Coffee and lemon might not be the next coconut oil, the next Weight Watchers, or the next kombucha, but it's nonetheless a real niche phenomenon. While some people discover fancy lemon-infused iced coffees at specialty New York coffee shops and relish it for its taste, others are encouraged by its Russian cultural tradition. Yet a third group, hearing about its supposed health benefits, adds lemon juice to their coffee at home. Some say coffee with lemon cures their headaches, while others — somewhat puzzlingly considering there's caffeine involved — claim it helps them sleep better.
The most universally (supposed) appeal of coffee and lemon would, however, be the idea that it could aid you on your weight loss journey.
In the absence of scientific studies examining the merit of coffee and lemon in combination, all we can truly do is look at the weight loss benefits of coffee on its own, and lemon on its own.
Does Coffee (Caffeine) Help You Lose Weight?
Yes, it may. There is indeed evidence that people who consume larger quantities of caffeinated beverages, including coffee, see reductions in Body Mass Index (BMI), waist circumference, body fat percentage, and fat mass faster than those who do not.
Why? Caffeine is a stimulant, and consuming it in larger quantities may enable you to complete more rigorous workout plans. Caffeine additionally causes you to feel fuller for longer because of the hormone leptin, which regulates fat stores and influences satiety. It also encourages thermogenesis, a process in which your body expends fat tissue to produce heat.
There is a catch, of course — add milk, sugar, or sweeteners to your coffee, and your extra caloric intake quickly adds up. If you want your coffee intake to cause you to lose weight, or at least not lead to putting any more on, you've got to take that stuff out of the equation.
Can Lemon Help You Lose Weight?
I've certainly seen claims that hot water with lemon leads to weight loss. There are, again, no scientific studies on the subject. The claim that lemon water would help a person lose weight starts making sense the second that person admits that the lemon water has replaced more calorific drinks, like sodas and other sugary drinks. Upping your water intake in general can likewise lead to feeling satiated for longer — the human body can be a bit deceptive and convince us that we're hungry when we were actually thirsty, and drinking more fluids can help there.
Lemons themselves contain very few calories and a good amount of vitamin C and potassium as well as B vitamins, meaning they have nutritional value without contributing to weight gain. Pectin, a fiber contain in lemons, reduces the rate at which sugars and starches can be digested, thereby contributing toward lowering your blood sugar levels. They may, in other words, really help you lose weight. Rather than being a magic pill they can, however, be just one of many contributing factors.
The Bottom Line
A combination of coffee and lemon may help you lose weight if your lemon-coffees are part of a responsible weight loss plan that focuses on quality nutrition in the right quantities and makes ample space for a responsible exercise routine as well. Since both lemon and caffeine may individually contribute to weight loss, the idea isn't totally silly at all. Drinking coffee with lemon should never, on the other hand, be the only thing you do if you're hoping for weight loss.
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