Do you have to give up coffee for fast, healthy weight loss? Or should you actually use coffee as a part of your weight loss program diet? I encountered this issue recently when I decided it was high-time to drop a few pounds.
You see, for me, coffee is almost a food group. I'm a long-time coffee lover from back in the day when Starbucks could only to be found in Seattle. This was in the 80's, when I began reading health magazines and Runner's World on a regular basis, cup of java in hand, perusing the exercise and weight control articles.
It was then that I first came across research that claimed caffeine was an appetite stimulant in men, and a suppressant in women. This explains its use in so many primitive weight loss pills, and other weight control supplements that targeted women almost exclusively. Back in the days when there were desperate housewives up and down every street, caffeine-laced weight loss diet pills were promoted on daytime TV to the little lady of the house.
Then Ayds (TM) diet candy came along, advertising an appetite suppressant that wouldn't make the user nervous or jittery, which we all know are reported side effects of caffeine.
Since that time, almost all weight loss programs have had this in common: they will tell you to give up coffee, or more specifically, caffeine. (Coffee just packs the biggest caffeine punch, and it's consumption is so widespread.) At any rate, it is not considered to be a healthy weight loss diet beverage. Just look up any collection of weight control tips.
As for me, there's no question: it's not only an appetite stimulant, but it even worse, it makes me crave the wrong kinds of food. All I have to do is drink a cup of coffee, and I'll be looking for a pastry to go with it in no time. Conversely, when I don't have coffee beyond my breakfast cup, my energy stays on an even keel, and I don't feel compelled to go looking for a danish.
That said, you will now find a lot of reputable people claiming that while caffeine is acting as a stimulant on the central nervous system, it is also having a positive impact on weight loss by revving up your metabolism, creating a thermogenic weight loss effect. Well, it may rev up my metabolism, but it's obvious to me it also revs up my appetite. I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt that my metabolism rises enough to counteract the extra calories I consume.
Apparently most weight loss researchers agree. I just began a test on myself with the Cheia Vida Slim 10 Day Slim Down Challenge, a new natural weight reduction diet supplement from Alive WorldWide. (I'm writing about my experiences on a new blog.) Dr. Charles Rouse, the creator of the program, has coffee on his list of foods to stay away from while on the 10 Day Challenge, and for continued weight management. His advice is par for the course.
My belief is that this is one you just have to work out for yourself. Chemicals don't have an identical effect in everyone's body. What's best for me? A compromise: don't over-do the coffee, and resist the calorie-dense treats to go with it.
The only beverage I really like the taste of first thing in the morning is coffee. I also like a second cup around 10 AM, and maybe one in the afternoon. One to three cups per day probably aren't enough to significantly impact my weight loss program either way, assuming I'm getting enough exercise and eating properly, which includes conquering the craving for empty calories with my coffee. (A small piece of cheese, the sharper the better, is delicious with coffee. It's a healthy choice that also quells the cravings.)
The coffee and weight loss issue simply isn't clear. Until it is, it comes down to this: like so many things, you have to do what works for you. This is especially true where your body and your health are concerned.