Even though they don’t fill you up, drinks can have just as many calories as the things you eat. A cup of coffee with a few tablespoons of cream and sugar can have as many calories as a snack.
And those big frappuccinos from Starbucks… They’re like eating a whole meal! A double chocolate chip frappuccino has 520 calories—no lie.
If you want to make better decisions when it comes to your diet, then you need to know how many calories in a cup of coffee there are with and without all the fixings. Today we’re going to give you all that info so you can achieve your weight loss goals. If you’re going to be making better decisions, it should start with exactly what coffee you’re drinking!
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Calories in Black Coffee
If you’re trying to lose weight, black coffee is the best coffee drink you could buy. It has just 5 calories per cup, so it’s almost like drinking water!
Some people even say that black coffee is good for weight loss. They claim it can boost your metabolism and curb your appetite. There isn’t a whole lot of scientific evidence to back those claims up… But it’s worth a shot, right?
Calories in Coffee with Milk
If you can’t stand black coffee, drinking coffee with a few splashes of milk in it is the next best thing. Whole milk only has 9 calories per tablespoon, so adding a few tablespoons of it to your morning cup of joe won’t break the calorie bank. A coffee with two tablespoons of whole milk would only be about 23 calories.
If you’re really trying to cut back on your calorie consumption, you could use skim milk instead. It has just five calories per tablespoon, so a cup of coffee with two tablespoons of skim milk would clock in at 15 calories.
Calories in Coffee with Cream
We love a good splash of heavy cream in our morning coffee! We know it’s not the healthiest choice, but it’s so irresistible. It adds a richness and creaminess to our coffee drinks that whole milk just can’t match.
We add about a tablespoon of heavy cream to each cup, which is about 50 calories. So in total, our morning coffee costs us 55 calories. Not too bad!
But calories aren’t the only thing to consider when you’re trying to make healthier choices. Heavy cream has a lot of saturated fat, which is something the American Heart Association recommends that you limit. If you have too much saturated fat in your diet, you could develop health problems, like high cholesterol.
One tablespoon of heavy cream contains about 5.5 grams of saturated fat. To put that number in context, healthy adults are supposed to eat 13 grams or less of saturated fat per day.
If you want to swap your heavy cream for something healthier, try half and half. It still has a pretty rich and creamy taste, but it’s a lot lower in both calories and fat. It only contains 20 calories and 1.1 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon, so it’s a much better choice for your heart.
Calories in Coffee with Sugar
One thing we haven’t talked about yet is sugar. Unsurprisingly, it can add a lot of extra calories in a cup of coffee.
One study found that the average coffee drinker adds nearly 3 teaspoons of sugar to their coffee each day, which is about 41 calories worth. If you add cream and sugar to your coffee, each cup could clock in at 100 calories or more. That’s a really significant amount when you’re trying to lose weight!
An alternative we like to use that is low in calories and adds a unique flavor to your coffee is actually honey.
Calories in Coffee with Creamer
If you have a sweet tooth, you may like to use flavored coffee creamers. We looked at a couple different brands of coffee creamer and found that they range between 15 and 30 calories per tablespoon.
Coffee creamers contain fewer calories than cream and sugar, but that comes at a cost. Creamers often have artificial sweeteners, like sucralose, to bring down the calorie count and artificial ingredients like carrageenan to make it taste creamier.
Those artificial ingredients may have some negative health consequences. Some studies have shown that sucralose increases your risk of getting cancer, and carrageenan can cause digestive problems. Products like Slenda or Truvia tend to have sucralose in them, so beware!
They may be lower in calories and fat, but coffee creamers aren’t the way to go if you’re trying to eat more organic, natural foods.