Doctors Agree: Why People Who Drink This In The Morning Struggle To Lose Weight

Are you a coffee lover who is working to lose weight? If you’re noticing that your hard work and efforts are being stalled, the answer may lie in how you take your coffee, health experts explain. For many of us, plain black coffee really isn’t our thing, and we might stir in some creamer or sugar to help sweeten it.

Sipping on heavily sweetened, sugary and high-calorie ingredients every morning could contribute to weight gain, and we reached out to doctors, dietitians and nutritionists to learn more about this. Read on for tips, suggestions and insight from Dr. Daniel Boyer, MD, health and nutrition expert at Farr Institute, Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, senior dietitian at UCLA medical center, Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements, and Lisa Richards, registered nutritionist and creator of The Candida Diet.

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How Heavily Sweetened Coffee Can Stall Weight Loss

Many coffee consumers have a specific way they like their coffee and don’t often veer from that, Best says. “Unfortunately, for those wanting to lose weight, these coffee habits might be stalling their efforts,” she adds. Full-fat dairy creamer and refined sugar are the two coffee habits that are detrimental to weight loss, “especially for those that consume more than 1 cup a day,” she continues.These two ingredients used to lighten and sweeten coffee are “high in calories, fat, carbohydrates and are quite inflammatory.” Not only will the calories add to weight issues, she warns, but the “inflammation they cause or exacerbate can make weight loss more difficult as well.”


Boyer concurs, and also warns that “processed coffee drinks that may hinder weight loss are creamers and those mixed with artificial sweeteners.” Caffeine with added sweeteners contains a “significant amount of artificial sugars,” he points out, and may “lead to extra calories when taken in excess.” Generally, he notes that coffee creamers also contain calories and saturated fats (2 grams of saturated fat in 1 tablespoon). “Saturated fats are linked to an increased body weight, according to research by the U.S National Library of medicine, particularly when mixed with added sugars,” he says.


Hunnes agrees, stressing that many bottled, processed coffee drinks have “added sugars, sweeteners, and fats in them.” (She says to think the creams, syrups, flavorings, and colorings such as caramel coloring in a bottled frappuccino, for example). “When you go to your favorite coffee shop, many of the syrups they are adding contain a lot of sugar, and that can add many extra calories,” she goes on, saying that you might not even realize how many extra calories a coffee drink can have “A black coffee on its own is zero calories,” Hunnes notes, but the “syrups and creams that are used, and any whipped toppings can make this zero-calorie beverage now closer to 300 or 400 calories,” she adds. “That’s practically a meal,” she says. (Yikes!)


The Best Ways To Prepare Coffee For Weight Loss

Boyer advises that “taking black coffee— which doesn’t contain any calories— in moderation or with unsweetened plant-based sweeteners like almond or quick oats” may be the best alternative if you are under a weight management plan. If you do want to sweeten your beverage, Hunnes recommends using “nondairy, unsweetened beverages such as soy or oat milk that are creamy, but not sugary and then adding extracts like vanilla or almond and spices like cinnamon and clove.” All of these, she says, “pack a warmth and sweetness without much sugar or calories.” If you do decide to try your coffee “completely black,” Hunnes suggests a “light roast, and cold can help too.”


Best concludes that rather than sweetening your coffee with full-fat dairy creamers and refined sugar that it’s essential to “opt for natural sweeteners and/ or plant-based creamers.” Some plant-based creamers are still high in calories, fat and sugar, she urges, so it is “important to still pay attention to the nutrition label.” By opting for a plant-based creamer, you are removing dairy, which she says can lead to bloating and inflammation for many of us when consumed every morning. “Consider using honey or cinnamon to flavor your coffee rather than refined sugars,” Best recommends, similarly to Hunnes’ note. “These two ingredients are natural, anti-inflammatory, and cinnamon can help to boost metabolism and stabilize blood sugar,” she says. “All of which,” Best adds, can improve “weight loss efforts and reduce bloating.” Noted! 


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