeteners are linked to weight gain and insulin resistance, according to research in Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care. But the American Diabetes Association says products with artificial sweeteners can be a good choice for an occasional treat.

4. Skip the Cream

Whipped Cream adds up to 114 calories, mostly from saturated fat. Who needs it? If you want a creamier drink, include milk in your beverage.

5. Ask for Skim Milk

Skim milk has about half the calories as regular milk. If you are lactose intolerant, soy milk is a good option. Coconut or almond milk can work, but they may be sweetened. You are better off without their added sugars.

6. Use Starbucks as a Healthier Alternative

What is your typical fast food order? Where do you go when you need a drive through or quick pickup? Starbucks items can be healthier alternatives. For breakfast, Classic Oatmeal and Egg Bites easily beat most breakfast sandwiches with meat. For lunch, the Grilled Chicken and Hummus Protein Box can have half the calories as meals such as a burger and fries or a sandwich with chips. And cold brew and hot coffee beat milkshakes by a landslide. With early opening hours and over 18,000 locations in the US, Starbucks is as convenient as fast food.

7. Add Flavor without Many Calories

Cinnamon, cocoa powder, and vanilla have almost no calories but a lot of flavor. You can add them yourself. Even shaved chocolate has only 6 calories, and sprinkles have 4. That is almost nothing compared to adding sugar or extra pumps of syrup.

8. Get Your Beverage Iced

Iced beverages have ice in them. Ice is calorie-free and it takes up space in the cup. Choosing the same beverage in the same size as an iced beverage compared to a hot one has fewer calories and less sugar.

9. Custom Order

Baristas will make you whatever you like. Consider modifications such as a half-pump of syrup or adding extra ice. For a treat, skip the Frappuccino but order a latte with skim milk and sugar-free syrup, and top it with chocolate shavings. 

10. Keep Treats Small

What do a Starbucks’ Bagel, Chocolate Chip Cookie, and Chickpea and Avocado Protein Box have in common? They are too big. Whether you want something healthy or a little indulgence, take advantage of portion-controlled options at Starbucks. Cake Pops and Petite Scones may not be the healthiest choices, but they can fit into a weight loss program as an occasional treat. If your favorite item is oversized, split it with a friend or eat just half. 

Lower your risk of diabetes at no cost

Get Started
Weight 160lbs
Height 64

Losing weight can lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and that’s not all. When you lose a few extra pounds, energy levels can increase, cholesterol and blood pressure can improve, and clothes fit better. Best of all is that Lark makes weight loss simple!

Lark doesn’t just know which choices can lead to weight loss. Lark coaches you on how to make good choices that can become habits. With small changes that fit right into your lifestyle, you can drop pounds and lower your risk for type 2 diabetes. Your personal coach is available 24/7 through your smartphone so you can get expert tips, track meals, physical activity, and weight loss. 

The entire program may be available at no cost to you if your health insurer covers it. Click here to find out if you may be eligible for Lark! You could be minutes away from taking the first steps to hitting your weight loss goals and improving health.

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