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Coffee – Weight Loss Aid or Obstacle?
For many people, the day begins with a cup of coffee. It provides that much-needed jolt, helping you go about the day with renewed energy and alertness, but is it really good for you and does it aid in weight-loss? Many studies have been carried out to review the effects of coffee on our body, with conflicting results. Some studies proclaim that coffee is bad for your health and should be completely avoided while others indicate that the intake of coffee has some health benefits. Some claim that it speeds up metabolism, and others claim it contributes to weight gain. To put things into perspective, here are some facts about coffee that I believe all dieters need to understand.
Coffee consumption and weight loss
While it is true that a cup of coffee may speed up your metabolism, the effects are short-lived and probably make little real different when it comes to weight loss. Caffeine is also a diuretic which is why you go to the bathroom more often if you drink a lot of coffee. It may be that any weight loss you are seeing is simply the loss of water through urination and not loss of body fat. In addition, if you add sugar or cream to your coffee, the additional calories will surely negate any effects that you might have enjoyed from the brief increase in metabolism.
In short, although coffee may initially give a boost to your metabolism, it has many other side effects, which can make losing those extra pounds an extremely difficult task.
Coffee consumption and health
Coffee contributes to an increased level of stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrin. High levels of stress hormones may stimulate the appetite and lead to overeating. Overeating can lead to weight gain, which in turn leads to more stress and the cycle is just repeated.
Coffee can inhibit the absorption of important nutrients such as many B vitamins, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, and Iron, and contributes to loss of Vitamin C and Calcium, which may lead to nutritional deficiencies, especially for those on a low-calorie diet.
Coffee is one of the most heavily-pesticide sprayed crops in tropical agribusiness. Most coffee is not grown in the US and does not come under the rules for pesticide use as set by the US Food and Drug Administration. One of the reasons that organic grown fruits and vegetables are so popular is because of the harmful effects that many pesticides are known to contribute to such as cancer, Parkinson ’s disease, and miscarriage.
Coffee can activate the “fight or flight” response of the adrenal glands causing the release of sugar into your bloodstream. The increase in blood sugar leads to the release of insulin which picks up the excess blood sugar and may store it in the form of fat. In short, drinking coffee can lead to an elevated blood sugar level, which in turn can increase your body fat stores, as well as causing food cravings when your blood sugar level “crashes”.
It is safe to say that coffee may not be the best thing for those on a diet or those simply wishing to maintain good overall health, but moderation is the key. Limit your coffee consumption to one or two cups a day, and avoid adding sugar and cream.
As discussed in the Healthy Way Diet Manual, if you really want to boost your metabolism, it is better to do so with healthier options such as exercise, eating small, frequent meals, avoiding stress, and getting a good night’s sleep.