Green Coffee Extract Found to Help with Weight Loss

Tests with green coffee saw people lose an average of almost 18 pounds and 4.4% of their body fat. Kimberly Beauchamp ND, comments on the  new findings.

With obesity on the rise, it’s no surprise that people turn to fad diets, meal replacements, supplements, drugs, and even surgery in an effort to lose weight. Most of these solutions are riddled with problems, though, and weight lost is often easily gained back. So weight-loss strategies that are safe and long-lasting always make welcome news. Enter the green coffee bean, which a study in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity claims will help overweight people safely shed some extra pounds.

What’s in the bean?

Recent studies suggest that drinking coffee could protect against type 2 diabetes and obesity, which led researchers to look for the constituents in coffee that might be responsible for these effects. They discovered that coffee contains something called chlorogenic acid, a substance that seems to influence glucose and fat metabolism. Unroasted—or green—coffee beans contain substantially more chlorogenic acid than roasted beans do.

To test the effects of a standardised green coffee extract on weight loss, 16 overweight people (average age 33 years) took high dose (1,050 mg per day) green coffee extract, low dose (700 mg per day) green coffee extract, and placebo, each separately for six weeks, with a two-week break between phases. The participants didn’t change their diets during the trial. Body weight, BMI (body mass index), and percent body fat were measured before, during, and after each period of the study.

Both dosages of green coffee extract led to significant reductions in percent body fat, body weight, and BMI. Percent body fat also decreased significantly with placebo, but body weight and BMI remained unchanged. While taking green coffee bean extract, the people lost an average of almost 18 pounds and 4.4% of their body fat. What’s more, 88% of the people maintained their weight loss four months later. No side effects related to the treatment were reported.

“The results suggest that green coffee extract may be an effective nutraceutical in reducing weight in preobese adults, and may be an inexpensive means of preventing obesity in overweight adults,” concluded the researchers.

Weight loss 101

The results of this small study were impressive but need to be reproduced in larger trials before solid recommendations can be made about taking green coffee bean extract for weight loss. Doctors who specialise in weight loss agree that lasting results can only be achieved when you make permanent lifestyle changes that include eating less and moving more. Each positive step that you take adds up to help you meet and maintain your weight loss goals.

  • Be active. Exercise does double duty for weight loss—by burning calories while you’re working out and by increasing your resting metabolic rate.
  • Make your calories count. “Empty” calories from processed foods (like chips, pastries, and white bread and pasta) add inches to your waistline. Eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, pulses, fish, and low-fat dairy and lean meats help fill you up without filling you out.

(Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes 2012;5:21–7)

Kimberly Beauchamp, ND, received her doctoral degree from Bastyr University, the nation’s premier academic institution for science-based natural medicine. She co-founded South County Naturopaths in Wakefield, RI, where she practiced whole family care with an emphasis on nutritional counselling, herbal medicine, detoxification, and food allergy identification and treatment. Her blog, Eat Happy, helps take the drama out of healthy eating with real food recipes and nutrition news that you can use. Dr. Beauchamp is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.

Dessert after Breakfast: A New Weight-Loss Strategy?

Adding a sweet treat to the morning meal may help some people lose weight and keep if off writes nutritionist, Suzanne Dixon.

Research presented at the 2012 meeting of the Endocrine Society introduces an entirely new concept in the weight loss wars: Dessert at breakfast time! At first glance, this may seem a little crazy, but the preliminary findings are interesting.

Breakfast is a piece of cake

Researchers selected 193 obese, sedentary, nondiabetic adult men and women to follow a diet that included a low-carbohydrate breakfast or a high-carbohydrate, high-protein breakfast. Study participants were an average of 47 years old, and both diets provided 1,400 calories per day for women and 1,600 calories per day for men—levels low enough to promote rapid weight loss. One unique feature of the high-carbohydrate, high-protein breakfast was “dessert”: participants on this diet ate a sweet treat, such as a small piece of cake, with breakfast every day.

A body mass index of 25 to 30 is considered overweight, while over 30 signals obesity. The participants had an average body mass index of 32, placing them squarely in the obese category. At the start of the study, and 16 and 32 weeks later, the researchers measured body weight, craving and satisfaction scores, and blood levels of ghrelin, a hunger-stimulating hormone that rises to signal the brain that it is time to eat.

The researchers found the following:

  • At week 16, both diet groups had lost an average of around 31 pounds.
  • Between weeks 16 and 32, the low-carb group regained an average of 26 pounds; the high-carb group lost an average of 15 additional pounds.
  • Ghrelin levels were 45% lower after breakfast in the high-carb group, and 30% lower in the low-carb group.
  • Satisfaction (satiety) was significantly improved, and hunger and craving scores were significantly lower in the high-carb group compared with the low-carb group.

