“Don’t let anyone tell you that fairy tales aren’t real,” goes a popular internet meme. “I drink a potion made of magic beans every day and it brings me back to life!”
The Health Benefits of Coffee
Of course, that magic potion is coffee. But its ability to perk you up isn’t magic—nor are the other health benefits of coffee. According to John Hopkins Medicine, “Recent studies found that coffee drinkers are less likely to die from some of the leading causes of death in women: coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.” Research also shows that drinking coffee may stave off colon cancer, Parkinson’s disease, heart failure, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.
Though you may associate coffee’s health advantages with caffeine, science has identified hundreds of other substances—anti-inflammatory flavonoids, vitamins and minerals—that protect against disease, says FoodInsight.org, a website created by nutrition and food safety experts at the International Food Information Council.
Does Coffee Boost Metabolism and Help Weight Loss?
Coffee contains caffeine that may help you lose body fat. Yes, you heard that right. According to research from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, consuming four cups of coffee per day has been shown to decrease body fat by about four percent. The study was originally conducted to determine if coffee could decrease the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Researchers explain, “coffee did not affect the study participants’ sensitivity to insulin – the hormone that regulates sugar levels in the blood. The study did yield an unexpected result: Drinking coffee was associated with a modest loss of body fat.” Scientists believe that the fat loss was caused by the caffeine in coffee increasing the study participants’ metabolism, causing them to burn more calories.
According to ScienceDaily, “Women who drink two or three cups of coffee a day have been found to have lower total body and abdominal fat than those who drink less, according to a new study published in The Journal of Nutrition.”
Healthline explains that caffeine has been shown to increase resting metabolic rate by increasing the breakdown of fat. “One study showed that caffeine increased fat burning by as much as 29% in lean people, while the increase was only about 10% in obese individuals,” says Healthline. Furthermore, an expert at Mayo Clinic credits coffee with potentially decreasing hunger and appetite for a short amount of time.
So, does coffee boost metabolism? From the research, it definitely seems possible. While it’s not going to magically help you drop pounds, coffee can still be incorporated in moderation into your healthy diet. (How much is too much? Click here! >) Just be sure to speak to your doctor before adding coffee and other caffeinated beverages into your routine to ensure it’s safe for you.
10 Healthy Coffee Recipes
Black coffee is a Free Food on the Nutrisystem program and fat-free creamer is an Extra. If you like your coffee sweet, stick to a natural zero-calorie sweetener like Stevia for your cup of joe. You can also try these delicious coffee recipes to get a little more of this metabolism-boosting beverage into your diet:
Our members and followers love to get creative with coffee! This user-generated recipe submitted by Leaf visitor, Judy, is one of our favorites. Get the best of your favorite coffee shop drink (with far fewer calories) with this scrumptious beverage. It combines cold coffee with Nutrisystem Vanilla Protein Shake mix, sugar-free caramel syrup and ice. Blitz it together in your blender for a perfect start to your day! This morning protein shake is only 142 calories and counts as one PowerFuel and one Extra on the Nutrisystem plan. Click here for the full recipe! >
Did you know that coffee acts as a meat tenderizer? It’s great for lean cuts of meat like flank steak which can be tough. Combined with balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, whole grain mustard and minced garlic, it imparts a unique, rich, savory flavor to the meat. The recipe makes four servings and each is only 48 calories. It counts as two Extras on Nutrisystem. Click here for the full recipe! >
We’ve got another delicious morning beverage to start your day! Our Morning Coffee Cacao Power Smoothie can be enjoyed as a tasty breakfast or morning snack. This delicious smoothie has some surprises: a medium-sized frozen banana, frozen cauliflower and whey protein. A garnish of cacao nibs goes on top for extra chocolaty flavor. This great morning breakfast is only 199 calories and counts as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel, one Extra and half of a Vegetable on Nutrisystem. Click here for the full recipe! >
The best part of this stimulating and comforting breakfast is that you make it the night before and leave it in the fridge in a Mason jar. Have it cold or warm it up in the morning for a quick and easy breakfast. It’s a delicious blend of dry oats, brewed coffee, plain nonfat Greek yogurt, unsweetened cocoa, sliced almonds and chocolate chips. It will give you the motivation you need to jump out of bed. One serving is only 217 calories and counts as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel and one Extra on Nutrisystem. Click here for the full recipe! >
This is the sweetest, easiest pick-me-up you’ve ever had. Just three ingredients—coffee, plain fat-free yogurt and sweetener—are popped into a popsicle tray with a popsicle stick. Throw it into the freezer overnight and in the morning, you’ll have a sweet treat waiting for you! The recipe makes four popsicles that contain 33 calories each. They count as one Extra on Nutrisystem. Click here for the full recipe! >
Cool down and fuel your day with a creamy, dreamy dessert. With just three simple ingredients and a few simple steps, you can be digging your spoon into a light and airy Chocolate Coffee Mousse that’s rich, decadent and delicious. This chocolaty java treat clocks in at just 88 calories per serving. If you’re on the Nutrisystem weight loss plan, you can count it as all three of your Extras for the day. Click here for the full recipe! >
Stay on track with your weight loss while indulging in the flavors of fall with this Skinny Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew recipe! It’s perfectly portioned, lower in calories and eliminates the added sugar that typically accompanies these tasty drinks at the coffee shop. Each 107-calorie beverage can be counted as half of a PowerFuel and two Extras on Nutrisystem. Click here for the full recipe! >
This Sweet Cinnamon Latte is super easy to whip up. All you need is nonfat milk, Truvia, ground cinnamon and of course, coffee. Whether you need a morning pick-me-up or a midday treat, this sweet cup of joe will give you the energy you need. One serving is just 126 calories. It counts as one PowerFuel and one Extra on Nutrisystem. Click here for the full recipe! >
Even if you’ve never considered yourself to be an expert barista, our Iced Mocha Latte will be done faster than a barista can call out that your order is ready. Plus, your wallet will be feeling a little heavier! This tasty drink provides the caffeine kick you need with the perfect amount of chocolaty goodness. Click here for the full recipe! >
Turn your morning coffee into your morning time meal with this latte recipe! This smart sip is packed with protein, fiber and probiotics for a nutritious breakfast that fuels your day. Blend up this six-ingredient shake and enjoy a refreshing, energizing beverage that fits into your weight loss meal plan. It clocks in at just 176 calories and counts as one PowerFuel and one Extra on Nutrisystem. Click here for the full recipe! >