Wednesday, 30 September 2015

This Diet Can Lead To Weight Loss, Sharpen Your Brain, And Extend Your Life. But Do You Actually Want To Do It?

I'm sitting in front of a bowl of cauliflower (five florets, to be exact) drizzled with Sriracha sauce. Ordinarily, this would barely qualify as a snack. Today, it's lunch. I'm not sure which organ is more outraged: my grumbling stomach or my sandwich-starved brain. But my stomach is definitely louder.
At 52, I'm just a handful of pounds overweight—but that handful is spilling blatantly over the top of my jeans. I need to find a way to rein in my appetite, or just invest in a wardrobe of chic, oversize tunics—a slippery slope at this age. (Next up, muumuus?) My search for a healthy long-term solution has led me to today's paltry meal. I'm trying intermittent fasting and eating more like our prehistoric ancestors—the world's oldest new diet.
You've probably heard about this before. It's spawned a documentary, dozens of books (including a New York Times best seller), and a frenzy among scientists. The National Institutes of Health is funding and conducting several studies to determine how and why it works. With a fan base that consists of everyone from ripped CrossFitters to nerdy scientists, it's enough to make even a diet skeptic like me curious to try it.

The concept of intermittent fasting is simple: Alternate days of eating normally with modified fasting days on which you eat just 500 calories—and watch the pounds drop off. The reality is a bit more daunting. Will I be able to subsist every other day on the same number of calories that a miniature poodle does?
The research on intermittent fasting—along with the stories of people who've tried it and swear by it—helps diminish my doubts. Many of the first studies were led by Krista Varady, a nutritional scientist at the University of Illinois, who is surprisingly animated and engaging for someone who spent her early career in a lab putting rodents on diets. Over the past decade, she has looked at more than 600 people in eight clinical trials of alternate-day fasting, and she's found that obese people reliably lose weight at a very safe rate—about 2 to 3 pounds a week. Equally promising, Varady discovered that measures of cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammation, and blood sugar improve when people fast on alternate days. The results were so impressive that a health publisher called her and convinced her to compile her team's voluminous research into a book, The Every Other Day Diet.
One of the reasons periodic fasting works so well is because it's particularly helpful in burning fat. Your body typically chews through its glucose—or sugar—stores in 10-ish hours; once the glucose in your liver is depleted, your hungry tissue is forced to utilize fat for fuel, Varady says. The upshot: With on-and-off deprivation, you lose over 90% of the weight from fat—a good 15% more than with typical diets—and just 10% from muscle. What's more, since it allows you to hang on to muscle, it doesn't seem to cause the usual diet-related plunge in metabolism.
Varady tells me she hit on the 500-calorie modified-fast approach after reviewing prior research that looked at complete fasting every other day. "People hated it," she says. "They were miserable." But when she allowed mice, and eventually humans, to eat 25% of their usual intake on fast days (that's 500 calories for women and 600 for men), most adjusted within a week or two and, to her surprise, consumed just 10% more than usual on "feast" days, when they were allowed to eat with complete abandon. "It might be because your stomach shrinks or your appetite hormones change," she says. The persistent 2-day net calorie deficit knocks off pounds—13 in 8 weeks in obese people. Those like me who want to shave off those last 5 or 10 tend to lose about half a pound a week.
It's not the speediest way to slim down. But as I dig into the research, I discover a slew of new studies that point to other enticing benefits—like, for instance, living longer. In a study published last February, University of Florida researchers put 19 people on an alternate-day fasting program for 3 weeks, drawing blood before and after the diet. The post diet sample revealed that the participants' cells had begun making more copies of a longevity gene—known as SIRT3—that both helps protect against damaging free radical molecules and improves cells' ability to repair themselves.
Its benefits are similar to those of another well-known longevity diet: long-term calorie restriction. "Fasting seems to place stress on cells and prompt them to shift to self-protection mode," says study author Douglas Bennion.
As I read more new research, I learn that fasting might help my mind, too: In animal studies, scientists at the National Institute on Aging discovered that the diet could boost proteins that strengthen neurons and are crucial for learning and memory and may even protect against Alzheimer's disease. Their studies also suggest the diet produces some of the same positive changes in the cardiovascular system as long-term exercise.
But what finally convinces me is Varady's most recent study. In a trial funded by the NIH, she and colleagues found that intermittent fasting is much more effective than everyday dieting at maintaining weight loss—the toughest trick, as any dieter knows. Unlike almost every other diet in the world, the approach is sustainable.
