The ultimate science based guide to using caffeine for weight loss
Hey, and welcome to my science based guide that will show you exactly how to use caffeine for weight loss to get the highest possible fat burn boost from it.
While most people rely on caffeine to kick-start their day, caffeine is also one of the rare few fat burners that have actually been proven to work by modern science.
But if caffeine can actually help you lose weight, then why isn't every coffee lover on this planet proudly walking around in a zero-fat body?
Before we turn to science for answers, take a quick look at what you can expect to learn from this guide:
Let's dive right in.
Lose 1-2 lbs (0.5-1 kg) of weight overnight
Caffeine can speed up the release of water from your body (by making you sweat more and forcing you to visit the loo more often).
In one study, people drank water mixed with caffeine. Those people lost 1-2 lbs (0.5-1 kg) of water weight in just 24 hours.
But the doses of caffeine used in that study were pretty high. In other words, you'd have to drink down about 7 cups of coffee to get in that much caffeine (which is way above the FDA's recommendation of 1-2 cups per day).
In another study, they used smaller doses of caffeine. The doses were still high, but people got in "only" about 2-3 cups of coffee. In smaller doses, caffeine was no longer powerful enough to help people get rid of any water weight.
So there you go. While it's possible to get rid of some water weight with caffeine, you can only do it with dangerously high doses. Besides, losing water weight can't really help you in the long run. As soon as caffeine leaves your body, any water weight you might have lost will return over time.
What you really want, is to use caffeine to laser-target that stubborn body fat. So let's take a look at the science behind that.
Do caffeine and weight loss go hand in hand?
One study has shown caffeine increases your calorie burn rate by 10-12%.
This calorie burn boost will last for at least three hours after you get that caffeine in.
Another study has shown that caffeine can increase the number of calories you burn away by 8-11%.
Now, before we take a look at how many calories you can expect to burn away in total, there's one more weight loss benefit of caffeine you need to know about.
Caffeine releases calories from your body fat reserves
Yes, caffeine can boost the release of calories from your body fat stores. Those calories are released into your blood as something called "free fatty acids".
Here's a study that proved caffeine can literally double the release of free fatty acid from your body fat reserves.
This is pretty awesome since without caffeine, you need to reach a state of full ketosis to release body fat from your reserves at such a high rate.
But there's a catch.
Unless you actually burn those released calories away, most of them will simply return to your body fat reserves over time.
So try to take caffeine before any activity that will help you burn those calories away. Running, cycling, swimming, walking, or just about any similar activity can help you wipe out those released fat-calories.
But ok, how many calories can you realistically expect to burn away with both of these fat burn benefits of caffeine?
How many extra calories can caffeine help you burn away?
According to science, caffeine can help you burn away between 80 and 150 calories per day.
Your actual number depends on how much weight you still need to lose.
If you only need to get rid of a few extra pounds, then caffeine is going to help you burn away more calories (you'll be falling closer to 150 calories per day). But if you have a lot of weight to lose, then caffeine won't work as well (you can count on burning away closer to 80 extra calories per day).
But keep in mind that the doses of caffeine they used in the study were pretty high (about 6 cups of coffee per day). So, when you're thinking about the weight loss benefits of caffeine, make sure to think about your health as well.
Here's one more thing caffeine can do for you.
Caffeine can bring down your appetite and hunger
In one study, they discovered caffeine can help you eat less calories.
When men drank down caffeine before their meals, they automatically started eating 22% less calories.
Why do I only mention men? Because for the women in the study, caffeine didn't help reduce their appetite (if you're a woman reading this, then I'm sorry).
But it is true that the women in the study ate 40% less calories than men (even when neither of them took caffeine). So their low desire for food from the get-go could have been the reason why caffeine caouldn't drop their appetite any further.
Let's take a look at yet another benefit of caffeine for weight loss.
Caffeine can help you stay away from fattening junk
Science says, caffeine can also help reduce your impulsivity.
In other words, the next time you're on a weight loss diet, caffeine could save you from ruining your fat loss progress by impulsivelly stuffing your face with fattening junk.
And while this can't directly help you burn away more calories, any psychological advantage that can improve your chances of staying on the wagon is more than welcome.
On to how much caffeine you actually need to speed up you fat burn rate.
The minimum effective dose of caffeine for faster weight loss
While you definitely want to stay on the safe side with caffeine (remember, FDA recommends not to drink more than 1-2 cups per day), you also need to get in enough caffeine to kick your body into fat burn mode.
In one study , they tested if caffeine can help you burn away any extra body fat at very small doses (50 milligrams).
The scientists discovered, that 50 mg of caffeine wasn't enough to trigger ANY extra fat loss in the human body.
50 mg of caffeine comes down to about one small cup of coffee, so if you want to accelerate your fat burn rate with caffeine, you need to drink down at least 1 cup of coffee (based on the other caffeine studies in this article).
On to one of the most common mistakes people make when trying to use caffeine for fat burn.
Avoid this mistake when taking caffeine for weight loss
If you're not careful about how you're getting that caffeine in, you could easily ruin any benefits of caffeine for weight loss.
Adding just a few tablespoons of sugar to your morning coffee could bring way more calories to the table than caffeine could ever help you burn.
If you enjoy your coffee with whipped cream, you should know that whipped cream can contain even more calories than pure sugar.
So, to avoid any nasty surprises, always make sure you're getting your caffeine in with as few calories as possible.
If you can, drink your coffee black, or at least use a low-calorie sweetener like Splenda. Pick a zero-calorie energy drink like Rockstar Zero Carb (my personal favorite).
Whenever possible, check the nutrition labels to find out how many calories you'll be getting in with your caffeine.
As you saw, plenty of research has been done to prove that caffeine and weight loss do go hand in hand.
And while caffeine can double the release of calories from your body fat reserves, boost your calorie burn rate, and reduce your appetite and impulsivity, you still can't expect any overnight weight loss miracles.
You also have to be careful about how many calories you're getting in with your caffeine.
Put a little too much sugar (or cream) in your coffee, or drink an energy drink with too many calories, and you could easily ruin any weight loss benefits of caffeine.
Other than that, caffeine remains one of the rare few weight loss supplements that have actually been proven to work for weight loss.