Can Caffeine Help You Lose Weight?

coffeeThere has been speculation regarding caffeine’s ability to aid in weight loss, or at least prevent weight gain.

A few studies suggest that drinking coffee or tea – both caffeine-rich beverages – may slightly increase weight loss, or prevent weight gain. However, according to Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D., of the Mayo Clinic, there is no evidence that increased caffeine consumption leads to significant or permanent weight loss.

Also, some of the studies which looked at caffeine’s link to weight were poor in quality or were done on animals. On top of that, some studies found that decaffeinated coffee may contribute to moderate weight changes in weight, indicating that other factors apart from caffeine may have a part in weight loss.

But though studies on caffeine and weight loss weren’t definitive, researchers are considering several theories about how caffeine affects weight loss:

  • Appetite suppression – caffeine may lower your desire to eat for a short time, but there is still not enough evidence that long-term consumption boosts weight loss.
  • Calorie burning – caffeine may stimulate thermogenesis – one way the body generates heat and energy from digesting food. Stimulating thermogenesis however, may not be enough to cause significant weight loss.
  • Water loss – caffeine is a diuretic. This means it increases the amount of urine you release. Water loss may momentarily reduce your body weight.

If you are convinced that caffeine aids weight loss, remember that caffeine is a stimulant, which means consuming too much can cause nervousness, insomnia and other problems. Also, some caffeinated drinks, such as specialty coffees, are loaded with calories and fat.

Source: Mayo Clinic