3

votes

Coffee/Caffeine - Lack thereof seems to have stalled weight loss.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 25, 2012 at 11:48 PM

So, I've been dealing with extremely SLOW weight loss ever since I quit caffeine towards the end of January. I started off the year with a full coffee habit and jumped into the 21-Day Sugar Detox. I lost 13 lbs over the course of the 3 weeks and switched to caffeinated tea on the third week and then weaned myself off caffeine completely by the time I finished.

Since then I've lost only 3.5 lbs (sticking to a Primal type eating plan). I weigh over 230 lbs, so the issue isn't that I'm close to goal or anything like that. The only thing that REALLY changed is the no caffeine. I quit because I had heard it was bad for weight loss and insulin levels (quitting is encouraged on the 21-day sugar detox).

What do you all think? Anyone actually experience weight gain or stalled weight loss from drinking coffee/caffeine? Or anyone have the opposite issue, which I appear to be having, lack of caffeine actually stalling weight loss? I really enjoy my morning coffee, so if it's not a problem, and might even be helpful, I'd like to add it back in.

A4e6473c7791ca1ddeedf5c5db5fbe14

(85)

on December 05, 2012
at 01:43 PM

I think coffee acts as more of a temporary appetite suppressant. For me, when I drink coffee, I'm fine with not eating for hours. But I get pretty hungry later on. I don't know if my appetite rising later in the day has anything to do with coffee. But I've heard both sides: caffeine suppresses your appetite vs. it stimulates it. So I'm guessing that it has some effect on hunger overall

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 22, 2012
at 01:57 PM

Upvoted for acknowledgement of "PubMed problem" .

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 27, 2012
at 02:47 PM

I had weeks where nothing happened followed by weeks of -2-3 lbs. I wasn't kidding about the 6 months though. Those 50 pounds I lost have not been regained in 5 years of steady coffee drinking.

560db54689099082bd5b88c73e22b285

on February 27, 2012
at 06:53 AM

I have LOTS of experience with weight loss, unfortunately. I've lost 45-60 lbs 3 times in the last 11 years. I'm used to losing 2.5-1.5 lbs a week when I'm over 200 and slowing to 1-1.5 a week once I'm below 200. In the last 5 weeks I've lost 3 lbs! That seems excessively slow!!! Thanks for the reply and support : )

560db54689099082bd5b88c73e22b285

on February 27, 2012
at 04:44 AM

Very cool, thanks for the info. From one stay-at-home mom to another : )

560db54689099082bd5b88c73e22b285

on February 27, 2012
at 04:20 AM

Thanks for all the links, I will explore!

560db54689099082bd5b88c73e22b285

on February 27, 2012
at 04:20 AM

I haven't noticed a major difference in appetite with or without it. I'm thinking I'll add a little back in (half a cup to a full cup) and see what happens.

560db54689099082bd5b88c73e22b285

on February 27, 2012
at 04:17 AM

I'm 5'9" ; ) I'm hoping to get down to somewhere below 190 (two year ago I got down to 176, very exciting! But my body fought it and I was around 183 when I got pregnant. Really the best I can hope for, with my history, UNLESS I find a way to work my butt off at a crossfit gym as I lose weight. Being a low income, single, stay-at-home mom is a bit of hindrance at the moment. Baby steps! Hope to find a way to make money from home in the near future AND that my son will become a bit less dependent on me and okay with staying with a friend or family member so I can workout. Thanks for the reply!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 26, 2012
at 01:00 PM

Thanks for the physiological effects summary.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on February 26, 2012
at 01:02 AM

Oooooh! Also one underrated festure of coffee is its iron chelating properties. If you have or had insulin resistance type 2 diabetes or have just been overweight, there is a good chance that you have excess iron stored away in your tissues. This iron causes lots of free radicals and inflammation.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on February 26, 2012
at 12:58 AM

I agree! Nice links too!

