Today I want to talk about caffeine and belly fat. You may think that if you drink more caffeine you will have a faster metabolism and therefore be slimmer, but please take a look at this….
I was looking for quotes about coffee and liked this one by Lewis Black as it’s one I feel a lot of people will relate to:
‘ I love coffee because it gives me the illusion I might be awake’
But could your coffee be playing havoc with your efforts to lose weight? Is there a link between caffeine and belly fat?
I was with a client of mine yesterday who is 4 months post natal and last week she decided to cut caffeine out of her diet. She has lost 2.5kg OF FAT in 2 weeks having lost only a small amount in previous weeks.
She is very sensible about what she eats and has been religious in doing exercises I have given her to do at home, and walking. So could elimination of caffeine be how she has done this?
For anyone trying to shift a few pesky pounds of belly fat, it’s worth looking at caffeine intake…
Caffeine is addictive, and many people need to get their daily fix each morning.
Caffeine has a twelve hour ‘half-life’, meaning that it takes twenty-four hours to leave your system, which is why you crave it every day as levels subside.
So here’s the science of the link between caffeine and belly fat
Tea, coffee and caffeinated energy drinks work by stimulating the delicate adrenal glands on top of your kidneys to release adrenaline.
This is the ‘fight or flight’ hormone, which increases your mental alertness and heartbeat, pumps blood into your muscles and takes blood away from your digestive system.
A problem of stimulating adrenaline release is that it increases levels of cortisol circulating the body, which is the stress hormone that encourages fat to be stored around your middle.
Your body doesn’t know the difference between an onslaught of caffeine and being faced with impending danger, such as a lion attack.
Your stress response is the same. And if you’re an already a busy stressed-out kind of person or somebody who suffers with anxiety, then caffeine is going to make it so much worse.
This is also relevant to mums in the early post natal months.
Caffeine can cause a hormone to be released which affects your nervous system and brain, called noreprinephrine.
This gives some people those familiar jitters and shakes after drinking too much coffee!
Digestive discomfort may follow , as stress hormones divert blood away from digesting food.
Drinking caffeine also places strain on your liver, which must work to process it. Too much will place excess pressure on it, which will slow down the rate at which your liver can burn fat and neutralise other toxins.
I love a coffee too, and one of my treats is a Flat White with Oatly from Grounded just down the road from the studio in St Margaret’s.
I don’t make it a daily treat but its very tempting!
Herbal teas and caffeine-free teas like rooibos, are a great alternative as they also contain healthy antioxidants.
I would opt for peppermint, ginger and cinnamon teas. to replace some of those coffees.
I hope this has been helpful in explaining how caffeine may be affecting your attempts to lose weight.
If you would like to discuss how I can help guide your nutrition towards your goals please call 07946 256982, or book a free consultion on this link.
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Rachel Law is a personal fitness trainer based in New Malden, Surrey. Qualifications: ActivIQ Level 3 Personal Training; Burrell Education Pregnancy Exercise Prescription; Burrell Education Advanced Pregnancy Wellness Practitioner; Burrell Education Advanced Post Natal Exercise Prescription; Burrell Education 3rd Age Women Optimal Health and Nutrition; Burrell Education Peri Natal Athlete; Burrell Education Pelvic Flow and Freedom; Olympic Weight Lifting; Premier Global Kettlebells; FIE Level Assessment and Mentoring