Coffee for Fat Loss

I love coffee. In fact I have an obsession with it and won’t go a day without it if I can avoid it. Most days I have around 3 cups of coffee, most of which I consume before noon. When you work in the fitness industry you get up early and work late. Coffee is a big part of making that work.

The truth is that I actually didn’t start drinking coffee until I was twenty one. I didn’t like the taste and was raised on soft drinks so I had no need for it. At some point in time I decided that it was a good time to stop drinking soft drinks and started drinking coffee. The problem was I didn’t like the taste, which meant I used lots of creamer and sugar which left me with… a sugary drink (soft drink). After realizing that I had switched one sugary beverage for another I started drinking my coffee black and haven’t looked back.

A question I commonly get from people wanting to lose bodyfat is, “is coffee bad for me”. This is an excellent question! At times coffee has been demonized and we have been told that it is terrible. Other times we are told that it is a miracle elixir that cures all ailments. <—- The Truth. It gets as much attention as the age old red meat debate and it is hard to make sense of all of the conflicting information.

First lets explore what coffee is. “Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans, which are the seeds of berries from the Coffea plant. The Coffea plant is native to subtropical Africa and some islands in southern Asia.[2] The plant was exported from Africa to countries around the world and coffee plants are now cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in the equatorial regions of the Americas, Southeast Asia, India, and Africa. The two most commonly grown are the highly regarded arabica, and the less sophisticated but stronger and more hardy robusta. Once ripe, coffee beans are picked, processed, and dried. Green (unroasted) coffee beans are one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world. Once traded, the coffee beans are roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor. Roasted beans are ground and brewed to produce coffee as a beverage.” So if we stick with the logical advice of trying to eat things that come straight from the ground then coffee wins!

Back to our dilemma. Is coffee bad for you? And if it’s not is it good for someone who is trying to lose bodyfat? That’s what really matters for our purpose. If it’s not bad for us then it needs to help us or at least not prevent the loss of bodyfat. Thankfully coffee is absolutely not bad for you. According to the Harvard Researcher Sanjiv Chopra it can protect against heart disease, liver cancer and type 2 diabetes.

Now to the fat loss.  The most important piece for us. Multiple studies have shown that coffee can help increase Metabolic Rate (calories we burn at rest) and mobilize fat from fat tissues. Both of these are very important for fat loss. A higher RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) means we will burn more calories throughout the day regardless of what we do. Mobilizing fat from fat tissues can help facilitate the actual loss of fat cells. Neither of these are bad things.

It is important to note that more is not better with the use of coffee and that these were small increases in RMR. Coffee will not be a magic bullet that will have you losing 5% of your bodyfat with no work. The point is that coffee will absolutely not hinder fat loss and according to these studies will give you a little help. If you already drink coffee keep it up! Most of the information says that no more than 3 cups a day is recommended and to keep it away from the time you are trying to sleep.

“Coffee is the common man’s gold, and like gold, it brings to every person the feeling of luxury and nobility.” – Sheik-Abd-al-Kadir