It seems like everyone these days is looking for a way to lose weight quickly and easily. A dietary magic bullet that translates into big weight loss without any hard work is top of many peoples dream list, and who could blame them? Obesity rates are sky rocketing, and dieting is not an easy task. It takes a lot longer to lose it than it does to gain it, and losing weight can be a frustrating struggle.
For this reason, a billion dollar industry has grown up around diet aids, with many companies peddling the next big thing when it comes to weight loss, from fad diet plans to nutritional supplements that are sure to melt the pounds away while you eat all the junk food you can handle.
Perennial Diet Aid
These things come in and out of fashion, but one thing they all have in common is that they all promise to speed up your metabolism, the system in your body responsible for burning calories, storing fat and releasing the fat reserves you already have. One such diet aid that refuses to go away is caffeine.
For years, people have said that caffeine can speed up your metabolism and help you lose weight, but is it really true? Could your cup of coffee hold the key to your weight loss triumph?
Fatty Enzyme Burner
As it turns out, the answer is maybe, just a little bit. There is evidence that caffeine does increase the rate of your metabolism in the short term. When it is in your blood stream, caffeine tends to keep fatty enzyme in your blood for longer, which causes your metabolism to burn them instead of storing them.
Plus, the caffeine itself is a stimulant, which by its nature speeds up your metabolism. A cup of coffee many indeed help you burn some extra calories.
The real question becomes, then, if the risks associated with consuming too much caffeine are outweighed by the weight loss benefits it can provide. The answer to that one is, probably not. The effects of caffeine on your metabolism are short lived. Once the caffeine is out of your body, your metabolism returns to a normal pace.
The actual boost in metabolism from a safe level of caffeine may be negligible as well. Some diet pills include more caffeine than you would normally consume through caffeinated beverages, but even these pills may not be able to deliver enough caffeine to really make a noticeable effect.
Further, when youre playing with increased dosages of caffeine, you are inviting in negative consequences of caffeine consumption, including putting a big strain on your heart. For some people, especially those with heart problems or those on thyroid medication, caffeine can present a serious danger.
If you want to lose weight, alas, caffeine may not be that wonder drug youve been looking for. Theres no harm in keeping the coffee in your diet, and you may get a boost of a few extra calories from it. However, for long term, sustained weight loss, healthy eating and exercise are the only way to go to keep you metabolism fired up.
Photo by Mirko Tobias Schaefer, Creative Commons License.