The Guilt-Free Pumpkin Spice Latte

By Carmen Staicer for

From kids going back to school to football season kicking off, fall is a wonderful time of year. One thing that may be most anticipated is the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Some people wait all year to order this hot, seasonal beverage. It’s immensely popular and stores have a tough time keeping the syrup on the shelves. If you’re watching your weight, or just trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it might seem like a splurge not worth taking.

The 16-ounce Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte, made with 2 percent milk, contains 380 calories, 13 grams of fat, 51 grams of carbohydrates and 49 grams of sugar (via That’s a hefty dose of empty calories and sugar, not to mention fat, for a beverage.

However, there is a way to indulge without over doing it.

  • Order a Tall to save 80 calories, or a Short, an option not posted on many menus, to save 170 calories.
  • Request non-fat milk to save 50 calories. Soy milk will only save you 10 calories.
  • Use one less pump of the flavored syrup, which adds 30 calories/pump to your drink.
  • Forgo the whipped cream and save 70 calories.

Order a Tall Pumpkin Spice Latte with our changes and now you have a 170-calorie treat that isn’t as bad for you. Order the Short with our changes, a manageable 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, you can always burn it off. But where’s the joy in that? Those 380 calories translate to:

  • Walking a 4 mph pace for two hours
  • Running a 7 mph pace for 20 minutes
  • Bikram yoga for 45 minutes
  • Bicycling 45 minutes

Is is worth it to you? Only you can decide – but know how you will order before stepping up to the counter.

Another alternative – you can always go the homemade route. This saves calories and money!

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mary r.
Mary R.3 years ago


Heidi H.
Past Member 4 years ago

My only coffee temptation is an ice coffee. Thank goodness they come in a sugar free variety.

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

Thanks for the article!

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton4 years ago


Sandi C.
Sandi C.4 years ago


SuSanne P.
SuSanne P.4 years ago

Thank You.

Kenneth D.
Kenneth Davies4 years ago


Natasha Lopez
Natasha L.4 years ago


Emily L.
Emily L.4 years ago

I thought it was going to give us a recipe to make it ourselves :( I would prefer a less sugary version than the syrup...

Janice P.
Janice P.4 years ago

Since I don't have these very often, I feel no guilt in getting the full benefit out of one of these, though I would request the "tall" or "shorter" version. Love pumpkin spice. Yum!