Should I Drink Coffee On A Diet?

Should I drink coffee while on a diet? We may not give this a second thought, after all how can a harmless drink have any effect on weight loss?

Coffee is enjoyed as both a hot and a cold drink. Some like it dark and some like it light, some black some white, some sweet while others bitter. But the health impact of coffee has long been a controversial topic. It has been said that there are many health benefits to drinking coffee. But how about its role in aiding, or preventing weight loss?

Should I Drink Coffee On A Diet

Coffee And Weight Loss

Among the many compounds found in coffee, one that’s got the attention of scientists, as well as coffee lovers is antioxidant. The amount of antioxidants in coffee surpasses those in green tea and cocoa. Interestingly, scientists have found more than 1000 antioxidants in coffee beans, and much more so once the beans have been processed during roasting. Coffee lovers rejoice!

Antioxidants And Dieting

Antioxidants are compounds that prevent oxidation, which is a chemical reaction that produces free radicals in the body. Free radicals can cause damage to the body overtime through a series of reactions. One powerful antioxidant in coffee is called chlorogenic acid. Chlorogenic acid is believed to inhibit glucose absorption in the digestive system.

How Might Coffee Help In Weight Loss?

Getting back to our topic of discussion, some studies have pointed out the presence of antioxidants (also known as phenols) in coffee and their health benefit. Notably, it has been found that dark roasting destroys phenols. Thus light roast coffee contains higher phenol content.

High phenol coffee may be attributed to:

  • Speeding up metabolism. Phenols can temporarily speed up calorie burning. Moreover, phenols help in long term calorie burning by preventing a type of inflammation that leads to loss of metabolism
  • Speeding up fat burning. Phenols have been shown to reduce insulin levels. Insulin inhibits fat burning so when there is less insulin around, fat burning is more efficient
  • Restricting fat and calories. Chlorogenic acid as mentioned previously has been shown to decrease carbohydrate absorption- this means for instance, some of the calories we eat will not count. Other phenols may help decrease absorption of dietary fat.

Lipid metabolism

Caffeine and coffee consumption may aid in weight loss by reducing body fat, and increasing lipid metabolism. A study that looked at the link between coffee and weight control, suggested that coffee increases thermogenesis by increasing fat oxidation. This leads to a reduction in the size of fat cells. Interestingly, when compared with decaffeinated coffee, it was observed that caffeine is what causes fat oxidation. However data is limited in this area and somewhat conflicting to suggest any significance.

Caffeine and satiety

Caffeine and perhaps other ingredients found in coffee may help in weight loss by enhancing satiety. In another study of weight loss and coffee consumption, it was observed those who consumed coffee on a regular basis, reported feeling satiated longer than individuals who did not drink coffee.

Does Coffee Help With Weight Loss?

Research on the effects of coffee and weight loss is still limited to be able to give us a concrete answer, but there is some evidence suggesting that drinking coffee helps with weight loss for those who are on a diet and trying to lose weight.

One study investigated the dietary habits of 100,000 individuals in order to find out whether drinking coffee was linked to obesity. The results showed once more that routine coffee drinkers had a lower risk of obesity than non-coffee drinkers.

It is unknown however whether coffee alone was the cause of the lower obesity incidences.

Another literature review found that caffeine is more effective at speeding metabolism (leading to weight loss) when you are already close to your target weight (i.e. not in obese people).

Thus, it seems like adding coffee to a weight loss diet may provide benefit only when you are near the end of your weight loss goal.

Furthermore, a study done on the effects of caffeine intake and weight loss saw that coffee consumption may support weight loss maintenance.

The association between coffee consumption and serum lipids were looked at in another study. It demonstrated that drinking six cups of coffee (unfiltered) was significantly associated with an increase in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride but not HDL cholesterol levels.

In addition, lipid or cholesterol raising effects of coffee drinking is believed to be due to coffee oils, such as cafestol and kahweol which increase cholesterol synthesis. *Boiled coffee has more coffee oils due to high temperatures used during the brewing process. Filtration of coffee removes these lipids from the extract.

Should I Drink Coffee On A Diet?

In summary, the studies seem to suggest that coffee has benefits which a weight loss plan requires:

  • Coffee is effective as a pre-workout drink. High levels of caffeine are shown to improve the body’s ability to burn fat during exercise
  • Caffeine helps suppress appetite. Coffee can help us consume fewer calories due to compounds present in coffee and caffeine
  • Coffee helps to boost metabolism. Caffeine in coffee has been shown to boost our metabolic rate, meaning it increases the speed with which our body burns energy. However, this is a temporary effect.

Whether coffee can help with dieting remains to be proven.

It’s really not worth it to risk your health following any extreme dieting plan.

It’s better to stick to the basics for an effective weight loss plan. Control what you eat. And hit on the gym to burn off the fats.

Watch What You put In Your Coffee While Dieting!

And, one thing for sure is that we should watch what we put in our coffee.

Think about the sugar or sweeteners that many of us add to our coffee?

Even if coffee can really help with our weight loss, any benefit from the extra stuff we put in the caffeine would have cancel out the gains.

Plain coffee has fewer calories than sweetened coffee. The same applies to cream or even half and half coffee, which could add an extra 30-50 calories.

The better alternative, though perhaps not the tastiest, especially if you depend on the sugar, would be to take coffee black and unsweetened.

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