Can Coffee Make You Put on Weight? The Surprising Truth Revealed

It’s no secret that coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Nearly everyone I know enjoys a cup of coffee in the morning to help kickstart their day. However, there has always been a lingering question in the back of my mind – can coffee make you put on weight? I’ve heard various opinions on this matter, so I decided to do some research and find out the surprising truth.

The Relationship Between Coffee and Weight Gain

Understanding the Calories in Coffee

When it comes to questioning whether coffee can contribute to weight gain, the first thing we need to consider is its calorie content. Plain, black coffee without any added sugar or milk is virtually calorie-free. A regular cup of black coffee contains only about 5 calories. So, if you’re a fan of drinking your coffee in its pure form, you can rest easy knowing it won’t contribute to weight gain.

Adding Calories through Sugar and Cream

However, for many people, a cup of coffee isn’t complete without some additions like sugar, cream, or flavored syrups. These extras can significantly increase the calorie content of your daily brew. For instance, just a tablespoon of sugar adds around 48 calories to your coffee. Similarly, a splash of whole milk adds approximately 9 calories, while a tablespoon of flavored syrup can contribute up to 100 calories.

If you’re someone who enjoys multiple cups of coffee throughout the day, each with added sugar and cream, it’s easy to see how the calories can quickly add up. These extra calories can lead to weight gain over time, especially if you’re not mindful of your overall caloric intake.

Effect of Caffeine on Appetite and Metabolism

Another aspect to consider is the effect of caffeine on appetite and metabolism. Coffee is a rich source of caffeine, which can have various effects on our bodies. One of the most well-known effects is its ability to suppress appetite temporarily. When we consume caffeine, it can increase the production of hormones that signal fullness, leading to a temporary decrease in hunger.

Additionally, caffeine has been shown to boost metabolism slightly, which could translate to an increase in calorie burning. However, it’s essential to note that these effects are relatively mild and may not significantly impact weight loss or gain in the long run.

Factors that Influence the Relationship

Individual Differences

It’s important to recognize that the relationship between coffee and weight gain can vary from person to person. Individual factors such as genetics, metabolism, overall diet, and lifestyle choices all play a role. Some people may consume coffee regularly and not experience any weight gain, while others might see the number on the scale creep up despite their coffee consumption.

Portion Control and Moderation

Like with any food or beverage, portion control and moderation are crucial factors to consider. Even if you enjoy coffee with added sugar and cream, it doesn’t mean you have to completely eliminate it from your diet. Instead, being mindful of your portion sizes and keeping track of your overall caloric intake is key to controlling weight gain.

If you’re concerned about your coffee consumption, consider opting for lower-calorie alternatives such as using artificial sweeteners or switching to lighter milk options like almond or skim milk. This way, you can still enjoy your daily cup of joe without the worry of excessive calories.

Overall Diet and Lifestyle

While coffee can be a part of a balanced diet, it’s essential to look at the bigger picture. The overall quality of your diet and lifestyle choices will have a more significant impact on weight management than just coffee consumption alone. If you’re regularly consuming a nutrient-dense, balanced diet and engaging in physical activity, the occasional coffee with added sugar and cream should not pose a significant risk for weight gain.

However, if your overall diet consists of highly processed, calorie-dense foods and you lead a sedentary lifestyle, the extra calories from your coffee could contribute to weight gain.


After conducting thorough research, it’s safe to say that coffee itself doesn’t directly cause weight gain. Plain black coffee is virtually calorie-free and can even offer some benefits like appetite suppression and a minor boost in metabolism. However, it’s the added extras like sugar, cream, and flavored syrups that can significantly increase the calorie content of your daily brew.

Ultimately, it’s all about moderation and being mindful of your overall diet and lifestyle choices. If you enjoy your coffee with some additions, keeping track of portion sizes and the number of calories you consume throughout the day is essential. By making conscious choices and balancing your coffee indulgences with healthier options and regular exercise, you can still enjoy your daily cup of coffee without worrying about putting on weight.

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