Coffee and Fat Loss – Samantha Gilman

Posted on January 22, 2010 by

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How can coffee affect fat loss?  There are many people that believe their daily mug of coffee or other caffeinated drink helps them to lose weight. The diuretic effect of caffeine contributes to this weight loss which comes from a loss of water and not fat.  Coffee is also an appetite suppressant so people end up not eating breakfast and therefore lose more weight (muscle and water) because they are starving themselves.  Coffee gives the body a false sense of energy that does not come from our bodies fuel,  which is whole foods.   This temporary lift is created by the adrenal glands releasing their hormones into the bloodstream which causes blood sugar or blood glucose to be released from storage too.

Drinking caffeine as coffee even over a short period of time has been shown in many studies to raise blood sugar levels.   What happens when blood sugar levels are increased?  It results in large amounts of insulin being dumped into your blood stream.  The job of insulin is to regulate your blood sugar, it is a hormone that has an extensive effect on the body’s metabolism.  This is where the metabolic damage occurs, the body needs to do something with the excess glucose (sugar) and the easiest thing for insulin to do with it is to store it in your body as fat.    Caffeine raises blood sugar levels by causing the body to put out large amounts of adrenaline (secreted from the adrenal glands) that makes cells less responsive to insulin.  High levels of insulin also constrict arteries to cause heart attacks and act directly on the brain to make you hungry, on your liver to make more fat, and on the fat cells in your belly to pick up that fat.  So in fact, drinking coffee negatively alters blood sugar, which will in turn affect the body’s ability to burn and store fat.

According to researchers writing in Diabetes Care (February 2002), “Caffeine significantly reduced insulin sensitivity by 15%.  The decrease in insulin sensitivity was comparable to the increase in sensitivity produced by taking diabetes drugs.”  Bottom line is that when insulin is raised for prolonged periods of time not only does it promote weight gain but it can also increase your risk of developing diabetes.   Perhaps you will think twice before consuming your morning cup of joe?  Or at least make sure you eat a meal (especially protein) in the morning while you’re drinking it.

Posted in: Food For Thought