Whether for achieving overall well-being, adding to confidence, or perhaps boosting energy, many people express an interest in losing weight for their own personal reasons. In the US, nearly half of adults tried to lose weight in 2020.
However, body type, metabolism, and nutrigenomics affect how a person loses weight. Since these things differ per person, it is also natural that people experiment with various weight loss methods before discovering the most effective one. One thing that has been commonly associated with weight loss is coffee intake. Like any other method, some people vouch for its effectiveness, while others do not.
So, does coffee actually help or hinder weight loss, and what exactly is the science behind it?
Coffee intake during weight loss diets
To answer the question: yes, coffee can help with weight loss. While it isn’t a method on its own, its intake can be paired with diets and further enhance a person’s weight loss. There are a handful of reasons behind this, one of which is metabolism boosting. Compounds like caffeine found in coffee have been shown to increase fat burning by stimulating the nervous system and causing it to send signals to cells for breaking down fat. Appetite suppression is also an effect, as coffee increases the production of peptide YY—a hormone that signals to the brain that the body is sated. In addition, it contains chlorogenic acid, which slows down the absorption of carbohydrates. Coffee also has a thermogenic effect due to its combination of compounds, meaning it increases the body’s production of heat and energy, which in turn burns more calories.
Other effects of coffee include blood sugar regulation by increasing glucose uptake and decreasing insulin sensitivity, as well as inflammation reduction and prevention of cell damage through the rich amount of antioxidants found in it. It also improves cognitive function by increasing alertness and energy. While not exactly direct causes for weight loss, these effects enhance other weight loss efforts like dieting and exercising. They also contribute to a person’s overall improved health.
How to make your coffee more weight loss-friendly
It is vital to have awareness regarding the type of coffee being consumed. Because coffee can be prepared in more than a handful of ways, the amount of calories in each cup vary. From black coffee to coffee with add-ons like milk, sugar, creamers, and even two or more of them combined, each spoonful comes with a large amount of calories. In the end, too much caloric intake through coffee could reverse the effects of weight loss, so it is essential to be mindful of how one takes their coffee.
There are multiple ways to utilize the potential weight loss benefits of coffee. Some can come in the form of selecting healthier options when preparing coffee. One of the most common healthy forms is taking coffee black. Ditching add-ons will lessen the number of calories in the drink and allow a person to lose weight naturally. If black coffee is too strong, swapping out sugars and creamers for more natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup will provide enough sweet taste while keeping the caloric intake in check. Other coffee preparation hacks include adding different natural flavors such as cinnamon, nutmeg, dried lavender, vanilla extract, or peppermint extract, making the drink tastier while staying low in calories. Flavors like fruits can even be added onto just the rind of the cup to achieve a similar effect.
Other ways include habits and practices such as resisting the urge to drink coffee first thing in the morning. This does not necessarily mean ditching coffee in the morning but eating breakfast before enjoying coffee. This is because of the drink’s appetite, as mentioned earlier, suppression, which can lead to skipping breakfast and, in turn, overeating later in the day.
Coffee can be a key part of a weight loss regimen but must be balanced with exercise and a sensible diet to be fully effective.