162: Does Coffee Make You Gain Weight?

Apr 7, 2016

If you are a regular listener to the podcast, you know I am a huge coffee fan. It’s true. I drink a lot of coffee and I drink it every single day. But here’s the reality: coffee might be holding you back. Less coffee might actually help you lose weight.

It’s true – and what I want to do in today’s episode is help you find what is true for you:

  • does coffee make you gain weight?
  • is coffee helping your weight loss efforts?
  • would you be better off with less coffee?
  • are you ok right where you’re at?
  • how can you minimize the negative effects of caffeine?

We’ll talk about the impacts of coffee & caffeine on your hormones, how to know if you’re having too much and simple changes you can make to enjoy your coffee without compromising your weight loss goals. I’ve also linked to some super helpful resources below including one of my favorite coffees, a high-quality water filter and some books about understanding the impact of things like coffee on your hormones.

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Does Coffee Make You Gain Weight?

Let me first say that there is no one set answer for everyone. The goal of this podcast episode is to help you find YOUR answer because I am certain your body is telling you!

Caffeine from coffee, tea, sodas or any source drives your body’s stress response by increasing the stress hormone cortisol.

Your answer is going to depend on your body’s unique ability to metabolize caffeine, your sensitivity to stress and your baseline cortisol level.

Here are some signs that your stress response system might be on overdrive and you could benefit from dialing back your caffeine (coffee):

  • Feeling “wired but tired” – exhausted but unable to turn off your mind or slow down your thoughts enough to sleep
  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Anxiety
  • Heightened emotional responses
  • Cravings for sugar, starch or sweets, especially after a meal
  • Irritability
  • Overeating in response to stress

Caffeine consumption triggers the production of cortisol by your adrenal glands. It also suppresses the production of adenosine, which helps you stay calm and depletes your “feel good” chemicals like serotonin.

When we chronically elevate cortisol, we can see the following impacts:

  • Reduced metabolic rate
  • Increased carbohydrate cravings
  • Increased belly fat storage
  • Blood sugar instability
  • Increased hunger

There are also important considerations regarding the quality of the coffee you drink. When the water in our coffee or the coffee itself contains toxins, that impairs fat loss. Here are some recommendations to improve the quality of your coffee:

  • Use a water filter (my recommendation is below under “Resources”)
  • Buy single origin coffee
  • Avoid drinking decaf coffee (it has more toxins)


Aquasana Counter Top Water Filter

Kicking Horse Coffee

The Hormone Reset Diet (Book)

The Hormone Cure (Book)

Episode 046: Water Quality

Box Breathing for Lower Stress

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