In a word, NO! Coffee is not fattening. An 8 ounce cup of black coffee contains 0 to 5 calories. Additionally, the caffeine in coffee gives your metabolism a boost. For this reason, drinking pure black coffee in reasonable amounts can actually help you lose weight.
In fact, many fitness experts recommend that you drink a cup of pure black coffee about half an hour before your workout to optimize your results.
Unfortunately, many people do not drink pure black coffee. Instead they opt for fancy variations that contain huge amounts of sugar and fat.
Specialty coffees offered by Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, Costa Coffee and the like are actually very high in empty calories that do nothing but jangle your nerves and cause you to gain weight.
As a matter of fact, many offerings from these sellers of specialty coffees rival super-sized meals from McDonald's and other fast food joints in terms of calories and fat.
Here are some comparisons:
- A McDonald's Big Mac contains just a little under 500 calories, and so does a Strawberry Frappuccino from Starbucks. The same is true of a whole – milk caramel flavored Frappe Latte from Caffe Nero.
- A regular hamburger with fries from McDonald's contains approximately 650 calories, and so does a Strawberry Cooler from Costas.
- Two servings of Kentucky Fried Chicken contain almost 400 calories, as does a Mocha Frappe Latte from Caffe Nero.
- A Vanilla Buttercream Cupcake from Starbucks contains 400 calories, and so does a whole – milk Mocha Frappuccino W/with whipped cream from Starbucks.
See our Calories In Coffee article for calorie charts of common coffee drinks.
Is Coffee Unhealthy?
Gourmet coffee is a very popular beverage these days, and many people visit purveyors of fine coffees such as Starbucks several times a day.
Simultaneously, we are experiencing a genuine epidemic of obesity in the Western world.
Are these two phenomena connected? Perhaps, but we definitely know that the excess calories in coffee can help add weight to your body which in turn is bad for your health.
For more detail about the benefits of coffee, see our post about the Health Benefits of Coffee.
What Can You Do?
Many people intent upon losing weight obsess on the notion that they must give up the things that they love entirely in order to do so. The fact is, nothing could be further from the truth.
If you have made a habit of drinking these high-calorie, high-fat coffees daily (or even several times a day) it is the habit you need to eliminate, not the coffee.
Save the specialty coffees for special occasions!
There is nothing wrong with treating yourself to a luxurious, tasty coffee concoction as a special dessert or a treat from time to time. For your daily habit, cultivate a taste for fine gourmet coffee, and drink it black. True coffee connoisseurs will tell you that this is the only way to enjoy really excellent coffee.
You may be surprised to learn that people who truly enjoy the finest of coffees (e.g. Best Kona coffee from Hawaii, which you will also find at Starbucks) consider adding sugar, milk, cream and other ingredients to be "adulterating" the coffee. While learning to enjoy pure, black coffee may be an acquired taste, it is one worth acquiring.
When you drink the finest coffees in their purest form, you can still enjoy the atmosphere of Starbucks or any other favorite coffee shop while adding knowledge and appreciation of truly fine coffees to your repertoire of skills.
When you limit your consumption of elaborate coffees to special occasions only and develop your taste for truly fine, pure coffees you will not only lose weight, you will broaden your horizons!
Fine Coffees Slims You Down & Livens Your Life!
Learning to appreciate high quality, calorie free coffees can be a remarkably interesting and enjoyable pastime. Collecting interesting coffees and gathering the equipment you will use to enjoy great coffees at home can is an enjoyable hobby.
Additionally, when you limit the amount of high fat, high sugar coffee concoctions you consume, you can enjoy a slimmer waistline and a fatter wallet. Who could ask for anything more?