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Slimmed-Down Sips: Smart Swaps for Your Favorite Winter Drinks

Slim down these tasty treats so there's no side of guilt. (Photo courtesy of Starbucks)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

It seems that as soon as we set our healthy eating and weight loss resolutions, the blustery winter sends us running into the comforting arms of our favorite coffee shop to down those delicious cold-weather drinks we love so much. They warm us up from the inside out, and let’s face it, they taste like happiness in a cup on the days we really need a lift.

Unfortunately, those daily pick-me-ups come at a caloric cost and it leaves less room for good-for-you food choices. So in an effort to have our coffee and drink it too, we tapped executive chef Anthony Stewart of the Pritikin Longevity Center to serve up the best-tasting ways to slim down our favorite winter beverages from popular specialty chains, rather than ruling them out altogether.

“It’s always good to remember that the food industry is big on presentation and taste but not so much on nutrition,” Stewart says. “So whenever you can dilute or make a simple substitution request, it will serve you well.” Little things like skipping the caramel drizzle, choosing from available fat-free milk and asking for unsweetened cocoa powder can go a long way. So the next time you hit up Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts or Tim Horton’s in an effort to escape from the cold, make these simple requests to save your calories without skimping on flavor.

Starbucks Tall Peppermint Mocha

Original calorie count: 320

Simple swaps:

  • Replace syrup with 1 ½ tablespoons of Crème de Menthe
  • Add 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Request hot skim milk over whole milk
  • Choose frothed skim milk instead of whipped cream

New calorie count: 213

Calories saved: 107

Dunkin Donuts Small Red Velvet Latte

Original calorie count: 230

Simple swaps:

  • Opt for skim milk over whole
  • Say no thanks to the added food coloring
  • Top it off with frothed milk, not whipped cream

New calorie count: 153

Calories saved: 77

Tim Horton’s Small Mocha Latte

Original calorie count: 180

Simple swaps:

  • Ask for unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Choose skim or soy milk
  • Opt for frothed skim milk over “White Gloop”

New calorie count: 120

Calories saved: 60

More from FITNESS:

 The Sipping Point: Calorie-Packed Drinks and Your Weight

Sip Smarter: Our Guide to Health Drinks

The 8 Healthiest Drinks

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