Hunger schmunger, I'm in.
To my husband Gordon's chagrin, it's Friday, and my paltry food choices are making our social plans nonexistent. I've laid in provisions: almonds, celery, arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, pickles, and Sriracha—the flavorful sauce that I'm hoping will gussy up all that rabbit food. Gordon takes one look and texts a friend to meet him for dinner at the local brewpub. Arrayed on the counter, my day's menu does can I put it? Pitiful. Anxious, I call Varady and ask what I am missing. "Protein," she says before I've even finished the question. "About half your calories on the fast day should come from protein, because it's way more filling than vegetables." She also warns me to be sure to drink 8 to 12 glasses of water every day to curb hunger and prevent dehydration—an actual risk when you're taking in so little fluid through food. I guzzle a tall glass, then dash out to Trader Joe's to pick up eggs and lunch meat—and, all right, a wedge of goat Gouda; it's a high-calorie impulse buy, but a reminder that, as Scarlett O'Hara says, "Tomorrow is another day."
This diet may protect against Alzheimer's disease.
With only 500 calories to consume, I chew slowly, which is more pleasurable, I discover, than snarfing. While the expected rumbles from my coddled stomach, which has never known hunger, are uncomfortable, they aren't so excruciating that I cave in and order a pizza. The protein is satisfying, and the Sriracha-dipped veggies do an admirable job of taking the edge off. A study several years ago found that adding hot red pepper to tomato soup caused people to eat 60 fewer calories at the next meal—probably, the researchers speculated, because the spice acts as a mild appetite suppressant. (Here are 25 delicious things you can do with Sriracha.) 
That said, deprivation isn't fun. As the day progresses, I spend more and more time daydreaming about creme brulee, sushi, caramels—even, improbably, a cheesy Velveeta-and-broccoli casserole my mom made when I was a kid. By the time I crawl into bed at 9:30, my food fantasies are so frenzied I can hardly sleep. Varady says that usually goes away after a week or so, and in a recent study, she found that the fast days actually help people who suffer from heartburn or GI discomfort sleep better.
Here's what I ate on Day 1.
(Thankfully, on Day 2, I was able to eat anything I wanted!)
7:30 AM
Coffee, no cream
10:45 AM
Four almonds 28 calories
1:00 PM
Iced coffee (no cream), hard-boiled egg 75 calories
3:00 PM
Bowl of cauliflower florets dipped in Sriracha 50-ish calories
3:30 PM
Sans usual sugar fix, 20-minute nap
3:50 PM
Bowl of broccoli/Sriracha 50-ish calories 
Small apple 70 calories
4:15 PM
Hike 4 miles
5:30 PM
Famished. Two slices of ham with mustard 45 calories
Cup of peppermint tea
5:45 PM
Two more slices of ham with slender slices of goat Gouda, which I'd vowed not to eat today 125 calories
7:30 PM
Eight almonds 56 calories
7:45 PM
Four almonds 28 calories
I awaken bleary-eyed but a pound lighter—and ready to attack the contents of my fridge. But as I'm sipping my coffee, I notice something odd: I'm not hungry. Eat! I tell myself, feeling slightly frantic. I have no intention of letting my day of heedless consumption slip away. I nibble some blackberries and have a small bowl of Greek yogurt, but my stomach's not interested.
As I learn from Varady, this is what happens—the reason people on the diet lose weight. On the Facebook page for The Every Other Day Diet, I find plenty of people who confirm this phenomenon.
Joanna Grindle, a 45-year-old nurse and mom of three in Vernal, UT, lost 53 pounds in 4 months and has kept it off for a year by fasting just 1 day a week. "The diet completely changed my relationship with food," she says. "Now I stop eating when I'm satisfied instead of stuffed." Same thing for Jennifer Stewart, 54, a Singapura cat breeder in Crookston, MN, who lost 121 pounds, and Aimee Jones, 35, a hotel employee in Lake Elsinore, CA, who tells me she's been doing alternate-day fasting for just a month but has already lost 12 pounds. "I thought I'd want to binge on sweets, but my sugar cravings are going away," she says. "It's a strange feeling." (Get your sugar cravings under control and lose up to 15 pounds with Sugar Smart Express.)
I eat a salad and a tuna melt for lunch, snack on a piece of dark chocolate in the afternoon, and have skirt steak with grilled veggies and risotto for dinner. I want to overindulge, trust me, but I just can't. I feel disappointed—like it's the last day of a trip to the Bahamas when it's rained the whole time.
Although I expect to be ravenous
, I find my second fast day easier. I add new treats—salad with chicken breast, lots of tea ("Warm fluid helps you feel full," promises Varady), bubbly water with lemon. And I save at least 200 calories for right after my 4 pm hike, which triggers a titanic hunger surge. Although I'm still obsessed with the food I can't eat, falling asleep isn't nearly the struggle it was on Day 1.
I'm more prepared for it, but I still feel an odd disappointment at my disinterest in pastries and bacon that mere hours ago sounded irresistible. I'm seeing how little of my usual eating is driven by actual need. As I make my way through another day of alarmingly sensible meals and snacks, it occurs to me that I'm learning the difference between true hunger and boredom-stress-anxiety hunger—and how frequently I engage in the latter.

