Your daily cup of hot brown could be just as guilty of disrupting your meal plan as your Friday night beers, research suggests.
If you’re someone who puts a lot of effort into planning and sticking to a workout at the gym, but finds that you’re making little to no progress (despite a strict nutritional plan), you may be forgetting about your daily coffee intake. Especially if you are a latte drinker.
Well, we’re not demonizing latte drinkers at all, but as a DMARGE correspondent recently revealed to us, a traditional latte can range from 150 to 200 calories, depending on size and if you add a little extra like sugar or sweetener. For example, if you prefer to flavor your latte with vanilla or caramel syrup, this will only increase.
In fact, Healthline states that an 8-ounce fat-free latte (traditionally a small one in Australia) has about 72 calories, while an 8-ounce flavored latte has about 134 calories.
Then, if you only have one a day, every day of the week, you’re looking at nearly 1,000 calories burned from coffee alone. No amount of steamed chicken or squats will make up for that.
Latte art may be pretty, but it could interfere with your profits.
DMARGE has previously discussed how coffee can keep you from getting shredded in the context of someone choosing a coffee and “healthy snack” over a larger lunch based on the belief that it’s healthier. And even then, a “real” lunch will always prevail.
And what about milk alternatives like Australia’s favorite oat milk? How much do they affect the calorie content of your daily caffeine dose?
Let’s crunch some numbers.
According to L’Or Espresso, a typical latte contains between 170 and 225 ml of milk. Healthline adds that an 8-ounce (240-mL) serving of Oatly oat milk has 120 calories, which means 1 calorie for every 2 mL of milk. So if you went in at the top end and added 8 ounces of Oatly oat milk to your coffee, that’s 112.5 calories. The double shot of espresso adds only about 4 calories, bringing the total to 116.5 calories for an oatmilk latte.
TIED TOGETHER: “Oats are the new almond”: The coffee trend Australia can’t get enough of
Two oat milk lattes a day, every day of the week, and that’s 1,631 calories you’ve accumulated. Well, if you have an eating plan designed to help you bulk up — like Chris Hemsworth’s 4,500-calorie-a-day feast — then 1,600 calories isn’t going to overwhelm you. But if you’re on a more “normal” eating plan of, say, 1,800 calories a day, then your coffee habit over the course of a week could equal an extra day’s meals.
So why do we still indulge in coffee and forget to think about what we are actually putting in our bodies?
It is important to watch your coffee consumption.
DMARGE spoke to Ben Lucas, former NRL player and founder of Flow Athletic, to get his two cents on whether we should rethink our relationship with coffee or if we can still have a little good in our lives.
Ben says first, “If you drink a coffee or two a day and really enjoy it, then I say go for it. Morning coffee is often a relaxing, mindful moment for someone before starting their day, but there are two things to keep in mind.”
“The first is if you’re very stressed or if you drink a lot of coffee, it can spike your cortisol levels and keep them high.”
“While a little bit of cortisol (the hormone released when you add stress to your body, such as momentarily during a HIIT workout or when you’re running away from a deadly animal) is absolutely fine… But it’s high for long.” can affect digestion, so you may gain weight, often around your abdomen.
“It can also affect your sleep and mood etc. If you’re highly stressed or drink too much coffee, you might want to pay more attention to your lifestyle in general.”
TIED TOGETHER: “Better Than Sex”: Australia’s most expensive coffee blew my mind
“Also think about what goes into your coffee,” he advises. “Do you add cream, syrup, sugar? Then, if you’re calorie-savvy, you might want to change your order to something simpler and less sweet.”
Syrup might make coffee taste sweeter, but it’s terrible for your calorie intake.
And for those of you who think you can effectively cheat the system and use the calorie intake from your weekly coffee ritual as part of a total weekly calorie intake, think again.
“I wouldn’t [replace food with coffee]’ says Ben, ‘I would aim to cut back. Aim for 1-2 regular sized coffees and eat a healthy diet. Coffee alone does have some antioxidants, but consuming them instead of food isn’t really a balanced diet.”
TIED TOGETHER: Wine or Spirits: Which is Better for Weight Loss?
Ben’s recommendation if you just can’t resist your caffeine cravings? “Aim for a coffee with a dash of milk and no sugar, a black coffee, or a simple flat white.”
Then, is it time to say see you later for the latte?