A magic potion that melts away the pounds? Everyone wants one, right? Well, there’s a miracle invention under protection right now thanks to the armchair health experts at TikTok.
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Adding lemon juice to a cup of coffee works as a weight loss remedy. All you have to do is drink the mixture and watch those unwanted pounds disappear!
The concept is generating quite a buzz on the social media platform … and not just from the caffeine in your cup of Joe. Diet Remedy videos have received tens of millions of views (and counting).
So is adding lemon to coffee the secret to weight loss? Let’s find out from registered dietitian Beth Czerwony, RD.
What is coffee with lemon?
The simple description of this drink – coffee with lemon – also serves as the list of ingredients. The most common mixture seems to be the juice from half a lemon squeezed into a standard cup of black coffee.
The taste is somewhat unappetizing, which may explain why a cup of “lemon coffee” doesn’t appear on the menu boards at local coffee shops.
Don’t try adding lemon juice to a latte unless you’re into curdled milk. (Blech!)
Sweet iced coffee, however, has a culinary association with lemons in some cultures. For example, a drink called mazagran originated in Algeria nearly two centuries ago and remains popular in Portugal.
Are the weight loss claims true?
The answer to that is easy: No. Lemons have no special fat-burning properties, Czerwony explains. A squeeze of fruit juice won’t help you squeeze into a smaller pair of jeans.
“That mechanism of action just isn’t there,” Czerwony says. “There is nothing in lemon juice that will burn fat or a chemical bond to do so. Sorry to say, it’s not that easy.”
So how did this lemon in coffee weight loss method come about? Most likely due to similar claims for using lemon in water.
Drinking a glass of H2O with a slice of lemon is often cited as a helpful way to shed pounds. However, this is not due to any mystical properties possessed by lemons. It is more of a water product that fills your stomach without any calories.
“Water keeps you fuller, which works to reduce the hunger cues that make you want to eat,” Czerwony explains.
Coffee provides a similar appetite-suppressing benefit, while also revving up your metabolism with a caffeine kick. But healthy diet plans aren’t built around drinking coffee — with or without lemon, Czerwony says.
Are there benefits to adding lemon to coffee?
Lemons have some good nutritional qualities. Like many citrus fruits, lemons serve as a strong source of vitamin C. The citric acid in lemons can also aid digestion and reduce the chance of kidney stones. Plus, the lemons provide a definite zing on the front end of the palate.
“Lemons are a perfectly good fruit,” notes Czerwony. “They’re just not magic when it comes to weight loss.”
The dangers of adding lemon to coffee
Lemon juice can sometimes cause heartburn, given the high levels of citric acid, especially if you have a history of acid reflux. That acid can also be harsh on tooth enamel over time and in high enough volumes.
But the biggest risk of adding lemon to java? “You’re probably going to ruin a good cup of coffee,” Czerwony says.
So is coffee with lemon worth trying?
People are always looking for that “one thing” that will make a difference when it comes to the number on the scale, Czerwony says. Chia seeds got attention for a while. The same goes for apple cider vinegar and grapefruit.
“I understand why these weight loss fads become popular,” Czerwony says. “They are based on products that are natural and in our kitchens and have several 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 would have been successful. The truth is, there are no quick fixes when it comes to weight loss.”
What about adding lemon to coffee to get a better figure? “It’s not something I would recommend,” says Czerwony. “So if you don’t like the taste for some reason, I would stay away from this TikTok trend.”