Some of us have rather complex relationships with coffee – some people need at least two cups to be able to function in the mornings whilst others will never touch the stuff.
But when it comes to weight loss, there are two distinctly different theories into how coffee can affect it. So we’ve decided to weigh up the pros and cons of this very popular drink!
The pros of coffee!
1. It increases your body temperature
Some say that one of the reasons that coffee can boost weight loss is due to its effect of increasing your body temperature. A higher body temperature causes your metabolism to work harder, thus speeding up the time it takes your body to process fat and calories.
2. It increases metabolism
Other specialists believe that there are many other foods that can speed up your metabolism that will not cause any side effects in the same way that caffeine might.
3. It accelerates body’s fat distribution
Other recent studies suggest that coffee can accelerate your body’s fat distribution, where the fat in your body is broken down and dispersed, meaning that the coffee could help your body to process fat more easily.
4. It suppresses your appetite
Some people believe coffee is a weight loss aid as it has been linked to suppressing your appetite, meaning that if you have a cup of coffee mid-morning, you could steer clear of snacks until it’s time for lunch.
And the coffee cons…
1. It can make you feel edgy and wired
Because it’s a stimulant, it can make you feel buzzed (and not in the good way) when you would rather feel calm and in control. This edgy feeling can mean that you reach for the snack cupboard. Too much can also cause lethargy, irritability and grumpiness.
2. It can play havoc with your blood sugar
You may not know this, but the body actually goes into shock response when you drink coffee, and this shock response involves the release of sugar into the blood ready to be used as fuel by the muscles before a fight or flight response. Because no such fight or flight response will happen nowadays, instead you are stuck with being on edge for a couple of hours before sugar cravings kick in – which will again have you reaching for the snack cupboard.
3. It is often linked to situations that involve eating
For example, cafes offer all sorts of cakes, biscuits and bars and many people will pick up such a snack when they pick up their coffee. Coffee is also often served up with fast-food breakfasts, and because of this, you could find yourself craving these types of foods when you drink coffee – thus thwarting your weight loss efforts.
4. It can cause cravings
Despite the fact that it may suppress the appetite in the short run, most people find that coffee causes more cravings over the course of the day than it does suppress them.
5. There are healthier hot drink alternatives
For a healthier hot drink that will not cause spikes in your blood sugar and thus cravings, try herbal fruit tea or green tea. Peppermint tea is also a good choice, as is low-calorie hot chocolate (pictured above).
So can I drink coffee when losing weight?
Our advice is to take a balanced approach and although it is a stimulant and and can bring on sugar cravings, one a day shouldn’t hurt and if you need one have one – just don’t have the creamy versions. Also remember if you are breastfeeding, too much caffeine can make your baby irritable and not able to sleep.