Coffee and Weight Loss: What You Need to KnowArticle posted in: Nutrition
Cold brew. Espresso. French press. Cappuccino. Decaf. When it comes to choosing your favorite cup of joe, there is definitely no shortage of delicious options. According to Statista.com, Americans spent nearly 9.37 billion dollars on dry coffee and 2.66 billion dollars on liquid coffee in 2017. For most of us, coffee has become a part of our everyday routine. But while the average person drinks close to two cups per day, the beverage remains a controversial topic for health and weight loss.
Here’s what your java habit means for your healthy lifestyle:
Coffee and Health
There’s nothing like waking up to a freshly brewed pot of coffee. But is your cup of joe good for you? When looking at the scientific data, the answer points to yes. From a lower risk of liver cancer and dementia to Type 2 diabetes and depression, coffee seems to do our bodies good, says Healthline. In fact, a 2018 study, published by JAMA Internal Medicine, shows that coffee drinkers live longer—even if you drink up to eight caffeinated cups per day.
Should you drink eight cups each day? We don’t recommend it. Too much caffeine can alter sleep habits, cause anxiety or nervousness, a rapid heart rate and a temporary spike in blood pressure, says Healthline. Additionally, caffeine can be addictive and cause withdrawal symptoms like headaches or fatigue when not consumed. However, when enjoyed in moderation, your favorite brew may provide benefits to your overall health and wellness. “This study provides further evidence that coffee drinking can be part of a healthy diet,” says the researchers.
Harvard Health recommends keeping a close eye on how much you drink of this energizing beverage. “People who have never had a heart attack or keep their blood pressure well controlled should consume no more than 400 mg per day, which is the amount found in about four cups of coffee or up to 10 cups of black tea,” they explain. Some people are unable to tolerate caffeine. We recommend speaking to your doctor before consuming caffeine to ensure it is safe for you.
Bitter is Better
If you’ve ever had black coffee with no added cream or sugar, it’s no surprise that it’s considered a bitter food. The bitter flavor in coffee is a telltale sign that it contains antioxidants. According to LiveScience, researchers have discovered two different antioxidant compounds within coffee that cause its bitter taste. One of these compounds is chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant that has been shown to a reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, says Healthline. Research has also tied coffee consumption (three to four cups per day) to lower risks of cancer and even death.
Click the link below to learn more about the benefits of bitters!:
Coffee and Weight Loss
Four cups of coffee a day just might help you lose weight—reducing body fat by about four percent, according to a recent study by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Additionally, the caffeine found in coffee seems to give people a stamina boost that helps them get to the gym and improves endurance during workouts, says Harvard Health.
Plus, coffee beans themselves contain magnesium, potassium and niacin, along with potent antioxidants like chlorogenic acid and polyphenols. Harvard Health explains, “the combination of these compounds may delay the absorption of blood sugar, help cells draw sugar from the blood, increase metabolic rate, and help blood vessels contract and relax. ” In other words, coffee offers enormous benefits for the prevention of diabetes and obesity.
In the weight loss world, a popular coffee combo has replaced breakfast for many dieters. According to Medical News Today, the mixture of coffee, MCT oil and butter has been said to boost energy, focus and fullness. Though more research is needed on this mainstream beverage, the individual research done on both coffee and MCT oil shows weight loss benefits. In his book, The New Keto-Friendly South Beach Diet, Dr. Arthur Agatston, M.D. recommends this beverage as a small snack when practicing intermittent fasting because it doesn’t significantly raise insulin levels.
Coffee on South Beach Diet
Coffee contains one calorie per cup, says the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Here at the South Beach Diet, we wholeheartedly approve of coffee on our plan. Just like unsweetened herbal tea, it contains almost no calories or carbs and counts toward your daily fluid intake.
On our meal plan, we recommend drinking half of your body weight in ounces of fluid each day. However, please note that this is just a recommendation and you may need more or less fluid based on your activity level or other factors. Speak to your doctor to ensure you are hydrating properly for your specific needs. A cup of joe in the morning and afternoon can fuel you through your day and accounts for a portion of your water goal. As always, talk with your doctor to ensure coffee and caffeine are safe for you before consuming.
The potential problem with coffee comes with its friends, cream and sugar. Sugar definitely is not an approved food when you’re following the South Beach Diet meal plan. However, natural zero-calorie sugar substitutes like stevia, erythritol and monk fruit extract are perfectly acceptable options if you’d like to add a little sweetness to your mug. Try our recipe for Mocha Frappes! >
Black coffee can be hard to get down if you’re not accustomed to the bitter taste. Tone down the bitterness with a small amount of half-and-half, whole milk or cream. These are considered Extras when used in small amounts on the South Beach Diet. As long as you stick to one tablespoon and don’t consume more than three Extras per day, you’re free to enjoy your coffee con leche.
Just like cooking DIY meals, brewing your own coffee at home is the best way to stick with your low-carb meal plan. While coffee itself won’t destroy your diet, your favorite chain or local coffee shop could throw a wrench in your weight loss plans. If you enjoy meeting up with friends or getting some work done at the café, be careful with what you order.
Whatever you do, make sure to avoid the Caffé Mocha and other sugary sweet beverages on the menu. A 16-ounce Café Mocha from a popular chain restaurant contains about 360 calories, 35 grams of sugar and 44 grams of carbohydrates. That’s more carbs than you should have in one full day on our plan! Opt for sugar free drinks or head to the spice bar and load up with cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice for added flavor. Most spices are calorie-free and often contain antioxidants.
Try this Creamy Coffee recipe for a smart and satisfying sip! Be sure to also check out the book The New Keto-Friendly South Beach Diet by Dr. Arthur Agatston, M.D. for a delicious, low-carb Creamy Protein Latte recipe!
Ready to get brewing? Check out the infographic below for some java inspiration!: