Coffee and Weight Gain: My Coffee Experiment

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Coffee and Weight Gain: My Coffee Experiment

This is a post I'm pulling from the archives, because I believe it's always a relevant topic and issue. This was written almost exactly four years ago! I wanted to share this with you, since I haven't had coffee in the past month and a half and I am seeing the same results as I did back when I wrote this. I've lost 10 pounds and my skin looks more nourished. Coffee is a diuretic, so it can cause some early aging in the skin if you know what I mean! I hope you enjoy this archive that is packed with great information that I know you want to know about!

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We all know that there are good benefits and not-so-good things about coffee. There is always a good and bad side to everything these days, which can be confusing.

Although it’s good to pay attention to the good of a certain thing, I think all too often we neglect what the negative benefits of something are. We hear that something is healthy for us and we go crazy. We’ll go from drinking 1 cup of coffee a day to 5 a day because we read an article on Yahoo! Then we make sure Starbucks gets a good chunk of our paycheck every month, drinking decadent dessert coffees and praising Yahoo! for the wonderful suggestion of this new health supplement you’re partaking of.

We are a generation that doesn’t take the time to research anything. We trust what we read online – regardless if we’ve ever heard of the author or not. In saying that – I challenge you. Don’t just take my word for what you read on my blog – go and research things for yourself and see what you find. Then you can make an educated decision on what you have found from research.

All over the web you’ll find people touting coffee as the “the top source of age-avenging antioxidants in the American diet”, “it improves memory”, “ it can help prevent cancer”, “it looks like that link between coffee and unhealthiness is wrong.” and so many more! Am I saying these are false statements? Not necessarily, but I am saying that they are not complete statements. Many of those should be followed up with more specific detail of how much or little coffee, what kind of bean and how often you drink it. Like I said earlier – we’ll hear quotes like that and automatically feel we have a license to go and be caramel Frappuccino connoisseurs on a daily basis.

Now, on the down side, coffee is a natural stimulate (which isn’t always a good thing), it temporarily raises blood pressure, can increase heart rate, contribute to insomnia, raise cortisol levels and is a diuretic. Raised cortisol levels stall weight loss capabilities, making weight gain easy and weight loss hard. This isn’t always the goal we are reaching for.  Also, decaf (except for Swiss water bath method decaf) is made using a process containing toxic chemicals. I’d also add that unless you are drinking organic, you’re ingesting toxic chemicals with every cup you drink, not to mention the likelihood of the beans being GMO.

Since I’m not considered a coffee drinker (enjoy the smell, can’t really stand the taste), a few months ago I thought I’d challenge myself to drink coffee at least 5 days a week for a month. Unfortunately since I can’t drink straight, black coffee, I did add some milk and stevia to sweeten it. As you may have heard me say before, I’m not a big fan of stevia, but since this was an experiment, I didn’t want to add sugar, since I knew that would help pack the pounds on.  I drank my coffee in the morning, to make sure I had the rest of the day to burn off any calories and energy I might get from the caffeine. I weighed myself once a week and continued to eat normal (which is very healthy) and stuck with my regular exercise. What were the results? After 31 days, I had gained seven pounds. The only thing I did differently that month was adding about 10 ounces of coffee a day, five days a week. Not fun, but very interesting.

So, how did I lose my unwanted seven pounds? I stopped drinking coffee and within a couple weeks, I was back to my pre-coffee binge weight. I noticed that I had a tendency to feel low on energy since my body was used to having all that extra caffeine. I had to just deal with that – because I wasn’t going to give my body what IT wanted – which was the caffeine. I am also back to my normal coffee schedule of one every month or two. It’s not something I need to drink.

My conclusion is that even though there are some good benefits to drinking coffee, it might not necessarily be that beverage that we should consume in excess every day. If you are having trouble with weight loss, trouble sleeping, false energy or low appetite, try eliminating coffee for a while and see if that helps. I guarantee, if anything, you’ll lose some weight. This would also be true for soda drinkers.

How will cutting back or eliminating coffee affect you? This answer will be different for everyone, but since it will be a mild detox, certain symptoms can include headaches (only for a short time), more of an appetite, grogginess (for a short time) – just to name a few. It indeed is a withdrawal your body is going through, so you will have those withdrawal/detox symptoms. Don’t give into them and decide you’d rather drink coffee than have a headache. These symptoms don’t last long – it’s just while your body is ridding itself of the caffeine and other properties of coffee. Replace what you were drinking with either filtered/reverse osmosis water or even green tea. If you drink coffee to wake you up – this may be a challenging part for you. Believe it or not, your body doesn’t need caffeine to wake up – water can do the same thing. You can also juice fresh fruits and veggies – those fresh juice cocktails are always amazing at waking up your body. I guarantee, once you get to a point where you are only drinking coffee a couple days a week or less or not at all, you will feel great, physically. If you go back to drinking large amounts of coffee – you’ll be able to notice how it affects you pretty quick.

How do you cut back or eliminate coffee? Slowly begin to cut back on the amount you are drinking on a daily basis and replace that with a healthy alternative such as pure, clean water or green tea. When you get down to one cup a day, begin to drink one cup every other day and go from there as far as you want to take it.

We need to learn how to live more balanced lives when it comes to what we are putting in our bodies. Do I think EVERYTHING is good in moderation? Absolutely not! There are some things we shouldn’t let come near us or our families! But, when it comes to coffee, stick to organic, locally roasted (if available) coffee beans. If you need to drink decaf, make sure you pick beans that have been decaffeinated using the Swiss Water Bath Method. Whole Foods carries a few of these in their bulk coffee beans in the coffee aisle. Since coffee is a diuretic, make sure you’re drinking 8-16 ounces of water for every 8 ounces of coffee you drink (this is on top of your daily water intake which should be around 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water). Don’t make this beverage your beverage of choice. Your body wasn’t made to survive off of coffee. Your cells, skin, brain, tissues, bones – your whole body – needs water. We need to stop over consuming products that remove water from our system and disrupts the working and functioning of our bodies.

You can read more research on Starbucks coffee and the non-benefits of it here?

If you feel that coffee is more of an addiction and needed stimulation - try this experiment for yourself and just watch how things change for you!

As always, Live on Purpose!

xo Kari