Fall is a special time. Lots of great things occur. My kids go back to school. Football season starts again. I can finally stop wearing shorts and can (hopefully!) get back into my favorite jeans. But, even more important to an entire legion of my friends is the return of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. I have friends who wait all year long to be able to order this drink. It’s immensely popular and stores have a tough time keeping the syrup on the shelves. Have you ever wondered if this drink was worth it? Let’s take a look.
From the Starbucks website, the 16 ounce Grande size, made with 2% milk, contains 380 calories, 13 grams of fat, 51 grams of carbohydrates and 49 grams of sugar. That’s a hefty dose for one beverage – even if it does just come once a year. How can you enjoy this drink without ruining your daily calorie count? Order a Tall or even a Short size – an option that’s not listed on the menu board but is available. Have your drink made with non-fat milk and one less pump of the flavored syrup. Skip the whipped cream and you’ve dropped the drink into a more tolerable caloric range.
Order a Tall Pumpkin Spice Latte with all of these changes it’s a 170-calorie treat. Order the Short with these changes, and it’s only 100 calories. If you count calories, you can easily work this in to your budget once a week, especially if you have a dedicated workout regimen.
If you really must have the original drink in all its caloric goodness, what are some ways you can work it off? After all, what’s life without a treat now and again, right? Those 380 calories translate to walking a four mph pace for two hours, running a seven mph pace for 20 minutes, bikram yoga for 45 minutes, or bicycling 45 minutes. Is is worth it to you? Only you can decide – but know what you are getting before you step up to the counter.
Another alternative – you could make one yourself at home. While this Biggest Loser Frosty Pumpkin Smoothie isn’t warm, it does only have 132 calories.
Are you a Pumpkin Spice Latte devotee? How do you make it fit in your diet?
September 8th, 2009