By Tina Haupert
Now that it's starting to feel like fall, I can't wait to get my hands on a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. But a grande made with whole milk and topped with whipped cream has a whopping 410 calories—crazy, right?
Even if you go "skinny" (made with non-fat milk), your Pumpkin Spice Latte is still 260 calories. That's not a ton of calories, but ordering one just a few times a week when I need an afternoon pick-me-up adds more than 1,000 calories into my week—and that's just from coffee! When you factor in a morning glass of juice and a couple of happy hour cocktails, those weekly drink calories sure add up!
But no way am I cutting out my caffeine fix. Instead, I've implemented some rules so I don't overload my diet with beverage calories. Here's how I think before I drink.
I drink in the morning
I drink most of my caloric beverages, like iced coffee and juice, early in the day when I'm most active and more likely to burn off the calories throughout the rest of the day.
I stick to 100% fruit juice
Some juices are packed with sugar, so I make sure to read labels and select ones that are 100% fruit juice to cut out empty calories from extra sugar. Plus, 100% juices are rich in disease-fighting antioxidants. For the most nutritional punch, try one of these 10 antioxidant-packed beverages.
I savor each sip
I just can't say no to whipped cream on top of my Pumpkin Spice Latte so I make sure to enjoy ever single sip of this diet splurge. But I also take steps to whittle down its calorie count. I order mine made with soymilk, which retains the creaminess of the drink without all of the fat of whole milk. I also order my fancy latte all by itself; if I had it along with a meal or a snack I wouldn't realize how many calories it has in it.
I pace myself
When it comes to a glass of wine or a beer, I try to drink a glass of water between rounds. This way I consume fewer calories without missing out on any of the fun. Plus, I stay hydrated at the same time.
I add some zing to plain water
I drink a lot of water throughout the day, but it can get really boring. To spice up my H2O, I experiment with adding fresh ingredients, such as cucumber and orange slices, or even fresh herbs, like basil and mint.