If you’re like me, what got you through winter was your weekly or daily (you have to earn that gold card somehow) Starbucks drink. But not any old cup of black coffee, it was the lattes that got me. You can’t go wrong with any of them taste-wise, but nutrition-wise, that’s a whole different story.

Now that it’s officially spring, it’s shorts and tank top time! Your motivation for making 2015 the year you actually get that summer bod is at an all-time high. I decided that instead of choosing the sugary goodness of that grande caramel flan latte, I would go for whatever had the least amount of calories. That’s healthier right? Wrong.

Green Tea Lattes


Photo by Christina Chu

Made with matcha powder, green tea lattes boast levels of anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins equal to 10 cups of brewed green tea, so they should be healthy.

Unfortunately, what’s in Starbucks’ green tea lattes is not just matcha powder. Starbucks’ matcha powder contains sugar and flavorings. On top of that, a green tea latte is normally sweetened with syrup—in a tall, there’re already 40 grams of sugar. Instead of spending money on a latte whose health benefits are overcome by the sheer amount of sugar, try this recipe instead.

Skinny Lattes

Venturing into any Starbucks, you’re greeted with the option to customize any of their lattes into a “skinny latte.” These lattes look, smell and taste just like normal lattes at a fraction of the calories. What makes them less caloric is that a skinny beverage uses non-fat milk, sugar-free syrup and no whipped cream.

You may think that because there’re less calories, the drink is healthier, but sugar-free syrup is one of the worst substitutes. Not only is it filled with artificial chemicals, but these chemicals increase your appetite.

Iced Tea Lemonades

Recently, on a rare warm and sunny day, I rediscovered iced beverages. The black tea lemonade is a favorite that quenches my thirst and whose calorie count doesn’t cause self-hatred. Depending on the barista, you may be asked to have your beverage sweetened. Unsuspectingly, I’ve always gotten it sweetened, an unnecessary 150 calorie 3-6 pumps of sweetener.


Photo by Christina Chu

Don’t base your drink orders off the number of calories, but instead reduce your drink size or the number of drinks you get a week. If caffeine is what your body craves, brew your own tea or coffee—you’ll save money and be in control of what you put in your beverage.

If you’re looking for more ways to fit back into those shorts, check out these articles: