Someone told me a long time ago that if it were not for the fact that coffee was available worldwide before pharmaceutical manufacturing, that coffee would be classified as a drug. I agreed.
Coffee’s effect varies dramatically from person to person which is why I am not for or against coffee. What I am FOR is understanding coffee’s influence in your body and using that information wisely to favor easy, successful and permanent weight loss. I approach the topic of coffee with trepidation for the simple reason that it is a sacred morning ritual for most. My goal in this article is to turn on some spotlights and provide information to encourage you to pay attention to how you are using coffee and how coffee might have the upper hand. Is coffee giving your body the edge to lose weight or is it putting down hurdles on your path to success? Maybe you simply need to adjust the type of coffee, brewing style or quantity? Then again, maybe you would glide like an Olympic sprinter to your weight loss success by switching to a more personally appropriate option?
Coffee is Powerful
Coffee changes blood flow, circulation, organ function, hormones and body chemistry. These changes flow downstream and influence body physiology, emotions, thinking and behavior. It has three different types of caffeine for its explosive cocktail stimulant effect on the body. The acidity and bitterness of coffee depend on the type of bean and how it is brewed which invariably alter systemic and organ function. All of that if the coffee is organic and consumed black. Then the landmine question is “What are you putting into your coffee?”
Anything you put into your body, obliges the body to respond. Say for example you are aggressed, you may work to counterbalance the attack, defend, fight back or be totally passive to it. Or if someone comes up and hugs you – you will also have a response. Do you welcome it, do you reciprocally hug back or do you reject and push it away? And depending on who it is, your response is likely to change, but you WILL have a response. Your body is the same. Every exposure (consumption, dermal or inhalation) forces your body to adapt, use and make the best of your choices. Are you constantly holding your body at gunpoint as if it were your enemy by your choices? Or do you treat your body as you would your most cherished loved one, pet or material possession?
Coffee is doing way more than just opening your eyes in the morning
Let’s look at 5 areas where coffee’s chemistry is modifying your body and behaviors in ways that may be detrimental to your weight loss efforts.
♦ Coffee stimulates appetite. Coffee may be triggering hunger when in fact the body doesn’t need food. Food for your body needs to be understood as fuel for your car. Is coffee having you put fuel in a car that already has a full tank of gas?
♦ Coffee stimulates digestion. A sluggish digestion may benefit from a tiny amount of coffee to kick start digestive juices for proper break down of healthy foods so your body can use and get them where they are needed. If your digestion works then make sure you are not using coffee to compensate for overeating or eating bad food. You won’t hear your body’s voice say “you ate too much” or “that food isn’t good for me” if you force the body at gunpoint to process it by drinking coffee. You will move forward quicker and easier if you use coffee to mobilize forward movement rather than using coffee to remedy bad decisions.
♦ Coffee is a diuretic which means you will pass urine more frequently, often with a lighter flow and quantity while your body excretes minerals. The mineral loss may be beneficial for some if it is mobilizing and excreting waste matter, but it will be detrimental to those who lose much needed essential and trace minerals while causing electrolyte imbalances.
If coffee’s diuretic quality is helpful then your body and conditions will feel better, if at a personally appropriate quantity. However, coffee’s powerful influence is often the direct cause of inflammation, fatigue, headaches, cramps, spasms, lumps, cysts and other conditions of varying severity. You may not realize how coffee is effecting your body if you drink it daily.
Another interesting blowback of diuretics is that mineral imbalances often instigate food cravings. Are your cravings your body’s attempt to replenish what the coffee forced out? And if your body is needing an apple, are you hearing “candy”?
For more information about cravings see this article “The Healing Guidance of Cravings” at
Every diuretic is different and Mother Nature’s creations are each a unique phytochemical recipe. Diuretic qualities of coffee are not equal to nor to be compared to those of any other. For example coffee and celery seed are both in the category of diuretics, but coffee is known to increase inflammation and pain for joint conditions while celery seed is known to eliminate rheumatic, arthritic and gout pain by removing stagnating waste from tissues. Each plant is a blend of elements. There are many diuretics, but your body responds to each one differently. Let me give you a bad example, but one I know will help you understand my point. Beer, wine, and cocktails are all alcohol, but each one is the result of totally different processes, taste different and each creates an entirely different body response on ALL levels. “Diuretic” is just a category, like alcohol. Body responses will vary dramatically from one to another.
♦ Different types of beans, roasting times and the way your coffee is brewed influences coffee acidity. Why is this important? The benefit of the acidity is that, in small amounts, it can help the gallbladder. The drawback is that coffee acidity is known to damage the villi of the small intestine. Acid on the villi is like using sandpaper on your skin which leaves the tissue damaged, vulnerable, weak and raw. Damaged villi are related to improper digestion, malabsorption, nutrient deficiencies, irritable bowel disease and intestinal permeability which often lead to allergies, inflammation, skin rashes, yeast infections and more.
Your small intestine is the fuel tank of your body, when it’s compromised so too is everything else. While it may not seem relevant to weight loss, know that EVERYTHING is relevant to weight loss. A compromised small intestine can make weight loss challenging and uncomfortable rather than easy and permanent.
