Stop putting on pounds every time you stop at the Coffee Shop by making a wiser choice every time you order your coffee. Whether buying or making yourself a cup of coffee, use these tips to make your coffee work towards your weight loss.
Now that it has been proved that drinking coffee in moderation is actually good for your health, let us work towards making that cuppa guilt-free so as to not blow off your diets every time you indulge in one.
1. Balance Your Caffeine
The caffeine in your coffee helps you lose weight and increases metabolism, but the same caffeine can increase your stress levels and make you eat more than usual. The answer – check your caffeine intake. While optimum caffeine levels differ for each person, it is generally considered healthy to consume 2.5 mg of caffeine per kg of your body weight. To make it easier, 250 mg of caffeine (i.e. approx three 8 oz cups of coffee) is considered to be moderate consumption but you may consume upto 400 mg safely.
Now, what you need to take note of, here, is that this is the DAILY consumption level and coffee is not the only way you intake caffeine. Tea, Cocoa and Cola also have caffeine and depending upon how much of each you consume, you need to work out how much coffee you can drink in a day. Similarly, a Latte, for example, contains 75 mg of caffeine which is good, but drinking 5 cups of Latte over the course of the day will increase your consumption of caffeine beyond what is recommended. A Starbucks 16 oz ‘Grande’ on the other hand, contains 330 mg caffeine in one serving! Switching to Decaf can help you get rid of the caffeine factor completely.
2. Switch to Black
Coffee is not so much to blame for adding calories as the dairy products like milk, cream and ice cream. Coffee, on its own, has negligible calories. What makes it sinful is the generous helping of whipped cream or ice cream on top. It would be best to gradually switch to black coffee by cutting down the additives starting with whipped cream followed by sugar/sweetener and finally, the cream. The cream has got to be the least to blame, among all the additions you make to your coffee, but we are told that sugarless, cream coffee sucks and besides, you could definitely use those calories, however little they might be, elsewhere. Try drinking black coffee hot or cold and find out which one catches your fancy earliest.
If the coffee tastes too bitter without milk and sugar, opt for a coffee with milder acidity. Dark roasts have less acidity and are known to help with weight loss.
3. Reduce the Dairy Content
If you simply cannot switch to black, go for a skimmed milk cream coffee with 1/4 of the sugar you would normally add to it. The dairy content provides the fat (and saturated fat) content to a coffee. Daily Mail lists the calories and Caffeine content of some of the most popular coffees. While black coffees like Espresso and Filter Coffee have negligible amount of fat and calories, Latte and Cappuccino made with semi-skimmed milk have 95 and 75 calories each, devoid of sugar. So, if you are stuck on Latte, it would be a great idea to switch to Cappuccino and if you already drink Cappuccino, make the plunge to Macchiato which has even less amount of milk foam.
4. Skip Sugar
If you like your coffee really sweet, the sugar, syrups and sweeteners added to it could also pose a problem. Sugar syrups not only add to the calories, but they also strip the coffee off its numerous proven benefits to our health. Skip the sugar and enjoy the real body of your coffee.
If skipping sugar altogether is not an option, start by ordering sugar on the side and lower your sugar intake gradually. This of course means that you have to forego brewed and ‘dessert’ coffees which come with the sugar already added.
5. Limit Your Intake
There are two ways to do this. You can either resolve to stocking to just ONE cup a day, or cut down your portions. If you are used to drinking several cups of coffee at work, immediately change to smaller portions. They will satiate your urge for coffee while cutting down on calories. Buy yourself a smaller sized coffee mug at home. Similarly, when ordering out, change to half-sized servings and you will see what a huge difference it makes to your calorie count.
6. Drink Good Quality Coffee
Whether at home or a Coffee shop, choose good quality coffee. Organic, whole bean coffee is the best. Coffee beans need to be sprayed heavily with pesticides and the only way to stay clear of them is to buy certified organic coffee. Grinding your beans is also the best way to drink fresh, healthy coffee. Ground coffee is prone to getting rancid after a few days which takes from the health benefits of coffee. You might not notice this is you continue to add cream and sugar to your coffee but if you plan to switch to black coffee, it is really helpful if the real flavor of the coffee is fresh and tempting. Finally, use pure and filtered water to brew your coffee.
7. If You Have Sinned…
Reading the article so far must have definitely taken away the joys of enjoying a sinful ‘grande’ with chocolate syrup, crushed ice, chocolate ice cream and topped with mounds of whipped cream topped with more chocolate chips. While it is best to remind yourself of the inches it will add to your waist after the taste is long gone, you can occasionally enjoy a coffee treat. But this, provided that you follow it with equivalent exercise to burn off the calories before they start to accumulate! So, go for a long walk or choose a favorite activity to combat the added calories right then. Here is a useful resource to find how many calories activities actually burn. Take the effort to find out how much calories your little treat was and balance it out with an activity that burns a similar number of calories.
Gradually, or all at once, incorporating these tips into your coffee-drinking habits will help you enjoy your cup of coffee without any guilt or unwanted calories. Show yourself some love – Switch to a low-calorie cuppa while keeping it healthy on your heart!