When it comes to losing weight, slimmers can choose from a long list of diet plans. Some may chose to follow a structured plan like the keto diet, while others may even cut seemingly unhealthy items from their diet, like caffeine and alcohol. A new study, recently published in the scientific reports, found that drinking a cup of coffee could actually help lose weight by stimulating “brown fat” – the fat in your body that keeps you warm by burning calories. The University of Nottingham study measured the effects of coffee on brown fat, and found a link to weight loss.
Scientists recorded the temperature of skin around the neck – where brown fat is usually found – before and after participants drank a cup of coffee.
Professor Michael Symonds, one of the researchers, said: “From our previous work, we knew that brown fat is mainly located in the neck region, so we were able to image someone straight after they had a drink to see if the brown fat got hotter.”
The caffeinated drink did make the brown fat hotter, suggesting that the hot drink was working to burn it off.
Professor Symonds therefore believes the results are positive – and hopes the research will help to tackle the obesity epidemic.
He said: “Brown fat works in a different way to other fat in your body and produces heat by burning sugar and fat, often in response to cold.
“Increasing its activity improves blood sugar control as well as improving blood lipid (fat) levels and the extra calories burnt help with weight loss.”
While scientists have found a link between coffee and fat-burning, they’re yet to find which component in the hot drink could aid weight loss.
Professor Symonds added: “The potential implications of our results are pretty big, as obesity is a major health concern for society.
“We also have a growing diabetes epidemic and brown fat could potentially be part of the solution in tackling them.”
This isn’t the only study which has linked weight loss to caffeine consumption.
In another study published in the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, researchers found that caffeine increased fat burning by as much as 29 per cent in lean people, while the increase was only about 10 per cent in obese individuals.
According to healthline.com, caffeine may aid weight loss as it increases metabolic rate.
The site reads: “The higher your metabolic rate, the easier it is for you to lose weight and the more you can eat without gaining weight.
“Studies show that caffeine can increase RMR by 3–11 per cent, with larger doses having a greater effect.”
However, it’s important for dieters to remember the side effects of too much caffeine, which include, anxiety, insomnia, and digestive issues to name a few.