AD Collaborative post // The word ‘diet’ conjures up quite a black and white picture. To many it means a period of severe restriction with the goal of losing the spare tyre. However, there are experts in the field of nutrition and exercise who know how to include coffee in their everyday lives, and it’s worth looking to them as an example if you can’t bear to give up your cup of joe, even though you want to fit into that slinky new dress.
Let’s start with the basics: how many calories in a cup of coffee? Well, if you favour black – as many coffee snobs would say you should – then you can drink with confidence. A cup of freshly brewed black coffee contains just 5 calories, and absolutely no fat.
There’s a reason supermodels are known for their addiction to black coffee. Not only does it have almost no calorie and no fat content, it may actually help to boost the metabolism. The caffeine in coffee may help to boost the metabolic rate by between 3 and 11%.
There’s some evidence to suggest that caffeine suppresses appetite, too. That’s another way in which a couple of cups of coffee a day could actually support your weight loss efforts. While it’s not recommended to replace your meals with coffee, it could be that a cup of black coffee mid-morning is a great alternative treat to your habitual Snickers bar. It’ll certainly give you the same energising boost, without the sugar crash that follows.
Give me sugar
In fact, the excess fat and calories found in coffee come from the additives. This includes things we put in as a norm, such as milk and sugar. A teaspoon of sugar is around 16 calories, while a splash of full-fat milk comes in at roughly 40 calories. So depending on how sweet and creamy you take your coffee, and how many you have per day, you could be looking at a significant calorie saving simply by switching to black.
But sugar isn’t just about the calories. There have been more and more serious studies done into the effects of sugar on our bodies, and the findings are worrisome.
An excess consumption of sugar can contribute to illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, or to heart problems. It can suppress the immune system, and make us less responsive to medicines. Even artificial sweeteners have a detrimental effect, if consumed in large quantities.
Farewell to Frappuccino
This all adds up to reconsidering how best to consume coffee. If you are a fan of the whipped cream laden buckets of coffee found in your chain coffee shops, cutting these out could do immediate wonders for your health. A standard caramel Frappuccino has a whopping 350 calories, including 44 grams of sugar and 17 grams of fat. The average woman on a 2000 calorie intake should have fewer than 25 grams of sugar per day.
Of course, the thing is that these confections taste incredible. They taste like clouds, spiked with coffee. They give us a sugar and caffeine boost. They make us feel happy.
The way to successfully lose weight isn’t ever to completely put these sorts of treats off limits: the only thing you’ll do is succeed in making yourself want it even more. The best thing you can do, instead, is to build your favourite treats into your week in a way that feels sustainable. So instead of having a mochaccino every day of the week, try focusing on having just one, perhaps on a Saturday afternoon after your long run. Go for a small, rather than an extra-large, and enjoy every sip.
Lighter waist, heavier wallet
Of course, another benefit of waving goodbye to those daily drinks from coffee shops is that you can expect to save a little cash! At between £3 and £5 on average a pop, that can really add up. We’re not suggesting that between the daily coffee and avocado toast you’ll be able to afford a London penthouse…. But how about a new coffee machine?
The secret to really good, really satisfying black coffee, is that it has to be freshly roasted and freshly ground. You’re looking for a layer of golden crema on every cup. Instead of denying yourself your favourite treat, how about reframing it? You’re not cutting coffee out – you’re simply going to start making it at home, and savouring it properly.
There are hundreds of coffee machines on the market, so you can spend at much or as little as you like. A stovetop moka pot is good for those who can brave the pressure, or a bean to cup machine takes all the science out of preparation. Perfect for that first cup of the day.
When trying to lose weight, the thing to keep in mind is that denial is the wrong way to go. It’ll just make you want it more. Instead, try reframing coffee treats so that they are sporadic, or even making them at home. Over time you’ll see consistent, sustainable results.