You will probably have to make some sacrifices in your weight-loss journey, but the good news is that coffee doesn't necessarily have to be one of them.
If coffee is the fuel you need to get going, it can still be a part of your diet while you're on the Weight Watchers program, provided you opt for lower-calorie options. The Mayo Clinic notes that some coffee drinks can be as rich as dessert, with hundreds of calories.
If you do it right and skip all the high-calorie bells and whistles, caffeine may even be able to help you lose weight and reduce your body fat, according to an October 2018 study in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.
Black hot or iced coffee is 0 points on Weight Watchers. Adding milk, sugar or other flavorings will increase the SmartPoints value of your cup.
WW Points for Starbucks Coffee Drinks
If you typically buy your coffee from Starbucks, here are the SmartPoints values for some common Starbucks beverages (in size "Tall"), according to Weight Watchers:
Cold brew or iced coffee (without milk or sugar)
Iced skinny cinnamon dolce latte
Cappuccino with nonfat milk
Flat white with almond milk
Caffe latte with nonfat milk
Caramel macchiato with nonfat milk
Vanilla latte with nonfat milk
Mocha Frappuccino with nonfat milk (no whipped cream)
The Weight Watchers SmartPoints System
Weight Watchers explains that its diet program is built around the concept of SmartPoints, where every food and beverage is assigned a certain number of points. The number of points assigned depends on the calorie content and nutrition value of the food or beverage item.
For instance, the more protein in the food item, the lower its SmartPoint value, whereas the more sugar and saturated fat it contains, the more points it has. Weight Watchers notes that it has also assigned zero points to some fruits and vegetables that it considers to be the foundation of a healthy eating pattern, so you can add them to your diet freely.
Once you embark on the Weight Watchers diet plan, you are given a budget of daily and weekly SmartPoints that you can then use on the food and beverages you consume. According to Weight Watchers, the number of SmartPoints you are assigned depends on factors like your height, weight, age and sex.
Perhaps the most important thing you need to know before you start a weight-loss program is whether or not it is effective. An April 2016 study in Annals of Internal Medicine that evaluated multiple commercial diet programs found that the Weight Watchers program proved to be an effective way to lose weight.
- Weight Watchers: “Everything You Need to Know About SmartPoints”
- Annals of Internal Medicine: “Efficacy of Commercial Weight Loss Programs: An Updated Systematic Review”
- Mayo Clinic: “I'm Trying to Lose Weight. Should I Cut Back on Coffee?”
- Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition: “The Effects of Caffeine Intake on Weight Loss: A Systematic Review and Dos-Response Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials”
- Weight Watchers: “34 SmartPoints-Friendly Treats and Eats to Help You Stay on Track at Starbucks”