Have you ever noticed how a discussion about coffee always has two very different sides? There are a number of studies that have been done to prove the pros and cons of coffee, and these are trotted out at every argument. When it comes to black coffee and weight loss Aussies know the benefits, but there are many people who prefer to avoid the jittery side effects of coffee.
Love it or hate it, you cannot ignore the numbers: The world consumes about 150 million bags or 10 million tonnes of coffee every year! While some of us consume coffee for its taste and invigorating effects, there are many who drink it for the association between black coffee and weight loss.
Before you can decide where you stand on the coffee debate, you should know the pros and cons.
What are the benefits of black coffee?
Apart from the relationship between black coffee and weight loss, there are plenty of other benefits. Some of these include:
- Boosts mood and encourages better emotional health
- Reduce frequency and intensity of headaches
- Improves liver metabolism and health
- Improves exercise performance
- Boosts cognitive abilities by sharpening awareness and focus
- Encourages faster recovery from fractures
- Reduces chances of some cancers
- Lowers chances of developing diabetes
- Wards off conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
- Boosts general health through a steady supply of nutrients and antioxidants
- Enhances cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure
Whether you drink it black or with milk, coffee will deliver a host of health benefits as long as it is consumed in moderation.
What are the risks of black coffee and weight loss?
Consuming black coffee for weight loss is one reason to drink it, but you should know that there are certain risks that you may be exposing yourself to. These are usually only true if you drink too much coffee or if you have a low tolerance for caffeine, but coffee is a drug and will have an effect on everyone.
The positive effects of black coffee for weight loss depend on how your body breaks down the active components of coffee. One person may have be able to tolerate multiple cups, whereas another may feel sick or anxious after just a single cup of coffee. The effects are most pronounced when you drink black coffee because you are drinking it in its purest form.
If you drinking too much coffee or have a lower threshold for caffeine, here are some of the ill effects you might feel:
- Heart arrhythmia
- Degenerative cardiovascular conditions
- Deteriorating emotional health
- Unexplained irritability
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
What is the science behind drinking black coffee for weight loss?
Many studies have established the link between black coffee and weight loss, but because coffee has over a thousand ingredients, these studies have not been able to pinpoint the reason for weight loss.
Two primary active components of coffee are caffeine and chlorogenic acids (CGAs) and these are known to play a key role in the relationship between black coffee and weight loss. They work in the following way:
- Boosting energy consumption even when the body is in a resting state
- Augmenting fat metabolism
- Increasing metabolism
- Increasing the output of body heat
- Regulation of glucose
- Balancing body fat distribution and inhibiting fat storage
- Sharply reducing appetite
- Boosting energy levels which can improve exercise performance
How effective is it really to drink black coffee for weight loss? The relationship of black coffee and weight loss depend on the amount of caffeine consumed. But do note that coffee has diminishing returns, which means that higher consumption doesn’t necessarily lead to greater effects.
In theory, coffee helps you digest and work off calories but it is only a small factor. Coffee consumption can reduce calorie intake by a modest amount and generally leads to an average weight loss of about two kilos a month.
Find out more about the benefits of black coffee for you.
How to use coffee for healthy weight loss
To make the most of the relationship between black coffee and weight loss, you should drink a cup every couple of hours. If you drink strong coffee or coffee with a higher caffeine content, you should limit your consumption to no more than 400 milligrams a day.
If you experience any gastric discomfort after drinking black coffee, it is best to eat some food with your beverage to reduce the chances of stomach upset. Higher stress on the digestive system can also lead to weight gain.
You should be aware that coffee alone will not help you reach your weight loss goals. To drop the weight, you should build a diet plan around a calorie deficit. Doing this and drinking moderate amounts of black coffee for weight loss will help you see results. The reduced calories will help you drop weight while the caffeine helps burn fat and boosts your metabolism. It also helps you perform better in your workout so you can exercise the extra inches away.
The recommended amount of black coffee for weight loss
If you’re considering drinking black coffee for weight loss, the recommended amount is about 3-4 cups a day. This dosage delivers the benefits of alertness and improved fat metabolism without impacting sleep quality and hunger levels.
This amount is enough for most individuals looking to lose weight. It covers most personal factors like age, gender and physical activity levels but not preexisting medical conditions. Do check with your doctor if you are taking prescription medication or have medical or health conditions which may react with your caffeine intake.
Do note that drinking more coffee can suppress your appetite but it may have negative side effects like acidity and heartburn in the short run and more serious effects in the long run.
How to get the most out of black coffee for weight loss
Planning your coffee consumption can give you better weight loss results. These tips will help you make a coffee schedule for yourself.
Drink your black coffee after a meal to maximize fat burn.
