Research Suggests A Simple Cup of Coffee Could Be Part of the Obesity Cure

written by Skye Sherman - Jan 20, 2020
medically reviewed by Dr. Tolulope Olabintan, MD - Oct 31, 2022

Photo Credit: by Ambernectar 13,
Photo Credit: by Ambernectar 13,

Could your morning cup of joe help you to shed those extra holiday pounds? It may sound too good to be true, but things are looking good for coffee drinkers everywhere. Recent research suggests that coffee may be linked to weight loss, potentially standing in as a solution for obesity.

Coffee drinkers aren’t the only ones with cause to celebrate: it’s possible that knitting may be good for your health, too! Check out our article titled Knitting Your New Year’s Resolution: Is Knitting Good For Your Health? to learn more. And cannabis may be good for your sex life: our article Can Cannabis Use Lead to A Better Sex Life? tells you more.

Ready to get sipping? Grab your favorite coffee beverage, hot or iced, and we’ll give you the skinny on how that cup of coffee may help you meet your weight loss goals.

Skinny latte: drink coffee for weight loss

Drinking coffee to lose weight may sound too easy, but the facts speak for themselves. Of course, no simple one-size-fits-all solution is the final answer to losing weight and finding a balanced and healthy lifestyle. However, research suggests that things like coffee can greatly aid your journey, especially when you use weight-loss strategies in tandem with healthy living techniques like eating right and staying active.

However, many people break from their usual routine during the holidays and find themselves eating more, exercising less, and consuming less healthy foods overall. While this is a fun and natural part of the holiday season, it can wreak serious havoc on your health and fitness goals. Fortunately, the new year arrives soon after and is the perfect time to start fresh and begin again to get back on track. And thanks to recent research from scientists, it’s looking like coffee can help.

According to The Sun, “Your morning coffee not only has the power to get you out of bed in the morning - it could also help you to lose weight. Drinking a cup of joe can offset the negative effects of an unhealthy diet and limit weight gain - scientists have found. They found caffeine reduces the storage of lipids in fat cells and triglycerides, which are a type of fat found in your blood.”

They conducted a study with rats that showed how a greater caffeine consumption level was linked to reduced weight. The article continues, “Scientists at the University of Illinois gave rats the same amount of caffeine to that of a human who drinks four cups of coffee daily for four weeks, to see the impact it had on their weight. And at the end of the four-week period, the percentage of lean body mass in the various groups of rats differed significantly. The rats that ingested caffeine from mate tea, coffee or synthetic sources accumulated less body fat than rats in the other groups.”

This study suggests a serious correlation between caffeine intake and weight loss or gain. So, good news, coffee drinkers: grab another cup because science suggests it could be working to slim your waistline and help you stay fit and trim. Gathering less body fat means there’s less to work off later, and coffee could be a great help in that goal. It’s also thought to be an appetite suppressant, so you may find yourself less hungry and less inclined to binge eat or consume unhealthy treats.

Combine your coffee drinking with regular aerobic exercise, which has numerous mental and physical benefits, and you’ll be off to the races -- feeling good and looking thinner than ever.

Of course, also keep in mind that not all coffee beverages are created equal in terms of weight loss. A fully loaded holiday drink from Starbucks certainly isn’t going to offer you the benefits that a plain cup of black coffee would. Adding cream, milk, sugar, syrup, flavorings, and other ingredients will dramatically up the calorie count of your cup of coffee.

Use this coffee calorie calculator to make sure you’re getting the benefits of the java from every cup, not making weight loss even harder on yourself.

Is there a cure for obesity?

Obesity is a weight disorder characterized by excessive body fat levels, which thereby increase one’s risk of health issues. Typically obesity is categorized by a body mass index (which is a formula incorporating both the mass and height of a person) of 30 or greater.

Because obesity is not a disease with no known origin, there is not necessarily a cure -- other than making serious lifestyle changes and caring for your health. Obesity does not occur independent of your eating and activity choices; rather, obesity is caused by a person’s consumption and activity level (or lack thereof).

Freeing yourself from obesity looks more like applying a treatment than a cure: you’ll need to make lifestyle changes to diet and exercise. Specialists may also be called in to help implement behavior therapy if needed. However, it seems that coffee might also help -- but remember, in serious cases of obesity, it can’t solve the problem alone without also implementing proper diet and exercise choices. There are weight loss medications available, but they are not the only solution.

According to the New York Post, “In humans, they believe that drinking four cups of coffee a day could help prevent weight gain... Co-author of the study Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia told SWNS, ‘Considering the findings, mate tea and caffeine can be considered anti-obesity agents. The results of this research could be scaled to humans to understand the roles of mate tea and caffeine as potential strategies to prevent overweight and obesity, as well as the subsequent metabolic disorders associated with these conditions.’

“He continued, ‘The consumption of caffeine from (tea) or from other sources alleviated the negative impact of a high-fat, high-sucrose diet on body composition due to the modulation of certain lipogenic enzymes in both adipose tissue and the liver.’”

Health benefits of coffee

As many coffee lovers know, the potential for reduced weight isn’t the only benefit of coffee. A strong cup of aromatic java perks you up, gives you energy, and can help you power through tasks, even if you’re feeling a bit sluggish before your first sip. For some people, a cup of coffee is a necessary ingredient to waking up each morning.

Other health benefits of coffee include serving as a fiber source, which can benefit the stomach and liver, plus boosted energy levels and a serving of antioxidants, minerals, and some dietary proteins. Other evidence suggests that coffee may be able to reduce depression as well as lower one’s risk of diabetes, cancer, gout, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and more.

There are some drawbacks to coffee to be aware of, but with moderation, coffee can be an uplifting part of your daily caloric intake.

Drink coffee, but eat healthy

Recent research points to coffee as a possible solution for offsetting some of the unhealthy consequences of an obesity-inducing diet, which is typically a diet high in fat and sugar. A diet like this is common around the holidays, which is why drinking more coffee around the holidays may be a good idea.

However, a diet high in fat and sugar isn’t good for you in the long run. So even if coffee can help, it doesn’t mean you should carry on with a diet like that. Instead, use coffee as a helpful tool during times of year where it’s hard to stick to your nutritious diet -- such as the holidays -- in order to avoid unwanted weight gain.

But once you’re back to your normal programming, stick to a diet that’s balanced, nutritious, and incorporates lots of healthy foods, in addition to an exercise routine. That’s the way you can ensure that you will maintain a healthy weight and feel good along the way.



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While the above article is based on thorough research, we do not claim to offer a substitute for medical advice from a qualified healthcare provider. The article was written for information and educational purposes only. We aim to provide helpful information to our readers, but cannot provide a treatment, diagnosis, or consultation of any sort, and we are in no way indicating that any particular drug is safe or appropriate for you and your individual needs. To receive professional medical attention, you must see a doctor.