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Ask the experts: Coffee and weight loss

Q: I was wondering if a coffee a day will keep the weight-loss at bay? When 10.00am rolls around I enjoy grabbing a small soy flat white (no sugar added) from the local café but is my daily treat actually doing more harm than I realise? I would love to get your view on what is considered a healthy weekly ‘flat white allowance’ to help keep the weight down.

A: HFG nutritionist Claire Turnbull answers:

An average adult needs around 8700kJ to maintain their weight — but of course that’s highly variable depending on height, weight, gender and age. For women looking to lose weight it would be less than this, a good start would be around 6000kJ each day — but again this is hugely individual.

Based on this, your small soy flat white (200ml) would contribute around 520kJ to your day. If this is part of your (say) 6000kJ/day, it is unlikely to be contributing to your weight. However, if it ends up being an ‘extra’ each day — it is enough to prevent you from losing weight.

It sounds like you have created a habit around this morning coffee and if you are not losing weight, limiting the number you have each week can only help. Try creating a new positive habit like walking round the block and coming back for a green tea or peppermint tea at the office. Maybe keep your soy flat white to a mid-week or Friday treat and unless you have a good reason to be having soy milk, why not have a trim milk coffee and save yourself around 160 kJ.

First published: Oct 2012



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