Chances are, you'll indulge in some special—and high-calorie—foods this holiday season. You probably don’t think of the coffee you sip at the end of your meal as one of those fattening treats. But maybe you should.

Though it has some health benefits, there can be quite a few calories in coffee—even if you skip the flavored drinks at coffee shops. Two cups, each with 2 ounces of cream and 2 teaspoons of sugar, contain about 300 calories and 24 grams of fat—about the same number of calories and twice the fat of a slice of pumpkin pie.


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Let's say you drink two daily cups of coffee. Simply adding cream to them adds up to 87,600 calories and 8,760 grams of fat in a year.

Add sugar and you tack on an additional 23,360 calories.

Though whole milk is a little less caloric than cream, it's still no weight-loss bargain; pour it in two cups of coffee a day and you’ll add 27,740 calories and 1,460 grams of fat to your diet over the course of a year.

And that can lead to weight gain: The rule of thumb is that 3,500 calories equals about a pound of body fat.

Does all this mean you have to drink your coffee black? Not at all. But a few simple adjustments, such as switching to 2 percent or nonfat milk or weaning yourself off sugar, can make a big difference in the number of calories in coffee. (Learn how almond, coconut, hemp, rice, and soy milks compare with dairy.)

To figure out how many calories and grams of fat you’re adding to your coffee, keep these numbers in mind:

  • 2 ounces of nonfat milk adds 22 calories and 0.1 grams of fat.
  • 2 ounces of 2 percent milk adds 30 calories and 1.2 grams of fat.
  • 2 ounces of whole milk adds 38 calories and 2 grams of fat.
  • 2 ounces of cream adds 120 calories and 12 grams of fat.
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar adds 16 calories and 0 grams of fat.