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7 Answers

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8
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on February 26, 2012
at 12:42 AM

Coffee is a stimulant, so if you tend toward high stress and cortisol, it can cause problems with your weight loss.

However, the bodybuilding world knows their shiz about the science of fat loss, and the ECA or ephedrine (no longer legal) caffeine aspirin stack is a staple for losing fat. It may also cause many other problems though.

Coffee does have some very special properties that help aid fat loss:

It can raise adiponectin which is a hormone made in fat tissue. Generally you want your adiponetin to be up since low adiponectin is related to metabolic syndrome, cancer and heart disease.

It lowers resistin, which is another adipose hormone that you generally want to be low. When elevated it's correlated with the things that low adiponectin is.

It elevates the enzyme AMPK which some call the master switch that turns regular fat cells into fat burning cells. It is said that caffeine acts in the same way excerise does to elevate AMPK.

Since coffee can lower blood sugar and cause a resulting cortisol spike, which would prolly stall weight loss, my one real piece of advice is make sure your coffee is not taken on an empty belly, after meals seems like a better idea.

Also, I am a stay at home mom with a PubMed problem, so I could be wrong about all of this.

560db54689099082bd5b88c73e22b285

on February 27, 2012
at 04:44 AM

Very cool, thanks for the info. From one stay-at-home mom to another : )

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on February 26, 2012
at 01:02 AM

Oooooh! Also one underrated festure of coffee is its iron chelating properties. If you have or had insulin resistance type 2 diabetes or have just been overweight, there is a good chance that you have excess iron stored away in your tissues. This iron causes lots of free radicals and inflammation.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 26, 2012
at 01:00 PM

Thanks for the physiological effects summary.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 22, 2012
at 01:57 PM

Upvoted for acknowledgement of "PubMed problem" .

1
A1a0baccef58499acf9ceb3c874997f2

on February 26, 2012
at 12:33 AM

I've had the same exact experience. Not necessarily "weight" loss, but overall body composition, overall energy (not just the post-caffeine rush), and mood. There are numerous studies out there showing that moderate caffeine intake lowers depression, especially in women, and is extremely high in antioxidant activity. Most cultures around the world have a traditional caffeinated drink: black teas, green and white teas, mate, coffee prepared in many different ways. I would say experiment with what makes you feel good and what doesn't. I feel better in general with a small amount of caffeine once a day, so that's what I do.

0
03bb06ced2ae02a265909342d4cf3e75

on February 26, 2012
at 01:25 PM

I've noticed that when I stop drinking coffee (usually I switch to tea - I haven't been completely caffeine free since I was in grade school), I get intense cravings for sugar and my appetite is through the roof. Even if I avoid carbs, I literally can't stop eating. I don't have a clue what the biological mechanism is behind this, but coffee is known to be an appetite suppressant, so I wonder if I just have an out of control appetite that is only controlled by my coffee consumption.

Have you noticed a difference in how hungry you are, or are you eating more since quitting coffee?

I agree with others who say if you like your coffee, and you don't have any negative reactions to it, drink up!

560db54689099082bd5b88c73e22b285

on February 27, 2012
at 04:20 AM

I haven't noticed a major difference in appetite with or without it. I'm thinking I'll add a little back in (half a cup to a full cup) and see what happens.

A4e6473c7791ca1ddeedf5c5db5fbe14

(85)

on December 05, 2012
at 01:43 PM

I think coffee acts as more of a temporary appetite suppressant. For me, when I drink coffee, I'm fine with not eating for hours. But I get pretty hungry later on. I don't know if my appetite rising later in the day has anything to do with coffee. But I've heard both sides: caffeine suppresses your appetite vs. it stimulates it. So I'm guessing that it has some effect on hunger overall

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 26, 2012
at 01:12 PM

I've gained and lost, drinking coffee all the way. I didn't lose weight and keep it off without going about it intentionally, so I regard the emotional aspect as critical. On the plus side for coffee in this regard, it's a distraction, keeps you alert, and focuses your thinking. All that can keep your spirits up while you concentrate on the task, and coffee will also distract you from bored random eating. I don't think it will speed up your weight loss dramatically. Your beginning rate of loss is typically the highest, and 1-2 pounds a week is the safe and steady rate that will get the job done over 6 months. Don't be discouraged by it.

