Coffee and belly fat shouldn’t be in the same sentence.
Mostly because I love coffee and hate belly fat.
However, is coffee the culprit to your bulging middle?
Let’s find out…
The truth about coffee and belly fat
Coffee has a significant amount of antioxidants, which helps your body fight cancer. Coffee also contains unknown substances that help reduce belly fat.
Even studies have shown that consuming a healthy amount of coffee for 12 weeks has reduced the amount of total abdominal fat.
[source: Coffee Abundant in Chlorogenic Acids Reduces Abdominal Fat in Overweight Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Trial.]
So, why or how does coffee give you a pot belly?
The following may help give insight to your midsection problem:
Sugars are empty calories that do nothing but make you fat. Well, it does balance out the bitter taste of coffee, which makes it yum. You know what I’m talking about, you sweet-toothed coffee lovers.
It’s not so much about the sugar, but the over-consumption of sugar that leads to unhealthy weight gain.
You may not even have coffee with sugar but pair it with other sugar-laden desserts like cakes.
I know that coffee is best with sweet foods: cheesecakes, muffins, pavlovas, and banana bread pairs well with coffee.
Eating sweet things in addition to your sugar-filled coffee, will skyrocket your sugar consumption.
Do you know how much milk is added to your favorite energy drink? A 150ml cappuccino has 85ml of milk. That is about 50 calories.
If you have a cuppa, 250ml, you’ll get a hit of 91 calories from milk. And, if you are a coffee lover, you’ll probably drink more than 2 cups in a day. I know people who drink 6 cups of coffee before lunch!
Now, if you drink 3 cups, that could add up to almost 300 calories; that’s a significant amount of calories from drinks.
When you double that, you could be drinking 600 calories; that’s a total amount of a single meal.
Would you like cream with that? If you are anything like me, of course, you’d say yes. You’ve just added more calories to your sugar-laden, creamy milk shot of coffee.
There are many toppings that you can add to your coffee. Toppings like caramel, cinnamon, and whipped cream, just to name a few.
Why don’t we do the math on each and see how much total calories they add?
2 pumps of caramel = 40 calories
1 teaspoon of cinnamon = 6 calories
Whipped cream in Starbucks coffee = 110 calories
Total = 156 calories
Now, you add your cup of coffee of 91 calories, and you get a total of 247 calories.
That is one serving. You and I both know you won’t stop at one. So, let’s say you’re going to have a conservative amount of 3 cups of coffee a day.
247 x 3 = 741
That’s 741 calories!
And we didn’t even add up your cheesecakes, muffins, and sweetbread you had on the side.
Cortisol is a stress hormone causing your body to gain weight. Patients with abdominal obesity have elevated cortisol levels.
[source: Stress, cortisol, and obesity: a role for cortisol responsiveness in identifying individuals prone to obesity.]
Drinking a significant amount of coffee may raise your cortisol levels to extreme levels. Cortisol at high levels increases weight gain in specific individuals.
[source: Cortisol responses to mental stress, exercise, and meals following caffeine intake in men and women]
How do you reduce cortisol levels?
Well, knowing your coffee limit before you get all jittery is one method to reduce cortisol. You can also follow the recommended guidelines by the FDA, which states:
“For healthy adults, the FDA has cited 400 milligrams a day—that’s about four or five cups of coffee—as an amount not generally associated with dangerous, negative effects. However, there is wide variation in both how sensitive people are to the effects of caffeine and how fast they metabolize it (break it down).”[source: Spilling the Beans: How Much Caffeine is Too Much?]
Decaf coffee and belly fat
How about decaf coffee? Does it have any effect on belly fat?
You can drink decaf coffee to prevent high levels of cortisol. However, I think most people would agree, what’s the point?
I drink coffee to stay awake! Especially in the early mornings so I can type away without hitting my head on the keyboard. Moreover, extensive research takes a lot of concentration. Coffee gives me focus.
However, if you don’t mind a simple brew without the hit of caffeine, then, by all means, drink decaf.
How to drink coffee and lose belly fat
Studies have shown that drinking coffee can make you lose belly fat. However, how do you drink coffee without the added calories?
True coffee lovers drink their coffee without sugar, milk, cream, or any extras. Grind the coffee, brew, shoot. Without extras like milk, you get to understand and taste the coffee truly.
But, how do you drink coffee by itself without puking? Well, you do it long enough, I guarantee that you’ll get used to the bitterness. Puke now, enjoy later.
There are some people though that hate the bitter taste and I have a good solution for that.
After you brew your coffee, add salt. Not too much, start with a pinch, then taste and go from there.
I didn’t believe it myself, but when I tried, it blew my mind. The salt mellows out the bitterness of the coffee.
I could never stop drinking coffee even if I wanted to. I think I’ve reached the point where if I were to stop, I’d go cold turkey. You’ll probably need to put me in a rehab.
Studies have shown that coffee can make you lose belly fat. Although, there is a need to moderate the extras you add to enjoy your brew.
Drink coffee without the cream, sugar, or any extras, and you’ll appreciate the different subtle tastes of coffee.
The only way you’ll get fat drinking coffee is when you drink a significant amount and add a whole lot of extras like caramel, whip cream, and milk.
The caffeine in coffee could also raise your cortisol levels, increasing your appetite to eat after your cup of joe.
High cortisol levels will lead to overeating and a surplus in your daily calorie intake resulting in weight gain leading to obesity.
If you are having trouble with cortisol levels, not getting enough sleep, living a hectic lifestyle, you might find comfort with this natural supplement.