Is My Coffee Making Me Fat?

Alright, so your plain old cup of black coffee isn’t going to give you a cause for calorie concern. Add in some sugar, some milk or cream, and drink a few every day… and things can really start to add up!

An 8-ounce cup of regular or decaf coffee really isn’t going to run you up any calories. You can drink as much or as little of it as you want, and you won’t gain a pound! However, here’s what happens when you add the equivalent of one milk:

-coffee with whole milk: 146 calories
-coffee with skim milk: 86 calories

What about cream? Add a shot of cream, and you’re looking at 821 calories in your coffee and 55 grams of saturated fat. And that’s before any sugar! This will be basically standard, regardless of what coffee shop you’re buying from. The same is generally true of things like cappuccinos, lattes, and mochas – that is, before you’ve added whipped cream and sprinkles.

Your basic cappuccino is going to run you about 110 calories for a small, 160-180 calories for a medium, and up to 210 calories for a large. The calorie content will vary somewhat according to the kind of milk or cream you’ve asked them to make it with, but you’re still dealing with a hefty amount of sugar.

What about a latte? Lattes tend to have more milk in them than cappuccinos, so a small is going to run you up to 200 calories. Want a medium instead? Get ready for around 220-260 calories, depending on the kind of milk used. A large? That size will treat you to around 340 calories of delicious, frothy steamed milk and coffee.

Of course, if you’re fortunate enough to be a chocoholic as well as a caffeine addict, you’re probably more likely to enjoy a regular mocha every morning – who can’t use a sugar shock to get themselves moving? Have a small! It’ll only do you about 170-358 calories, depending on what kind of milk and chocolate is used. If you’re kind-of drowsy, why not have a medium? Only around 210-430 calories will head your way, so if you’re really tired and don’t think that’ll do the trick – have a large! That’ll do you for about 260-490 calories.


So much for tasty drinks… that kind of calorie ingestion can really add up! And if you’re adding whipped cream, or caramel sauce, or chocolate shavings, you’re getting even more calories in that one drink. One pump from a bottle of flavored syrup can hold up to 20 calories – though if you’re fortunate enough to frequent a shop with sugar-free syrups, you can get away with no extra calories in many cases. It might be worth looking into!

The situation may look dire, but there is a way to enjoy your caffeinated treats while staying calorie-wise. As painful as it might sound, try switching back to regular coffee during the weekdays, and try adding small amounts of milk and sugar-free sweetener, until you find a balance that tastes good and you can enjoy. If you simply can’t give up the exotic drinks, why not try something like a macchiato – it’s an espresso shot with a smaller amount of frothed milk, avoiding the caloric issues of cream or whole milk. It’s just like drinking a latte, only better for you!

If you want something with a little more variety in flavor, look into those sugar-free syrups, and buy a few to use at home. When you’re ordering out, opt for soy milk, which has far fewer calories than any other milk products. It may take a little effort at first, but you’ll feel better for it in the long run. And if you’re not sure what kind of milk or syrups are offered at your local café… ask! The best thing you can do for yourself is to be aware of what you’re putting inside your own body – even when it comes to coffee! Stay knowlegable, stay healthy, and you’ll stay enjoying your favorite coffees!