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Tea vs. Coffee for Melting Belly Fat

by
author image Lisa Sefcik
Lisa Sefcik has been writing professionally since 1987. Her subject matter includes pet care, travel, consumer reviews, classical music and entertainment. She's worked as a policy analyst, news reporter and freelance writer/columnist for Cox Publications and numerous national print publications. Sefcik holds a paralegal certification as well as degrees in journalism and piano performance from the University of Texas at Austin.
Tea vs. Coffee for Melting Belly Fat
Sweet, gourmet coffee drinks are loaded with calories and can make belly fat worse. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

The calories you get from the foods you eat and the beverages you drink all contribute to weight gain if you consume more calories than you need. Neither tea nor coffee will melt belly fat; this is one of many nutrition myths that can derail your weight-loss plan. But both of these beverages can contribute to a reduced-calorie diet, to help you lose weight and belly fat, when you drink them without any added sugar, milk or cream.

Calories

There's a reason for belly fat, and weight gain in general: too many calories consumed and not enough of them expended, or "burned," in energy output. No magic brew can boost your metabolism or burn body fat. The Mayo Clinic explains that your basal metabolic rate, or BMR — how many calories you burn when your body is at rest — is one factor that governs how many total calories you burn. You also burn a small number of calories through a process called thermogenesis, the energy your body uses to process food. The rest of the excess calories you eat you need to burn through physical activity to avoid gaining weight. The "liquid calories" you get from tea, coffee and other drinks can all add up if your beverages contain added sugar or fat.

Tea

One 8-ounce serving of brewed tea without sugar contains only 2 calories. Add 2 tsp. of granulated sugar to your tea, however, and you get an extra 32 calories. Some brands of sweetened, bottled tea have 140 calories, only 10 fewer than a 12-ounce can of regular cola. "Extra sweet" varieties of tea can impart up to 210 calories per bottle.

Coffee

One cup of plain, brewed coffee also contains only 2 calories. Add 1 tbsp. of granulated sugar and your drink now has 51 calories. The same amount of half-and-half adds 20 calories, while skim milk adds only 5. So, it's possible to keep your coffee low-cal if you go easy on the sugar and creamer. On the other hand, a 20-ounce serving of some gourmet coffee drinks, made with whole milk and whipping cream, can give you up to 700 calories, almost all from added sugar and fat.

Belly Fat

Unsweetened tea and coffee are low-calorie, non-sugary beverages. All you really need to drink for weight loss, though, is plain water, the Harvard School of Public Health says. Finding ways to cut calories — even those you get from beverages — is crucial to losing weight, including belly fat. The American Council on Exercise says the best way to burn belly fat is to put in an hour of moderate-to-vigorous exercise every day; couple this with twice-weekly strength training sessions to build lean muscle mass.

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