‘Tis the season for festive beverages! They are everywhere, fueled by the Starbucks engine churning out tempting treats like Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Peppermint Mochas, Gingerbread Lattes, Caramel Brulee Lattes and the like. I love a sweet beverage in a pretty holiday cup as much as the next girl, but before you order, it’s worth considering the impact these treats might have on your wellness goals.
As an example, this week I was in a Panera ordering a nonfat latte for a client, and since Panera graciously publishes calorie counts on their menu boards, I noted it was 120 calories. Right above it on the menu board? A NEW Panera holiday beverage, Peppermint Hot Chocolate (yum!). Calories in that Peppermint Hot Chocolate? 610. Let me say that again. SIX HUNDRED AND TEN. (After checking online I can also tell you it has 17 grams of fat. Whoa.)
I did some quick math standing there in line and thought – wow – if someone mindlessly replaced her daily nonfat latte with a Peppermint Hot Chocolate for the month of December, she’d gain four pounds on hot chocolate alone! (500 calories * 7 days a week = 3500 calories = 1 pound/week) And that’s before eating a single Christmas cookie!
So what’s my point? Look, if Peppermint Hot Chocolate sounds like Christmas to you, by all means, order one and enjoy it! It’s a treat, and I have no doubt that it would be a delicious one. Or, you might consider making it yourself – sugar free hot cocoa mix with a dash of peppermint extract or even a candy cane does the trick!
If, instead, you plan to make that your daily morning beverage, you may want to reconsider…or at least start planning now for the exercise plan to take off the four extra pounds you’ll be carrying come January. Eek!