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Caffeine and Weight Loss

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One would think by the number of diet aids out there that contain caffeine as a major ingredient, that caffeine can helps in weight loss efforts. Well, one would be wrong. Legitimate health services, such as the Mayo Clinic, have expressly voiced their disapproval at the use of caffeine as a diet aid of any kind.

 

Caffeine is commonly used in weight loss products because it increases energy, which can help when energy is low from reduced calorie diets. Caffeine is also used as a stimulant in many non-prescription diet pills because it increases metabolism.

 

While it is true that caffeine may temporarily increase your metabolism the effects are brief and greatly outweighed by negative effects it can have. As a stimulant, caffeine may give you a bit more energy, but it can adversely affect sleep patterns, your heart rate, blood pressure, nervousness and irritability. These can all lead to an increase in stress that potentially leads to overeating for many people.

 

Caffeine also blocks the absorption of some essential minerals, such as iron. It has also been found that caffeine intake makes insulin more resistant to changes in blood sugar levels, contributing to the development of insulin resistance in persons with and without diabetes.

 

Coffee and Weight Loss

Recognizing that there is a great cultural and habitual attachment to your morning Joe it is recommended that you wean yourself off it gradually. Switching to diet colas isn't going to do you any favors either, as they are typically high in aspartame, a sugar substitute that may potentially be harmful to your health. Although some people may believe that drinking coffee helps to keep them slim, it is important to remember that any weight lost from caffeine consumption is water weight as caffeine is a natural diuretic.

 

Don’t be fooled by “decaf” either. Whether brewed at your local coffee house or in your kitchen at home, most decaf coffee is not completely free of caffeine. It is significantly reduced from an average 85gm/cup in regular coffee to anything below 15mg/cup. But if you are drinking 5 to 6 cups a day, you are getting the same amount of caffeine as in a couple of regular roast. If hypertension or agitation is a concern to you, sunshine tea (hot water and lemon) is looking better and better all the time. Of course, the best substitute for coffee is a big glass of water. Water is caffeine free, fat free and calorie free – how can you go wrong?


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