Finding your perfect morning meal

The authors point out that this was a short-term study, and that many people have trouble keeping weight off over a period of years rather than weeks. And research presented at conferences isn’t considered solid until it’s been peer-reviewed and published in a medical journal. Still, this study suggests that adding a sweet treat to the morning meal may help some people lose weight and keep if off. Our tips can help you balance your morning meal to meet your weight-loss goals:

  • Promote protein. The high-carbo breakfast included plenty of protein. Protein keeps hunger at bay, which can limit unhealthy morning snacking. Try hardboiled eggs, Greek yoghurt, or a high-protein, high-fibre cereal.
  • Stick to one “dessert.” Connecticut’s Griffin Hospital dietitian Samantha Heller points out, “When you look at what people are eating for breakfast, it’s things like chocolate-covered honey-dipped cereals. Isn’t this the same as dessert? So many people are eating dessert for breakfast already, which is helping to contribute to weight gain, not loss.” Stick to one small serving of a sweeter food, paired with an ample serving of lean protein.
  • Add exercise. No weight-loss plan would be complete without regular physical activity. Take a minimum 20- to 30-minute walk daily to boost health and weight-loss efforts.
  • Don’t go black and white. Some people tend toward “black and white” thinking, such as eating a “forbidden” food, feeling they’ve “blown it” on their diet, and giving in to a binge. If this describes you, starting out with a sweet treat may not be the best plan.

(Abstract MON-85; Endocrine Society Meeting: June 25, 2012)

Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD, an author, speaker, and internationally recognised expert in chronic disease prevention, epidemiology, and nutrition, has taught medical, nursing, public health, and alternative medicine coursework. She has delivered over 150 invited lectures to health professionals and consumers and is the creator of a nutrition website acclaimed by the New York Times and Time magazine. Suzanne received her training in epidemiology and nutrition at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health at Ann Arbor.

Low fat, low sugar and gluten free cakes!

A friend of mine used to make low fat cakes which I really loved.

They were basically made of fruit and, while I can’t quite remember how she got the ingredients to bond together, the result was blissful.

A low fat Granny Loaf Cake
A low fat Granny Loaf Cake

Now, it seems there’s someone doing it professionally, two people actually, Jenkins& Hustwit, who make a Granny Loaf Fruit Cake which has less than 2% fat.

The company, started by a couple of farmer’s wives in Northumbria, promises the very best in good old-fashioned farmhouse baking. They specialise in high quality cakes and puddings, and even make Christmas puddings, so there’s something to look forward to.

It should be noted that they also make gluten free cakes and no added sugar cakes, but we’re still writing up all the details at GoodnessDirect. Exciting stuff nonetheless.

Fancy some chocolate without the guilt?

 I couldn’t help it. I can resist everything except temptation.

Lord Darlington in Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windemere’s Fan

We all want chocolate now and again, and those who don’t like it normally don’t have to deal with the herculean task of resisting it.

Choxy luxury xylitol chocolate
Choxy luxury Xylitol chocolate

But if you’re diabetic or on a diet, that is the temptation which faces you.

Thankfully there’s Choxy Luxury Chocolate from Xylitol.

Xylitol is a Birch tree sugar just as good as regular sugar. It is a natural sweetener with many health benefits. It has a low GI, has 40% less calories than sugar and can be used by diabetics.

Fancy some coffee or mint chocolate, dark or orange? You don’t need to be tempted…

Healthier, tastier snacking

Tastier ricecakesSorry about this. It has to be said…

Ricecakes are pretty much tasteless.

There, I’ve said it. Perhaps it’s the way they’re made, perhaps it’s the ingredients used?

But if someone is choosing a low-calorie snack, why should they feel like they’re punishing themselves with a lack of flavour?

What’s exciting about Fiorentini is that they are an organic baker producing low calorie snacks made not only from rice, but rye, buckwheat, corn, spelt and oat bran.

With minimal processing and a very careful selection of the varieties of grain used, the result is a gentler tasting and hopefully healthier, or at least more rewarding, snack.

Plus, many of Fiorentini’s snacks are Gluten Free, and all are GM free and low in salt content.

A noodle so low in calories… it’s a miracle!

What do you call a noodle you can eat any amount of and not worry about calories?

Low carb pasta Shirataki Miracle Noodles
Only 5 calories in 100g of noodles!

A miracle!

Which is why the Japanese Shirataki noodle is branded as Miracle Noodle. It’s made from a root vegetable which is why it has enough natural fibre to leave you feeling full without piling on the the carbs.

It cooks really quickly too. All you need to do is drain it and boil it for 1 minute, then mix with your favourite sauce. Alternatively you can pan roast them in a skillet for a minute to give them slightly more bite.

In addition to being carb-free, big plus point however is that they are generally allergen free with no gluten, wheat or soya to trouble anyone with an intollerance.

Shirataki Konjac has been known and used in Asia for over 2000 years. It is also known as Moyu or Juruo in China, and Konnyaku in Japan.

Please try fruit crisps, I want them to be a success!

Have you tasted apple crisps? I really like them.

Air dried apple crisps
Try Perry Court Farm for air dried apple and pear crisps

With 0.1g fat they are actually air dried pieces of thinly sliced fruit. Personally I think they are excellent because you can enjoy a fruity crunchy snack for less than 70 calories.

Perry Court Farm make sweet apple, tangy apple and dried pear crisps – all of which contribute to your five-a-day of fruit and veg, and make just about the most healthy, natural snack around (especially if you’re not so hot on apples).

The fruit crisps are made at the local farm in Kent simply by slicing them up and then blowing warm air over them until the slices of fruit becomes crispy. Using this method actually keeps all the goodness of the apple in the crisp.