People seeking to lose weight are typically anxious to hear about any trick to make weight loss easier. One way to help speed weight loss is to find ways to speed up the metabolism, so that more calories are burned in a day.
Research has shown that caffeine is effective at speeding up the metabolism, so that you burn more calories. According to the Mayo Clinic, caffeine stimulates many body functions, including the heart rate, central nervous system function and metabolism. In addition, caffeine may decrease the appetite short term. So, adding caffeine may be an effective way to jump start weight loss. There are some things to consider, however:
You may see no effect if you’re already a caffeine consumer. If caffeine is already a part of your daily diet, you would likely need very high doses of caffeine to increase your metabolism above the level at which it already functions. However, those who don’t regularly consume caffeine may see some benefit.
You must be careful where the caffeine comes from. If you start getting your caffeine from sugary sodas, you’ll likely gain weight rather than lose it. However, if you get your caffeine from coffee, tea and sodas without sugar, you may see some results.
You must consider your other health issues. If you already suffer from an irregular heart rate or high blood pressure, your doctor may have warned you to stay away from caffeine. If this is the case, caffeine may not be safe for you. Be sure to talk to your doctor before adding caffeine.
What if I’m Caffeine Sensitive?
Many people stay away from caffeine because they find that too much caffeine causes sleeplessness or jitters. For these people, supplementing with caffeine for weight loss might seem unreasonable. However, there’s one form of caffeine that seems to be tolerated well by those who are normally caffeine sensitive.
Green Tea May Be the Answer
Green tea may well be the best way to get your caffeine for weight loss. Though green tea does contain caffeine, it is in smaller amounts than many other beverages. In addition, the caffeine in green tea seems to be better tolerated by the caffeine sensitive than other caffeinated beverages. This is thought to be because of the anti-oxidants in green tea.
These anti-oxidants, in addition to making the caffeine less of a problem, also offer a myriad of health benefits. Green tea’s anti-oxidants have been shown to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease and some forms of cancer. So, even if you don’t lose weight from drinking green tea, it’s a healthy habit to add to your diet.
But, the best news is that in addition to being healthy and well tolerated by the caffeine sensitive, it may just be that green tea is the best way to get your caffeine for weight loss. This is because studies have shown that green tea is more effective in promoting weight loss than other caffeinated beverages. The combination of caffeine and green tea’s anti-oxidants appears to be more effective in promoting weight loss than caffeine alone.
One important study on this subject was reported by the Obesity Research Group. In this study, ninety overweight men and women were studied. First, the group was put on a low calorie diet for four weeks. The subjects were divided between low caffeine consumers and high caffeine consumers. At the end of the four week diet period, the subjects were placed on a weight maintenance program.
During this weight maintenance period, subjects either received a green tea/caffeine supplement or a placebo. Within the groups, both high caffeine consumers and low caffeine consumers were given the green tea/caffeine supplement. The weight maintenance period lasted for 3 months.
At the end of the study, the results were as follows:
o Caffeine consumers overall seemed to have higher satiety levels and lower leptin levels, which helped speed weight loss.
o During the weight loss period, caffeine consumers lost more weight than non-caffeine consumers.
o During the weight maintenance period, the low caffeine consumers who received the green tea/caffeine supplement kept off more weight than the low caffeine consumers who received the placebo. In fact, many of them continued to lose weight.
o During the weight maintenance period, the high caffeine consumers who received the green tea/caffeine supplement did not report a significantly higher success rate in keeping the weight off than those high caffeine consumers receiving the placebo.
While more research is needed to truly determine how green tea and caffeine can help with weight loss and maintenance, it does appear that consuming green tea and other forms of caffeine can help you lose weight. In particular, caffeine and green tea may be especially effective for those who don’t consume a great deal of caffeine on a regular basis. And, since green tea is a form of caffeine that is well tolerated by most caffeine sensitive people, green tea may be the best way to use caffeine as a weight loss aid.
You have nothing to lose by adding green tea to your diet. It’s healthy, refreshing and has no side effects. And even those who are sensitive to other forms of caffeine can usually drink green tea without experiencing unpleasant side effects. So, see if green tea can help you in your efforts to lose weight!
by Jon Stout