Castle Personal Training is a Corstorphine, Edinburgh based company who specialise in weightloss/toning and Pre and Post Natal exercise.
One of the questions that’s come up a lot lately is “Can I still drink coffee when I’m trying to lose weight?”. I know that different PTs give different answers on this one and I’ve gone back and forth on this several times depending on whatever research was out at the time. As with a lot of these things the research can tell us one thing one week and another the next. There are many variables when it comes to studies on this and I find that it almost always depends on the person and their overall life-style.
Here are my thoughts on this, make of it what you will.
We know there are 4 or 5 key components to losing weight and being healthy;
1; Diet. An absolute no-brainer. Here are some things you might not be getting quite right in that regard.
2; Sleep. We all know that resting is essential and sleep really is ridiculously important.
3; Stress. This is the thing that most of my clients struggle with. Stress because of the kids, job or whatever is going on at the time. I’m just talking about back ground levels of stress here so not the “Oh my God, I’m going to have a fit” kind of stress.
You don’t need to be THIS stressed.
4; Exercise. I’ve put this at the bottom because although it is important for strength and health it is nowhere near the top 3 for weightloss. Here are 2 of my favourite sessions.
Not often you hear a PT say that, is it?
So there we have our 4 key components. For this bit we’ll have a closer look at point 2 and 3 as that’s where coffee becomes a potential issue.
2; Sleep. We know that caffeine is a stimulant therefore drinking a coffee at a time that it might be interfering with our sleep is obviously not a good idea. I think most people accept that anyways so I’m not going to go into too much depth on that one. This means that, from this perspective, it’s fine to have a pre-workout coffee. You can do with a bit of stimulus before a big session, right? Just don’t have one before going to bed or resting.
The trickier point comes when we look at point 3; stress.
One thing professionals dealing with stress and anxiety always tell their clients to do is to cut out the caffeine. I believe that you don’t need to have a level of stress high enough to be seeing a counsellor before caffeine becomes a bad idea. The body always holds on to fat when it’s too stressed because of the adrenalin and cortisol released when you are in that stressed state. If you find you just can’t relax and you always have a million things on your mind then you are stressed and therefore really don’t want to add caffeine to the mix as that might just tip the body “over the edge” and prevent you losing weight.
Here’s a little caveat; If you find that you can have a massive “switch off moment“, where you just completely relax, then that little boost of caffeine is more than offset by the feeling of being relaxed and switching off for 5-10 minutes.
I have never seen anyone genuinely relaxed here.
I have yet to see this happen when you’re meeting someone at a coffeeshop though so judge for yourself whether that cup of coffee helps or hinders. I have regularly told my clients that I prefer them having a piece of dark chocolate with a cup of tea instead of coffee during that “switch-off moment” because it tends to give that feeling of relaxation much more than just a cup of coffee tends to do.
All in all I find that the occasional cup of coffee per day is fine but when people regularly have 2-3 a day I can see them struggling with the weightloss a bit. This is why I go back to the same thing I say about all things diet related; If you are aware of what you’re having and are enjoying it it’s OK, just don’t drink it “because it’s there”
As always, take care.