DAYS 5-10
As my fast-day fantasies decreased
, I gradually lose a pound and a half—and am filled with an odd sense of accomplishment. I can coexist with hunger! The diet is easier than the usual grind of restriction; the 500-calorie limit forces me to plan my meals and leaves me with so few options I don't even think about foods not on the day's menu.
It's not, however, a social diet. I'm cranky having two slices of chicken while my son and husband chow down on steak. Even worse: going to a dinner party and nibbling on crudites as friends ooh and aah over fondue.
Stewart, who has maintained her weight loss for nearly 2 years, says she rearranged fast days to accommodate her social schedule; when she had three back-to-back "feasts," she'd do an equal number of fast days to make up for it. For maintenance, she does 1,000-calorie fast days, keeps an eye on the scale, and throws in a 500-calorie day when the number goes up.
The diet has its detractors. Sara Gottfried, a doctor and author of The Hormone Reset Diet, worries that it can trigger sugar cravings—and binges. Susan Roberts, a professor of nutrition at Tufts University, adds, "It's risky to tell overweight people to eat what they want every other day, because they could actually gain weight. And, in my practice, very few people are interested in trying it. It could wreak havoc on your life. "
No one is certain why, but fasting seems to prevent and reverse obesity.
Varady herself is quick to admit it's not right for everyone. "But for those who hate the constant vigilance of daily calorie restriction, it seems to work well," she says.
My feelings end up somewhere in the middle. Fasting for a day here or there is doable, but every other day for eternity? Not so much. Despite the fact that I've shed weight, the difficulty of planning and monitoring my eating on fast days makes the diet impractical—and I realize, with a pang, that I'm ready to give it up.
But I'd still like to lose a few pounds, so I turn my attention to the studies I've read on a different approach to intermittent fasting: time-restricted eating (TRE). You eat normal amounts every day but cram it all into a 6- to 12-hour time period—it seems to offer many of the same benefits as alternating fast days but is more suited to my lifestyle.
A rebound diet! Just what I need!
TRE isn't nearly as well studied as alternate-day fasting, but it does have promising results. Obese mice have had luck getting ready for bikini season on the program, according to a recent study at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA. In that 38-week trial, rodents that were restricted to eating within a 9- or 12-hour period stayed svelte, while those who consumed the same number of calories throughout the day became obese; more telling, when the obese, eat-anytime mice were switched to the time-restricted approach, they slimmed down. "It seems to prevent and reverse obesity," says Satchidanda Panda, lead scientist of the study. BURTON

