You can’t get your day started without your beloved cup of coffee, but did you know that your morning cup of Joe could be a diet detriment? If you’re having difficulty losing weight, even after following a rigorous exercise and eating plan, your daily coffee consumption could be the culprit.
It’s not the coffee itself that’s to blame, but all the extras you add to your cup—milk, cream, sugar, flavorings, etc. If you’re mindlessly adding cream and vanilla flavoring to your coffee, you could easily be ingesting around 200 calories in one drink—before you even eat anything! If you’re throwing back these sugary cups of coffee throughout the day, you could seriously be damaging your weight loss plan.
Drinking your coffee black is by far the best option for weight loss. One cup of black coffee delivers a minimal amount of calories, usually no more than 5. Black coffee is basically a calorie-free beverage, so you can enjoy a guiltless glass, even while dieting. What’s more is that coffee contains antioxidants, which can fight free radicals that roam through your body and threaten your health. Coffee will also make you more alert, and give you that extra energy boost to maintain a long workout.
Okay, so the reality is that you probably can’t stand drinking your coffee black, and need some additional ingredients to truly enjoy your cup of Joe. That’s understandable, as dairy substances do wonders for coffee. However, instead of reaching for cream, which is loaded with calories and unsaturated fat, always opt for either fat-free milk, light soy milk or a low calorie dairy substitute. However, keep in mind the even non-fat milk contains calories and sugars, so the less you add, the more calories you keep from entering your coffee mug.
Nothing tastes better in coffee than some sugar and flavoring. While watching your weight, always opt for a calorie-free sugar substitute, and stay away from the sugar jar that enables you to mindlessly pour. However, try to not consume more than one packet of artificial sugar a day, as while it is calorie-less, it is not the best thing for your health.
If you must add some flavoring to your coffee—whether it be vanilla, mocha, hazelnut or caramel—make sure you choose a sugar-free flavoring. The regular flavorings will add calories to your coffee real quickly, and the sugar-free varieties are easily available and just as delicious.
Many coffee shops are realizing the need for healthier coffee drinks and allowing you to customize your beverage to cut back on calories. For example, Starbucks has created their signature ‘skinny latte,’ which is made with non-fat milk and sugar-free flavoring. When comparing calories, the regular vanilla latte (16oz) has 250 calories and 6g of fat, while the skinny vanilla latte delivers 130 calories and no fat. I
f there’s not a Starbucks in your area, have no fear. Many coffee shops out there would be happy to accommodate your needs. Simply tell them to add non-fat milk and sugar-free flavoring to your coffee (most coffee shops list the sugar-free flavorings they have available). You can also order your coffee black, and then add your own low-calorie fixings.
Remember that just like everything else is life, coffee should be enjoyed in moderation. An overconsumption of coffee could lead to jitteriness and dehydration. When it comes to this popular beverage, the less is more, and the blacker, the better.