Can Coffee Make You Fat? Everything Explained.

Coffee bag on a set of scales

For those of us that need to start our day with our caffeine fix, is our daily coffee making us fat?

Maybe is the answer! If you are a person that likes to drink your coffee black, then it’s very low in calories and has no added fats or sugars this is unlikely to add to your weight gain. For those who like your coffee with milk and sugar potentially, this could be adding to your weight gain or damaging your health.

What Types of Coffees Are Low In Calories?

The coffees that are the best for our waistlines and contain low calories are those served black with water. I have selected a few coffee types that are fine for that waistline.

BeverageCalories
Instant coffee4
Espresso Coffee 9
Brewed Coffee 2
Americano15

What Types of Coffees Are High in Calories?

Person standing on a scale

It’s no secret that fancy coffee packs on the pounds! When looking at what’s making you gain weight beverages like lattes, mochas and macchiatos can be the causes as they packed with calories, sugars and fats. To illustrate the calories, I have selected three coffees from four major chains around the world.

Starbucks Beverage Calories
Iced Salted Caramel Mocha 300
Cinnamon Shortbread Latte 350
Eggnog Latte 470
Costa BeverageCalories
Cortado- made with whole milk248
Mocha cortado – made with whole milk 296
Caramel cortado – made with whole milk 319
Tim Hortons Beverage Calories
Mocha Iced Capp290
English Toffee Cappuccino 240
French Vanilla Cappuccino 250
Dunkin Donuts Beverage Calories
Coffee Coolatta (w/ Cream) 350
Mocha Swirl Latte 230
Mocha Almond Hot Latte 290

Milk, Cream and Sugar Add the Calories to Your Coffee

Milk, cream and sugars can be having negative affects to your weight or health. Let’s cover what affects these will be having when added to your coffee.

Milk and Cream

It depends on the type of coffee you drink and the milk products you like to use could affect your weight. If you’re having a coffee 4 large latte’s with full-fat milk to your daily intake you could be adding 600 calories in coffee’s.

Adding cream to your coffee will add another 101 calories for 2 tablespoons (1 ounce, or about 30 millilitres).

If you’re into to Vietnamese Coffee or those types with condensed milk then you could be adding 215 calories for 2 tablespoons (1 ounce, or about 30 millilitres) to your coffee.

As you can see all of this is enough to add one pound a week to your weight.

Consider switching your milk with low-fat versions which are lower in both calories and unhealthy saturated fats. Cutting down on the amount of milk/coffee ratios you have will also help with the process.

Plant Based Milks

Oatly Barista, Happy Happy Soy, Organic Oatly and Rude Health Almond Milk in a line

With the trend of plant-based milk going up, we are seeing more and more people switching to these for their coffees. The most popular in London is oat milk due to its neutral flavors, although soya milk has been around for many years as the common alternative to milk. These types of milks all count toward your daily intake and can be adding to your weight.

Depending on what the companies are putting into the milk you could be seeing added sugars or fats. For example, soya milk that has been sweetened has 130 calories per cup compared to 80 calories for unsweetened soy milk. Almond milk that has been sweetened has 91 calories per cup, compared to 30 calories for unsweetened. Read more about the nutritional value here.

However, dairy milk contains five grams of sugar per 100 grams compared to its plant-based milk counterparts even the sweetened varieties. So switching to the right plant-based milk can work in a weight loss diet.

For weight loss Almond milk has the lowest calories or soya milk which has the best protein, levels of calcium and vitamin D.

Rice milk is one of the low ranking option due to the poor calorie-to-protein ratio.

Sugar

The average American consumes 100 to 160 lb/y per person today and the rest of the world isn’t far behind. This equals 126 grams per day which is 4 Coca Cola cans, 30 teaspoons of sugar or McDonald’s milkshakes. As a daily guide woman should consume 24g or 6 teaspoons and men should consume 36g which is 9 teaspoons.

As an average 40% of the sugar that is consumed is from refined sugar so if you are looking at adding those sweeteners like caramel, toffee and other sugar additives these all are refined sugar.

The De novo lipogenesis study shows that sugars did not have an impact on weight gain but eating fats did. However, this doesn’t mean that sugar has no impact on your health, it does and will decrease your overall healthiness.

If you are going to choose a sweetener then date sugar is the best overall to add to your food. Agave nectar has been proven to be the worst sweetener as it has low antioxidant and contains fructose. For more information on what the best low-calorie sweetener check out this video.

3 Weight Loss Benefits of Coffee

With any thing good in life there are caveats, if you are already a big coffee drinker you may not see the benefits of coffee with weight loss. This is mainly due to the tolerances we build up when regularly dtinking coffee.

If you are new to coffee you should see a difference by adding coffee to you diet.

Coffee Contains Stimulants

Coffee beans has a few active substances that will have good effects to your metabolism which is broken-down into:

  • Caffeine: The main stimulant in coffee.
  • Theobromine: There are small amounts of this found in coffee. It’s mainly present in cocoa so having a Mocha could help boost this! Look for the natural cocoa versions without sugar and milk products included in the mix.
  • Theophylline: Another stimulant found in both cocoa and coffee.
  • Chlorogenic acid:  An active compound in coffee that could help break down the absorption of carbs according to the study linked.

Coffee’s ability to stimulate the central nervous system from the substances above this could increase metabolism by up to 11% and fat burning by up to 13%. By drinking 300g of coffee you could be burning an additional 79 calories.

(Black) coffee is a low-calorie drink

Black coffee is a low-calorie drink compared to other alternatives, as you can see in the table at the start of the article an Americano only has 15 calories or an espresso at 9 calories.

Follow the Italians, cappuccinos are only a morning drink otherwise have your espresso standing!

It takes a little while to get used to having black coffee but once you make the switch you will still be getting those amazing flavours through and the benefits to your waistline.

Coffee Raises Your Metabolism and Helps You Perform Better Physically

About it hit a gym session? Think about having a cup of coffee beforehand. Studies show that coffee improves athletic performance and endurance during exercise.

You could see an improvement of up to 12.3% in your workout.

In summary, the added milks, cream or sugar can add to your weight and daily intake of calories. Drinking black coffee is best!

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