Coffee is one of the most consumed types of beverages worldwide, with millions of people drinking it to start off their day. Some may even say that they can’t function properly without having a cup of coffee first and it’s not really all that surprising.
After all, coffee offers several health benefits such as antioxidants, improved cognitive function, and the ability to reduce the risk for certain diseases like diabetes and dementia. Aside from this, another possible benefit of coffee is that it can aid people who are trying to lose weight.
How so? Well, coffee can serve as a way to suppress your appetite and make you feel less hungry. Nevertheless, how can you use coffee as an appetite suppressant?
With that said, discover how coffee acts as an appetite suppressant and why is that so. Also, learn how you can make the most out of coffee’s appetite suppressant properties below.
Hunger vs Appetite: What’s the Difference?
Before we dive into the details of how to use coffee as an appetite suppressant, let’s first identify what the differences are between hunger and appetite. This will give you a clearer picture of why suppressing your appetite can help you in your weight loss journey.
The main difference between hunger and appetite is that hunger is physiological. It involves a complex system of both hormonal and physical signals that help us recognize when it’s time to eat.
It involves several of the body’s most important organs like the stomach, brain, pancreas, and even the nervous system. The process also includes two primary hormones, ghrelin and leptin, which contribute to the body’s hunger signals.
Ghrelin is a hormone that increases one’s appetite and gastric acid secretion. Before meals, the body’s ghrelin levels are high because of the body’s low sugar level and the stomach’s emptiness. When the body’s ghrelin levels are high enough, we feel hunger, signaling to us that it’s time to eat.
On the other hand, when we have taken in enough food to function, the body secretes leptin which inhibits the hunger signals. This helps us identify when we need to stop eating.
Satiating hunger means that you eat enough to maintain the energy levels the body needs to function properly.
On the other hand, appetite refers to one’s desire to eat. While it can be caused by hunger, it’s often influenced by other factors like environmental conditions and your emotional state. For example, feelings of stress and anxiety can affect your appetite, either increasing or decreasing it.
Appetite can also be a type of learned behavior. An example would be eating at the same time each day is often the result of appetite, not hunger. Appetite also plays a large role when it comes to cravings and weight loss.
If you want to find out whether your current feelings are actual hunger or simply your appetite, you can do a test to find out.
To do this, you can think about a healthy food item that, while you don’t hate, you don’t particularly love either. Consider whether at the moment, you’ll consider eating it or you’d prefer something else.
If you choose to eat that item, regardless of your preference, what you’re feeling is probably hunger. If you’d rather have something else, it’s probably just your appetite.
Appetite, Cravings, and Weight Loss
As many people can attest to you, losing weight is not an easy task, despite how some people make it seem. This is because, depending on your current state, losing weight can involve several major lifestyle changes, particularly when it comes to your diet and physical activity.
Undergoing a strict diet and engaging in more physical activity can be considered more bearable than, say, suppressing your appetite. This is especially true when you’re experiencing intense food cravings.
As many can tell you, food cravings that increase your appetite for certain food items are considered a lot harder to endure than convincing yourself to eat more healthily or exercise more frequently.
Because of this, your weight loss journey can become a lot more difficult. This is where coffee comes in.
Coffee as an Appetite Suppressant
As mentioned, coffee offers a lot of benefits, especially when it comes to one’s health. Not only is it rich in antioxidants that can reduce the risk for certain diseases like heart disease and cancer, but it’s also a great way to boost one’s energy levels and improve cognitive brain function.
Another major benefit of coffee is that it’s a natural appetite suppressant. Drinking coffee when on a diet can help you control those food cravings as it can help suppress your appetite for a short time.
As such, it can aid people who want to lose weight as they will feel less hungry when they drink coffee. Because of this, you’re more likely to stick to your diet and avoid indulging your food cravings that are often high in sugar and fats.
Aside from suppressing the appetite, coffee also aids weight loss because it helps stimulate the body’s thermogenesis, the process of generating heat and energy by digesting food. By doing so, the body burns more calories even while resting.
However, there are factors to consider when using coffee as an appetite suppressant. For example, the amount you drink and the type of coffee you use can influence its effectiveness as an appetite suppressant.
Caffeinated Coffee vs. Decaffeinated Coffee
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the caffeine in caffeinated coffee that makes coffee an appetite suppressant. Coffee suppresses your appetite because it contains chlorogenic acids which are a type of phytochemical compounds that help control hunger pangs and suppress your appetite.
Because of this, you don’t need to drink caffeinated coffee to integrate it into your weight loss program; decaffeinated coffee will do just fine.
In fact, some studies suggest that decaffeinated coffee is more effective as an appetite suppressant than caffeinated coffee due to its ability to stimulate the body’s production of the PYY protein.
