Christmas Coffee | Calorie Counting

Written by Danielle Lickley

Christmas Coffees Are Calling

And with red cups, Christmas jumper cups, mini gingerbread men and glittery marshmallows who are we to decline! But what is really in these drinks, and could they be affecting your health in more ways than you think?

Now an initial reaction might be ‘bore off it’s only Christmas once a year’, but with that Christmas party awaiting and a substantial amount of food to eat, do you really want to be consuming that extra 3000 calories a week, equivalent of 1lb weight gain in coffee! I think not.


Here are some tips, tricks and information on how to enjoy your Christmas coffee without the added chunk!


#1 Think Before Your Drink


Looking through any mainstream coffee shop menu, you don’t have to be a nutritional genius to establish where the calories lie. Hot chocolates mean one thing, a lot of sugar. While Lattes are milky coffee… so milk. Look then at the flavourings… salted caramel syrups, gingerbread syrups. Syrup is just sugar under an alternative label, so add that to your hot chocolate and we’re talking even more calories from sugar.

Now one weekend hot chocolate or gingerbread latte is not going to kill you. But, if your a daily coffee shop goer, or on a pre-xmas weight loss journey it’s worth being aware.

What’s even more important is the coffee shops are not to blame here. Two of the most mainstream coffee shops in the UK, Starbucks and Costa, have perhaps one of, if not the most comprehensive nutritional information sheets, which details all of their drinks on their websites. Easy to find and simple to read, they go as far as to offer calories and macronutrient breakdowns for additional extras, from syrups and toppings, to milk. And here’s where you can have your cake and eat it too so as to speak…


#2 Stay Skinny


I am unapologetically ‘that person’ in a coffee shop. You know, the one who causes the staff to write a minor essay on the cup before handing it to the next person in the chain, or questions the staff’s whole product stock list before determining what to have. And here’s why.

Again, I am not blaming coffee shops for the calories in drinks. The healthy options are there if we choose to take them… even in the xmas range.

Let’s take a Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate to start

Its a weekend treat so it’s probably not going to be great. However, we’re aware of that and deserve to try it; its Christmas.

Person 1: I’ll have a Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate

This will hit in at:
556 calories 27.7 fat  17.6 of which saturates 57.0 carbs 45.0 sugars

Now to give the average person a perspective here… the little sachets of sugar you get in hotels etc: about 4g of sugar. Would you ever put 10 of those in a drink on a daily basis usually?! 28g of fat, the equivalent of 2 whole twixs (4 bars) in a drink!

And here we start to see why being ‘that person’ might be beneficial.

Person 2: I’ll have a small Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate with skimmed milk

The difference is phenomenal and you’re still trying one of the ‘naughty drinks’

Hitting in at

295 calories  10.9 fat 6.8 saturates 36.3 carbs 28.9 sugars 

I mean it’s not great but its better!


#3 Know The Best Options


Salted Caramel Cappuccino (small, skimmed milk)

64 calories 0.8 fat 0.3 saturates 9.2 carbs 8.8 sugars


And to top it off if you can ask for a reduced sugar salted caramel syrup, so asking for that can knock the sugar and calories down even more! Equally they do sugar free gingerbread syrup and a whole selection of them. Ask! Like I said I always quiz the team on what sugar free syrups are available. Calories from syrup and not food? I think not.


Iced Toffee Nut Latte (small, skimmed milk)

143 calories 5.8 fat 3.2 saturates 18.0 carbs 16.5 sugars


#4 Get Creative


Why not make these drinks yourself!? There are a whole range of sugar free syrups and flavdrops on the MyProtein website, add these to the protein hot chocolate, throw on some light whipped cream and some protein choccies! Done.

Not concerned about getting protein in through drinks, simply add the flav drops to an ordinary coffee or an options hot chocolate! Calculate the macros and share your own recipe!

Christmas is a time for sharing after all, let’s share health.

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Faye has worked with numerous high-profile oranisations, such as Men's Health, Sky Sports, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, British Dressage and GB Rowing, providing her expert sports science support. Find out more about Faye's experience here: She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding.

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