A magic potion that melts away the pounds? Everyone needs one, right? Well, there’s a miraculous fantasy making rounds at the moment for armchair wellness experts on TikTok.
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Adding lemon juice to a cup of coffee is a great way to lose weight. All you have to do is sip the mixture and watch those unwanted pounds disappear!
The concept is generating a lot of buzz on social media platforms…and not just from the caffeine in a cup of joe. The dieting treatment videos have received millions of views (and counting).
So, is adding lemon to coffee the secret to slimming? Register to find out from dietitian Beth Czerwony, RD.
What is lemon coffee?
The simple description of this drink – coffee with lemon – also serves as an ingredient list. The most common mixture looks like the juice of half a lemon squeezed into a standard cup of black coffee.
The taste is somewhat unpalatable, which may explain why a steaming cup of “lemon coffee” is not placed on menu boards in local cafes.
Don’t try adding lemon juice to a latte, either, unless you’re into curdled milk. (bleach!)
Sweetened iced coffee, however, has a culinary association with lemon in some cultures. For example, a drink called mazagran originated in Algeria almost two centuries ago and is popular in Portugal.
Are the weight loss claims true?
The answer is simple: no. Lemons don’t have special fat-burning properties, Czerwony explains. Squeezing fruit picker-inducing juice won’t help you squeeze into a tiny pair of jeans.
“That mechanism of action is not there,” says Czerwony. “There is nothing in lemon juice that burns fat or has a chemical connection to make it happen. Sorry, it’s not that easy.”
So how did this lemon-in-coffee weight loss hack come about? This is probably due to similar lemon-in-water claims.
Drinking a glass of H2O with a lemon wedge has been cited as a helpful way to shed pounds. This isn’t because of any mystical properties that lemons have, though. It is a water product that fills your stomach without any calories.
“Water keeps you full, which works to curb your cravings,” explains Czerwony.
Coffee brings similar appetite-suppressing benefits, while the kick of caffeine revs up your metabolism. But healthy diet plans aren’t built around guzzling coffee — with or without lemon, Czerwony says.
What are the benefits of adding lemon to coffee?
Lemon has some good nutritional properties. Like many citrus fruits, lemons serve as a solid source of vitamin C. The citric acid in lemons can also aid in digestion and reduce the chance of kidney stones. Plus, lemon offers a definite zing to the flavor front.
“Lemon is a very good fruit,” notes Czerwony. “They’re not magic when it comes to weight loss.”
Dangers of adding lemon to coffee
Lemon juice can sometimes cause heartburn, given its high levels of citric acid, especially if you have a history of acid reflux. That acid can also erode tooth enamel over time and in large enough quantities.
But the biggest risk of adding Lemon to Java? “You’re going to waste a good cup of coffee,” says Czerwony.
So, is lemon coffee worth trying?
People are always looking for that “one thing” that makes the difference when it comes to a number on a scale, Czerwony says. Chia seeds got quite a bit of attention. Apple cider vinegar and grapefruit are fine.
“I understand why these weight-loss fads are popular,” says Czerwony. “They are natural and based on products in our kitchen and have some health benefits. They seem to work.
“But if these things were tried and true, everyone would have been doing them for a long time and been successful. The truth is there is no quick fix for weight loss.”
How about adding lemon to coffee to get a better figure? “It’s not something I recommend,” Czerwony says. “So unless you don’t like the taste for some reason, I would stay away from this TikTok trend.”