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4 diet-busting fast-food drinks (and better choices to save you 1,464 calories)

By Hilary Meyer, June 8, 2010 - 10:51am

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4 diet-busting fast-food drinks (and better choices to save you 1,464 calories)

When it’s stifling hot outside and there’s nowhere to escape the heat, I like to treat myself to an ice-cold beverage. But some of my favorite summer drinks, such as milkshakes and iced coffees, are loaded with calories. Just because it fits through a straw doesn’t mean it’s good for me. (Check out 6 more healthy-sounding foods that really aren’t here.)

So when I’m craving a cool summer sipper that won’t take all day at the gym to work off, I turn to my favorite healthy summer drink recipes instead. The slushie I would have bought at a convenience store or the chocolate milkshake at a fast-food joint all have equally crave-worthy alternatives I can make at home for a lot fewer calories. And I’ve discovered some better options for my waistline I can order when I’m out.

Here are four summer diet-busting drinks and their better-for-you alternatives for both on-the-go and at home. By making your own versions at home, you’ll save a whopping 1,464 calories versus choosing these diet-busting fast-food sippers.

Diet-Busting Drink: McDonald’s Chocolate McCafe Shake (15.8 oz.), 880 calories, 24 grams fat.
Lighter Option to Order: McDonald’s Wild Berry Smoothie (12.3 oz.), 210 calories, 0.5 g fat
Better Option to Make at Home: Double-Chocolate Malted Shake. 1 1/2 cups has 224 calories and 9 grams fat, plus calcium (18% daily value).
Total Savings vs. Diet-Busting Drink: 656 calories and 15 grams of fat.

Diet-Busting Drink: 7-Eleven Dr. Pepper Slurpee (8 oz.), 120 calories, 33 grams sugar.
Lighter Option to Order: 7-Eleven Crystal Light Peach Mango Fusion (12 oz.), 60 calories, 0g sugar
Better Option to Make at Home: Watermelon Slush. 1 cup has 48 calories and 10 grams sugar, plus vitamins A and C, and potassium.
Total Savings vs. Diet-Busting Drink: 72 calories and 22 grams sugar.

Diet-Busting Drink: Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino Grande size (16 oz.), 440 calories, 18 grams fat.
Lighter Option to Order: Starbucks Mocha Light Frappuccio (16 oz.), 140 calories, 1 gram fat
Better Option to Make at Home: Greek Iced Coffee. One cup has 57 calories, 1 gram fat, plus antioxidants, a little boost of calcium and protein.
Total Savings vs. Diet-Busting Drink: 383 calories and 17 grams of fat.

Diet-Busting Drink: Jamba Juice Strawberries Wild (30 oz.), 510 calories
Lighter Option to Order: Jamba Juice Berry Fulfilling (16 oz.), 150 calories
Better Option to Make at Home: Wake-Up Smoothie. One cup has 157 calories, packs two servings of fruit, plus soy protein, fiber and vitamin C (110% dv).
Total Savings vs. Diet-Busting Drink: 353 calories

Do you know how many calories are in your favorite summer drink? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Hilary Meyer, Diet Blog, Diet, Recipe Makeover, Weight loss

Hilary Meyer
EatingWell Associate Food Editor Hilary Meyer spends much of her time in the EatingWell Test Kitchen, testing and developing healthy recipes. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute.

Hilary asks: Do you know how many calories are in your favorite summer drink?

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