Yes and no. Coffee is an interesting concept – and we say “concept” and not “bean” or “plant” because coffee has become such an intertwined part of our daily routine. Most of us are addicted to this aromatic little bean and don’t even realize the hold it has on our lives. The intoxicating smells, the inviting bitterness, the high induced from the caffeine, or perhaps just the ritual of preparing it? In any case, this little plant is not going anywhere anytime soon. So should coffee be part of your weight loss meal plan?
Many advocates tout the bean’s health benefits, citing the rich antioxidant content and the metabolic boost. However, the massive lobby behind coffee has virtually unlimited channels in which to push and market this relatively new spin on it. Many articles, blog posters, and even seemingly legitimate sources for information can be traced to having some sort of beneficial relationship with the coffee industry. Americans consume 146 billion cups of coffee each year -this is a giant industry and a force to be reckoned with.
The truth is, coffee is unhealthy overall. There are countless other sources for quality antioxidants and the metabolic boost caused by the caffeine content is actually counterproductive to any weight loss meal plan.
Coffee is oil based. Yes it is very thin, and legally free of fat, but if you let your carafe go unwashed for a few days, you will see a build up of coffee grime. Let your carafe go unwashed for a few more days and you will see a build up of a coffee tar. The oily little bean leaves stains and residues wherever it goes, including your stomach and intestines. In fact, combined with the acidity of coffee, the drink actually leaves a mucus-like film in your small intestines that grows thicker and tougher with each pot of coffee. This in turn leads to poor digestion, gas, bloating and constipation. And how do most Americans respond to these symptoms? With more coffee!
Coffee has a stimulating effect due to it’s caffeine content. Most people immediately connect caffeine with energy, and an increase in metabolism (the rate at which we burn calories). And yes, this holds somewhat true for certain coffee drinkers. However what is frequently ignored is that coffee boosts cortisol production, especially in the morning. Cortisol is a hormone that controls fat and muscle loss and gain. Cortisol levels peak in the morning when you first wake up, and drop when you first eat. It’s a stress hormone, so the higher the levels, the more stress your body thinks it is experiencing. In times of stress, our body’s natural reaction is to store fat and utilize protein (muscle) for energy (blood glucose). So a boost in cortisol halts fat loss and boosts your AM catabolism (muscle breakdown). Drinking coffee on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning is one of the most counterproductive things to do in weight loss meal plan. In fact, you would lose more fat, and preserve more muscle not eating anything at all!
Should Coffee be part of your Weight Loss Meal Plan?
Coffee can be a part of your diet but should be avoided when possible. Drinking it in the middle of day or with a meal is fine. But certainly the most common habit of drinking coffee first thing in the morning should be avoided at all costs. It’s not commonly talked about, but it’s effect on bowel movements can be replaced with a high fiber protein shake, or even just warm water with lemon. And your body will adapt to the new changes within a couple of weeks and you will be more regular than ever before. By freeing yourself from this drug, you are allowing cortisol levels to drop and thus allowing fat loss to rise, improving digestion, reducing gas and bloat, and getting the most out of your weight loss meal plan.