You rely on your morning cup of Joe to wake you up and get you ready to face the day, and you may have a vague idea that it helps with weight loss as well. But with just a little more planning (and stirring or blending), you can transform your morning cup of coffee into a weight loss wonder. Here’s how.
The healthy perks of a daily coffee habit
“I can’t praise coffee enough,” says world-renowned health expert David Perlmutter MD, who confirms coffee has several health benefits. Simply drinking one cup of coffee can help you burn an extra 150 calories a day — enough to shed 16 pounds each year. But perhaps the most compelling case for coffee’s health benefits comes from two major studies spanning 16 years and involving more than a half million people spread across 10 countries. The research finds that folks with the lowest risk of dying — of any cause — are the ones who drink the most coffee.
How coffee helps with weight loss
For starters, the naturally bitter flavor of coffee quells cravings. A Harvard study shows that people drinking four cups of black coffee daily reduced their appetite and lost body fat. Another small study found that coffee’s caffeine can temporarily increase calorie burn, thanks to the food’s thermogenic effect, revving fat burn by 200%.
But that’s not all. A special compound in coffee known as chlorogenic acid helps fight inflammation, which can fuel weight gain and offers a host of health ailments. Coffee also contains lignans, which have antioxidant properties and can repair cells so they function optimally. In fact, plant lignans are believed to help improve insulin secretion, a hormone that plays a vital role in weight management.
Then there’s the caffeine in coffee, which not only gives us a boost of energy but can also help energize metabolism too. Studies show that caffeine triggers lipolysis, the breakdown of stored fat in tissue so the body is better able to burn it as fuel.
What’s more: A study in the journal Nutrients found habitual coffee consumption is linked with a 35% lower risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. That’s good news, since keeping the organ that is responsible for processing toxins and dietary fat in good working order is vital when it comes to weight loss.
Delicious weight loss coffee in 4 easy steps
Sometimes the healthiest coffee is the one you make in your own kitchen. Use these tips to ensure your coffee-shop-worthy home brew creations are supporting your weight loss goals.
1. Start with flavorful medium-roast beans
Coffee beans that offer full flavor and aroma can satisfy your senses — and hunger! — better than weaker beans. And research from TV medical correspondent Bob Arnot, MD, author of The Coffee Lover’s Diet, suggests medium roasts are best for health benefits. He worked with chemists at a Vermont lab to systematically rank hundreds of beans and brews. The results: “Dark roasting destroys phenols,” says Dr. Arnot. These healthy coffee compounds have been linked to weight loss. That’s why he started calling medium roast coffees “lean roasts,” because they explode with slimming bioactive plant compounds. And more and more doctors agree: David Perlmutter, MD, author of Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar, says, “Medium roast coffee has a higher level of chlorogenic acid — an important polyphenol to which many of coffee’s health benefits are attributed.” (Click through to learn more about Dr. Arnot’s complete coffee diet for fast weight loss.)
2. Add protein powder to your cup
To make any coffee even more powerful for weight loss, add protein powder. Protein builds muscle, which naturally revs the metabolism to burn fat, even during sleep. No wonder coffee lovers are falling in love with coffee spiked with protein powder, also called “proffee.”
When it comes to slimming down, “proffee makes it easier for your body to burn fat,” explains University of Maryland nutrition expert Pamela Peeke, MD. One reason: Both coffee and protein have a thermic effect, “which means they create heat as they digest, burning extra calories,” says Dr. Peeke. Plus, it takes more energy for your body to burn and digest protein than it does carbohydrates and fat, which can increase calorie burning.
In addition to the increase in fat-burning that proffee triggers, there’s also a decrease in hunger. That’s because protein helps to increase levels of the hormone ghrelin, which researchers reporting in the Journal of Nutrition say helped women feel less hungry than those who ate a high-fat snack. What’s more, protein is known to increase levels of hormones like glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), the same hormones activated by popular weight loss drug Ozempic.
Plus, those extra doses of protein shrink appetite by about 494 calories a day, according to a University of Washington study. Plus, exciting new research suggests that getting 25+ grams of protein for breakfast is the key to weight loss over 50. Click through for a complete plan using morning protein to help lose over 50 belly fat.
You only need two ingredients to make a cup of proffee at home. Simply combine ¼ cup low-sugar protein powder to 1 cup of hot coffee. (Click through to discover the best protein powders for women over 50 and the best protein powders for women over 60.)
