Caffeine, Insulin, Fat and Weight Loss
Posted by Lori on April 21, 2008
As I mentioned earlier today, Gwen of Gwen’s WLS Journey was stuck on a weight loss plateau for several days. She’s lost eighty pounds with her Lap Band and is now down to losing her final fifteen. She finally laid off coffee over the weekend and voila! she dropped a pound and a quarter.
Duke University did a study on caffeine and Type II diabetics and discovered that it caused blood sugar levels to spike through out the day after meals. We don’t know whether it does the same for non-diabetics or not, but we do know that Dr. Atkins found his patients didn’t lose weight as well when they were drinking coffee. In my case, I could barely register as being ketosis if I drink any caffeine whatsoever regardless of how meticulous I am about keeping my carbs below induction level.
Here’s a quick little video from the Mayo Clinic for diabetics about how blood glucose and insulin are created and function in your body.
Calories Per Hour puts what happens next very simply:
Our pancreas creates a hormone called insulin that transports blood sugar into our body’s cells where it is used for energy. When we eat refined grains that have had most of their fiber stripped away, sugar, or other carbohydrate-rich foods that are quickly processed into blood sugar, the pancreas goes into overtime to produce the insulin necessary for all this blood sugar to be used for energy. This insulin surge tells our body that plenty of energy is readily available and that it should stop burning fat and start storing it.
From the Duke study:
Participants took capsules containing caffeine equal to about four cups of coffee on one day and then identical capsules that contained a placebo on another day. Everyone had the same nutrition drink for breakfast, but were free to eat whatever they liked for lunch and dinner.
The researchers found that when the participants consumed caffeine, their average daily sugar levels went up 8 per cent. Caffeine also exaggerated the rise in glucose after meals: increasing by 9 percent after breakfast, 15 percent after lunch and 26 per cent after dinner.
“We’re not sure what it is about caffeine that drives glucose levels up, but we have a couple of theories,” says Lane, who is the lead author of the study. “It could be that caffeine interferes with the process that moves glucose from the blood and into muscle and other cells in the body where it is used for fuel. It may also be that caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline – the ‘fight or flight” hormone that we know can also boost sugar levels.”
For those of you who aren’t losing weight, try laying off the caffeine and see if it makes a difference. We all love our coffee and tea, but most of us would rather be skinny.