Is coffee making you gain weight?

Can you not start your day without a cup of coffee? Do you find that you NEED coffee to get going? Are you drinking 2 cups a day? Drinking a cup later in the day? Are you feeling run down? Have you not been making progress on your weight loss goals?

If you answered yes to any of those, then maybe it’s time to take a look at your caffeine consumption.

Now, I’m a certified coffee lover! The day just doesn’t seem right unless I have that morning cup of Joe! But… I had to admit lately that my coffee addiction was taking a toll on my body – physically and mentally.

Coffee can have a lot of health benefits; however, when there are other imbalances and stresses in your life, these benefits can quickly turn into some major disadvantages.

Some benefits of coffee:

  • Increased energy (obviously why most people drink it!)
  • Reduce risk of cancer
  • Reduces depression
  • Lower risk of diabetes
  • Prevent onset of neurological diseases
  • Improve physical performance

However, coffee can also exacerbate issues if there are hidden imbalances in the body. A big imbalance that coffee can amplify is hormones. If your body is already struggling with hormone balance and stress, then unfortunately pounding coffee to mask the fatigue and lack of motivation your experiencing is not the answer. This is because coffee can stimulate the HPA-axis (hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis) to create excess cortisol.

This rise in cortisol can then lead to blood sugar imbalances because cortisol releases blood glucose into the blood stream. Also, cortisol tends to store glucose as fat {this is why it’s known as a fat storing hormone}. In addition, increases in cortisol can heavily impact the health and balance of other hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, and even melatonin.

Other negative drawbacks:

  • Create digestive issues
  • Increase demand on liver due to poor quality coffee high in pesticides
  • Muscle breakdown
  • Increase anxiety
  • Increase blood pressure
  • Create sleep disturbances

During the last few weeks, I was drinking 2 cups of coffee daily, trying to keep up with the demands of having a baby, running my business, keeping the house in order, consulting for two companies, and trying to take care of my own mental and physical health. I could feel my cortisol (stress hormone) rising, I could feel my blood sugar being thrown of balance, and I knew my hormones were taking a hit (hello mood swings!) And to top it off, despite working out harder and eating really well, I was actually putting weight ON (now it’s not all about weight, but let’s not kid ourselves and say that’s not motivation to get things in check!)

One of the reasons I run a cortisol and hormone panel on most of my clients is to understand more of what’s going on in their body and how to help support them. One common issue for my clients is cortisol and hormone imbalance brought on my chronic stress.

It’s completely logical to reach for a stimulant like coffee to help give you that jolt and burst of energy to keep going when you are feeling rundown. However, all this does is mask the real issue and create more problems.

I generally recommend that my clients come off of coffee (caffeine) completely, or at least reduce intake. This is why for the last few weeks I’ve cut out coffee except for one day a week I will enjoy one cup of coffee. The other days of the week I’ve switched to a dandelion supplement called Dandy Blend. Not only does it somewhat taste like coffee, it also provides me with the ritual that I get from making and sipping on my morning cup. You can find Dandy Blend on Amazon here too. I make mine with Vital Proteins collagen peptides and a few drops of stevia! It tastes delicious and I know that I’m giving my adrenals the break that they need. PLUS, dandelion root is amazing for helping to support the liver and detoxification. So instead of burdening the liver with coffee, you can actually help support it.

In addition, when you DO have that cup of coffee, make sure that it comes from a high quality, preferably organic source. Coffee has one of the highest pesticides and herbicide ratings, and remember that your body has to process, filter, and get rid of all those toxins. Reduce the burden by finding a reputable source.

My favorites:
Purity Coffee
Four Sigmatic Coffee

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