Coffee Is Making You Fat
Americans swill down an amazing 400 million cups of coffee a day. This is in addition to the massive energy drink business- an amazing $10 billion in sales in 2010. Caffeine is the most popular psychoactive drug in the entire world. A friend in his fifties works out, eats well, and looks good. He started drinking just one single cup of coffee a day. He loved the stimulant and euphoric effect it had. After a while, he noticed that maybe 3 or 4 hours after drinking a cup of coffee he had a ravenous hunger. He would then eat a small meal he would normally not eat. This added a good 600 to 800 calories a day to his caloric intake. Not surprisingly, he gained five pounds no matter how hard he worked out and how well he ate. These five pounds were concentrated right in his waist and stomach. His blood sugar level had soared to 95. His GTT (glucose tolerance test) came back at 120 rather than about 100. His insulin and blood sugar were out of control. He finally had to give the coffee up, and soon went back to his usual 170 pounds at six feet. That was the only change he had to make.
An issue of Woman’s World had an article on the cover "Is Coffee Making You Fat?" The article was very enlightening. The owner of a famous and ritzy New York City restaurant started drink-ing coffee at the age of 30 to give her energy for her busy day of food management. She started eating more every day, and got fat as a pig. She joined weight loss groups, and went on diets with no results. As long as she drank the coffee she kept getting fatter. She finally went to a holistic nutritionist who told her to stop drinking any coffee at all. She gave up the coffee and starting eating better foods. Her hunger was reduced, and she went back to her normal weight in about six months. Only change she made.
Science proves that coffee is associated with a lot of behaviors known to cause weight gain, like sleeplessness and stress. A major cause of poor sleep is insulin resistance. (This means your cells no longer respond well to normal levels of insulin.) Countless people have found they gained weight when drinking coffee or energy drinks, but just couldn't imagine the connection. Even though caffeine is a stimulant, it increases your appetite in the end. Other natural plant stimulants like guarana and yerba mate still contain the same amount of caffeine. If used daily they will cause the same effects over time. Ephedrine is much stronger and should not be used at all. Ephedrine is chemically only one atom away from amphetamine. Cocaine is the most overrated and addictive drug on earth. “Natural” doesn’t mean it is good for you. Nature produces an abundance of poisons.
Caffeine also makes us desire high calorie, sugary, and fatty foods. This was studied in a clinical setting where subjects were given coffee, tea, or cola. Only the coffee drinkers chose higher fat foods like bacon, eggs, and butter. Just consider the fact coffee just doesn't "go with" healthy low-fat foods like green salads, fresh fruit, or a bowl of oatmeal. Caffeine raises our insulin and blood sugar. Caffeine causes insulin resistance. Elevated insulin is the major metabolic factor in obesity. High insulin and blood sugar wrecks your health and shortens your life. Read the two insulin articles in our library. Often, regular coffee and energy drink users can't sleep well. Lack of good sleep further raises insulin levels. It gets worse... coffee also raises cortisol levels. We all know cortisol is the "stress hormone". High levels have very negative effects. The ideal is low normal cortisol levels.
This column has covered the dangers of coffee and caffeine previously in Is Coffee Great or What? Heart and artery disease, high cholesterol, higher cancer rates, arthritis and inflammation, obesity, poor sleep, and reduced lifespan are just some of problems proven to be connected with drinking coffee, or using any form of caffeine daily.
Over time caffeine can also stimulate your aromatase activity. This raises your "bad" estrogens estradiol and estrone in both men and women. High estrogens also make you fat no matter how well you eat and how much you exercise. Now you have high insulin, high blood sugar, and high estrogens really packing on the pounds.
The real problem is that caffeine is highly ADDICTIVE. Heck, everyone drinks it. It is the MOST popular psychoactive drug in the world by far. People who drink coffee or energy drinks daily are physically dependent on it; they're hooked. They don't have a choice anymore, but they won't admit this is, in fact, an addiction. Addiction to anything is enslavement, even caffeine. The fact it is legal, cheap, available everywhere, and all too popular is simply irrelevant.
What can you do to stop? Wanting to stop is the first step. You must want to stop being addicted. Yes, caffeine feels great. Yes, you can do a lot of work, and often you can do even better work on coffee. Yes, coffee is a national passion, and accepted by all levels of our society. Yes, everyone else is hooked. Coffee drinkers feel they somehow have a common bond.
There are no Magic Fixes. You just have to stop. You can drink herb tea, decaffeinated green tea, or something else to have something hot to drink at work. Regular tea is full of caffeine and still very unhealthy. Remember the old saying? "It seems everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening". It fits here. One friend stopped his addiction over six months by saying the positive affirmation, "I am free of caffeine addiction". (Please read the article Affirmative Prayer in our library.) There are no Caffeine Anonymous groups to attend every week. There should be. The fact Alcoholics Anonymous always has a big coffee pot is a disgrace.