‘Caffeine makes it easier to lose weight’ but diet expert issues warning over consumption

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With so many rapid weight loss diets, and products claiming to burn fat quickly, it can be difficult to know what does and doesn’t work. Express.co.uk spoke to Clinical pharmacist and nutrition researcher, Mike Wakeman from CurraNZ about caffeine and whether it can help someone lose weight. 

Coffee contains caffeine, and it is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world according to Healthline. 

Caffeine is also included in most commercial fat-burning supplements available to buy on the diet market. 

Moreover, it’s one of the few substances known to help mobilise fats from fat tissues and increase metabolism.

But does caffeine help someone lose weight? 

Mike said: “Caffeine can raise metabolic rate by up to 10 percent, which can make it easier to lose weight. 

“Caffeine also makes you feel more alert so can make you more active when you might otherwise feel tired hence boosting your energy expenditure. 

“Caffeine also boosts body fat oxidation through increasing the hormone noradrenaline (norepinephrine) which mobilises body fat. 

“Some evidence shows that caffeine can blunt appetite. 

“The effects of caffeine are likely to be quite small overall,” he added. 

As for how much caffeine can be consumed in a day, guidelines suggest up to 400mg a day. 

There is roughly 140mg of caffeine in a mug of filter coffee, whereas a mug of instant coffee contains 100mg of caffeine. 

An energy drink has 80mg of caffeine while a mug of tea has around 75mg of caffeine. 

A can of cola has 40mg of caffeine whilst a small chocolate bar has 25-50mg of caffeine. 

For anyone looking to lose weight healthily and sustainably, Mike explained: “You need to eat and drink fewer calories than you burn. 

“If you take in more calories than you burn, you won’t lose weight. 

“Whilst people may try many types of diet, if a person loses weight on any diet, they will – whether they realise it or not – have taken in fewer calories than they have burnt. 

“A person can create a calorie deficit by reducing the number of calories they eat, increasing their activity levels, or both. 

“Exercising is important as this helps you to maximise body fat loss whilst minimising lean tissue (muscle) loss,” he added. 

With so many diets claiming to see rapid weight loss results, Mike revealed what a healthy amount of weight to lose in three months is. 

He explained: “A safe, healthy, and realistic goal is to lose 0.5 to one percent of your body weight per week, which is around one to two pounds (0.5 to 1k) of weight loss per week for most people. 

“Expect to lose 0.8 to 1.7st (6-12kg) in a three month period.”

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