PYY proteins are released by the cells in your body’s large intestine and they function by helping “turn off” your appetite.
Because of this, decaffeinated coffee can work better for those who want to suppress their appetite. This is especially helpful for those who are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine.
However, if you’re looking to boost your body’s metabolism, caffeinated coffee may work better because caffeine is the one responsible for stimulating the body’s metabolism, making it more efficient at burning calories.
Tips on How to Use Coffee as An Appetite Suppressant
Now that you understand how coffee works as an appetite suppressant, let’s discuss how to use it more effectively to suppress your appetite and help you lose weight.
Use the right kind of coffee beans.
As mentioned, chlorogenic acids are the compounds in coffee responsible for appetite suppression. However, the concentration of these acids greatly depends on what kind of coffee beans you’re using as some may contain a higher concentration than others.
For example, Robusta coffee beans have higher levels of CGAs (chlorogenic acids) than the usual Arabica beans. In fact, the levels of CGAs in these coffee beans also accounts for the difference in their flavors.
In several studies conducted analyzing the levels of CGAs in different types of coffee beans, many of them found that green coffee has the highest concentration of chlorogenic acids.
Roast them the right way.
While it may seem like dark roasts have higher concentrations of CGAs, it’s actually the opposite. Light roasts contain higher concentrations of chlorogenic acids because their levels typically decrease the more you roast them.
In fact, medium roasts experience a loss of CGAs by about 60% while dark roasts experience a loss of 90 to 100%.
So, if you want a longer duration of appetite suppression from drinking coffee, go for light roasts. Contrary to popular belief, they also contain higher levels of caffeine as well which can further aid your weight loss.
Proper grinding is also important.
The finer you grind your coffee beans, the higher the concentration of CGAs they will contain. However, take note that finely ground coffee beans can result in a more bitter taste, but coarse grinds can result in weaker coffee.
The more bitter taste of finely ground coffee beans could be because of the higher levels of CGAs present in them.
Brew it at the right temperature.
As many coffee lovers know, the brewing temperature of coffee can have a significant effect on the flavor and overall coffee drinking experience. However, did you know that it’s also important if you want to make the most out of coffee as an appetite suppressant?
Studies have observed that brewing coffee beans at higher temperatures tend to yield higher levels of CGAs in the final product. Therefore, the higher the brewing temperature is, the higher the concentration of CGAs in your coffee.
However, it should be noted that they also observed that brewing at extremely high temperatures, at around 250oC, caused the chlorogenic acid levels to decrease.
Therefore, the right temperature for maximum effect should be high but not too high.
Other Tips to Consider
Aside from the aforementioned tips, here are some of the other things you should take note of if you want to use coffee as an appetite suppressant and allow it to aid your weight loss journey.
1. Drink it black or with less sugar and milk.
It has been established that coffee can help with weight loss as well as provide several health benefits. However, this is only true if you drink black coffee without adding other ingredients like milk, sugar, or cream.
This is because black coffee contains no fat, calories, or cholesterol but is high in antioxidants. Caffeine also helps boost metabolism and the lack of additives can keep you more energized.
However, since not everyone can handle drinking black coffee, the next best option is to reduce the sugar and milk added to it. You can also consider options that have less calorie content like low-fat milk and sugar alternatives.
2. Drink it in moderation.
Beneficial as coffee may be for our health, this is only the case if you drink it in moderation. Even if you drink it without the additives, it can still have side effects when consumed too much. Experts suggest that you limit your coffee intake to around 2 to 4 cups per day.
Consuming more than that can result in side effects like headaches, irritability, insomnia, and heart palpitations.
3. Go for organic coffee.
Another consideration is choosing organic coffee beans for your brew. Organic coffee beans are grown and produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers or harmful chemicals. As such, they tend to have higher levels of antioxidants and chlorogenic acids which are the compounds responsible for coffee’s appetite suppression properties.
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Final Thoughts From Energetic Lifestyle
Coffee is one of the most popular and most consumed beverages in the world, with millions and millions of people preferring it over other types of beverages, especially when they need a quick energy boost during the day.
It has plenty of benefits, especially when it comes to one’s health, particularly because it’s rich in antioxidants and other compounds that have positive effects on the body. Aside from being a way to boost energy levels throughout the day, coffee can also be used as a way to help you lose weight.
This is because of its ability to suppress appetite which is particularly helpful if you’re trying to reduce your food cravings and feel less hungry while on a diet.
However, too much caffeine can have harmful side effects, so it’s recommended to limit your coffee intake to a maximum of 4 cups a day. If you’re only after coffee’s appetite suppressant properties, then decaffeinated coffee will be a better option.
Nevertheless, coffee is a widely beloved beverage, and suppressing your appetite is just one of the many benefits it can offer you and other coffee drinkers.