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Does Coffee Help or Hurt Weight Loss?

August 21, 2021
Does Coffee Help or Hurt Weight Loss?

In this article:

  • Coffee can help with weight loss and body fat reduction. It may increase metabolism and reduce appetite.
  • A safe amount of caffeine is about 400 milligrams daily. This is about the amount in 4 cups of coffee. It is best to ask your doctor about your caffeine intake. Pregnant women may want to avoid caffeine.
  • Avoid coffee beverages with a lot of sugar or syrup to avoid too many calories. Be wary of eating high-calorie foods, such as pastries, with coffee.
  • Lark can help you keep sugar and calories down. Features include meal logging with feedback, and coaching with health and weight loss tips.

Over 100 million Americans drink coffee every day. Are you one of them? Are you trying to lose weight, too? Then you may be asking yourself this question. “Do I have to give up coffee on a diet?”

You do not need to give up coffee! Drinking coffee and losing weight can go hand in hand. These are some questions and answers around coffee and losing weight. Keep reading to find out how coffee can affect weight loss. Plus, learn how to be sure your coffee is helping with your weight loss goals, not getting in the way. 

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1. Can coffee make you lose weight?

Does coffee make you lose weight? It may help. A review in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition looked at caffeine intake and weight loss. The meta-analysis of 13 trials found that caffeine intake was linked to greater weight loss and lower body fat. Higher caffeine intake was linked to bigger results.

2. Does coffee speed metabolism?

Your metabolism is how fast your body uses energy or burns calories. Having a faster metabolism means you burn more calories. This can help with weight loss. 

Coffee may speed up your metabolism. This may be one reason coffee seems to be good for weight loss. An article cited in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition found that taking caffeine led to a 4% increase in energy expenditure. This might be about 60 to 80 calories for many people.

3. Does coffee suppress appetite?

It might. A review article in International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition looked at many studies. These were some key results. 

  • People who drank a cup of coffee ate fewer calories on average at the next meal compared to people who did not drink a dose of coffee.
  • Drinking coffee appeared to lower calorie intake at the meal by only about 5 to 70 calories.
  • Caffeine did not affect levels of ghrelin or leptin. These hormones signal hunger or satiety.

In a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, participants took in 0, 1, or 3 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight. When they had 1 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight, they ate about 60 fewer calories at breakfast than they did when they had 0 or 3 mg. They did not have changes in appetite.

4. How much coffee can help with weight loss?

The amount of caffeine in many studies was about 200 to 300 milligrams. That is the amount in about 3 to 5 cups of coffee. These are other sources of caffeine. Mayo Clinic estimates the amounts.

  • Cola – 20 mg per 8-oz cup
  • Energy drink – 30 mg per 8-oz cup
  • Black tea – 50 mg per 8-oz cup
  • Green tea – 30 mg per 8-oz cup

It is best to ask your doctor before adding caffeine to your diet. Find out whether it is safe for you. Also ask how much is okay.

5. Do I need to give up coffee on a diet?

No, you do not need to give up coffee on a diet. (Unless your doctor says you must). It is important to keep your coffee low in calories. A cup of black coffee has 5 calories. Iced black coffee and cold press are also low-calorie.

But some coffee beverages have far more calories.

  • 260 calories in a large mocha.
  • 270 calories in a large flavored latte. 
  • 40 calories in a cup of coffee with creamer.
  • 100 calories in a large macchiato.
  • 70 calories in a small latte.

Have up to 4 of these in a day, and you will be packing in the calories – and maybe packing on the pounds.

6. How does coffee affect health?

Coffee may have many health benefits. The Harvard School of Public Health lists some.

You may feel energized when you take caffeine. It can increase alertness and focus. But there are side effects of too much caffeine. 

  • Jitters and anxiety.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Heartburn.

A limit of 400 milligrams per day may be good for many people.

7. What is the best way to prepare my coffee?

Mayo Clinic says that coffee could help you lose weight. But, some coffee beverages are high in calories. They could cause weight gain instead of weight loss!

These tips may help.

  • Reduce or eliminate sugar or other caloric sweeteners in coffee. These can include honey and flavor syrups.
  • Choose black coffee. If you must, choose non-fat milk or unsweetened almond or soy milk. Cream, creamer, and whole milk add more calories.

Also be aware of what you eat with your coffee and throughout the day. A doughnut or pastry can outweigh any health or weight loss benefits from coffee. 

Weight loss can lower risk for type 2 diabetes. And it can improve energy. Coffee may help. Just check with your doctor first and keep your caffeine intake to reasonable levels. Keep your coffee drinks low in calories and sugar, and follow a healthy diet – such as the one in Lark Diabetes Prevention Program!

Are you overweight? Has your doctor recommended that you lose weight? Losing weight can be about more than pounds. It can be a ticket to better health. It can lower risk for diabetes. And it can let you do more of the things you love.

You can lose weight without sacrifice. A few small changes can put you on the right path. As the pounds go down on the scale, you may notice more benefits. Weight loss can increase energy, boost confidence, and improve mood, for example.

The Lark DPP and a connected scale may be available at no cost to you. You can check if your health insurer covers the program. Just click here for a short survey. You could be minutes away from starting your weight loss and health journey with Lark!

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Written by Natalie Stein on August 21, 2021
Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health
Coffee and Prediabetes
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