There seems to be a different fad every single week in search of the holy grail to lose weight effortlessly and inevitably there has been a suggestion that there could be a link with coffee and weight loss.
After water, coffee is the most consumed drink in the world so what if you could drink coffee in a certain way, or use some kind of extract to assist with weight management?
We have researched the most popular ways of combining drinking coffee and weight loss to try and understand if there is any merit in using coffee or coffee-based supplements to help you out.
Everyone wants to lose weight with the minimum amount of effort possible but science has yet to find the super pill that you can take in the morning and it will help you to shed the pounds whilst you sit behind your desk.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that with the most commonly accepted method revolving around the notion of “no pain no gain”.
You get rewarded with the body of your dreams by grinding it out in the gym and eating healthily.
If you stay off the kebabs and pizzas and stick to chicken and vegetables then you can be safe in the knowledge that you can keep your weight under control and maintain a body that you would be proud to get out on the beach.
If only it was as easy as that……….
Life gets in the way and it’s not always realistic to count all your calories and if you are able to motivate yourself to go to the gym 4 times a week then you probably don’t need to investigate whether you can benefit from coffee to lose weight.
There is nothing wrong with looking for a bit of help when it comes to keeping the weight under control so let’s take a look at whether coffee can help with weight loss or not.
Green coffee beans and weight loss
Not to be confused with green tea, green coffee beans have been associated with weight loss and to such an extent that elements of the beans have been extracted into pills that are said to help with weight management.
Is there any truth in it and what are green coffee beans anyway?
The only coffee beans that most people have seen are brown in colour so where do green coffee beans come from?
Coffee beans are in fact not beans at all, they are the seeds from the coffee cherry’s that grow on coffee plants or trees.
Each coffee cherry contains two seeds or “beans” that are wet and when dried they become raw green coffee beans.
They only turn brown once they are roasted at high heat and turn a nice shade of brown ready to be ground into the coffee powder we use to brew our daily cup of coffee (or multiple cups depending on how much you like it).
The reason that raw green coffee beans are used is that the active ingredient that supposedly promotes weight loss is eliminated when the beans are roasted.
Chlorogenic acid within unroasted coffee beans can help to reduce food cravings and potentially help with body fat loss.
Caffeine is one of the main reasons a lot of people drink coffee. It helps you kick start your day and give you an energy boost when you need it but caffeine only represents about 1-2% of a coffee bean whereas Chlorogenic acid is about 5-10% of a green coffee bean.
The idea is that consuming plenty of Chlorogenic acid will help to suppress your appetite and help with body fat loss but does it work?
There are several different ways that you can consume the Chlorogenic acid contained in raw coffee beans.
Drink raw green coffee bean water
First off you need to buy raw green coffee beans. Soak 30 grams in 500ml of water overnight to extract the Chlorogenic acid from the beans. Grind the beans then boil the beans in the water for 5 minutes. Allow the water to cool and drink the water. The beans can be discarded.
Drink 3 times a day and watch the weight fall off. Maybe. Some people swear by it but be warned, it does not taste very pleasant and it will take some getting used to.
Having given it a go, I have formed the opinion that one of the biggest contributory factors to potential weight loss is that you may not want to eat very much of your next meal because the taste of the green coffee bean water has put you off it.
There is another way. Green coffee bean extract. You get the best of the unroasted green coffee bean without having to boil and drink the coffee bean water.
If you go down this road check that the capsules contain at least 45% Chlorogenic acid which is the active ingredient.
Choosing between the two is a no brainer. Doing it yourself and extracting the Chlorogenic acid from the beans takes time, is a pain and it doesn’t taste very nice.
Buying the capsules is easy and tasteless. So if you want to give it a go, we would recommend the capsules over doing it yourself with the raw beans.
Here is a short video detailing the process of extracting the Chlorogenic acid from the green coffee beans if you want to give that a go.
Black coffee and weight loss
Staying properly hydrated is crucial for concentration levels and energy and the most obvious way to do that is to make sure that you drink around 2 litres of water a day.
Not everyone likes water though as it is bland and tasteless and that leads us to get our water intake from other less healthy sources like fizzy drinks that contain lots of water but also contain lots of nasty stuff such as sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Most of us don’t take coffee black with no sugar because, well, it doesn’t taste very nice that way so we add milk and sugar to make it taste better.
The reason it doesn’t taste very good is that we have become accustomed to drinking instant coffee because it is the most convenient way to grab a cup of coffee but it is also the lowest quality of coffee that you can drink. You can find out why in this article that explains what instant coffee really is.
If you are willing to spend a little time choosing the right coffee beans then you will find that black coffee can actually taste really good and if you find the right type of bean that suits your palette then you can transition away from sugar because the high-quality taste from the coffee means you won’t want to mask it with a sweetener.
After that it’s only a short step to going milk-free as well and you are left with a super healthy drink that actually counts towards your daily water intake.
So how does black coffee help with weight loss? The drinks we consume stop us from losing weight because of all of the unhealthy added ingredients but if you switch to black coffee you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it contains no calories whatsoever. Find out more in this article.
Brown fat and coffee
Brown fat tissue creates heat in your body to assist in the regulation of body temperature. It’s the good fat in your body.
Brown fat burns energy to create heat and burning energy burns calories and that is the route to weight management.
If you burn more calories than you take in then your weight will go down and if you take in more calories than you burn off then your weight will increase.
So what if drinking coffee could help stimulate the brown fat that sits in everyone’s body and put it to good calorie-burning use?
A very detailed study at the University of Nottingham’s School of Medicine has suggested that drinking a cup of coffee stimulates the brown fat that burns calories.
It’s a highly technical study that showed when drinking coffee, brown fat in the neck was stimulated and started burning energy.
Further study needs to take place to identify whether it was the caffeine in the coffee that triggered the brown fat to kick into action or whether it was another component of the drink but it definitely showed that the act of drinking coffee stimulated the brown fat.
Here is the full report of the study if you want to understand it in detail.
It certainly does not mean that you should start drinking huge amounts of coffee to try and lose weight but what it seems to prove is that drinking coffee stimulates brown fat and can be a positive contributory factor to help manage your weight as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.
Huge numbers of studies have taken place proving that coffee consumption contributes to overall good health.
We have written about that in detail in this article that explains how coffee is good for you
This latest study just further adds to the overwhelming evidence supporting regular coffee consumption.
Best ways to enjoy coffee
If you are drinking instant coffee on a daily basis we would recommend trying one the many different types of coffee brewing methods and turn your daily coffee habit into an experience that you will enjoy every day.
It doesn’t have to be expensive either. Sure you can go down the road of an all singing all dancing bean to cup coffee machine and spend hundreds to get a coffee shop quality cup of coffee at home but you can also spend as little as £10 on a cafetière and brew some freshly ground coffee that is miles better than instant in just a few minutes.
Here is a detailed article on how to choose the best coffee machine for your needs.