Caffeine is a often-seen ingredient in fat burners and weight loss pills, so that should mean that coffee will help you lose weight. The jury, however, is still out on that statement. There are benefits to coffee drinking when used strategically, but also risks that go with it if you are not careful.
Coffee for Weight Loss
Coffee is the most popular beverage in the world. It starts the day off right for upwards of 400 million people. Caffeine increases your heart rate and gives you that get-up-and-go feeling when you need it. Not to mention, at only 5 calories per serving, it certainly doesn’t make or break your diet. Most diets, though they suggest that you limit coffee intake, suggest that it is fine to start your day with a cup of coffee.
A little caffeine blast may just give you a little extra push during your workout, so if you’re a coffee drinker, limit yourself to 1 cup in the morning and save one for about 20 minutes before your workout. Studies have shown that people who pair their pre-workout snack with some coffee — iced or hot — can push themselves a little harder and longer during a long sweat session.
If those 3 o’clock blues have gotten to you at the office, a cup of coffee, instead of a candy bar or fattening bag of chips from the vending machine, can help you feel wide awake and rearing to go. In that case, not only does coffee benefit you chemically (as seen below), it also helps put cravings at bay.
Metabolism Through the Roof
Caffeine raises your heart rate, therefore raising your metabolism, burning more calories than non-caffeinated beverages. Therefore, coffee can be a great choice for exercisers and dieters.
Even though caffeine has weight loss benefits, coffee is still considered a drug with risk of addiction, mood altering properties and even added calories that can derail your weight loss efforts.
Added Calories: When diets suggest coffee limitations, they usually also suggest that you drink your coffee black. Adding cream, sugar, flavored creamers or milk adds numerous calories to your diet that you are not likely factoring into your daily calorie count. Many of those additives are also laden with chemicals as well. A small latte from a coffee shop contains about 100 calories. That’s without sugar added. Also make sure to avoid the pastry case at all costs. You’d be hard pressed to find a snack in the pastry case that’s under 300 calories.
Skim it Down: Love flavored coffee drinks? Try having the barista add flavoring to plain coffee. Skipping the milk shaves about 100 calories off your drink. It’s also cheaper. If you must have your milk, be sure to use skim milk which will contribute fewer calories and less fat.
Sweetening coffee can be a calorie culprit as well. Try Stevia, an herb-based natural sweetener for a chemical-free sweetening of your favorite hot beverage. Spice it up with a little cinnamon, rather than sweet syrups.