Should You Skip the Gym and Head to the Local Coffee Shop?

Caffeine and Weight Loss

Is it really dangerous to rely on caffeine or other stimulants to aid weight loss? For most people, there is probably nothing wrong with having a cup of coffee in the morning, but you shouldn’t be relying on coffee or increasing your caffeine consumption under the misguided impression that it will help you lose weight.

The Truth about Caffeine

Caffeine can speed up your body in many ways. If caffeine keeps you awake and allows you to skip an afternoon nap and you exercise instead, then, of course, you might end up losing weight. Relying on caffeine, however, to help you make it through each day and to lose weight is unhealthy.

You May Not Realize How Much You’re Getting

Many people are surprised when they find out just how much caffeine is in the foods that they consume. Most of us know that dark-colored colas contain caffeine. What many of us don’t know is that some light-colored or orange sodas actually contain caffeine as well.

Even decaffeinated coffee and decaf tea still contain some caffeine. And chocolate is another source of caffeine. That’s right -- all those bite-sized chocolate candies you eat contain caffeine.

Too Much Can Hurt You

Too much caffeine is harmful to the human body. There is some evidence to indicate that caffeine fuels the growth of cancerous cells. Caffeine also accelerates heart rate.

Caffeine has been shown to have a minimal effect on weight loss but only in individuals who exercise and also follow a low-fat diet. So if you are a couch potato and haven’t made efforts to improve your diet, you probably won’t receive any of the limited weight loss benefits caffeine may offer.

Many experts feel there is no need to give up your morning cup of coffee if you enjoy it, but don’t go crazy and drink coffee and iced coffee all day long under the mistaken impression you are going to lose weight. Caffeine may be fine in moderation, but it is definitely not a legitimate substitute for proper diet and exercise.

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