BlogNutrition10 Cases When Drinking Coffee Affects Weight Gain

10 Cases When Drinking Coffee Affects Weight Gain

Taisiia Dobrozorova
Written by Taisiia Dobrozorova on October 01, 2021
Medically reviewed by Dr. Olena Avdiievska

Table of contents

Coffee is the drink that jumpstarts the morning for many people. We drink it at home, at work, at gas stations, and at cafes. Its smell reminds us of the winter holidays and comfort. 

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Therefore, it is not surprising we don't want to associate such a pleasant beverage with something harmful to our body.

Very often people consider coffee as a source of weight loss, not weight gain. We know that coffee contains a large amount of caffeine that can help to slim down. This biologically active substance has several functions, including boosting energy(1) and speeding up metabolism(2). 

Caffeine may be present in a variety of beverages, including coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks, as well as cocoa and chocolate-based goods. 

The variety of caffeinated drinks can tell us how subtle their effects on our bodies can be. Each of these products has a different composition, not limited to caffeine alone. And coffee, alas, is no exception.

So what are the add-ins that can reduce the benefits of plain coffee? How can drinking coffee actually lead to excess weight? Is there any way to avoid this? Let's get into it. 

Excess sweeteners

While regular black coffee is free of obesity-promoting substances, coffee in cafes is not devoid of sweeteners. 

Not everyone is used to making coffee on their own. Most people grab a cup of coffee from a cafe, where visitors are delighted with a delicious assortment of coffees. These drinks are loaded with white sugar, flavored syrups, artificial sweeteners, and so on. 

For instance, one cup of Starbucks Tall (12 ounces or 355 ml) Pumpkin Spice Latte contains 310 calories and about 10 teaspoons (38 grams) of sugar. 

And this is not to mention the Grand Frappuccino and other types of fatty coffee, where the calorie value can be almost doubled.

According to the American Heart Association(3), a healthy dose of added sugar per day for men - no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams), while most women and children over the age of two should consume no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) per day.

Obviously, such abuse of sweetness can lead to сardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Way out: to improve your well-being, switch to exclusively black coffee without sweeteners. If possible, buy a coffee machine and learn the art of making coffee at home.

The most delicious coffee is the one that is made by yourself!

Disrupted sleep patterns

Sleep disturbances also affect our body weight(4). 

Caffeine is a popular stimulant found in coffee. Caffeine is commonly used to give people a kick in the morning and stay active throughout the day. 

But there is a drawback: too much caffeine can keep you up even when you're already tired.

It turns out that coffee can easily disrupt your sleep patterns. At the same time, this function is very essential for your body. Poor sleep, no doubt, leads to weight gain and increased appetite.

Way out: the solution is very simple. Limit your coffee intake in the evening and before bed. If you overdrink it during the afternoon, the effect may be similar. Better to drink coffee in the morning!

Too large servings

As mentioned earlier, the larger the cup - the more coffee and the calories.

Drinking one 12-ounce cup will not add any extra weight. But 2 cups a day, or the one per 24 ounces, as in large servings, can significantly affect your weight gain. In this situation, there are 2 solutions. 

First, you can just drink less coffee. Second, if you do not want to infringe on your coffee, then you need to switch to iced coffee. It won't be completely calorie-free, but it still will be better than the hot ones.

Way out: caffeine in cold brew coffee might help you burn more calories even when you're not moving. As a result of this, it may be simpler to lose or maintain weight.

Fattening coffee pairings

The purpose of coffee pairing is to enhance a dining experience by matching coffee with certain foods. 

In this case, coffee plays with your taste buds(5). Caffeine makes you want more sweets than your body actually needs.

You may instinctively begin to gravitate towards pastry and chocolate. Don't let caffeine fool you with this trick.

Way out: give up trying to restrain yourself and drink coffee on an empty stomach. This will not help in losing weight, but metabolism can be disrupted.

Instead, try replacing high-calorie foods with foods that are high in protein and healthy fat. It may be banana pancakes or natural dark chocolate.

Being a fan of bulletproof coffee

Keto and Paleo fans are fond of bulletproof coffee - which contains butter, coconut oil, and MCT. In some way, it replaces breakfast, giving the body maximum energy. Yet, this kind of coffee lacks carbs. 

Thus, bulletproof coffee can contain at least 400-500 calories. Add that to your daily total and you get an impressive number of calories.

Way out: this time drastic measures will have to be taken. You will have to give up bulletproof coffee entirely if you want to stay in good shape.

Whipped cream 

Heavy cream topping is very high in calories. Whipping cream contains 400 calories per 1/2 cup (119 grams).

But it is way too yummy to avoid, right? Whipped cream can be eaten with a spoon before drinking coffee, as another type of pairing. But just count - it can fully replace a whole cup of greasy coffee!

Way out: use cinnamon or vanilla extract to improve the taste. If you want to stay thin, go for health supplements and vitamin products.

Breaking personal caffeine level

There are many ways people metabolize caffeine, which is why study results can differ. 

The likelihood of health problems occurs more frequently in slow metabolizers (caffeine stays in their system longer). 

Fast metabolizers, however, eliminate caffeine more rapidly, so they absorb antioxidants and other components of coffee without the downsides.

In addition, sometimes the short-term effects of caffeine on glucose and insulin levels lead to long-term effects such as the risk of developing chronic diseases. 

As a result, a small problem can create another one, thereby fueling weight gain.

Way out: keep a close eye on your weight, even if you follow all the tips for drinking coffee. It is also advisable to know your metabolic rate and be prepared for the typical reactions of your body.

Piling up stress

Caffeine influences the nervous system(6) which can cause storing fat. 

Scientists argue about the effect of caffeine on human behavior. However, one fact remains well-proven. Caffeine definitely stimulates stress. In its turn, constant stress provokes obesity(7). 

Now the puzzle is complete. Drinking coffee cannot be completely safe as long as it contains caffeine. 

Way out: try not to make coffee your dietary habit. And don’t forget to take regular coffee breaks.

Coffee replaces your breakfast

This even sounds a little alarming. Replacing a full meal with one drink is surely a bad idea. 

Don't pretend coffee is food when it isn't. Yes, it may fill your stomach with nutrients and energize your body for a while, it’s still not a meal. 

Coffee does not contain essential vitamins, protein, and fiber. For a balanced diet, it is better to cook oatmeal or buckwheat porridge.

Way out: let coffee accompany your breakfast, not be a clumsy replacement.

Premade coffee drinks

Premade coffee beverages may appear to be a speedier alternative, but they're not ideal due to one major culprit. Sugar, as you may have guessed.

A 13-ounce bottle contains approximately 250-300 calories and 30 grams of added sugar. Nothing better than regular sweeteners and toppings.

Way out: make it a habit to drink only brewed coffee. Try not to put it off for one day in the fridge or buying bottled cold coffee. There will be less benefit from it than harm.

Summing up

  • Coffee does not cause weight gain and, in fact, may help you lose weight by increasing your metabolism and controlling your hunger. 
  • It can, however, have a detrimental impact on sleep, which can lead to weight gain.
  • Furthermore, many popular coffee beverages and coffee pairings are rich in calories and added sugar.
  • There are many more cases where coffee will add extra pounds to you, but it does not increase your weight by itself. Plain coffee can even help you lose weight if you follow all the recommendations.

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