More than 50% of Americans drink coffee on a regular basis. Coffee is often considered the best way to wake up and may even take the place of breakfast for some. However, the caffeinated drink can also drastically increase your daily calorie intake and ruin your health, if you’re not careful.
Coffee itself is almost calorie-free, but the additions that people enjoy can boost the calorie count quite a bit. A flavored latte is around 300 calories, while a white chocolate mocha can add 400 calories to your daily intake. Fortunately, it’s possible to reduce the calories in your morning cup of joe. Here’s how you can do it.
1. Change your milk
If you’re used to drinking your frappuchino with whole milk, try switching to something lighter to cut calories from your morning coffee. Switching from whole milk to nonfat will save you 65 calories per cup. Almond milk ranges from 30-60 calories per cup, making it an even lighter choice than cow’s milk. Soy or rice milk is a great choice as well.
2. Drop the sugar
Sugar contains 16 calories per teaspoon and most people enjoy a few teaspoons or sugar packets in their coffee. While the sweetness is appealing, it can definitely add calories to your diet. If you drink several cups of coffee a day, the numbers add up. Try using an artificial sweetener or a natural sweetener like stevia to prevent future weight gain, and of course, it’s better to reduce your coffee intake too.
3. Skip the cream
There’s nothing better than a cup of creamy coffee, but if you watch your calorie intake, skipping the cream will be a great choice. It may be fun to have a dollop of whipped cream on top of your mocha, but every tablespoon adds nearly 10 calories to your drink. Most drinks include several tablespoons, at the very least.
4. Drink less
Overindulging in anything can be bad for you, so if you just can’t do without your fancy coffee in the morning, drink in moderation. A smaller coffee will contain less calories. Instead of drinking two cups, try reducing it to one. If you have trouble waking up in the morning, reconsider your sleep habits instead of reaching for that extra cup of coffee.
5. Have some water
Water has fantastic benefits. Unfortunately, most people don’t drink enough water each day and end up suffering from dehydration and many serious health issues. If you are reaching for coffee because you’re thirsty, it’s best to drink some water instead. Coffee acts as a diuretic and can help dehydrate you. Drink some water with a squeeze of lemon to quench your thirst and give you a boost.
6. Make your own coffee
Nowadays people are too busy to make their own coffee, even if they have modern coffee makers. It’s easier to grab some coffee from the nearest coffee shop. However, coffee shops often load drinks with sugar and syrups. When you make your own coffee at home, you can measure exactly what you put into it. Or, when you buy coffee, opt for a black one to reduce your calorie intake.
7. Use sugar-free syrups
The fancy flavored syrups available in coffee shops will add a lot of sugar to your drink, but most places also offer sugar-free options. You can also bring your own small bottle if your regular shop doesn’t offer low calorie syrups. But again, try to make your own coffee at home.
8. Try spices
Flavorings can add calories, but if you use spices in your coffee, it will have a unique and pleasant taste without the added sugar and fat. Simply brew the coffee with the spices or stir them into the drink once the coffee is brewed. You can even purchase coffee with the spices already in the mix. Cardamom, vanilla, cinnamon and cloves are among the best spices to add to your morning coffee.
9. Add ice
Enjoy iced coffee instead of hot and you can save yourself a little extra weight around the middle. The reason for this is that ice takes up space and reduces the amount of liquid in the cup. You will drink less and therefore take in fewer calories. Iced coffee is fat free, and has zero carbs and zero calories when served black without sugar and milk.
10. Drink it black
Numerous studies recommend drinking coffee black to reap its health benefits and avoid weight gain. Coffee only has one calorie per cup, so if you can learn to drink it black, it will never make you gain weight. Freshly brewed coffee contains no calories and fat at all, when you make it at home. If you have any health problems, avoid drinking too much coffee. I can’t drink coffee black because of high blood pressure so I usually drink green tea or green smoothies instead of coffee.
For many dieters, the focus is on food. Unfortunately, fancy coffee drinks can contain just as many calories as a decent lunch or breakfast. Learn to reduce your calorie intake by changing what you drink and you will have more to use on good food. Cutting some calories from your morning coffee can help you drop weight faster. Can you imagine starting your day without coffee?