No one is certain why that happens, but Courtney Peterson, who is conducting some of the first human trials with her colleagues at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA, says not eating for so long affects your body's internal clock—and may dictate the robustness of key functions like metabolic rate.
While some scientific evidence for time-restricted eating focuses on 16-hour fasts, there is flexibility in adapting the approach to fit people's lifestyles. Jonathan Stegall, an integrative medicine physician in Atlanta, has seen results in more than 40 of his patients on a 16-hour-fast diet following a monthlong preparation period emphasizing low-carb, organic, and natural foods. Cindy Santa Ana, 45, a mom of two and integrative nutrition health coach in Bristow, VA, lost 50 pounds in the past 2 years by eating only from 10:30 am to 7 pm. "I don't watch my calories, but I eat healthfully—lots of veggies and lean protein and complex carbs like sweet potatoes and carrots," she says. 
I give it a whirl and find that just 1,600 calories leaves me full because it's packed into 8 hours. After a slight hunger pang at 10 pm, I generally fall asleep without being tormented by images of crusty croissants and cheesy omelets. And I'm free to shift my eating window—when we meet friends for dinner at 7, I eat nothing until noon, which isn't that difficult. Though that one heavy, late meal puts half a pound on me, the next day I binge on lemon squares at 2 pm and don't gain an ounce. Either eating earlier in the day is less damaging or I compensated for the cookie binge by eating far fewer calories afterward.
After 8 days of time-restricted eating, I not only have kept off the pound and a half I'd lost but have dropped another two, and my belly is noticeably smaller. I've discovered that I sleep more soundly on a semi-empty stomach and wake up more clearheaded. The diet is the most user-friendly fast around.
Still, I'm not confident I can stick with the strict 8-hour window now that I've reached my goal, so I gravitate to the 12-hour version. Much easier. I use it for 5 weeks and find I both maintain my weight loss and reap fasting's other benefits.
When a friend comments on my newly slender figure, I tell her what I've been up to. "This is the easiest thing I've ever done to lose weight," I say. I mean it.
So from all this, I end up with one rule. Kitchen closes at 7. Turns out I'd rather count minutes than calories.


4 Ways to Train Your Brain for Weight Loss

Is your brain ready for your body to lose weight? The brain is often one of the single biggest obstacles to shedding fat. Train that brain for losing weight with these 4 tips designed to put you in a positive, weight-dropping state of mind:

#1 Change your mindset.
The word diet often creates a negative mindset. You might pine for all those “yummy” foods you feel you’re being deprived or groan over the effort that goes into a calorie-burning workout. The negativity makes it harder to stick to the plan and achieve long-lasting success.  Tell yourself, before your feet hit the floor each morning, “I so excited to start my day with exercise and some clean eating foods”, and mean it! 

Changing your life is about making a positive lifestyle change. It’s not about what you can’t have—it’s about feeling rested when you wake up, feeling strong and confident, being healthier than you’ve ever been. Start seeing positive results with this 4 Step Weight Loss Challenge.

#2 Create a vision board.
Sometimes the brain needs a little nudge—give yours a poke in the form of a vision board. A vision board is a place where you put images of the life you want. If you want a more active life, post pics of the activities you would like to do, whether it’s ski the black diamond course or learn to surf.  Do you dream of hitting the beach with a swim suit that reveals beautiful summer abs and toned & defined arms? Both can be yours. Pick up a fitness magazine  and cut out pics of how you want your body to look. Pin the pics to your vision board and the seed is planted.  Here are three workouts to kickstart your vision, Summer ArmsSummer Abs, and Summer Butt.

Have you ever envisioned yourself running in marathon but the thought of getting started was way too overwhelming?  Perhaps our program Running for Absolute Beginners will get you motivated.  Be sure to add a pic to your vision board and then hit the street running.

Put images where you can see them often, so they remind your brain of those goals. Post pictures on the fridge with magnets or create a vision board using Pinterest. Find inspiration on the Skinny Ms. Pinterest boards.

#3 Take baby steps.
The idea of losing a chunk of weight is intimidating. It can make the brain whine “How much do you want me lose?! Inconceivable!” Take the intimidation factor out of weight loss by taking small, can-do steps. Perhaps the first step is to eat healthy snacks instead of junky ones for the next two weeks. Or maybe you commit to doing these 3 Workouts for Getting Awesome Abs every week for the next month.

