Doing It Right: Hot Drinks

(NECN) - A hot drink really hits the spot on a cold day, but some of the most dangerous calories are the ones that come in a cup.

Jacqui Bryan is a registered nurse and health coach. She’s here to help us do it right.
You may not realize that you can sabotage an entire day’s worth of healthy eating and living just by what you’re drinking; 200 extra calories a day can add up to five pounds over three months, so adding just a few calories can add up fast.

Let's start with hot chocolate. A 12 ounce fully loaded hot chocolate with full fat milk, full fat cream, weighs in at 320 calories and 16 grams of fat. You can go for the skinny option or cut down the portion size if you want to enjoy a hot chocolate.

What about coffee? Not all coffees are created equal either; there’s 10 calories for black coffee. The challenge is when you add in all the extras. Whipped cream adds 130 calories, 12 grams of fat. One tablespoon of sugar adds 45 calories. One tablespoon of chocolate syrup adds 50 calories. Those coffee drinks that people drink typically have a quarter of a cup of syrup which is about 200 extra calories. So Bryan says if you’re going to drink that kind of drink, make it a dessert.

What are some alternatives for your coffee? You can use skim milk instead of whole milk to save 140 calories. You can use non-calorie sweeteners or light chocolate syrups, which are about half the calories.

Your taste buds may be less happy but it will pay off in your health.

Tea has no calories, but a tablespoon of honey has 64 calories.

Even if something is healthy, it still has calories, so you still have to watch that, Bryan says.

Hot cider has a little bit more of a nutritional bonus than the others; 12 ounces is 140 calories.

Hot buttered rum is the biggest offender of all. It’s dangerous; 12 ounces has 444 calories and 17 grams of fat. The butter and sugar increase the calories in this drink.

A cold drink you can cut out to save on calories is soda.

For more information, you can visit Bryan's website.

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