Can Coffee Increase Weight Loss?

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Can Coffee Increase Weight Loss?




Does coffee make you gain weight? Can coffee increase metabolism? Does coffee help you lose weight? Read on to find out.

Nearly all weight loss aids that can be purchased today contain high doses of caffeine, which makes it seem plausible that drinking coffee on a daily basis could contribute to overall weight loss.  However, the studies that have been done on this idea lack substantial merit and are more inconclusive than not, varying from a small likelihood that drinking coffee could cause substantial weight loss to the opposite of the spectrum that coffee can lead to weight gain.

The following includes the reasons why coffee is associated with increased weight loss:

  1. Increased Metabolism.  It has been well documented that an increased metabolism causes more calories to be burnt, which in turn leads to weight loss.  However, the spike in metabolism caused by one cup of coffee has negligible effects on overall calories consumed in a day.
  2. Known Diuretic.  Caffeine itself is a diuretic, which means that a cup of coffee will cause more frequent elimination and hence could lead to less overall “water” weight at a certain point in time.  However, this weight loss does not mean fat loss.
  3. Appetite Suppressant. Caffeine can also act as an appetite suppressant, causing you to take in fewer calories in a day.  However, it only lasts as long as the caffeine is in your system, and again, whether or not this is of an amount noticeable enough to have effect on overall weight is not proven conclusively.
  4. Energy Boost.  It is suggested that drinking coffee can give you an energy burst that will allow you to workout longer and burn more calories.  It can also boost your mood and give you motivation to push yourself.  This will only prove beneficial if a workout is accomplished.

However, these are some of the things to watch out for with coffee and weight gain:

  1. Extra calories. Coffee drinks loaded with sugar and creamer contain unnecessary calories and fats that are not offset by the caffeine in the coffee and can contribute to weight gain.  Coffee drinking is also often associated with high-calorie snacks such as donuts and muffins, which can also lead to weight gain.
  2. Increased stress. Over stimulation, as can occur with excessive caffeine intake, can lead to an increased stress level. Often people combat stress with binge eating or overeating. Elevated levels of stress hormones are known to be associated with cravings for fats, and an elevated level of cortisol (increased cortisol is directly correlated to a spike in stress) is connected to an increased appetite.  High cortisol levels are also related to increased abdominal weight gain.
  3. Decreased sleep. Caffeine can negatively affect your sleeping habits, and a sleep deficit is known to increase hunger as well as slow down the body’s metabolism, both of which can lead to weight gain.

While there may be temporary benefits to consuming caffeine in an attempt to lose weight, it’s important to know that the studies are not conclusive. It is important to be careful about the amounts consumed and diligent in avoiding the negatives associated with increased caffeine intake.

References:

  1. Andrew, R., Phillips, D. I. W., & Walker, B. (1998). Obesity and Gender Influence Cortisol Secretion and Metabolism in Man, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
  2. Epel, E., Lapidus, R., McEwen, B. and Brownell, K. (2001). Stress may add bite to appetite in women: a laboratory study of stress-induced cortisol and eating behavior. Psychoneuroendocrinology.
  3. Greer, F., McLean, C., & Graham, T. E. (1998). Caffeine, performance, and metabolism during repeated Wingate exercise tests. Journal of Applied Physiology.
  4. Jackman, M., P. Wendling, D. Friars, & T. E. Graham. (1996). Metabolic, catecholamine, and endurance responses to caffeine during intense exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology.
  5. Lovalloa, W. R., Faragb, N. H., Vincentc, A. S., Thomas T. L., & Wilson M. F. (2006). Cortisol responses to mental stress, exercise, and meals following caffeine intake in men and women. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior.
  6. Quinlan, P.T., Lane, J., Moore, K.L., Aspen, J., Rycroft, J.A. and O’Brien, D.C. (2000). The acute physiological and mood effects of tea and coffee: the role of caffeine level. Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior.
  7. Takeda, E., Terao, J., Nakaya, Y., Miyamoto, K., Baba, Y., Chuman, H., Kaji, R., Ohmori, T. and Rokutan, K. (2004). Stress control and human nutrition. Journal of Medical Investigation.

Author Tara Alley is a writer from Montana who is currently researching coffee and coffee makers and working along with Coffee Home Direct.






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