My wife and I opened our first coffee shop in 2018 in Mermaid Beach, Australia.
It’s been a crazy ride so far going through a global pandemic that shuts down 1000s of businesses around the world.
Just to make it through that was a relief but to get to the point now, having recently opened our second location has been a real blessing.
In our short time as cafe owners, we have seen all sorts of coffee and snack combinations.
For most of us, our morning coffee is non-negotiable. And we usually pair that up with a decent breakfast.
And then mid-morning turns up and it’s time for coffee number two.
And if we’re going to stop work and have a coffee we should probably have a snack as well right?
But after reading my post about how coffee can cause weight gain you’ve been making better choices so what healthy snack can you have?
Carrot sticks are a healthy snack, but who wants to eat carrots with their coffee?!
Chocolate cake is amazing with coffee, but how much sugar do they put in it down at the local?
So what are some healthy snacks to pair with coffee?
There are a few common themes on this list.
Flavors that you often find are associated with our favorite roasts.
Dark chocolate, stone fruits, and berries and all very common flavor tones in coffee.
And they are all healthy options.
Biscotti is another low-calorie option if you want to pair your coffee with a more savory snack.
And then there is every Australian’s favorite breakfast, avocado on toast.
Obviously, the type of bread you use plays a part in just how healthy that option is.
But play it safe and stick to a whole grain option and you can’t go wrong.
A hot cup of coffee and some fresh fruit is my personal favorite coffee and food pairings.
Depending on the time of day perfect snacks change but there are always healthy alternatives that are still friendly to your taste buds.
The perfect match will differ depending on the brewing process, medium roast or dark roast coffee, milky coffee, or cold brew coffee.
And at the end of the day, coffee pairings with healthier snacks are going to come down to personal preference.
Let’s start by canceling out a few of the common treats we typically have with coffee because honestly, most of what we normally pair up coffee with is loaded with sugar.
I know that there’s nothing like pairing up your coffee with a sweet treat, but everything on that list is basically junk food.
And when most of us have more calories in our coffee than we realize it becomes very important to make sure we’re not doing extra damage with the snacks we have as well.
When the milk we use has added grams of sugar we weren’t aware of we’re starting on the back foot.
So many of the alternative milks are higher in calories than more people are aware.
I wrote this article a while back detailing just how our choice of milk could be making our coffee higher in calories than we think.
The short answer is yes it can.
The problem is that not too many people pay attention to the calories they drink.
Have a look at the list below to get an idea of what’s in each milk before we add sugar, honey, vanilla syrup, or maple syrup.
Some are better than worse, but that’s just going on a standard 12oz serve.
If you drink a bigger coffee those numbers go up.
And then there’s the 2nd or 3rd coffee each day and add in the calories of any sweeteners of creamers and it’s starting to get pretty high.
And that without counting any of the food you are eating as well.
Of course, you can have your coffee black and then there’s next to no calories at only 4!
I think a better question to ask is what can I take out of my coffee to lose weight.
The thing with weight loss is its calories in verse calories out.
So there really aren’t many cases where adding something to a meal is going to reduce calories.
It’s more about swapping something out.
Take sweeteners, for example, you can use a zero-calorie option like stevia instead of sugar.
And as you see in my list of kinds of milk above, there are definitely lower-calorie options there as well.
But you can’t go past having your coffee black if reducing calories is your goal.
Weight loss really is more about what you’re putting in more than the energy you burn.
Of course, exercise goes a long way towards weight loss but if you are eating the wrong foods you won’t be achieving much.
I see it all the time with people putting in the work 5 days a week then going home and having pizza and beer and wondering why nothing has changed.
As the old saying goes, abs are made in the kitchen.
So sorry to be the bearer of bad news but there is no magic additive you can put in your cups of coffee that is going to give you abs.
You are more than likely going to have to remove something.
Or make a sacrifice in another meal.
For example, I like to have a few beers on the weekend, who doesn’t right.
But I’m very aware of the fact that I’m drinking a lot of carbs.
So to keep everything level I will eat fewer carbs on days I know I’m having a few beers.
I’ll have chicken and avocado salad for lunch, or a piece of salmon.
I go high on fats and proteins because I know I’m going to drink my carbs later on.
So same thing I’m not saying change your full cream vanilla iced coffee if that’s the thing you look forward to, but you’ll going to have to cut something else out to allow for it.
Ever wondered if you can use coffee as a pre-workout? Find out here.
When I have a snack I want it to be a satisfying snack, but my tasty snack also needs to be a healthier option than a handful of crisps.
Because going back to my earlier point about drinking our calories, we tend to forget about our snack calories as well.
I’m not saying we have been out here weighing and food and counting our calories, even that has proven time and again to be a very effective weight management strategy.
But we do need to have any understanding of what our food is worth in terms of calories and macronutrients.
And that’s where we can get clever and turn a healthy snack into a delicious treat.
One of my favorites has been swapping out ice cream for greek yogurt and berries, It’s fresh and delicious, low in calories, and high in protein.
But let’s dive into my list of healthy snacks!
The first thing I encourage people to do when they’re trying to improve their diet is to focus on protein intake.
Try to find a source of protein you can add to every meal and every snack.
Try things like:
The reason I ask them to make this change first is the increase in protein is going to keep you fuller for longer and in turn, you will start eating less.
The next step is to start focusing on whole foods rather than packet foods.
Whole foods are also going to fill you up more.
Once you start to get a better understanding of what your body actually needs it’s a lot easy to start making all the other little changes.
Never mind with silly questions like if you can eat carbs after 3 pm.
Focusing on protein intake and eating more whole foods is the best way to start sending you in the right direction with your caloric intake.
Once you get that handle of eating more protein and focusing on whole foods you’re in a much better position to start looking at your daily calories.
Calorie counting can be a daunting process and that is why I prefer to have my clients understand their protein and whole foods first.
But in the meantime, I have a great article here that breaks everything down for you.
Let’s be clear about the fact that you can spot burn fat.
It’s going to come off you everywhere at the same time.
In saying there are plenty of very-low-calorie option foods that you can probably go pretty crazy, to be honest.
Remember that to lose weight you need to eat fewer calories.
Get as many of these low-calorie foods in with high protein options and you will be on the right track.
Pair that new diet up with a balanced workout routine and you’re laughing!
You need to get in some cardio and some resistance training every week.
Your resistance training is going to help you build muscle.
And the cardio is going to help keep your calorie count low.
Resistance training is burning calories as well.
But with the added bonus of building muscle, and yes muscle does weigh more than fat.
Sounds counterproductive right?
But heavier muscle takes more calories to move, so the more muscle you build the more fat you can burn.
You also don’t want to burn off all your fat if you haven’t built any muscle, you’re going to look thinner than you were aiming for.
So get the mix right and build muscle and burn fat, you can do this when you get your FREE copy of my Ebook, Train wherever the f*ck you want.
It’s my guide to training with resistance bands and how they are going to replace the gym for good.
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