- Drink the first coffee after breakfast
- Drink the second cup mid-morning before lunch
- Drink the third cup after lunch
- Drink the fourth cup before your late afternoon snack or right after it
Also ensure the following:
- Do not drink coffee any later than 4-5 pm because caffeine can disrupt your circadian rhythm and interfere with the quality of your sleep.
- Caffeine takes about an hour to fully kick in. Don’t drink multiple cups in one sitting or you may overdo the caffeine and end up feeling anxious and jittery.
- If possible, choose high quality, freshly ground coffee for the best taste. However instant coffee will do too.
If you’d like to consult an expert, Avaana can help you find a nutritionist online to create a customized diet plan.
The potential side effects of drinking black coffee for weight loss
While black coffee and weight loss is a fairly safe combination, some people may feel negative side effects with the caffeine. If you feel uneasy or anxious after drinking coffee, you should avoid it or try milder coffee brands.
Some people have medical or health conditions which do not work with caffeine and should avoid coffee or drink very little. For example:
- People with acute sensitivity to caffeine
- Pre-existing medical conditions like blood pressure or anxiety
- Pregnant women
- Susceptibility to fractures
Besides the vulnerable groups mentioned above, all individuals should be mindful of their consumption when considering black coffee and weight loss because of certain concerns:
- Caffeine can increase blood pressure and the effects may last for hours after consumption. This means that regular coffee drinkers may experience uncontrolled or high blood pressure.
- Coffee can have a negative impact on blood glucose levels which can lead to chronic diseases.
- Caffeine is highly addictive so if you stop drinking it, you may experience withdrawal symptoms like depression, headaches, fatigue, reduced performance and irritability.
- It can lead to complications when mixed with prescribed medication.
Besides the above concerns, there are certain side effects associated with black coffee and weight loss if you consume too much caffeine. These side effects are not apparent in most individuals at lower caffeine doses of about 400 milligrams. If you try to drink more than that, you may experience:
- Sleep disturbances and insomnia
- Ringing of the ears
- Headaches and migraines
- Dehydration resulting from excessive urination
- Excessive jitteriness and panic attacks
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Increased nervousness and unexplained anxiety
- Nausea and vomiting
- Gastric discomfort
To prevent these side effects, you should consider the darker varieties of coffee with lower caffeine content.
How to turn black coffee for weight loss into a healthy ritual
If you are considering drinking black coffee for weight loss, you must ensure that you stick to black coffee as far as possible. Any form of additives to your coffee will interfere with the effects of black coffee and weight loss.
Here are some tips to keep your black coffee ritual healthy for you:
- Avoid adding any form of sugar to your coffee. If you prefer sweetened coffee, try reducing your sugar over time until you get used to the sugar-free version or choose a low-calorie sweetener.
- If you are craving flavor in your coffee, use calorie-free options like cinnamon sprinkles or vanilla extract. Avoid store-bought liquid sugar flavoring, syrups, creamers and pre-mixes because those are packed with calories.
- Space out your daily coffee consumption and make sure you have mindful intervals between two cups.
- If possible, make your own coffee so you can control what goes in it. If you are out at a café or in office, stick to black coffee and ask for milk and sugar on the side.
- If you’re drinking black coffee for weight loss, make sure you are avoiding the add-ons like whipped cream as well as the snacks or baked goodies on the side.
- If you don’t enjoy the taste of black coffee or are new to black coffee, you might like to add a splash of almond milk for added flavour and less bitterness.
Using black coffee to rev up your workout
One of the best ways to maximise the effects of black coffee for weight loss is to drink it before a workout or a group fitness class. Caffeine enhances your metabolism so that your body burns calories faster, including in the hours after your workout.
The greatest benefit of drinking black coffee for weight loss is that it reduces drowsiness and gives you energy and focus so that you can do a powerful workout. Drink a cup before your workout and see how much difference it makes.
What you need to know about black coffee and weight loss
While there is a strong correlation between black coffee and weight loss there are some situations in which it may backfire.
Consuming add-ons or snacks with your black coffee
Black coffee and weight loss only happen in tandem if you avoid adding unnecessary calories to your beverage. Many of us like our coffee with milk and sugar or with add-ons like whipped cream or flavoured syrups. For many of us, a coffee break also means a baked pastry or a handful of biscuits. However these additions can add calories and ruin your diet. If you are thinking about drinking black coffee for weight loss, make sure you don’t fall prey to these traps.
Caffeine and sleep
While most of us drink coffee to ward off drowsiness and make us feel awake, it can interfere with your sleep quality too. If you drink coffee too late in the day, you may not be able to sleep at night and will wake up feeling tired and groggy.
A lack of sleep is strongly correlated to increased hunger and cravings for junk food. This is because losing sleep ramps up the production of ghrelin, the hunger hormone and results in higher calorie consumption. If you’re debating the benefits of black coffee and weight loss, you should make sure your coffee schedule is planned the right way.