As with many nutritional and weight loss topics you may be left scratching your head and asking, "Does espresso inhibit weight loss or not?"
What is Espresso?
Espresso is a highly concentrated form of coffee. It is produced when very hot but not boiling water is forced through the coffee under high pressure. The coffee itself is slow roasted and ground to a very fine, powdery consistency. Here in the U.S., a shot of espresso is one liquid ounce. This is important to keep in mind when you're ordering a tall fancy espresso drink at your favorite coffee shop. If only one ounce equals a serving of espresso, then what else is in your cup adding to carbs and calories? Here's an example of commonly added ingredients:
- 1 cup of whole milk - 146 calories and 11.9 grams of carbohydrates
- 1 cup of fat-free milk - 86 calories and 11.9 grams of carbohydrates
- 1 cup half and half - 315 calories and 10.4 grams of carbohydrates (3 times the saturated fat found in whole milk)
- 1 cup heavy cream - 821 calories and 6.6 grams of carbohydrates (55 grams saturated fat)
Common ingredients in espresso specialty drinks make your chances of losing weight diminish even more with each additional ingredient:
- Whipped cream
Traditional Espresso Drinks
When trying to lose weight it is important to know what you're eating and drinking. This list of traditional espresso drinks provides the basics:
Single shot of espresso with steamed milk at approximately a 3:1 ratio of milk to coffee.
Traditionally made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk and frothed milk.
Single shot of espresso with 6 to 8 ounces of hot water added.
Shot in the Dark
This drink has numerous names. It consists of a shot of espresso served in a coffee cup and filled with drip coffee.
Most often a Cappuccino or a Caffe Latte with chocolate syrup added.
Espresso Con Panna
A shot espresso with whipped cream.
Two shots of espresso added to the other ingredients included in the drink of your choice.
A shot of espresso or in a demitasse (small espresso cup) topped with steamed milk. Ratio of approximately 80/20 and often served with a teaspoon of sugar mixed in.
More or less like a cappuccino made with half and half rather than whole milk.
An espresso drink made with a tiny bit of foam and no steamed milk.
So, Does Espresso Inhibit Weight Loss?
The high-caffeine version of espresso is believed to offer beneficial effects for dieters who normally drink regular coffee. However, on the other side of that coffee bean are reports that say dieters who choose to drink decaf or who aren't regular coffee drinkers will experience the opposite.
These results may seem rather indecisive but they are based on a clinical trial at the University Hospital in Zurich (Switzerland). According to their findings, those who drank regular coffee experienced significantly lower increases in their blood pressure when introduced to stress. Drinking regular caffeinated coffee appears to reduce the production of the stress hormones that promote belly fat. In answer to the question, Does espresso inhibit weight loss?--since it contains 3 times the amount of caffeine found in regular coffee, the answer would not only be No, because it actually can encourage weight loss for those coffee drinkers who regularly drink caffeinated coffee.
According to this study the effect of espresso on decaf coffee drinkers, is much different. In these cases, the espresso did nothing to diminish the hormonal response to stress. Instead, this hormonal response might increase blood pressure which in turn can increase insulin resistance which influences the tendency to gain weight.
Caffeine and Weight Gain
Contrary to what many believe, caffeine is not an appetite suppressant. However, it does influence your metabolism. The real question is does caffeine cause weight gain or not? The bottom line-there's contradictory evidence put forth from a variety of studies.
For more information on caffeine and it's effect on the body the following books make a great resource:
- Caffeine Blues by Stephen Cherniske
- The World of Caffeine: The Science and Culture of the World's Most Popular Drug by Bennett Alan Weinberg
- Buzz: The Science and Lore of Alcohol and Caffeine by Stephen R. Braun
- Caffeine and Health by Jack E. James