Many on the journey of weight loss have likely heard of the potential benefits of caffeine as a supplement to aid in shedding excess pounds. However, a comprehensive understanding of its effectiveness during a weight loss regimen is often lacking.
Here’s an interesting study I’ve found from 2014. A study conducted by nutritional scientists from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Iran has shed light on this matter, revealing that caffeine can play a pivotal role in accelerating weight loss when integrated into a slimming diet.
The Study at a Glance
The study involved 60 women with a BMI ranging from 25 to 40. These women embarked on a calorie shifting diet spanning six weeks. This diet strategy alternated between a calorie intake of 1350 kilocalories per day for 11 days, followed by three days of unrestricted eating. This cycle was repeated three times during the six weeks. Subsequently, the participants followed a calorie maintenance diet for an additional four weeks, which ultimately amounted to a 10-week experiment.
What set this study apart was that half of the women incorporated caffeine supplementation into their diet throughout the entire 10-week period. The caffeine dosage administered equated to 5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day, with the caffeine dissolved in water for consumption.
These are the results:
The outcomes of this study were nothing short of remarkable. Women who adhered to the weight loss diet without caffeine supplementation experienced an average weight loss of 5.2 kilograms over the course of the study. In contrast, those who included caffeine in their diet witnessed an astonishing weight loss of 12.1 kilograms, more than doubling the weight loss achieved without caffeine.
When it came to fat loss, caffeine once again emerged as a potent ally. Participants who followed the diet without caffeine experienced a fat loss of 4.3 kilograms. Conversely, those who supplemented with caffeine saw their fat mass diminish by an impressive 9.6 kilograms.
In terms of lean body mass preservation, the caffeine group triumphed, losing only 2.5 kilograms, compared to the non-caffeine group, which lost nearly one kilogram of lean body mass.
Unveiling the Mechanism
The study also sought to uncover the mechanisms at play behind caffeine’s weight loss acceleration. Resting calorie expenditure (RMR) decreased during the initial six weeks in both groups, though this reduction was not statistically significant. However, it was observed that caffeine supplementation appeared to mitigate this decrease in calorie consumption.
Furthermore, it also exhibited the ability to reduce the women’s sense of hunger. This effect was especially pronounced in the last four weeks of the study, suggesting that caffeine might contribute to reduced calorie intake by curbing appetite.
The study’s findings suggest that a calorie shifting diet can effectively reduce both body weight and fat mass over a six-week period, with these effects persisting for at least one month. However, the introduction of caffeine supplementation during and after the calorie shifting diet regimen produced a more consistent weight loss profile, even during the follow-up period. Additionally, resting metabolic rate did not significantly decrease during the calorie shifting diet, hinting that a higher metabolic rate may be a key factor in sustained weight loss with this diet strategy.
In summary, caffeine can be a valuable adjunct to a weight loss journey when combined with a calorie shifting diet. Its ability to enhance fat loss, preserve lean body mass, and reduce hunger makes it a promising supplement for those seeking to accelerate their progress towards a healthier weight. While the study results are promising, it’s important to remember that individual responses to caffeine/coffee may vary, and consulting a healthcare professional before incorporating caffeine into your diet is advisable, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions.