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Can you lose weight by drinking coffee? We’ll let science answer that for you

Published on:4 May 2020, 19:03pm IST
Let scientific research take charge and answer your burning questions about coffee’s weight loss properties.
Sonakshi Kohli
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Yes, you can–but conditions apply! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

If there’s one thing (apart from true love, of course) that we refuse to give up on–it has to be quick, easy ways to lose weight. Why else do you think fitness fads like juice cleanses or low-carb diets garner attention?

However, if there’s one thing that I simply refuse to stop discussing with y’all, it has to be the analysis of these “so-called” weight-loss mantras that are quick to enamour all you peeps on the internet.

The weight-loss trend in question today is the “coffee diet”. After all, we all want to know: can you lose weight by drinking coffee?

But first: what is the coffee diet?
The coffee diet has recently gained popularity due to its rapid weight-loss inducing effects and involves consuming a cup of coffee alongside whole foods during your meals.

The coffee intake can be as high as three cups a day according to Bob Arnot’s book The Coffee Lover’s Diet. Plus you’ve got to control your meal portion sizes too and keep your calorie intake under 1500 calories, according to the book.

coffee weight loss
The coffee diet suggests team coffee with your meals for weight loss. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

And if you think this is your free pass to enjoy steaming-hot creamy lattes or tall glasses of cold coffee–then be prepared to fall flat on your face. Because in order to reap weight-loss benefits, the coffee needs to be taken without sugar, cream, or milk. Yup, sugar-free black coffee is the key to weight loss according to this book.

Also read: I drank ghee coffee in the morning for a month and this is what happened to my body

That said, coffee might help you lose weight
Yes, coffee indeed does have many weight-loss benefits that you bask in. In fact, here is what scientific research has to say about coffee’s weight loss properties:

1. Coffee can make you burn extra calories: According to a study conducted at the School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, coffee can help stimulate “brown fat” in your body, which can make you burn some extra calories.

What is brown fat? Well, the human body has two types of fat–white fat which is nothing but extra, unutilised calories; and brown fat or brown adipose tissue, which burns enormous amounts of energy to produce heat in the body and helps you burn calories.

Coffee stimulates this brown fat, thus helping you burn more calories and lose weight.

2. It may boost your metabolism: In a study published on PubMed Central, it was observed that people with a high-caffeine intake burnt significantly more calories and fat than ones with low or zero caffeine intake. For this we’ve got coffee’s ability to increase your heart rate temporarily and boost your metabolism.

3. It can motivate you to work out: That same increase in your heart rate due to caffeine that can boost your metabolism, can also give you a much-needed energy boost to kick ass during a workout.

coffee weight loss
Apart from keeping you alert and awake, coffee can also motivate you to workout. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. It can curb your appetite: A study conducted at the Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Iran states that coffee can curb your appetite—thanks to the presence of phytochemical compounds called chlorogenic acids in coffee, which are known to be natural appetite suppressants.

Coffee also has other health benefits
Several studies have proven that coffee is rich in antioxidants, which happen to be great immunity boosters. Plus, it can help you transition from a drowsy, sleepyhead in the morning to an aware, active adult who is ready to take onb chores.

Wait! Don’t celebrate just yet
Every coin has two sides and so does a diet rich in coffee. Just like many researches back the weight-loss benefits of coffee, others talk about the possibility of heart burns, stomach ulcers, dehydration, headaches, hallucinations, anxiety and stress (due to elevated cortisol levels after drinking coffee).

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Not to mention, the weight loss from it can be temporary and you might gain it back—especially once the body gets used to being stimulated by the caffeine.

In fact, compensating for food with black coffee may also result in nutritional deficiencies and the resulting skin and hair dullness and decrease in immunity, which you obviously don’t want. So, think before you drink because now you finally know the answer to the pertinent question “can you lose weight by drinking coffee?”. And you know that conditions apply.

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Sonakshi Kohli Sonakshi Kohli

Twenty kilos down and struggling to maintain the weight loss by preaching healthy eating, while eating unhealthy every now and then.