A cup of coffee before each meal is good and may help you lose weight, says a study, published online in BMJ. According to researchers, coffee helps lose weight by boosting metabolism and improving liver function; making it easier for the body to burn fat.
Drinking coffee can burn fat but dieters warned of one type- ‘worst thing for weight loss’
COFFEE may be the new answer to easy weight loss. For those who want to drop excess pounds without overhauling their diet, this is a method to try.
For those are worried about having piled on the pounds over Easter, coffee may be the solution. There is evidence to suggest that upping ones caffeine intake is a great way to lose weight.
Those with a fast metabolism burn more calories in both moving and resting states than those with a slower metabolism.
Daniel Boyer, a medical researcher, explained: “Coffee increases metabolism because its main component, caffeine, is a stimulant that enhances your metabolic thermogenesis, which is the process by which the body generates heat from digested food substances.”
Secondly, drinking coffee can prevent people from reaching for snacks mindlessly.
Drinking coffee can burn fat but dieters warned of one type- ‘worst thing for weight loss’ (Image: Getty)
A common cause of weight gain is simply eating out of boredom.
A cup of coffee can keep you occupied in the same way a packet of crisps can – just for less calories.
It also promotes a feeling of fullness in the body, so enjoying a cup of coffee shortly before a meal may result in a slimmer eating a smaller portion.
However, it is just as easy for coffee to become a cause for weight gain as opposed to a cure.
By adding sweeteners, milk, and other high calorie ingredients such as syrups, dieters could be adding hundreds of calories to each cup without even realising.
Hence, Dietician Kristin Gillespie stated: “Black coffee is certainly preferred if weight loss is the goal.”
But for those who cannot stomach black coffee, she said that “certain additives may be okay”.
“Sugar-free sweeteners, such as Stevia and Truvia, and small amounts of low-fat milk should not interfere with your weight loss goals.”
However, it is probably best for for slimmers to make their coffee at home, as trips to beloved coffee shops can really interfere with weight loss.
In fact, those delicious coffee drinks can be lethal for a dieter’s waistline.
As for flavoured coffee beverages such as Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, “those drinks are probably the worst thing for those seeking to lose weight”.
“They are packed with calories and sugar, often containing several hundred calories in just one drink.”
Lastly, consuming a cup of coffee 30 minutes before a workout can boost performance and prompt fat to be burned.
Is coffee good for you?
Coffee itself contains a mix of different nutrients, disease-fighting antioxidants and, of course, caffeine. There’s a long list of potential health benefits that coffee might provide, too, and the research is looking good. So, if you’re a regular coffee drinker, there’s no need for your alarm bells to start ringing… yet.
The answer to the question ‘is coffee good for you?’ is… it depends. Plain back coffee is perfectly fine in moderation, but if that doesn’t cut your mustard, there’s a few questions you need to ask yourself when you’re at the café counter.
What milk do you have with your cuppa?
Cow’s milk isn’t the trendiest option, but it’s actually my top pick. That’s because it’s naturally rich in hunger-busting protein and contains all-important, bone-strengthening calcium.
If you’re otherwise healthy, full cream milk is fine, but if you’re trying to lose weight, I’d suggest a reduced-fat variety. Soy milk is your next best choice, as it’s also a good source of protein – but check your go-to brand is fortified with calcium. Although it’s ever-so-popular, almond milk lacks protein and often isn’t fortified with calcium, so I wouldn’t recommend it.
What size coffee do you order and how many do you have?
There’s a big difference in the nutrition content of one small coffee versus several jumbo-sized brews. If you’re trying to lose weight, stick to one large coffee or two small coffees a day, and replace any other cuppas with a plain old glass of water.
For context, a regular skim flat white contains 470 kilojoules (112 calories), and the blanket recommendation for total intake if you’re trying to lose weight is 6,300 kilojoules (1510 calories). So, it’s easy to see how multiple large, milky coffees can quickly add up over a day.
Are there any extras?
Keeping it simple is a-okay by me, but steer clear of sugar or flavoured syrups in your cuppa. These additions can quickly spike the calorie content of your cup of coffee (not to mention, the unnecessary calories if you buy your coffee with a croissant, muffin or pastry on the side…).
Best Coffee for Weight Loss
Coffee, or more specifically caffeine, can boost your metabolism and may help melt a few pounds.
Over the years, studies have alternately suggested that coffee is both good and bad for health. A few studies have even suggested that it might help you lose weight. While the current scientific thinking on the topic is anything but settled, there’s some evidence that coffee might be helpful for dieters.
There’s been such enthusiastic support for some of the early findings of studies about coffee’s role in weight loss that there’s now a diet plan called the coffee lover’s diet, which is laid out in a book of the same name by Dr. Bob Arnot, a physician and bestselling author of numerous diet and wellness books. That diet encourages drinking at least three cups of light-roast coffee per day, while restricting calories with an eating plan that looks a bit like the Mediterranean diet to lose weight.
Other high-profile celebrity diet gurus have also recently pushed green coffee bean extract, a pill-based supplement, to help people lose weight. A 2017 study conducted in Iran found that women with obesity who took 400 milligrams per day of this supplement for eight weeks while following a low-calorie diet lost more weight than those on the same diet who did not take the extract. The extract comes from unroasted green coffee beans and contains caffeine and other components of coffee that may promote weight loss. The use of this supplement has been deemed a fad by some nutritionists.
