Treat yourself in an instant

Kellie Collins

It’s January and we’ve all got the post-Christmas blues. Well, I have anyway! It’s dark when I wake up and dark when I leave work, so I get to see very little daylight. And on top of that the rainy (and windy!) season seems to be setting in! How many days left until summer – roll on!

At this time of year we feel inclined to treat ourselves and what better way on a cold, wet and windy night, than snuggling in front of the TV with a steaming mug of hot chocolate.

But have you ever thought that one mug of this can be as damaging to your diet as an actual bar of chocolate? Hmm, for some reason we don’t think of these types of drinks as ‘baddies’ – maybe we subconsciously think they’ll run right through us without depositing any fat or calories along the way. If only!

In actual fact, you need to choose these just as wisely as anything else in your diet.

I took a look at a selection of hot chocolate drinks so let me share some of the details with you…

The King of hot chocolate has to be Cadbury’s Drinking Chocolate – you know, the one in the purple tin with the mug on front that resembles a huge chunk of dairy milk?

Well, you won’t be reaching for that again when you discover that one mug made with whole milk will give you 202 calories and a massive 9.1 grams of fat! If you’re following our Totals Plan, this works out at 3 Totals - that’s a lot of Totals in one cup!

This mug of chocolate has almost as many calories as a bar of Cadbury’s dairy milk – and which would you feel more guilty about?

A bit less guilt-inducing are Cadbury’s Toppers with Marshmallow that have 135 calories, 2.8 grams of fat and 1½ to 2 Totals – still quite high, especially when you consider that 2.3 grams of that fat is saturated.

But fear not, a mug of hot chocolate can still be the highlight of your day with Cadbury’s Highlights – with only half a Total or 40 calories and 1.4 grams of fat, you can have your chocolate treat and not feel guilty about it.

Or your other option is one of the Options drinks, again with half a unit or 40 calories and only 1.3 grams of fat – and you even have a choice of yummy flavours such as Belgian Chocolate, Chocolate Orange or my favourite, Mint Chocolate.

So you can have your hot chocolate after a long, hard day at work – or even for your break at work!

If you don’t want to make a horlicks of your diet but prefer a malted drinks, go for the instant, low fat versions of drinks such as Horlicks and Ovaltine. Full fat versions made with whole milk have a whopping 190 calories and over 7 grams of fat (2½ Totals), while instant, low fat drinks have less than half the calories (around 100 per cup), a fraction of the fat (only 1 gram of fat per serving) and only half a Total!

While we’re on the subject of instant drinks, I also spied some instant coffee type drinks in the supermarket. A great idea for those of us who don’t have cappuccino machines at our disposal – and let’s face it, not many of us do!

Nestlé’s instant Cappuccino, at 50 calories and 2 grams of fat (½ unit) is perfect for mid-morning, especially since a Cappuccino from a coffee shop could have up to 100 calories and 6 grams of fat.

They also have a Café Latte which is slightly higher in the fat and calorie stakes with 140 calories and 5 grams of fat (2 Totals) but would make a nice treat – just don’t be tempted to add a spoonful of cream or you’ll smother it with an extra 130 calories!

So now you know the facts, you can try out some of these drinks and decide which is your favourite - you’re only an instant away from a choccy or coffee treat!

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