How Coffee Helps You Lose Weight

May 30, 2018
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

The verdict is in: antioxidant-rich coffee helps you shed those unwanted pounds!

For most of human history, mankind had to worry about getting enough nutrition, but we are in such a time of abundance that now obesity is a leading health problem. Many overweight and obese people have a condition called metabolic syndrome, which can be a precursor to multiple dangerous diseases. For example, people with metabolic syndrome are twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease and 5 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Fortunately, new research has come out that drinking coffee can contribute to fat loss, and by shedding pounds you can reverse or prevent many diseases. Let’s look at what the latest research shows, with 3 ways scientists have determined coffee contributes to weight loss.

1. Coffee Curbs Your Appetite

Two molecules are major indicators of how hungry we feel, as well as how much food it takes to satisfy us: serotonin and ghrelin. You may have heard serotonin discussed in reference to various forms of depression, but what you may not have heard is that serotonin is one of the molecules that makes a major difference in human appetites and satiety levels.

A lack of serotonin in your system can often lead to increased appetite and weight gain. This is why people with depression caused by low serotonin levels may struggle with weight gain as well. When the body has higher levels of serotonin secretion, the appetite is suppressed and people feel fuller after eating less food.

A recent studyused these satiety markers, as well as DNA and BMI measurements and found that coffee had significant impacts on body fat levels and food intake. For a specialty blend of coffee that included select green beans and a dark roast high in chlorogenic acids (CGAs), the weight difference was more pronounced than with just a regular store blend. The fact that the specialty blend had the most impact suggests that the CGAs in coffee may play a major part in aiding metabolism and suppressing appetite.

2. Coffee Makes Binge Eating Less Likely

A bad day at the office or sheer boredom can often trigger eating far too much in one sitting. Binge eating can have very damaging effects when done regularly, but even occasional binges can inhibit weight loss efforts. One chemical that is correlated inversely with binge eating is oxytocin. This is another molecule associated with mental and emotional health, often referred to as the “feel-good” chemical that is associated with affection and feelings of connection.

DNA analysis in subjects of a 2016 studyfound that “single nucleotide polymorphisms” (SNPs), which are a form of genetic “instructions”, are correlated with certain psychological traits. People with those SNPs and psychological traits accounted for a 37% variance in overeating, and also have lower levels of oxytocin in their systems. This correlates a deficit of oxytocin secretions with a greater tendency to binge eat.

Studies have found that the caffeine in coffee actually plays a part in generating more oxytocin in a person’s system. Caffeine’s function as an adenosine inhibitor (the chemical that makes you sleepy) excites the oxytocin neuron in the process. A study published in 2017 found this effect to be true in mice, and also noticed that this had the added effect of decreasing the mice’s dietary obesity. Coffee inhibited their appetites and increased their energy expenditures, and researchers stated that the increased oxytocin in their systems played a major part in that result.

3. Coffee Fights the “Battle of the Bulge” with its Anti-Inflammatory Effects

The same function that makes coffee a health tonic – preventing multiple diseases – makes it an effective tool in the fight against obesity. Obesity has a proven association with inflammation and oxidative stress, which are associated with its frequent comorbidities like type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular diseases.

Chlorogenic acids (CGAs) are antioxidants, which means they fight the oxidative stress that leads to inflammation. Free radicals from everything including pollution in the environment to a low-quality diet, and even too-high levels of nitrogen or oxygen, do damage our cell membranes. Antioxidants work at the DNA level to counter the damage done by free radicals, and therefore can affect the very genes that can contribute to inflammation and weight gain.

According to one study3, “Regular coffee consumption affects the transcription of genes associated with obesity and/or inflammation. Metabolites of chlorogenic acids as well as genetic polymorphisms may be relevant influencing factors.” These researchers tracked weight loss and coffee intake, and not only did they correlate the two, but they also noticed markers for inflammation. Factors like TNFα, IL6 and hepatic C-reactive protein (CRP) were reduced as well. That’s good news for weight loss as well as a mother lode of other disease prevention.

Optimize Your Coffee Intake for Weight Loss

While this sounds like great news for all coffee-lovers, results vary with what kind of coffee you drink and how you drink it. For one thing, be aware of what you are putting in your coffee. Additives like sugar and cream (or getting your daily dose of caffeine in the form of milky espresso drinks) can add excess calories to your diet that will counteract weight loss effects. Studies have shown that even using artificial sweeteners can contribute to a larger waistline4.

Secondly, be sure you are drinking coffee with the highest number of CGAs possible. Coffee with the highest amount of chlorogenic acids has the greatest effects on reducing inflammation and suppressing appetite. You will not find a cleaner coffee with a higher count of these antioxidants than Purity Coffee, the only coffee I’ve found that’s produced with these health considerations in mind. As a special offer to my readers, use code DETOX20 to save 20% off your first order. Shop Now>>

Not sure how to use coffee as part of your weight loss plan? Good news! I’ve done the heavy lifting for you on that with my radical new 21-day plan. Reboot your metabolism, lose weight, and get your energy back with Radical Metabolism, coming in August. Preorder your copy now!


1) Bakuradze et al. Four-week coffee consumption affects energy intake, satiety regulation, body fat, and protects DNA integrity. Food Research International. 2014.

2) Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior. “Oxytocin’s role in binge eating.” ScienceDaily.

3) Winkler et al. Modulation of inflammatory gene transcription after long-term coffee consumption. 2014.

4) Bouchard et al. Coffee, tea and their additives, association with BMI and waist circumference. 2010.

5) Wurtman, Judith J. Serotonin: What It Is and Why It’s Important for Weight Loss. Psychology Today. 2010.

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. April

    I’m really needing some weight lost but it’s hard to believe that just drinking coffee can make this happen. It’s your radical metabolism plan including a particular diet? Thanks for sharing

  2. Mary Jane Hall

    A friend bought me some Purity Coffee and I can absolutely say it is not only the best tasting coffee I have ever had, but it absolutely does curb my appetite! The first day I drank it (2:00 in the afternoon), I took 1 bite of my dinner and had to put the rest in the refrigerator! That’s not like me. I always have a big appetite! I will drink this coffee forever, as I am very picky about the taste of coffees. I do have the whole beans & grind it myself, which makes it so fresh!

  3. Ben

    Just when I thought I couldn’t love coffee anymore I find out it can help with weight loss!

  4. Lisa


    I purchased Purity Coffee’s decaf due to heart palpitations. Will the decaf have as much of an impact on weight loss as the regular blend? When drinking regular coffee, I do notice it works as an appetite suppressant. However, decaf blend doesn’t seem to have as strong an appetite suppressant effect.

    Are the weight loss benefits still present in Purity Decaf, but not as strong? Perhaps I need to do half regular/half decaf.

    • Team ALG

      Hi Lisa,
      Coffee has several polyphenols and other compounds that are exceedingly beneficial to metabolism. Decaf coffee contains about 25 percent fewer polyphenols. ALG recommends Purity Coffee as it has the highest level of antioxidants of any coffee beans available today, which makes their decaf higher than the standard.

    • Web Admin

      Hi Lisa – The decaf still has the same amount of chlorogenic acid as the regular, so you are good to go as far as that element is concerned. 🙂 Taking a good quality magnesium like Mag-Key that contains Magnesium Taurinate is very helpful for heart palpitations as well.

  5. Lauren M. Johnson

    For your Radical Longevity plan, drinking coffee in the morning with protein (and coconut oil, cinnamon, etc.) – is this intended to be consumed hot or cold?? I’ve done both but have always wondered what she thinks is best?! Thank you.



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