Is Coffee Good For Weight Loss? May 1, 2013 nutrition, weight management 3 Comments Is coffee good for weight loss? or is coffee bad for weight loss? Coffee serve size in Italy! So a while ago I went out for breakfast for a girl friends birthday where she ordered a very large soy chai latte in a mug; this was no ordinary mug, but rather a mug that contained a meal within itself! Have you seen them? Over in the States I was gob smacked by the coffee serve sizes, their small was the equivalent of our medium here in Australia; although compared to Italy, Spain, and Finland, our small would equal their large (if they actually served anything bigger than their regular very small coffees!). Coffee serve sizes in Finland – the large was similar to an Australian Small..so not even as big as a USA small! So back to this breakfast I was out at…not only did the waiter at the register where we paid make my friend feel awfully uncomfortable ordering a drink of this size, but so too did the waitress who brought the drink over to the table, with the remark “half a litre soy chai latte”. I am not sure the point of this remark, but the tone of voice did not appear to be making a friendly joke (and tone of voice makes a BIG difference with anything you say!). Now we just had a bit of a laugh about this, wondering, why have the mugs available on the counter if you do not want people to order drinks in them? I was a little confused to be honest. I was wondering whether they made everyone feel this way about ordering the drink of this size, for example, if someone was particularly overweight, is there judgement on the order? As my friend, who is a dietitian herself, and definitely within the healthy weight range, was made to feel there was a problem here in her selection. My advice (besides ignoring any waiters or waitresses that ever make you feel uncomfortable placing your order, be it asking for the dressing on the side of your salad or requesting your bread be whole-grain instead of white..or anything else for that matter!), always order your soy or milk based drinks as part of your meal. By this I mean, do include the calories in these drinks (which are what I would typically call “good/valuable calories”, being low GI carbohydrates and a good source of protein to help you feel full) as part of your total intake, rather than thinking of them as free (as you would water). Difference in serve sizes between the cappucino and the chai latte. For most, the small size of a coffee in our Westernized countries should be enough to compliment whatever meal you are having, or consumed as a snack in itself. Put it this way, 500mls of soy milk (that was in my friends very large drink) could provide somewhere around 320cals/1,340kJ whereas a small skim latte will have closer to 120cals/500kJ. Just to make a note, soy milk and dairy milk have very similar calorie to volume ratios, so just as some people might order the skim latte to cut down on their calories, you would need to do the same if ordering a soy alternative to reap the same outcome. Having said this, if you are selecting between a regular latte, or a skim latte and a small biscuit, I will be honest, you are a lot better off just consuming the regular latte, you will feel fuller from the fat that is present in it, and get the nutritional gain of the fat soluble vitamins being more well absorbed, compared to cutting these out and consuming the refined carbohydrate in the biscuit anyway! Scrambled eggs have butter or cream or milk added into them, treat this like 1 ‘extra’ compared to if you ordered poached eggs. Therefore a milky coffee would have been a second ‘extra’ in this instance. So in short, try not let the waiters get to you, however do count your drinks as part of your food intake, and hence, if you would typically order sides with your eggs when you are out at breakfast with a coffee, maybe next time, hold one of the extra sides if you are ordering the coffee, and realise that you will be getting more bang for your buck in regards to protein and slow release carbohydrates for less calories, than you typically would have gotten from the side dishes that are sauteed in a lot more butter than you probably would use yourself at home. I have sourced this great infographic for you to see the calories vs caffeine content in a range of beverages so that you can at least make informed decisions next time you are out. To see this in a larger image -http://www.dearcoffeeiloveyou.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Caffeine-Calories.png Just some food for thought, For now, The Travelling Dietitian x ps- If you are interested in learning about your portion sizes and how to manage your food and drink intake when dining out, I’d recommend you take a look at my published book The Clean Separation. There is loads of information in there on this! Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window) Related 3 Responses Michael Thannhauser May 1, 2013 What an excellent article. Log in to Reply Travelling Dietitian May 1, 2013 Thanks 🙂 I’ll keep doing my best to share the logical side of nutrition! Log in to Reply The Buzz on Caffeine – is coffee good for us? | felicitycurtain February 17, 2014 […] style drinks, and you’re also adding some serious energy to your day. Dietitian Kara Landau (The Travelling Dietitian) makes a great point in suggesting to “order your soy or milk based drinks (coffee) as part of […] Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.