There are many myths surrounding coffee, but among the most recurrent are always those related to weight loss or weight gain. There is no doubt that this is one of the topics that most people are interested in.
The question of whether coffee is fattening or not comes from the fact that, as one of the most popular beverages in the world, along with tea, it is widely consumed by almost everyone. So when a person considers losing weight or going on a diet, the first concern that comes to mind is that of coffee consumption, which in many cases amounts to two or three a day.
At the opposite end of the spectrum to the subject that concerns us today, this is the same reasoning that is making green coffee an increasingly popular slimming aid.
To find out whether it is true that coffee is fattening, we have to consider a series of variables such as, for example, the accompaniment/garnishes or sweeteners that we take with this drink. Also, the time we drink it, and our drinking habits. For example, if in the middle of the morning we are used to drinking coffee with some sweet or pastry… we will inevitably tend to put on weight but not because of the coffee, of course, but because of the habits that go with it.
Which coffee is the least fattening?
Naturally, the least fattening coffee is always black coffee (or espresso) drunk unsweetened, as it comes out of the coffee machine. A cup of this type of coffee, with no additives, will contain no more than 4-5 calories, so you can rest assured in this respect. To learn more, you can read this article: How many calories are in a coffee?
So, is unsweetened coffee fattening? Obviously not. It is a drink that has no sugars, fats or carbohydrates (the three components that can help those extra grams or kilos stick to us).
Is coffee with sugar fattening? Well, that depends. If you are one of those people who add two whole sugar cubes to your cup of coffee, you are adding around 14-16 grams of sugar to your drink—a lot of it.
Luckily, if you can’t tolerate the bitter taste of coffee, you can always find solutions. One of them is the alternative of sweetening your coffee with less caloric sugar substitutes, such as saccharin or stevia. In this way, you will prevent your coffee from helping you to put on weight because of the “additives” you add to it.
Is coffee with milk fattening or slimming?
Coffee with milk is not fattening on its own because the calories in the milk are not enough to change your weight or body shape.
However, the result can vary greatly depending on the amount and type of milk you use. If you like to drink two or three coffees with milk a day, and you always drink it with whole milk, you will ingest considerably more calories than if you drink just one at the beginning of the morning, for example, and add skimmed milk to it. It’s not enough to say that coffee with milk helps you put on weight… but there is certainly a noticeable difference between the two cases.
Some people say that coffee makes you fat in the evening, that coffee makes you bloated (which is not the same as fattening), or even that coffee makes you fat or bloated, depending on the moment and what you accompany it with. In truth, no one can guarantee these extremes. For example, the myth that coffee is fattening at night is more related to sleep disturbance (which sometimes leads to increased anxiety and appetite) than to its organic qualities.
Bear in mind that coffee can also act as an appetite suppressant due to its satiating effect, so in many cases, it can’t be said to be directly slimming but rather helps you to avoid overindulging in other foods.
Is decaffeinated coffee fattening or slimming?
Decaffeinated coffee is neither fattening nor slimming. It has exactly the same advantages and disadvantages as regular coffee because the effect of coffee on weight is not related to the amount of caffeine it contains. As we have already noted, it depends more on its accompaniments, such as sugar, whole milk, cream, cream, caramel, etcetera. And these effects are multiplied in the case of industrial coffees, such as Starbucks and similar chains.
Conclusions: Does coffee really help you put on weight?
The final conclusion is clear: there is no evidence that coffee alone is fattening. Nor can it be said that coffee helps you put on weight even if you add sugar or other condiments, although, of course, if you are on a slimming diet, you should ideally drink it on its own.
As we have already seen, a cup of coffee has no more than 4-5 calories at most since the only ingredient it contains is water.
On the contrary, if we are strict, some types of coffee are not only not fattening but can actually help you lose weight through thermogenesis, the acceleration of the metabolism and the consequent loss or burning of fat. This principle, enhanced with supplementary ingredients, is followed by some coffee-based diet products, such as Lingzhi coffee, Valentus coffee, or Marita coffee, to name but a few.