Guest blogger, Eugene Wells is the author of The Decaf Diet: Is Caffeine Making You Fat? You can download and read the first 50 pages of the book for free on his blog, LastingLeanness.The caffeine in your daily coffee, tea, and soft drinks can lead to weight gain and make losing weight a losing battle. Caffeine can make you fat because it drives overeating and slows metabolism, by making your body increase its production of cortisol.
Cortisol is one of your body’s chief stress hormones, and caffeine’s impact on your cortisol levels can cause an increase in hunger, muscle breakdown, and a relocation of fat stores to your body’s center. If you are a regular caffeine user, your cortisol levels are chronically elevated. As a result, you become more prone to both physical and psychological stress, and the fat-promoting effects of elevated cortisol levels.
1. Elevated cortisol levels promote appetite, contributing to overeating. Many studies implicate cortisol as a predictor of increased hunger, cravings for calorie-dense foods, and binge eating. This is not surprising, as many of us associate stress with overeating, and we acknowledge fatty, sugary foods as comforting in times of stress.
2. Elevated cortisol levels lead to muscle breakdown, reducing the amount of fat-burning muscle mass you carry. Your muscle mass is one of the key determinants of the rate at which your body burns energy while at rest, so conserving muscle is of vital importance for maintaining a healthy level of fat-burning.
3. Elevated cortisol levels make your body prefer to store central and visceral fat, contributing to the “pot belly” look. The more central and visceral fat that you carry, the higher is your risk of developing insulin resistance, and insulin resistance further contributes to cravings and overeating by destabilizing blood sugar levels.
The best way to keep your cortisol levels in check without reducing your caffeine intake is by adopting a diet that is high in vitamin C, a vitamin that is effective in lowering cortisol and keeping it under control. To maintain healthy levels of vitamin C in your body, you should eat fresh fruits and vegetables, including citrus fruits, fresh greens, and berries.
Here is a complete review of The Decaf Diet.
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