Does Coffee Help You Lose Weight?


Everyone at some point in their life has searched for the holy grail of dieting, a magic pill or food that suppresses appetite and makes losing weight easy. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works, and the only way to consistently lose weight, in the long run, is to eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercise.

However, we have some good news for coffee lovers. There is mounting evidence that coffee can help dieters stick to their diets by suppressing their appetites and making it easier to go for longer stretches without cravings. In this article, we’ll discuss how coffee can help you lose weight and how to use coffee as a dieting assist tool.

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Caffeine is the Key

There is no definitive evidence supporting the claim that coffee can help with weight loss, but some studies suggest a link between caffeine and losing weight. Studies examining the effect of caffeine on weight loss are overall inconclusive or plagued with shortcomings. Some studies that show a causal relationship between caffeine and weight loss were conducted on animals, and others suffered from small sample sizes and similar methodological problems, making it hard to draw broad conclusions.

Still, there is enough evidence supporting the claim that caffeine can boost a diet’s effectiveness that more careful study is warranted. There are two main theories of how caffeine can help with weight loss: appetite suppression and calorie burning.

hand of a woman stirring coffee
Image Credit: John Diez, Pexels

Appetite Suppression

One of the ways coffee can help you lose weight is by reducing your appetite. Many dieticians and nutritionists claim that drinking coffee between 0.5 and 4 hours before eating can reduce cravings and hunger, leading to eating less and subsequent weight loss.

While some studies only show little support for these claims, other studies conclude that there is no evidence at all supporting coffee and caffeine as appetite suppressants.

Despite weak evidence at best, coffee has many other health benefits, making it a good addition to any diet as long as you don’t have any underlying health conditions. Consuming between one and four cups of coffee per day can help protect you from neurodegenerative disease and heart problems; any added weight loss benefits could be considered a bonus.

Calorie Burning

Appetite suppression isn’t the only way coffee can help you lose weight. Several studies show a positive correlation between coffee consumption and increased calorie burning. More specifically, people who drank more coffee were more likely to lose weight over a given period of time and also reduce their body fat percentage, leading to the conclusion that drinking coffee increases fat burning.

Another study showed that caffeine consumption boosted metabolism by up to 11% and fat burning by up to 29%. These are significant boosts and can contribute extensively to the effectiveness of weight loss plans when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

a woman enjoying a cup of coffee
Image Credit: Ketut Subiyanto, Pexels

Best Way to Use Coffee as a Diet Aid

One of the most popular ways to include coffee in a diet plan is to drink it first thing in the morning before eating breakfast. Many people that practice intermittent fasting swear by their morning coffee, claiming it helps delay the onset of hunger and makes it easier to fast. While the evidence for appetite suppression is lukewarm, every little bit can help. We recommend drinking black coffee on an empty stomach before breakfast to maximize caffeine absorption and increase the odds of seeing a benefit.

If you already drink between one and four cups of coffee per day, you shouldn’t increase your intake to attempt to supercharge your weight loss. Moderate caffeine intake has many health benefits and possible weight loss benefits, but more than 400 milligrams per day can be dangerous. People who drink more than four cups of coffee per day are at risk of developing high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases, so it’s best to limit your coffee consumption.

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Conclusion

The bottom line is that coffee might help suppress your appetite and boost your metabolism thanks to its caffeine content, but coffee alone won’t make you lose weight. If you eat healthy food and get regular exercise, coffee can give you a little extra push to help get you over the hump. There are no shortcuts, and you will be disappointed if you expect coffee to be a miracle weight-loss elixir.


Featured Image Credit: Malidate Van, Pexels

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