If you’re a weight conscious coffee lover, I have some great news for you – coffee has almost no calories. BUT, some coffees come with a big but(t)…
A mug of freshly brewed black coffee has 2 calories, and a single shot of espresso has only 1 calorie. The ‘but’ we spoke of before comes in what else is added to the coffee – the cream, sweeteners and flavorings. For example, a vente Iced White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks will add an eye watering 640 calories to your bottom line.
If you’re on a strict calorie controlled diet, stick to black coffee or espresso only.
The Effect of Coffee on Weight Loss
Studies have shown that black coffee or espresso at the very least can help you lose weight. This isn’t guaranteed, but what is conclusive is that it won’t cause you to gain weight when taken in moderation.
It does this through a few different ways:
Thermogenesis is when your body produces heat. Whenever your body produces heat, it gets that heat by burning energy. Studies have found that normal doses of caffeine can have a significant effect on energy balance and may promote thermogenesis, even while resting.
Although the difference massive, it means you can burn more energy while resting if you’ve had a little coffee that day than if you didn’t.
Coffee is an anorectic, which is a fancy pants way of saying that it’s an appetite suppressant. This is only when taken in moderation though – too much caffeine and you’ll get jittery and hungry.
This again supports the idea of one or two cups of black coffee or shots of espresso a day, depending on your tolerance.
Coffee and Exercise
A cup of coffee before hitting the gym can help you perform better and lose more weight.
It mobilizes free fatty acids which can then be oxidized during exercise, the caffeine stimulation can energize you to work harder, and its powerful antioxidants help in recovery and in immune function.
… but don’t base your weight loss plan solely on coffee
Just like anything else, too much caffeine is bad for you. It’s a drug and as you take more and more, your body builds up a tolerance to it. This means the negatives will soon catch up to the positives and overtake them.
Too much coffee raises your stress levels which can lead to overeating and an increase in calorie consumption. It can also lead to insomnia, which again leads to overeating.
And that’s not to mention the risk of frequent snacking instead of real meals when you’ve had too much coffee – its effect as an appetite suppressant might leave you feeling like small snacks here and there are enough. But this can have a net effect of more calories and poorer nutrition.
The effect of caffeine is short-lived, so it’s best to just incorporate your regular amount of caffeine into your weight loss endeavors, which will probably be one to a few cups a day.
And make sure it’s black or espresso!