560db54689099082bd5b88c73e22b285

on February 27, 2012
at 06:53 AM

I have LOTS of experience with weight loss, unfortunately. I've lost 45-60 lbs 3 times in the last 11 years. I'm used to losing 2.5-1.5 lbs a week when I'm over 200 and slowing to 1-1.5 a week once I'm below 200. In the last 5 weeks I've lost 3 lbs! That seems excessively slow!!! Thanks for the reply and support : )

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 27, 2012
at 02:47 PM

I had weeks where nothing happened followed by weeks of -2-3 lbs. I wasn't kidding about the 6 months though. Those 50 pounds I lost have not been regained in 5 years of steady coffee drinking.

0
B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d

(3217)

on February 26, 2012
at 12:58 AM

Hey Rachel,

there is no definitive evidence that coffee per se has a negative impact on insulin, or weight loss for that matter. However, effects of caffeine differ from person to person because not everyone's nervous system responds to the same extent to stimulus; caffeine can increase cortisol, however, which in turn has been shown, long-term, to cause decreased insulin sensitivity. Nevertheless, such effects would probably come from chronic overconsumption, and one cup or so a day does not belong to that category.

Yet, I think stopping the consumption of any stimulant (including caffeine) can lead to changes in dietary/lifestyle habits; they may be more subtle in your case because you don't seem to have been overly dependent or overconsuming coffee, or dealing with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, but they might have been enough to cause a slight slow in weight loss. One may, for instance, start eating more - perhaps to both replace the stimulus from caffeine, but to a larger extent because coffee simply takes up space in the stomach and now that you do not consume coffee, you have more room for food which has a higher calorie value than the coffee.

Another thing is that for some people, caffeine suppresses appetite. So a lack thereof could lead to increased appetite and hence a stall in weight loss.

On the whole, if you enjoy coffee, don't rely on it as a crutch for energy and do not overconsume it, there is no reason to exclude it. The diuretic properties of coffee are overrated; it has been shown that coffee can improve endurance performance (by stimulating the nervous system and increasing pain tolerance), that moderate coffee consumption is associated with better insulin sensitivity and even decreased risk of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's; coffee also contains a variety of antioxidants and polyphenols.

Lots of Paleo love

Milla :-)

0
E57d8e182251b61ccc6ada197c359d7e

on February 26, 2012
at 12:25 AM

I have only heard the oposite. It isn't great for cortisol or sleeping but preworkout and morning (as long as it isn't a crutch) then i think caffeine is fine. Here is a recent post about caffeine from Mark Sisson.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dear-mark-should-i-consume-caffeine-before-my-workout/#axzz1nRW57EX4

I personally would experiment with it. Add it back in and see what happens.

Also 230 is relative. If you are 5'5" is alot but if you are 6'5" its not so much. I am assuming you are in the middle of that and want to drop some side so I am just messing with you.

560db54689099082bd5b88c73e22b285

on February 27, 2012
at 04:17 AM

I'm 5'9" ; ) I'm hoping to get down to somewhere below 190 (two year ago I got down to 176, very exciting! But my body fought it and I was around 183 when I got pregnant. Really the best I can hope for, with my history, UNLESS I find a way to work my butt off at a crossfit gym as I lose weight. Being a low income, single, stay-at-home mom is a bit of hindrance at the moment. Baby steps! Hope to find a way to make money from home in the near future AND that my son will become a bit less dependent on me and okay with staying with a friend or family member so I can workout. Thanks for the reply!

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