Coffee is one of the most common beverages people drink on a daily basis. In most people’s eyes, coffee is more than just a drink, it’s a morning ritual, a habit, a necessity to allow for proper daily function. As you embark on your health journey, you change your bad habits by making healthier choices, eating more fruits and vegetables and well-balanced meals, and fitting exercise into your daily routine. Though drinking coffee is a habit, it doesn’t have to be a bad one. Asking someone to cut coffee out of their daily routine is practically a death sentence to beloved coffee drinkers around the globe. It isn’t necessary. In fact, coffee and caffeine have been studied to have a majority of health benefits such as aiding in athletic performance, improving cognitive function, and decreasing your risk for depression, type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.

Though there are those exceptional few out there who enjoy their coffee without milk or sugar, many people fall victim to “fat traps” when they order their morning cup. The reason why coffee can become a problem when it comes to managing your weight isn’t the coffee itself, but all of the “add ins” that people use to mask the bitter taste of plain black coffee. Coffee houses don’t make it easier either as they advertise tantalizing coffee selections such as “cookie dough iced coffee” or “crème Brule latte”. As tempting as they are, people don’t realize that these coffee drinks can add up to over 300 calories just for one! There are some tricks you can follow to avoid these coffee “fat traps” and keep a healthy habit from becoming an unhealthy one.

The first is simple. Take baby steps and make the switch from whole milk, to low fat milk and finally, to fat free milk. It may seem like a drastic change at first, but before you know it, it won’t seem so bad. A lot of coffee houses also offer soy milk, a non-dairy alternative to milk that is creamy and slightly sweet.

The next culprit for most people is the added sugar and artificial sweeteners. Again, baby steps with this one. Cut down the amount of sugar you put in your coffee a little at a time so you eventually get used to about a teaspoon per cup. You don’t only have to worry about the sugar you are adding to your coffee, but also how much the barista is adding. Most coffee beverages nowadays come with a specific number of pumps of flavor syrups and sweeteners the barista needs to put in each drink; sometimes up to 4 pumps! Ask for only 1-2 pumps in your drink to eliminate an unnecessary sugar rush or try the sugar-free syrups available to see how you like that instead. You likely won’t even notice the difference. Another way to cut sugar without losing flavor is to utilize the spices coffee houses place on the counters for customers. Add a few dashes of cinnamon or nutmeg to your coffee to provide sugar-free flavor. These spices also have their own set of health benefits, so you can feel like you’re doing your body good with each sip.

If you really love your caramel macchiato in the morning, try making it a treat, rather than your morning “go to” drink. Have it once a week when you really are craving it and stick to a healthier coffee option for the rest of the week. The same thing goes for whipped cream. Adding whip to your coffee beverage adds 70 calories and almost 10 grams of fat! You don’t need it every morning. Instead, get it on occasion to satisfy yourself and you will enjoy it that much more!

The last tip is to try something different. If you drink 4-5 cups of coffee a day, try adding herbal teas into the mix. Even though regular coffee drinking isn’t bad for your health, in excess it can be, as with any other food or drink. A lot of coffee houses offer a variety of teas, some that are calming and some that have aromatic smells to wake you up in the morning. Make sure you ask for unsweetened and, if you have to, sweeten with only a little bit of sugar.

When it comes to coffee, it isn’t about kicking the habit, but rather changing it. Calorie laden drinks often get forgotten about, and when you are drinking them every day without realizing it, they can have negative effects on both your health and weight. Hopefully these tips can help you change the way you drink your daily cup of Joe and keep you on the look-out for those coffee “fat traps”.

Author's Bio: 

Bonnie R. Giller is a registered and certified dietitian nutritionist and certified intuitive eating counselor who helps chronic dieters break free of the pain of dieting and get the healthy body they love. She has multiple degrees in clinical nutrition, a certification as a certified diabetes educator and she works with people who are struggling with dieting or health conditions like diabetes take back control so they can get a healthy body and live their lives symptom free.

Bonnie utilizes the principles of intuitive eating in her work with her clients, which is eating based on internal signals of hunger and satiety versus situations or emotions. The result is they lose weight, keep it off without dieting and live a healthy life of guilt-free eating.

Bonnie is the author of 2 cookbooks and is now working on her third cookbook. She is also the author of an e-book called “5 Steps to a Body You Love Without Dieting” which you can download free at

For more information on Bonnie’s programs, books, lectures and presentations, visit