However, there is something to the idea that coffee and its constituent components could help support weight loss.
“There have been various studies looking at the effects of coffee consumption for weight loss,” says Katherine Mitchell, an oncology dietitian at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute in Columbus. For example, one 2020 study conducted at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health “found that people who drank four cups of coffee per day saw a 4% decrease in body fat, believed to be linked to an increase in metabolism due to caffeine intake,” she explains.
If you’re among the millions of people who reach for an eye-opening cup of coffee each morning, you’re certainly not alone, and that jolt of caffeine may be good for more than just getting you ready to tackle the day; it might actually be helping jumpstart your metabolism and support weight loss efforts.
“Coffee may improve weight loss due to caffeine’s effect on increasing metabolism,” says Dr. Eric Pham, a weight loss expert with St. Joseph Hospital in Orange County, California.
Caffeine does this by stimulating the nervous system and releasing the hormone epinephrine. Also known as adrenaline, epinephrine signals fat cells to break down and release fats into the blood. This makes the fat more available to be used as fuel.
This increase in fat metabolism “occurs in all people regardless of race, sex or age,” says Dr. Brian Quebbemann, a bariatric surgery specialist based in Newport Beach, California, and author of “World’s Greatest Weight Loss: The Truth That Diet Gurus Don’t Want You to Know.” However, these effects appear to be lower in people with obesity.
Caffeine can also boost your resting metabolic rate, which means you may end up burning more calories around the clock. Quebbemann says drinking coffee regularly “decreases the amount of weight a person gains over time. The reason for this is likely due to not only decreased calorie intake but an increase in resting metabolism.”
But, he notes that “the details are important.” For example, “If you drink coffee 30 minutes to three hours before eating, you’ll generally consume fewer calories. The decrease in appetite diminishes significantly after four hours.” This trick works for both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, “so, the appetite suppression effect is not completely dependent on caffeine.”
Mitchell notes that for some, “consuming coffee before a meal may lead to an enhanced feeling of ‘fullness’ and less calorie intake at the time of that meal.”
Both the metabolic boost and the suppression of hunger that coffee can provide are dose-dependent, meaning how much you ingest makes a difference. Drinking up to about four cups per day may optimize those effects, Quebbemann says.
One 8-ounce cup of coffee contains about 100 milligrams of caffeine, so four cups puts you at about 400 milligrams of caffeine. Stacey L. Pence, a registered dietitian at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center says this has been determined to be a safe amount. “According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and a large meta-analysis, consuming up to four cups of coffee per day with up to 400 milligrams of caffeine daily is not associated with significant adverse effects or development of chronic diseases in healthy (non-pregnant) adults,” she says.
In addition to speeding your metabolism and encouraging fat-burning, coffee might make you a little more able to stick with a diet or get moving more because it can combat fatigue.
“Caffeinated coffee or other caffeinated beverages have been used for their effectiveness in improving mental alertness and reducing physical fatigues as well as improving sports or exercise performance, which may contribute to achieving weight loss,” Pence explains.
Mitchell also points to findings from a meta-analysis published in 2020 that found coffee intake was linked with improved exercise performance. “Exercise along with a balanced diet is an integral piece of the puzzle when it comes to weight loss.”
Coffee is also a mild diuretic that encourages the kidneys to release extra sodium and water from the body. In other words, it makes you pee more. This could reduce the amount of water in your body, which may register as weight loss – also known as water weight.
Beyond caffeine, compounds called mannooligosaccharides are also thought to support weight loss, Pence says. These indigestible compounds, dubbed MOS for short, have “prebiotic properties that may promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestines. MOS has been found to possibly be effective in lowering total body fat in animal and human studies – with increased consumption of MOS causing increased fat excretion in feces, producing a mild laxative effect. This would create a lack of absorption of fat calories, which could promote some weight loss.”
Other Health Benefits of Coffee
But there’s more to coffee than just a jolt of energy and potentially a little weight loss support. For starters, it might help you focus more. “Coffee intake has been associated with improvement in alertness and mental function as well as memory,” Mitchell says.
What’s good for the brain is usually good for the heart, an old medical saying goes, and that appears to be true with coffee too.
“Some research shows drinking caffeinated coffee is possibly effective in reducing risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and may have cholesterol lowering effects,” Pence says. “Population research shows long-term consumption of coffee is associated with a reduction in cardiovascular mortality.” So, drinking that daily cup of coffee could be helping keep your heart a little healthier.
These effects appear to be “dose-dependent,” Pence says, “meaning the more you drink, the greater the effects. For example, some research shows drinking one cup of coffee daily is associated with a reduction of developing Type 2 diabetes by 6% to 9%. Other studies have found an additional 5% to 10% reduction in risk of developing Type 2 diabetes with each additional cup of coffee consumed per day.”
In terms of lowering cholesterol levels, drinking more coffee appears to be dose-dependent as well, Pence says. “Some research shows the greatest cholesterol lowering effects among those who consumed six to eight cups of caffeinated coffee daily for up to 11 weeks.”
However, this is a lot of coffee. “I would not recommend drinking more than six cups of coffee a day,” Pham says.