♦ Coffee changes hormones and body chemistry which lead to more rational or more irrational behaviors depending on the coffee drinker. Does coffee clear your mind, emotions and behaviors or does it muddy the waters and cause you to be more impulsive or reactive?
Coffee’s effect on each person is different,
and is likely to change over the course of a person’s life
Your body has a voice and it is talking to you all the time. It is likely telling you a lot of information about how coffee is influencing your body. Coffee stimulates certain areas while suppressing others. Its effects will vary considerably depending on the type of coffee, how it was brewed, brewing temperature, concentration, how much you drink, time of day and the state and reason you are drinking it. Coffee is pushing the body. When there is a push, there WILL invariably be a pull somewhere else. How this sets up in each person is entirely unique.
★ Are you stimulating digestion at the cost of blood circulation to your hands and feet (or somewhere else in your body)?
★ Does it increase mental focus at the cost of inflammatory conditions?
★ Does drinking coffee make you happy, while being the direct cause of acne and skin conditions that are very upsetting?
★ Coffee helps some people sleep better at night because it has them stimulated all day that they crash easily when it is time to sleep. Others rely on coffee to compensate for sleep deprivation.
★ Coffee may stimulate body chemistry that favors allergy flares or it may stimulate systems to respond more appropriately to allergens.
★ Coffee is a methyl donor and methyl donors move heavy metals and toxicity out of tissues where it is being stored and into the blood stream. Once toxicity is in the blood your body must have the capacity to move it out of the body which is not the case for everyone. Is coffee helping your body to detox or is it creating an unproductive and harmful inner body dust storm?
An interesting tidbit about coffee is that it is related to higher rates of infertility and miscarriage, and three or more cups of coffee a day increase the levels of toxicity found in breast milk.
Make coffee consumption a conscious choice with a conscious dose
Your first cup at 8 in the morning will not have the same effect on you as the second cup. Your body function, hormones and chemistry at 8 are different than they are at 11. A first cup of coffee at 7am will cause a different body response than your first cup at 10am. AND, a first cup of coffee will influence how the body uses the second cup later in the day. Here is an example many will be able to relate to. Many love their morning coffee because it lights the fire in their GI tract which sends them direct to the toilet to void the contents of their colon, but a second cup later rarely voids the colon. Interesting, huh?
What is the best “dose” of coffee for your body? None? A little? Some? Once a day? A tiny amount two times a day? Let your body guide your decisions. I realized a tiny bit of cold brewed coffee was helpful to me, but more than one tablespoon a day and the coffee caused lots of unnecessary problems. How on earth does anyone only take one tablespoon of coffee in the morning? Simple, I cold brew a big quantity then make them into small frozen coffee cubes. Each morning it’s like desert in a cube, and wow is it FAST and SIMPLE – no brewing, no cost, no clean-up, no dishes.
Often times the only way to truly understand coffee’s influence is to clean your body’s coffee slate by reducing and/or eliminating it entirely. After your body recovers from the withdrawal symptoms you can begin to compare how your body works with coffee versus without. This option is worth considering because what you will learn about your body will be priceless. At the end of this article you will find some tips for managing coffee withdrawal symptoms.
My simple advice to clients: Organic coffee only. No coffee or enough to cause a positive effect without tipping the scales to the negative. Get curious about how different coffee beans, roasting, brewing and temperature effect how your body uses the coffee’s phytochemicals. Cold brewed is mild, smooth and less acidic so it is less corrosive on the delicate villi in the small intestine. Is the coffee the problem or is it what you add to your coffee? Just because someone’s miracle was butter, ghee or coconut oil in their coffee doesn’t mean it is yours. If you decide to go decaf coffee then be sure to buy steam processed organic decaf. Make the learning fun as children do when they are discovering something new. Does the same organic coffee taste different, brewed differently? How does my body respond? Get creative and have a good time. Make it a social experiment with friends and family.
(Cold Brewed Coffee)
Happy is something in your heart, it isn’t something found in your coffee, but if your happy fires up with your cup of coffee and that cup of coffee is standing in the way of weight loss success, then change that unfounded mental association. You may find you can kick start your “happy” with the aroma of coffee rather than the need to drink it.
Come back next week for the next article in this weight loss series. A series that may continue for many more months to come.
I offer big pictures of objective information because I want you to put the pieces of your puzzle together for your unique body, lifestyle and situation. If the information is too overwhelming then call me. I work with each person personally. I use what I know and what you know to create personal paths that will produce results.
Best ways to ease coffee withdrawal symptoms
♥ Replace coffee with ORGANIC green tea. Green tea has caffeine to help in the morning, but it also has astringent qualities and catechins that favor healthier intestinal bacteria and lining.
♥ If you benefit from caffeine and bitters for your digestion then consider replacing your coffee with roasted organic cocoa nibs or very dark chocolate. This is not an option for oxalate sensitive individuals.
♥ Psyllium, chia or flax in the morning, on an empty stomach with a big glass of water can be a signal to the body to void the colon.
♥ Taking chlorophyll each day is another option to help the colon function with more regularity. Choose chlorophyll with peppermint if you have gallbladder problems or your body runs too hot, but without peppermint if you tend towards being cold or have a sluggish blood flow.
♥ Consider adding magnesium glycinate which is a non-laxative form of magnesium (won’t negatively impact your electrolytes).
♥ Increase water intake to flush out the system.