Small goals are easier to achieve—and each time you reach one, you’ll gain more confidence. That confidence will allow you to make another healthy lifestyle change, and then another, and before you know it you’ll look and feel better than you have in years.

#4 Be kind to yourself.
You’re going to backtrack sometimes. Everyone does. For example, you might find you tossed healthy eating overboard during a cruise, or an extended hours at work forced you to cut back on workout time.

But what’s important—really, really important—is that you get back on track. Throwing your hands in the air and saying “I’m giving up!” won’t make you feel any better. So forgive yourself for slip-ups, and then resume your good-living habits. If you’ve really gotten off track and need quick results, try the 6 Week Emergency Makeover Program, which comes with the diet and fitness tools you need to feel fab fast.
You deserve a body that’s healthy. You deserve a body that’s fit. Train your brain to help you get there.


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Can Coffee Increase Your Metabolism and Help You Burn Fat?

Coffee contains caffeine… which is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world.
Caffeine has made its way to most commercial fat burning supplements, for good reason.
It is one of the few substances that is known to help mobilize fats from the fat tissues and increase metabolism.

Coffee Contains Stimulants

Coffee isn’t just warm black water.
Substances in the coffee beans do make it into the final drink.
In fact, coffee contains several biologically active substances that can affect metabolism:
  • Caffeine – a central nervous system stimulant.
  • Theobromine and Theophylline – substances related to caffeine that can also have a stimulant effect.
  • Chlorogenic Acid – one of the biologically active compounds in coffee, may help slow absorption of carbohydrates (1).

The most important of these is caffeine, which is very potent and has been studied thoroughly.
What caffeine does in the brain, is to block an inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine (23).
By blocking Adenosine, caffeine increases the firing of neurons and the release of neurotransmitters like Dopamine and Norepinephrine.

Coffee Can Help to Mobilize Fat From The Fat Tissues

Cup of Coffee
Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, which sends direct signals to the fat cells to tell them to break down fat (45).
Another thing that caffeine does is to increase our blood levels of the hormone Epinephrine, which is also known as Adrenaline (67).
Epinephrine travels through the blood, to the fat tissues and send signals to break down fats and release them into the blood.
This is how caffeine helps to mobilize fat from the fat tissues, making it available for use as free fatty acids in the blood.

Coffee Can Increase The Metabolic Rate

How many calories we burn at rest is called the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).
The higher our metabolic rate, the easier it is for us to lose weight and the more we can allow ourselves to eat without gaining.
Studies show that caffeine can increase the metabolic rate by 3-11%, with larger doses having an even bigger effect (89).
Interestingly, most of the increase in metabolism is caused by an increase in the burning of fat (10).
Unfortunately, the effect is less pronounced in those who are obese.
In one study, the increase in fat burning in lean people is as high as 29%, while in obese individuals the increase is about 10% (11). The effect also appears to diminish with age and is more pronounced in younger individuals (12).
Caffeine can improve athletic performance via several mechanisms, one of those being increased mobilization of fatty acids from the fat tissues. Studies show that caffeine can improve exercise performance by 11-12%, on average (1314).

Coffee and Weight Loss in The Long Term

There is one major caveat here, and that is the fact that people become tolerant to the effects of caffeine (1516).
In the short term, caffeine can boost the metabolic rate and increase fat burning, but after a while people become tolerant to the effects and it stops working.
But even if coffee doesn’t make you expend more calories in the long term, there is still a possibility that it blunts appetite and helps you eat less.
In one study, caffeine had an appetite reducing effect in men, but not in women – making them eat less at a meal following caffeine consumption. However, another study showed no effect for men (1718).
Whether coffee or caffeine can help you lose weight in the long term may depend on the individual. At this point, there is no evidence that it can help with weight loss in the long term.

Take Home Message

Even though caffeine can boost your metabolism in the short term, this effect is diminished in long-term coffee drinkers due to tolerance.
If you’re primarily interested in coffee for the sake of fat loss, then it may be best to cycle it to prevent a buildup of tolerance. Perhaps cycles of 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off.
Of course, there are plenty of other great reasons to drink coffee, including the fact that coffee is the single largest source of antioxidants in the western diet, outranking both fruits and vegetables, combined.


