On and off diets since childhood, Mary Jo Liccar found success hard to come by as years passed. Her cholesterol soaring, the Illinois grandmother finally tried a program that calls for protein at every sitting. “I love my morning coffee, so I tried mixing cold brew and a protein shake. I’d add sugar-free caramel syrup and that was breakfast instead of a muffin.”
Mary Jo’s metabolism hasn’t been the same since. She shed up to nine pounds a week at age 60. “And it most definitely boosted my energy!” Proffee also keeps her satisfied for hours, so she makes healthier choices without struggle. Down 109 pounds and off cholesterol meds, she loves experimenting with new shake flavors and syrups. “It’s fun — and it makes a huge difference!”
What is “proffee”?
Over four million fans can’t get enough of the internet’s most — talked-about drink — and it’s no wonder: Experts say sipping the stuff can prevent holiday weight gain and even trigger effortless weight loss during this festive season. Called “proffee,” it’s a cinch to make. “Just take your morning coffee and mix it with a natural, sugar-free protein powder or protein shake,” says University of Maryland nutrition expert Pamela Peeke, MD. While many high-carb breakfast foods promote fat storage, “proffee makes it easier for your body to burn fat. It’s a superb choice.” Bonus: Proffee’s protein helps override hormonal changes that slow fat loss, so women over 50 benefit most. “It’s magic!” says 10-Day Belly Slimdown author Kellyann Petrucci, MS, ND. Women report using proffee to shed one to two pounds a day.
The recipe may be simple, but there’s a lot of science behind proffee and why it shrinks waists. Turns out, both coffee and protein have a “thermogenic” effect, “which means they create heat as they digest, burning extra calories,” says Dr. Peeke, author of the bestselling The Hunger Fix and host of the popular HER Mind Body Life podcast on iHeart Radio.
Studies show that just digesting the protein in proffee can temporarily fire up metabolism by 35 percent, while coffee’s caffeine boosts it by as much as 29 percent. On top of that, bonus doses of protein naturally shrink appetite by about 494 calories a day, per a University of Washington study.
So you’ll burn more and also eat less without trying — a recipe for rapidly disappearing pounds. And that’s just the beginning!
What does proffee work?
As proffee’s caffeine wakes up the nervous system, “it stimulates fat cells to release fat and make it available as fuel,” explains Dr. Peeke.
Meanwhile, amino acids in protein prompt the release of hormones that help do the same thing. So fat not only circulates in your blood, your proffeeboosted metabolism has an enhanced ability to burn it off ! To maximize this benefit, “use the energy proffee gives you to do something physical — walk the dog, chase your grandkids, clean the house—then watch how well your system responds,” suggests Dr. Peeke.
Adds Dr. Petrucci, “Proffee gives you the potential to turn your body into a fat-burning machine.”
The main culprit in age-related weight gain: Hormonal shifts lead to muscle loss. “Muscle is your fat-burning engine,” says Dr. Peeke. “The less you have, the less of a gas guzzler your body will be.” Proffee to the rescue! While our body isn’t as good at building and maintaining muscle as we age, we can compensate by giving it extra building blocks in the form of protein.
Scientists say this is especially important at breakfast, when we tend to skimp. In one study, older adults who upped their protein intake at every meal saw dramatic improvements in muscle strength and overall health, plus doubled weight loss compared to those eating typical amounts of protein.
“You can go from a four-cylinder engine to an eight-cylinder one, especially if you make a little time for exercise,” says Dr. Peeke. “Proffee is a fantastic tool.” Dr. Petrucci adds: “This drink stimulates fast and lasting fat loss!”
What results can you expect?
Looking for a way to lose weight and avoid a second knee replacement, Kara Harris went to a nutrition class taught by a local chiropractor. By the end, he’d convinced her to try proffee in place of high-carb breakfast foods.
“Now I can’t start my day without it,” shares the Arizona great-grandmother, 67. “It’s my ‘go juice’! I bought a cool battery-operated whisk and whip up my coffee, collagen protein powder, some Truvia, and sometimes a little squirt of sugar-free flavorings.”
Not only does Kara credit the tasty drink with giving her energy and metabolism a nice boost, she says it keeps her full until lunch and kills cravings throughout the day. She mostly sticks to healthy lower-carb fare, but is able to have some french fries or holiday treats without spiraling out of control like she used to.
The first month, Kara shed 15 pounds; all told, she’s down 50. “My thyroid meds have been lowered, and I really think the collagen has helped my joints beyond the weight loss alone. It saved me another surgery!” Does she recommend it for other women over 50?
“Absolutely,” she says. “It’s delicious, and I believe it helps stave off the effects of aging!”
How can you incorporate it into your diet?
Looking to slim down with little effort? Experts suggest having a low-sugar proffee as breakfast each day; at other sittings, simply aim to include a nice serving of protein (six to eight ounces.), adding as many veggies as you can. And if you’re ever not in a proffee mood, no worries. You’ll get the same fat-fighting results by enjoying protein-rich egg whites or Greek yogurt or adding protein powder to any morning meal. We’ve got fun options at right.
Always get a doctor’s okay to try a new dietary strategy. In general, healthy adults should have no more than 400 milligrams caffeine a day (four cups coffee). Proffee may not be recommended for those with liver/kidney issues.
BASIC PROFFEE: To hot coffee, add 1 ⁄4 cup lowsugar protein powder. To iced coffee or espresso, mix in one low-sugar protein shake. Add spices, cocoa, or any healthy extras desired.
PROFFEE FLAPJACKS: Blend 2 diced bananas, 2 eggs, 2 scoops protein powder, and 1–2 pinches instant espresso until smooth. Prepare pancake-style with cooking spray.
BOOSTED OATMEAL: Microwave 1 Tbs. nut butter, 2 Tbs. protein powder, 1 cup water, and 1 ⁄2 cup old-fashioned oats for three minutes. Stir. Enjoy with a cup of coffee, if desired.
POWER MUG CAKE: In greased mug, mix 2 Tbs. protein powder, 1 egg, 1 Tbs. cocoa, 1 Tbs. sweetener, and 1 ⁄4 tsp. baking powder. Microwave 60 seconds.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.