Does caffeine affect weight loss? That is a disputed question even among some experts. It seems that more evidence shows that it does affect weight loss in a roundabout way on a hormonal level.
Does Caffeine Affect Weight Loss?
Those who claim that caffeine encourages weight gain base the assumption on the fact that caffeine works in the system in such a way that it increases the appetite. This plays havoc with the best intentions for trying to stick to a diet. Many of us start the day with great resolve to stick to our diets, but by mid afternoon wonder why we just blew it! Caffeine might actually be the culprit.
If you've heard about a link between caffeine and weight gain before, but can't bear to think of facing the morning without your cup of coffee, it's easy to try and justify drinking this low caloric beverage while asking yourself, "Does caffeine affect weight loss?"
The fact is that caffeine propagates the very factors that contribute to gaining weight. For example it makes stress worse. This includes:
- Physical stress
- Mental stress
- Emotional stress
As a result, stress hormone levels rise. One of these hormones known as Cortisol has been linked to the formation of belly fat and in general an increased intake of calories-especially fats and sugars! Not only that, but this kind of weight gain stimulates the release of more stress hormones and it becomes an unseen instigator in overeating and can lead to obesity.
Before you reach for the decaf coffee as an alternate, it is important to note that some researchers suggest that decaf coffee may also influence stress-not due to caffeine but as a result of other factors relating to stress and drinking coffee.
Caffeine in Weight Loss Supplements
On the other side of this debate are those who think caffeine enhances fat metabolism and as a result the loss of unwanted pounds. However, those who don't agree with this rationale attribute weight loss to the diuretic effect of caffeine and the loss of water weight rather than unwanted body fat.
The effectiveness of caffeine in weight loss supplements is not supported by reputable health practitioners such as the Mayo Clinic. In fact, they actually discourage the use of caffeine for weight loss.
Giving Up Caffeine
After reading this article, if you're ready to give up caffeine and shed those unwanted pounds, it's important to note that caffeine withdrawal can be quite brutal for some people. Negative symptoms can include:
- Loose stools
- Painful headaches (migraine)
To avoid the adverse effects of eliminating caffeine from your diet, it is better to attempt weaning yourself with a gradual approach. Cut back a little each day. If you feel a headache or other symptom coming on, drink a half a cup of coffee, tea or other caffeinated beverage. Gradually make this ¼ cup as needed and eventually, you won't need it at all and will have eliminated caffeine from your diet without experiencing the debilitating side effects of withdrawal.
Ways In Which Caffeine Affects Weight
Along with the contribution to stress, the increased levels of hormones and the influences that lead to overeating, studies also show other effects of caffeine on the body which include:
- Aggravates insulin resistance
- Leads to insomnia and sleep deprivation
- Stimulates the appetite
- Triggers hypoglycemia
- Hinders GABA metabolism
If you're trying to lose that stubborn belly fat, giving up caffeine might just be the key to help you break the cycle of eating more that you need. It can help improve your quality of sleep, too, which also helps to reduce stress.