Coffee has long been known to help with weight loss. It revs up your metabolism and decreases your sense of hunger.
That’s why part of the advice I often give to my patients who have a hard time controlling their appetites is to drink a cup of coffee 30 minutes before each meal. It usually helps a lot.
But what I didn’t realize was there’s one type of coffee that works better than all the others at helping you lose weight.
Researchers recently wondered whether it was the caffeine in coffee or something else that helps to control appetites. So they performed an interesting study.
They took 11 healthy men between the ages of 18-28. All of the men were slightly to moderately overweight. Then they gave each of the men test solutions containing either pure caffeine in water, caffeinated coffee, decaffeinated coffee, or plain water.
On different occasions each one of the men drank each of the test solutions. After they drank the solution, the researchers measured their perceived sense of hunger and fullness.
The researchers also measured the hormone that the body makes in response to eating – peptide YY (PYY). PYY is a hormone that tells the body that it has had enough food. It basically turns off the appetite.
What They Found Was Surprising
The caffeine in water had no effects on either hunger or PYY levels. Apparently, caffeine by itself doesn’t work. The caffeinated coffee was different. The men who drank it had a decrease in their appetites and an increase in PYY as expected.
But here’s the surprise:
The best test solution turned out to be the decaffeinated coffee. It resulted in the highest levels of PYY and the most significant decrease in appetite. The levels of PYY stayed elevated for 90 minutes after drinking the decaffeinated coffee.
The authors stated, “These findings suggest that one or more non-caffeine ingredients in coffee may have the potential to decrease body weight.”
What You Can Do
This is great news for those who are sensitive to caffeine and can’t drink caffeinated coffee. But it’s also helpful for anyone wanting to lose weight.
If you are among the many people who have a poor control of your appetite, it may be because your body does not produce PYY as well as it should.
In that case, you might find that taking a cup of decaffeinated coffee about 30-60 minutes before you eat is just the ticket.
And one last thing. Always buy organic coffee! The non-organic type is way too loaded with pesticide levels. You don’t need to be drinking that.
Greenberg, J.A. and A. Geliebter. “Coffee, hunger, and peptide YY,” J Am Coll Nutr. 2012 June;31(3):160-6.