If you’ve seen the lemon coffee challenge all over TikTok where you squeeze fresh lemon juice (or lime) into black coffee, then you know people claim this trick has helped them flatten their stomachs and lose weight. Here’s what experts have to say about whether this lemon coffee hack actually works.
Does Drinking Coffee and Lemon Help With Weight Loss?
While there are health benefits to both fresh lemon juice and coffee, adding lemon juice to your coffee won’t lead to massive weight loss, registered dietitian Laura Hamilton, MA, RD, CSP, LD of Nutrition Now, told POPSUGAR. Weight-loss trends, like this lemon coffee recipe, may seem fast and easy, but that doesn’t mean they work.
The only reason people may be losing weight with this drink is because they’re using it to replace their breakfast, said registered dietitian Nicole Rodriguez, RDN, NASM-CPT, which means they’re consuming fewer calories overall. Or it might taste so unpleasant that it makes them lose their appetite for breakfast. “One of the biggest risks here is ruining a perfectly good cup of coffee,” Rodriguez said.
Can Drinking Coffee Boost Metabolism or Help With Weight Loss?
There is some evidence that caffeine can act as an appetite suppressant, as well as increase your metabolic rate through increased thermogenesis (the production of heat, which burns calories), Rodriguez explained. But just because you drink coffee doesn’t mean you’ll lose weight. Being in a caloric deficit should be the main priority when working toward a weight-loss goal. Hamilton added that if you’re drinking your morning cup of coffee with excess cream, sugar, sweetened syrups, or whipped cream, it’s harder to get into a calorie deficit.
Caffeine can also help increase your energy levels and alertness, Hamilton said, and if you can exercise or move more because of it, then that would be the reason caffeine helps your metabolism most.
Can Lemon Boost Metabolism or Help With Weight Loss?
The only way lemon can help with weight loss, Hamilton said, is if adding lemon to your water helps you drink more, then maybe. Rodriguez explained that whether flavored with lemon or not, drinking water can aid in weight loss as we sometimes misread thirst as hunger. Hamilton added that water on its own can help with weight loss by keeping the body hydrated, which can help decrease food cravings and hunger.
If Lemon Coffee Won’t Help With Weight Loss, What Will?
If you like the taste of lemon juice in your coffee, go for it, Hamilton said. But if you’re looking to lose body fat, eat a balanced diet that includes the foods you love, and focus on a moderate calorie deficit. Make small, manageable changes, and make sure they’re things you enjoy doing so you can stick with them.