How to Lose Weight with Coffee

Coffee's role in a weight loss plan has often been hotly debated. Coffee can have both negative and positive effects on your health and weight depending on how it is consumed. Of course, if you already rely on a daily coffee habit, you aren't likely to want to give it up in order to lose weight, so learning how to harness coffee's positive attributes will be essential. The guide below covers how to lose weight with coffee by keeping a few key considerations in mind.

Consume coffee in moderation. This is the most important aspect of fitting coffee into your weight loss plan. Excessive coffee consumption can lead to increased stress levels and insomnia, both of which can lead to overeating. Try to cut your coffee consumption to just 1 or 2 cups per day, or try switching some of your daily coffee intake to decaf.

Forget the cream and sugar. This is an obvious but extremely effective technique for losing weight with coffee. Adding large amounts of cream and sugar to your coffee can give it the caloric content of a candy bar or more. If you cannot wean yourself entirely onto black coffee, try using skim milk and sugar-free sweeteners instead.

Ditch the specialty coffee beverages. Even worse than adding cream and sugar to a cup of brewed coffee is drinking the large, flavored, espresso-based beverages that are becoming more and more popular at coffee shops. These drinks often contain large amounts of milk and flavored sugar syrups and can contain as many calories as a whole meal.

Try coffee after dinner to reduce cravings. One of coffee's positive attributes is its role as an appetite suppressant. For this reason, try drinking coffee after your dinner each night. This may help you to reduce your cravings for dessert or other late-night snack foods before bed.
  • You can also try brushing your teeth shortly after dinner or after your after-dinner coffee. Having a freshly cleaned mouth may help to reduce your temptation to eat anything else before bed.

Drink coffee an hour or so before a workout. Coffee consumed before a workout can increase your energy and alertness, which can help you to undertake a more rigorous, focused workout. Coffee can also help dull joint and muscle pain. However, you may want to avoid drinking coffee immediately before exercising, as the acid coupled with the agitation from exercise may lead to an upset stomach.

Augment your coffee with plenty of water. Coffee can act as a diuretic in many people, meaning that it will cause you to lose fluids. To stay hydrated and keep your stomach fuller, drink a cup of water for every cup of coffee you drink.

Comment below what you think, Love hearing your thoughts.


Monday, 28 September 2015

Black Coffee & Weight Loss

Coffee drinkers love their morning cup o' Joe. In fact, according to a 2010 Filterfresh Coffee Report survey, 54 percent of those surveyed said they would give up their cell phone before giving up their daily cup of coffee. And even though 96 percent of respondents report that they receive their daily shot of caffeine from coffee, the majority of coffee drinkers are not looking to black coffee as a meal replacement or weight loss contributor. But can drinking black coffee boost your weight loss efforts?

Coffee Aids Weight Loss

"Some studies have shown that drinking coffee with caffeine may slightly increase weight loss or in actuality prevent weight gain by suppressing the appetite or the desire to eat," says Kathy Taylor, a registered dietitian. "It may also help with calorie burning by stimulating thermogenesis--our body's way of generating heat from metabolizing food. Ultimately caffeine acts like a diuretic causing us to have water loss so there is a temporary decrease in body weight."
Often people trying to lose weight think that coffee may give them an edge, because after drinking coffee they often feel full and don't eat as much. "Coffee is not a food substitute," says Dr. Danine Fruge, Associate Medical Director of the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa. "It will only fool your brain for so long. You still need to eat."

Helps with Your Workout

Coffee--and caffeine--is a great weight loss tool for several reasons, according to Maik Wiedenbach, owner of Adlertraining in New York City. "It is a powerful anti-oxidant, which is important for your recovery from exercise and overall immune health. Also, coffee mobilizes free fatty acids, which can then be oxidized during exercises." Wiedenbach adds that coffee gives you a mental edge and greater focus.

