How to save calories at Starbucks???

Oh yes even people in Nassau, Bahamas love their Starbucks! Ok maybe it is just there for the tourists…

So my friends and family know that I openly admit to being addicted to Starbucks!

 But wait Ashley, how do you drink so many lattes and not gain weight? I know, I know: How do I do this when they have white chocolate mochas totaling to 370 calories for a tall and tall sized frappucchino’s for 400 calories?

Here are just a few of my favorite tips:

  • Ask for non-fat milk, simple enough right?
  • Never order anything above a Grande unless you know you have the calories to spare. But really a Venti? Do you need that much milk (calorie wise) at once ? Hot Grandes and Ventis both only get 2 shots anyway….(thanks Jen)
  • Try to limit yourself to only 4 times per week-make coffee or espresso at home. Yes I have a hard time sticking to this rule. Some weeks I do, some I don’t!
  • Always skip the whip
  • When ordering a Pumpkin Spice latte or any other flavored latte
    • A tall gets 3 pumps of syrup, ask for 1
    • A grande gets 4 pumps of syrup, ask for 1 or 2
    • A venti gets 5 pumps of syrup, ask for 3 but this is really too much as we have already discussed!
      • How do I order this????
  • Grande non-fat 2 pump Caramel Latte or Tall non-fat 1 pump Toffee nut latte!
  • Different syrups have different amounts of calories
    • Most flavored syrups: 20 calories per pump
    • Mocha: 25 per pump
    • Pumpkin Spice: about 38 per pump
    • White Mocha: about 60 per pump! Avoid this syrup!
  • So if you ordered a Grande Non-fat Caramel Latte, the total calorie count is 200! That is 80 calories of added sugar (4 pumps). But when you only get 1 or 2 pumps of caramel syrup that is 140 to 160 calories. So yes you are only saving 40 to 60 calories. But if you do this consistently, it adds up!    
  • Compare a Regular Tall Pumpkin Spice Latte made with 2% and whip: 300 calories!
  • A Non-fat, 1 pump Pumpkin Spice Latte with no whip: about 130 calories
  • If you ordered this beverage everyday of the week:
    • Regular: 2100 calories total
    • “Light Version”: 910 calories total
    • That’s 1190 calories saved for a whole week! Hello that’s 2, even 3 meals for some people!

  • Some drinks come with whip some don’t. You do not have to say no whip to drinks that don’t come with it but to be sure they don’t add it you can go ahead and say it. But for reference here is a list of drinks that come with whip: mocha, white mocha, pumpkin spice, cinnamon dolce  
  • What about sugar free syrups? If you can stand the after taste, be my guest. I would rather have a little of the real thing.
  • Caramel Macchiatos! I know this drink is confusing. Macchiatos get one less pump of vanilla syrup on the inside because they have caramel sauce added up top. But I don’t think a Grande needs 3 pumps of vanilla syrup and caramel sauce. My favorite drink: Grande non-fat 1-pump vanilla caramel macchiato. Yes I’m complicated; they hate to see me coming. But my waistline loves me.
  • Frappucchino’s: well now you can customize these to be made with non-fat milk, ask for no whip, and cut down on the syrup pumps if you are getting anything other than a plain coffee frappucchino. The base they use to make these drinks still has lots of sugar so there really is no way around that. Your best bet is to stick with hot or iced lattes.
  • Another thing is to not consider a latte a side beverage. Consider it a snack or part of a meal to tally into your total intake for the day as it contains useful (energy) calories from the milk. The sugar if added will be discretionary (empty) calories.

If you are used to drinking the drinks like they come then yes a lot of this will be a major adjustment! But once you cut down on sugar for a long period of time you will get used to it. You will make a face just like you just tasted something sour when you taste something overly sweet. There is no need to drink your calories when there is all that food out there just waiting to be eaten! Ha ha, just kidding! But for the most part, if you are trying to lose weight or not gain weight, chewing is more satisfying. Be smart about your beverages. There is nothing wrong with a skim latte with a little bit of sugar in your diet. You will get protein, calcium, and carbohydrates from the milk plus energy with the caffeine.

Good luck on customizing your Starbucks order! I know you can do it!


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jen
    Sep 30, 2010 @ 14:51:20

    Hi Ashley,

    Great post on Starbucks. However, ventis and grandes have the same amount of caffeine, as they both have only 2 shots of espresso. The only difference is the amount of milk. (I work at Starbucks).
    Have a great day!


    • ash307
      Sep 30, 2010 @ 14:56:28

      Thanks Jen! I actually thought about that after I published the post! I guess what I meant was do you really need that much milk! Thank you for specifying! What about the Iced Venti’s? Do they only get 2 shots as well? I’ve heard 2 or 3 since they are actually larger then the hot ventis….Thanks!


  2. satschuck
    Sep 30, 2010 @ 16:35:16

    the short drink is still available – just not on the menu – that is 8 ounces of yummy goodness (tall is 12 grande is 16 and venti is 20)


  3. BPB1221
    Sep 01, 2013 @ 07:26:27

    great tips!! And the iced venti beverages do come with 3 shots 🙂


  4. Melanie
    Jul 11, 2014 @ 09:07:52

    Four years later I just found this very helpful!


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