I am trying to lose weight. My girlfriend told me that I shouldn’t drink coffee because it’s high in calories. Is this true? Does decaf have fewer calories?
You’re not the only female with a passion for java. The latest from the USDA shows that American women over 20 are pouring up, on average, 11 ounces of coffee a day. That’s about the size of a small commuter mug.
You’ll be happy to hear that coffee has negligible calories, a mere four calories for each brewed six fluid ounces.
Decaf pours out the same amount. However, (there’s always a “however” when it comes to calories), the calories can start adding up — rapidly if you sip your java with cream.
Here’s the jolting math:
Coffee, 6 fluid ounces: 0 g fat; 0 g sat fat; 4 calories
+ 2 tbsp light coffee cream (about an ounce): 2.9 g fat; 1.8 g sat. fat; 58 calories
= 2.9 g fat; 1.8 g sat. fat; 62 calories
Compare that to:
Coffee, 6 fluid ounces: 0 g fat; 0 g sat. fat; 4 calories
+ 1 ounce of 1 percent milk: <0.5 g fat; <0.5 g sat. fat; 13 calories
= <0.5 g fat; <0.5 g sat. fat; 17 calories
The savings of 45 calories may seem like peanuts to you, but if you drink 12 ounces of coffee a day (twice the standard serving size, yet about the amount that women are currently gulping), the math adds up to a savings of 90 calories daily in that commuter mug.
If you multiply that savings over seven days of java drinking, you could be eliminating 630 calories a week. (Not to mention the savings of over 36 grams of fat and 20 grams of saturated fat.)
Over the course a year of sipping coffee, we’re talking a savings of 32,760 calories (630 calories x 52 weeks). Since it takes a trimming of 3,500 calories to lose a pound of fat, that calorie savings would calculate to about 9½ potential pounds lost on the bathroom scale by whitening your coffee with 1 percent milk rather than cream.
If you are gun shy about going cold turkey with the cream, try this: Gradually wean yourself by adding whole milk to your morning java. Once you get used to this, make the switch to 2 percent milk. After you do that, go for the gold with the 1 percent milk.
And speaking of calories in coffee, if you also have a passion for iced java drinks, you may be in for some chilling facts about calories.