SHAPING UP: Be careful when it comes to having seasonal sugar-laden special drinks
Autumn is just around the corner and all of the coffee shops like Starbucks and Costa have started to sell their Autumn specials.
When the weather gets colder and days get shorter there’s nothing more satisfying than a hot cup of coffee to lift your mood.
But, be careful!
While they are very tasty, they are also really high in calories and packed full of sugary syrups.
I’m not saying you can’t enjoy a nice coffee but if you’re trying to lose weight, these sugar laden specials can easily tip your calorie and sugar intake over your limit and bring your weight loss efforts to a halt.
Check out the nutritional content of the popular coffee drinks below:
Note: the recommended daily sugar intake for adults is 6 teaspoons per day, and too much sugar results in storing body fat.
A grande Pumpkin Spiced Latte made with semi-skimmed milk, from Starbucks, contains 383 calories and 43.3 grams (12.5 teaspoons) of sugar. Nearly DOUBLE the recommended daily amount for adults.
A grande Maple Latte made with semi-skimmed milk, from Starbucks, contains 332 calories and 34.5 grams (8.5 teaspoons) of sugar. That’s over the daily recommended amount (6 grams) for an adult.
A venti Bonfire Spiced Latte made with semi-skimmed milk, from Costa, contains 140 calories and 22.4g grams (5.5 teaspoons) of sugar. That’s nearly the daily recommended amount for adults in one cup of coffee!
A venti Bonfire Spiced Hot Chocolate made with semi-skimmed milk, from Costa, contains 250 calories and 35.7g (8.5 teaspoons) of sugar. Again, over the adults daily ere recommended allowace for sugar.
So, if you’re a bit of a coffee junkie and you have 3 Pumpkin Spiced Lattes per week, that’s your recommended weekly sugar intake taken up with just 3 coffees! That’s without all of the other food and drinks that your consuming that week too. So, you can see how easy it is to go over your recommended sugar and calorie allowance!
What can you have instead?
Coffee can actually be very helpful with weight loss if you use it in the right way (in small amounts).
Caffeine is a stimulant and can help improve your focus. It makes you feel more alert and can spur you on to be more active.
On the other hand, too much coffee has the opposite effect. It will make you feel sluggish and tired.
My advice is:
Limit Your Coffee Intake To One Per Day
If you’re having more than one per day then try to cut down so that you avoid sugar cravings.
Drink Black Coffee
Espressos and Americanos are great because they are low in calories and don’t contain and sugary syrups or milk. Meaning you can enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee without tipping you over your calorie allowance.
Ask For A Substitute
If you really can’t resist a flavoured latte, then you can ask for it to be made with soya, coconut or almond milk (which has less calories that cows milk) and ask for half the amount of syrup, so that it lowers the amount of calories that you’re consuming.
Time Your Caffeine
The best time to have a coffee is about half an hour before your workout to make you more alert and focused. You’re more likely to push yourself harder during the workout if you’re alert. On days that you don’t have a workout scheduled, mid-morning is the best time to get a caffeine hit as this is usually when most people have a dip in concentration.
Avoid Caffeine Close To Bed Time
Personally, I don’t drink coffee after 4pm because I’m wide awake come bed time. If you find it hard to get to sleep on a night try reducing your caffeine intake, especially in the afternoon.