Fact Check: Does Coffee Make You Gain Weight?

Coffee is a beloved drink for many people (Image via Pexels @Pixabay)
Coffee is a beloved drink for many people. (Image via Pexels/Pixabay)

"Can coffee make me gain weight" is a common question most people have nowadays. The question is an ode to the popularity of the beverage itself.

In general, coffee, on its own, can help people lose weight and provide an impressive array of health benefits. However, everything is good in moderation, and so is coffee. If you drink too much coffee, it can be bad for your weight loss goals.

Read on to know more about that.


Does Coffee Make You Gain Weight?

Simply put, consuming coffee in moderate amounts will not cause you to gain weight. Coffee powder does not have many calories, so it cannot cause you to gain weight. The way you prepare your coffee and the amount of coffee you have daily is a different story, though.

If you're used to drinking coffee regularly (three or more times a day), that too with add-ons like cream and sugar, your coffee may contribute to weight gain. It's the cream, milk and sugar that piles on the calories. Also, intake of caffeine in very large amounts can increase blood sugar level - and consistently high blood sugar levels can cause weight gain.

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Benefits of Drinking Coffee

Caffeine, in moderation, can help refresh your senses, reduce anxiety, and elevate mood. Coffee contains polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties. These plant compounds may reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, two factors that contribute to a variety of diseases, including obesity.

Long-term coffee consumption may reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and certain cancers. Furthermore, it's known to lower estrogen levels, which may aid in the prevention of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

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Coffee consumption is also linked to a lower risk of gallstones in the body. Caffeine may also reduce the incidence of Parkinson's disease in healthy people, according to research.

It may slow the progression of motor symptoms in those who're already suffering from them. According to research, drinking more coffee may lower the risk of dying from any cause.


Does Black Coffee Affect Weight?

You don't have to worry about coffee making you gain weight if you drink it black, that is, without milk and sugar. As black coffee contains almost no calories, it will not lead to weight gain.

In fact, studies show that caffeine in black coffee can help you lose weight. In moderate amounts, caffeine can suppress your appetite, allowing you to eat less. Caffeine can also increase your metabolism, allowing you to burn calories even when you're not exercising. A regular cup of black coffee contains less than five calories, which is completely insignificant in a 2,000-calorie diet.

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Hence, drinking black coffee will not have any adverse effect on your weight i.e. it will not increase your weight, but it might be beneficial in reducing your weight. Keep in mind, though, that you will still need to regulate the amount of black coffee you're drinking, if you're looking for sustainable weight loss.


Can Milk and Sugar In Coffee Contribute to Weight Gain?

If you drink your coffee with milk and sugar—or, worse, cream and sugar—your coffee may be causing you to gain weight. In this case, you should limit how much coffee you consume per day.

If you drink two eight-ounce cups of coffee per day with two ounces of cream and two teaspoons of sugar, you're adding 300 calories to your diet. For comparison, 300 calories is roughly the amount of calories in a slice of pumpkin pie or a piece of cake. You would never dream of eating a piece of cake for breakfast every morning, but if you add cream and sugar to your coffee, you are doing exactly that.

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Unfortunately, using milk does not improve the situation. Even though whole milk has half the calories of cream, it can still make your weight loss efforts more difficult. So, if you must have coffee, opt for black coffee.


Should You Stop Drinking Coffee To Lose Weight?

No, you do not need to stop drinking coffee to lose weight. However, excess coffee consumption can hinder weight loss and in some cases even cause you to gain weight.

Firstly, you should evaluate the number of calories in your daily coffee and the number of times you have it. If you add cream, sugar and/or milk to your coffee, these will significantly increase the calorie count. If you can, you will want to drink black coffee so that they don’t cause you to gain weight.

If you don't wish to switch to black coffee, read on to find out how you can drink coffee without gaining weight.


Is Your Coffee Making You Gain Weight?

Coffee, in itself, does not have too many calories. The add-ons to your coffee, though, are a different story.

If you're used to taking sugar, syrup, or any other sweet ingredient, that will increase the number of calories in your coffee. A larger serving of coffee loaded with sweet ingredients can also cause you to gain weight.

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Add-ons like whipped cream, sweetened, or condensed milk, chocolate syrup, whole milk, and sugar can significantly increase the calorie count in your coffee. Avoid them if you wish to lose weight.


How to Drink Coffee without Gaining Weight

If you're looking to lose weight and do not want to switch to black coffee, you may find yourself trapped between a rock and a hard place. Although there's no easy way, you will have to make some sacrifices to lose weight.

Usually, people make the mistake of going directly from creamy, sugary coffee to black coffee. That's not a sustainable approach, and you may not stick with it in the long term.

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Try this instead: gradually reduce the amount of cream and sugar you use over time. If you normally use two ounces of cream in your coffee, try 1.5 for a week. The next week, reduce it to one ounce. Give your taste buds time to adapt.

Another option is to gradually reduce your use of cream by switching to whole milk, 2% milk, 1% milk, and, finally, nonfat milk. Some people will not need to reduce their milk consumption all the way to non-fat; 2% milk has one-quarter the calories of cream, and 1% milk has half.

Once your taste buds adjust to the new flavors, you will be able to enjoy your coffee the same as usual - just with fewer calories.

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Edited by Bhargav