You may hear dietitians talk about belly fat specifically, but the reason almost never has anything to do with physical appearance. One of the main reasons experts often help people who want to lose abdominal fat is because this type of fat, also known as visceral fat, can grow around your abdominal organs and lead to health complications over time such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes.
According to our medical expert Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, author of The First Time Mom's Pregnancy Cookbook and Fueling Male Fertility, one of the best coffees you can drink when you're wanting to lose abdominal fat is black coffee.
"While there are many creamers, flavorings, and supplements that can be added to coffee drinks, your best bet when trying to lose weight is to drink it black," says Manaker. "Caffeinated coffee naturally contains a slew of compounds that support weight loss, and drinking it on its own is a calorie-free and antioxidant-packed beverage that can be a fantastic addition to a weight loss diet."
Coffee and abdominal fat loss
Researchers have found that coffee can help promote weight loss, and there are two main theories surrounding the reason why: the caffeine content of coffee or the unique compounds it contains. Or maybe, it's a combination of both.
One study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health closely monitored 126 participants for 24 weeks who were considered overweight and non-insulin resistant. They found that drinking around four cups of coffee per day had little to no effect on insulin resistance but was associated with losing body fat. One of the main researchers theorized that this effect was due to the coffee's caffeine content and its ability to speed up metabolism.
Another study, however, found that drinking at least two cups of coffee per day was associated with lower abdominal fat regardless of whether or not it was caffeinated coffee or decaffeinated. These researchers from Anglia Ruskin University believe that it's the bioactive compounds in coffee that can help promote weight loss.
Why black coffee is best
If you're someone who loves sugary coffee with a lot of creamer, there's nothing wrong with that! If you're currently trying to lose abdominal fat, it's important to note that you may benefit from switching out some of these beverages for a black cup of coffee from time to time.
Research shows that excess added sugar on a regular basis has been linked to visceral fat, especially when you're drinking sugar. As Manaker mentioned earlier, you can definitely find certain creamers and sweeteners that can keep your cup of Joe fairly healthy, but drinking it black is always going to be the best way to keep your calories low while still fully reaping the benefits of coffee's nutritional content.
For more healthy tips on losing abdominal fat, make sure to check out 30 Essential Spring Superfoods for Weight Loss.