Is Coffee Fattening?

by Jeanette Kierstead

With coffee, the topic of health is always a hot debate. And a lot of coffee enthusiasts are particularly concerned, especially when it comes to the question "Is coffee fattening?" Let's start out by getting one thing straight…

No! Coffee is NOT fattening.

Yeah, that's right. We'll say it one more time. Pure coffee by itself is not in the least bit fattening, so keep that in mind. In fact, a cup of black coffee, say 8 ounces, contains zero calories. And it will give you the energy to burn off plenty more calories if you put that energy where it counts - the treadmill, the rowing machine, the free weights! Take that coffee and go work out, and now we're talkin'!

Is Coffee Fattening?
Is Coffee Fattening?

Drinking Coffee Before The Gym

Yes, coffee can actually help you to slim down, because caffeine in coffee provides a good boost for your overall energy levels and your metabolism, thus enabling you to lose weight faster. Its a performance enhancer, according to sites like Men's Fitness! So the next time you are heading to the gym, you could grab a cup of pure back coffee 30 minutes prior to your workout session. That's something that a good number of fitness experts agree with and before you let that coffee give you the jitters, simply hop on the elliptical and sweat it out. Normally, if you're sitting in an office drinking coffee, you might get the jitters due to excess energy, but not if you hit the gym.

But the problem with coffee - surprise, surprise - comes along when you want to put everything in your cup of joe. Cream and sugar contains a lot of calories, as you may well know, and adding them to your cup of coffee may eventually make you gain weight. Nonetheless, adding one spoonful of sugar doesn't hurt so long as you are ready to burn that sugar off. Yes, it might make your coffee more delicious, but its going to cost you in terms of putting on pounds. Not to mention that you know what tastes good with a coffee? That's right - a doughnut! And those things will really weigh you down!

That said, not so many people prefer taking pure black coffee. You can even say not nearly *enough* people. The majority of coffee lovers mostly take coffee with high amounts of white sugar, AKA calories. The standard coffee at your typical drive through usually has a few heaping teaspoons thrown in, often to hide the fact that their coffee doesn't taste that great when you drink it black. People use that sugar and cream to mask the taste of subpar coffee. But let's not forget that high-quality pure black coffee tastes great too. In fact, black coffee is criminally ignored these days, if you ask us!

Drinking a lot of "specialty" coffees-as delicious as they are-is bad for your health. If you use a vending machine at work to pour yourself a nice "French Vanilla", rest assured that you'll gain some weight as a result. And if you have two or three…well, let's not even go there.

Now, if its part of your daily routine to work out like a fiend you might be able to balance it out. In that case, you might have nothing to worry about. But the problem is that not a lot of people work out enough to fight off the calories that creep in via those sugary cups of coffee. It really is a battle of the "bulge", because many of us simply can't resist that daily coffee with sugar and cream. To be fair, it really isn't entirely our fault. We crave these things, and those cravings can be almost impossible to ignore.

The Amount Of Calories In Specialty Coffee Drinks

So, to show how ridiculous the amounts of calories present in specialty coffees (offered by popular sellers such as Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Caribou Coffee, and more) are, we are going to compare them with super-sized meals from various fast food joints.

  1. Caffe Nero's milk caramel flavored Frappe Latte contains under 500 calories; same as a Starbucks' Strawberry Frappuccino and a McDonald's Big Mac. Delicious? You bet. Healthy? Well…prepare to be on that treadmill for a little while to work that one off.
  2. Starbucks' whole-milk Mocha Frappuccino with whipped cream contains 400 calories; same as a Starbucks' Vanilla Buttercream Cupcake.
  3. Costas' Strawberry Cooler contains about 650 calories; same as a hamburger with fries from McDonald's.
  4. Caffe Nero's Mocha Frappe Latte contains almost 400 calories; same as Kentucky Fried Chicken Hot 'N Spicy Chicken Thigh

Health and Coffee

So what does pure black coffee do to benefit your health?

Really, its more about what pure black coffee doesn't do to make you unhealthy. Coffee is just a blast of energy. You can use that energy as you choose, including writing that term paper, working late, talking a mile a minute, or just standing there looking cool. Coffee is more popular now than ever, but the second you heap in the sugar, the chocolate, the whipped cream, you've made it an un-healthy drink.

Coffee can make you more creative. It can wake you up, and get your mind going. But be careful, it contains caffeine and that can make certain sensitive types more anxious, and that can be a problem. That's really the only health problem with coffee is the caffeine content, although most people can handle it.

Also, we should mention that not all coffee is the same. Coffee comes from different places, contains different tastes and has different aromas, and those can affect different people differently. For some, just smelling certain coffee can put them in a very good mood…for the entire morning! For some, coffee is *the* reason they get out of bed. No coffee, no work-ee. Its just that powerful of a motivator for certain people.

Getting In The Weight Lose Mindset With Coffee

The issue of putting on weight and losing it certainly is a tricky subject. For most, once you put on some weight, it's much more difficult to lose that weight. But it can be done! If you put your mind to itself and commit yourself, nothing can stop you! Easier said than done, of course, but if you use strategy, nothing is impossible.

To this end, coffee can be your friend. It can be your ally, and we all know that true friends are hard to find. Many of us have people around us who do not motivate us and actually make us *not* want to do things. But coffee - coffee is there for you if you need it, and can really help you lose weight.

Fine Coffees Are Your Best Alternative

Learning to embrace top quality coffee, which is free of having calories. Drinking pure black coffee can be more fun than you might think. Find time to gather high quality coffees as well as coffee making equipment at home. For this, you need to invest in a few things. Namely, a good quality burr coffee grinder, maybe a home roaster, or maybe even your own espresso machine that does the job right. Nothing is better than learning to make great coffees on your own at home. Sure, it will be a challenging at first, but it will get better with time. And ultimately, its like 3 x cheaper than certain big coffee chains who don't mind charging you $7 a latte.

Rest assured that if you control your intake of high-calorie, high-fat coffees, then you'll get to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. In addition, if you learn to enjoy the true taste of coffee, make it yourself at home, and use it to get sweaty either at the gym or at home, you're going to have friends and family asking you how you did it. And that feels pretty damn good!

About Jeanette Kierstead

Jeanette has been testing and reviewing kitchen appliances for over six years now, so she knows her stuff when it comes to finding the best ones. In her spare time, she loves nothing more than baking cakes and cookies – especially if she can do so with one of her favorite stand mixers! When she's not in the kitchen, Jeanette is usually looking after everything homes-related; from garden tools to smart home products.

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