Autumn is just around the corner and the coffee shops are starting to sell their pumpkin spice lattes, pecan lattes and salted caramel cappuccinos.
On those cold, wintery days there’s nothing more satisfying than a hot cup of coffee to lift your mood.
But be careful! While they are very tasty, they are also super-high in calories and packed full of sugar.
If you’re trying to lose weight, they can easily tip your calorie and sugar intake over your limit and bring your weight-loss efforts to a halt.
Check out the nutritional content of the popular coffee drinks below:
Note: the recommended daily sugar intake for adults is 6 teaspoons per day, and too much sugar results gaining body fat.
l A grande pumpkin spiced latte made with semi-skimmed milk contains 424 calories and 49.7 grams (12.5 teaspoons) of sugar. DOUBLE the recommended daily amount for adults.
l A grande caramelised pecan latte made with semi-skimmed milk contains 275 calories and 36.8 grams (9 teaspoons) of sugar. That’s one and a half times the daily recommended amount for an adult.
l A massimo speciality gingerbread latte made with semi-skimmed milk contains 194 calories and 33.8 grams (8.5 teaspoons) of sugar. That’s nearly one and a half times the daily recommended amount for adults.
So, if you’re a bit of a coffee junkie and you have three pumpkin spiced lattes per week, that’s your weekly recommended sugar intake used up with just three coffees!
That’s without all the other food and drinks that you’re consuming that week too.
You see how easy it is to go over your sugar and calorie allowance?
All that extra sugar may be the reason that you can’t lose weight or drop fat from around your waist and hips.
So what can you have instead?
Espressos and Americanos are great because they are low in calories and don’t contain and sugary syrups or milk.
This means you can enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee without tipping you over your calorie allowance.
If you really can’t resist a flavoured latte, then ask for it to be made with soya milk (which has less calories than cow’s milk) and half the amount of syrup, so that lowers the number of calories you are consuming.
Coffee CAN help you lose weight ...
A coffee can actually be very helpful with weight loss if you use it in the right way.
Caffeine is a stimulant and can help improve your focus. It makes you feel more alert and can spur you on to be more active.
So, if you time your coffee right, it can help you have a more energetic workout, meaning you will burn more calories and body fat.
On the other hand, too much coffee has the opposite effect. It will make you feel sluggish and tired.
My advice is:
l Limit your coffee intake to one per day.
If you’re having more than one a day, try to cut down so you avoid sugar cravings.
l Drink black coffee.
Avoid coffees with milk or cream, lattes full of syrups and don’t use sugar or sweeteners, as this will bump up your calorie intake and prevent you losing weight.
l Time your caffeine.
The best time to have a coffee is about half an hour before your workout to make you more alert and focused.
You’re more likely to push yourself harder during the workout if you’re alert.
On days that you don’t have a workout scheduled, mid-morning is the best time to get a caffeine hit, as this is usually when most people have a dip in concentration.
l Avoid caffeine close to bedtime.
Personally, I don’t drink coffee after 4pm because I’m wide awake come bedtime.
If you find it hard to get to sleep on a night, try reducing your caffeine intake, especially in the afternoon.
Your Trainer: Graham Low, owner of East Coast Fitness, is an award winning personal trainer based in Seaham. The ex-professional footballer was nominated for the Small Business of the Year and Leisure Awards at the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards last year. Graham won the Leisure Award at the North East Hotels Association Awards while working as gym manager at Seaham Hall in 2012. For personal training, boot camps, small group training and online programmes email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.eastcoast-fitness.com