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How Coffee Affects Your Weight

Elizabeth DeRobertis, Registered Dietitian

August 16, 2021

How Coffee Affects Your Weight

Can coffee offer the additional perk of a smaller waistline? More evidence is leaning toward your favorite morning drink as a tool for weight loss. But first we need to differentiate between the actual coffee, and what someone may put into their coffee. If someone is adding cream, whole milk, sweetened syrups, whipped cream, or sugar, the coffee can cause someone to gain weight due to the added calories they are putting in their cup.

What does the recent data show?

Many studies have supported the idea that drinking coffee may stimulate weight loss, potentially through the stimulation of brown adipose tissue, which burns calories and fat. This is important because we lose this beneficial tissue with age and the decreased amount has been associated with higher BMI. Another theory is that coffee may act as an appetite suppressant.

Can coffee be a beneficial part of one’s diet? 

Coffee has been found to be the single largest source of antioxidants in the Western Diet. There are other potential health benefits to drinking coffee. Studies have shown that moderate coffee consumption may reduce the risk of liver cancer, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease and heart failure. The stimulant effect of coffee that provides a person with the feeling of more energy has also been linked to an increase in exercise and enhanced athletic performance. Just watch those added calories and don’t exceed 4-5 cups of coffee per day for overall good health.

How much coffee do you need to drink to lose weight?

Studies show that drinking coffee can increase metabolic rate by 3- 11%. It may help to slightly increase the amount of calories burned during the day. But in order for weight loss to take place, and to be sustainable, dietary changes also need to take place, including the reduction of calorie intake and the increase of calories burned.  

Do you need to drink caffeinated coffee to reap the weight loss benefits or does decaf work?

Some studies have shown that decaf also led to weight loss, so caffeine may not be the only ingredient at play. Decaffeinated coffee tamps down on hunger by increasing the satiety hormone called PYY, which is released by your cells into your large intestines and helps to send fullness cues, which in turn reduce appetite. 

Drinking in moderation remains a healthy habit that you can continue to enjoy as part of a nutritious diet and exercise plan.

Elizabeth DeRobertis

Elizabeth DeRobertis is a Registered Dietitian with the Scarsdale Medical Group. To make an appointment, call 914-723-8100.


Similar Topics: caffeine, diet, weight loss,