Increased Metabolism

For maximum weight-loss success, the Weight Control Room website suggests drinking coffee black, on an empty stomach and only in moderation. The site says caffeine can increase your metabolism by stimulating your nervous system because it facilitates the burning of body fat by pulling fatty acids out of the fat cells. The site, however, cautions against drinking coffee while consuming carbohydrates. "If you drink coffee while eating carbohydrates the insulin produced in your body may override the fat burning effects of the caffeine."


"Black coffee does get your heart pumping a little faster in the morning before a workout but it is stimulant induced and not natural," adds Taylor. "My advice is to keep your coffee or any caffeinated beverages to only 2 per day"--that's two 8-oz. cups of coffee per day or two 12-oz. caffeinated sodas per day. Taylor advises drinking them before noon so they won't negatively impact your sleep. "The ultimate goal is to get enough sleep (6 to 8 hours/night) so you don't need the stimulant, and that usually means cutting the TV off at a decent hour."

Other Considerations

Coffee is an anorectic and will suppress your appetite. That's why it's important for coffee drinkers to consume more water and maintain a healthy diet. "When people drink a lot of coffee they sometimes cut back on their water intake and are more prone to snack on unhealthy foods like pastries," says Dr. Fruge. "Sometimes people who drink coffee find themselves overeating later on in the day because they skipped meals while they were drinking coffee," she adds.


Since coffee has a quick saturation effect, Wiedenbach cautions coffee drinkers to not use it every day. "High doses (above 800 mg/daily) can lead to heart palpitations, tremors and sweating," he adds. There's some good news, though. "The body wanes off caffeine quickly; it only takes 5 days to clean the receptor cells. After that, you can enjoy the benefits anew," Weidenbach says.


Weight Loss Myth? Coffee Can Help You Lose Weight

Coffee is very controversial when it comes to weight loss. Some say that it can be of benefit to dieters, while others say that it can be detrimental to a weight loss plan. In fact, coffee most likely has both positive and negative effects on weight loss, depending on how it's consumed and other factors.


How Coffee Can Help a Diet
Coffee contains caffeine which is a stimulant. It can enable people to feel more alert and help them to be more active, leading to weight loss. It may also act as a mild appetite suppressant. Drinking coffee during the afternoon or after dinner can help to reduce cravings for snacks or sweets, by filling the stomach and suppressing the appetite, without the addition of calories.
Coffee might also stimulate your metabolism by increasing your rate of thermogenesis (how your body burns calories to create heat and energy). However, this is only a slight increase and studies have not shown it to have a very large effect on weight loss. Coffee is often claimed to be a diuretic, but studies have shown that drinking it in moderation does not lead to water loss. Indeed, drinking coffee increases your fluid intake by the same amount as drinking water, which might make it easier for those who love coffee but dislike water to keep their fluids up.

While coffee has been said to increase insulin resistance which can lead to overeating and eventually might turn into diabetes, recent studies have shown that coffee itself is not the cause of the insulin resistance. The sugar often used in coffee is more likely a factor, as well as other unhealthy lifestyle choices. In fact, some have suggested that coffee, which contains antioxidants, may in fact raise insulin sensitivity, although this hasn't been proved.

How Coffee Can Harm a Diet

When you drink too much coffee, the caffeine can increase stress levels which might lead to overeating. It can also promote insomnia, which might also lead to a higher consumption of calories. However, coffee contains other chemicals which stimulate the production of cortisone and adrenaline. These chemicals increase stress levels, and cortisone has been linked with an increase in abdomen fat, which causes more health concerns than fat in other areas.
Coffee itself has very few calories and no fat, but people rarely drink it without something added to modify the taste. Even a shot of flavored syrup can add calories to a coffee, and some of the more creamy and elaborate concoctions can have as many calories as an entire meal. Milk and cream are also very high in saturated fat, which not only contributes calories but is also dangerous for your health. Too much saturated fat can lead to heart disease.

The effects of coffee on weight loss don't seem to be enough to radically cause people to gain or lose weight. The best advice is to consume coffee in moderation if desired, and to be aware of the effects it has on you, in order to take advantage of them.
Comment below your thoughts! Always love hearing feedback and ideas from you guys! xx