3. Add in a little ‘skinny’ flavor
If you’ve been on Instagram or TikTok lately, you’ve probably heard of “skinny syrups.” Flavored syrups were popularized by coffee chains like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, and sugar-free or “skinny” versions debuted in 2006. The syrups can be made with all natural ingredients; however, many do contain artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners. But what all skinny syrups have in common is that they’re zero sugar and zero carbohydrates — that makes them both keto-friendly and diabetic-friendly.
A favorite of women we’ve spoken to for weight-loss success stories: Jordan’s Skinny Syrups Salted Caramel (Buy from Target, $4.99). Click through for a complete overview of skinny syrups including how to make your own (it’s easy!) and the best pre-made ones to look for. (Click through for a complete overview of how skinny syrups can power weight loss.)
4. Top with cold foam
To give your morning brew real coffeehouse flair, consider topping with cold foam. The delicious treat is pillowy like whipped cream but has half the calories (roughly 35), a higher protein-to-carb ratio and none of the fat. So you get maximum mmm without the fattening ugh. Best part: It’s easy to make at home. All it takes is non-fat milk, a mason jar and 90 seconds. Click through for a complete guide for how to make cold foam at home.
Weight loss coffee option: Bulletproof Coffee
If you’re not a fan of coffeehouse drinks with all their fancy flavors, you may prefer to transform your morning coffee into a keto jumpstart. While adding extra calories to coffee drinks can slow weight loss, adding special fats like grass-fed butter, coconut oil or MCT oil (medium-chain triglyceride), are shown to turbocharge coffee’s slimming ability. That’s why Bulletproof coffee, made popular by diet author Dave Asprey, is a favorite choice among hard-core dieters. Asprey’s idea behind Bulletproof Coffee is to replace a traditional high-carb breakfast with a high-fat, low-carb coffee drink, in the hopes of improving mental clarity, reducing hunger and providing steady, long-lasting energy. To make the drink, one brews a cup of coffee using low-mold coffee beans and pours it in blender with two tablespoons of grass-fed butter (higher in omega-3 fatty acids than traditional butter) and two tablespoons of medium-chain triglyceride oil—otherwise known as MCT oil.
What do the experts say? “There’s no question that taking MCT oil enhances your ability to switch into fat-burning mode,” confirms renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, best-selling author of nine books, including Drop Acid. Indeed, it can help mimic the effects of a keto diet — without cutting carbs! “If you have adequate MCTs in your diet, you can generate the same ketone power as you would by fasting or eating in the traditional keto fashion,” asserts Steven R. Gundry, MD, author of Unlocking the Keto Code. (Click through to discover the best MCT oil for weight loss — and how to make them work for you!)
Pro tip: If you prefer iced coffee, use ghee (ordinary butter with the solids removed) as your healthy fat since it remains liquid even when blended and chilled. (Click through to see how ghee helps with weight loss.)
Weight loss coffee option: Iced Coffee
If you like hot and cold coffee drinks equally, then opt for the hot version to get a slimming health advantage. Hot coffee contains 20% more antioxidants, compounds that prevent cell damage that can lead to heart disease and weight gain. The reasonable explanation: Using hot water tin the brewing process successfully extracts more of these nutrients from the beans than cold brewing. Plus, hot coffee is known to have slightly more appetite-suppressing caffeine.
But if you prefer cold coffee, there are also some advantages: The ice will take up space — a diet practice known as volumetrics — without adding calories. To keep your iced coffee from getting watered down, take a tip from weight-loss coach Debbie Rondinelli, who lost 178 pounds with the help of healthy drinks. She takes leftover plain black coffee from her pot and freezes it in an ice cube tray. She says, “It makes a great base for iced coffee.”
Debbie, who has worked as a Weight Watchers coach, also recommends this Cold Brew drink, worth just 3 Weight Watchers points, or 117 calories. To make: In a glass of cold brew coffee, add 2 pumps vanilla sugar free “skinny” syrup, 2 pumps sugar free caramel skinny syrup, 2 packs of Stevia, 2 tsp Starbucks creamer, 1 Tbs sugar -free vanilla Coffee Mate and top with fat free whipped cream. Click through for more skinny Starbucks drink recipes you can make at home.
For more on how coffee can help you lose weight, keep reading!
Women Over 50 Are Going Crazy for Protein Coffee — And Weight Loss Is Only One Reason
Love Those Coffee Drinks Made With Skinny Syrups? Here’s How to Enjoy Them for Less
How To Order Flavored Coffee Drinks At Starbucks & Dunkin’ Without Ending Up With a Fat and Calorie Bomb
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.