Coffee is a delicious way to start your day, and it can also help jump-start your goal to lose belly fat. For example, caffeine has been known to help boost your metabolism as well as reduce feelings of hunger, both of which can support weight management.
While caffeine (along with a healthy diet and exercise) can help you reach your health goals, certain coffee habits can have the opposite effect on your body. In fact, if you're having trouble reaching your goals and don't know why you may want to look to your coffee routine.
For more information on healthy ways to drink your coffee, we talked with dietitians to get their best coffee habits for losing belly fat. And for more healthy weight loss tips, check out The Best Drinks to Shrink Visceral Fat, Says Dietitian.
Try drinking your coffee black
If you're someone who enjoys black coffee you're in luck. Drinking your coffee without any added cream or sugar is the healthiest way you can enjoy its benefits.
"Black coffee is calorie-free and is chock-full of antioxidants, and some data shows the caffeine provided by coffee may support weight loss goals," says registered dietitian Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, author of The First Time Mom's Pregnancy Cookbook and Fueling Male Fertility.
"Once you start adding loads of sugar, creamer, and other ingredients to your coffee, you may have a recipe for gaining more belly fat. Stick to pure and plain coffee to support your belly fat loss goals," says Manaker.
READ MORE: 7 Things You Should Never Add to Your Coffee
Add cinnamon to your coffee
"Instead of leaning on sugar-sweetened coffee creamers that may contain hydrogenated oils and other unsavory ingredients, add your own flavor by sprinkling cinnamon in your morning cup of joe. The cinnamon doesn't add any calories to your drink and can give it a boost of flavor," says Manaker.
Not only does cinnamon provide flavor without the calories or added sugar, but it also comes with antioxidants that act as an anti-inflammatory.
Skip the cream and opt for low-fat milk
"Many people add a lot of calories and fat to their coffee by using heavy cream or whipped cream. While every once in a while that is okay, using these ingredients in multiple cups of coffee every day can add up to a lot of calories," says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook.
"Instead, consider swapping out cream for low-fat milk. With 13 essential nutrients, including high-quality protein, it can provide a creamy texture and flavor for fewer calories and more nutrients," she recommends.
Make your coffee at home
If you're ordering a specialty coffee at Starbucks or Dunkin on a regular basis, you may be derailing your weight loss goals without realizing it. Because they're usually loaded with calories, Goodson suggests opting for an at-home brewed coffee from time to time.
"Some of your favorite fancy coffee beverages are loaded with extra sugar from the flavored syrups, sauces, whips, and drizzles. Making your coffee at home allows you to manage just how many added calories you are putting in your coffee," says Goodson.
Add protein to your coffee
Some coffee drinkers may not be aware of this trick, but adding a protein powder to your coffee can add flavor, texture, and can help you get enough protein in your breakfast for your weight loss goals.
"Protein has multiple benefits, including weight loss, building lean muscle, and reducing fat. Adding whey protein to your coffee is a great way to lose belly fat and is an excellent habit to adopt, especially to begin your day," says Courtney D'Angelo, MS, RD, a registered dietitian and author at Go Wellness.