Everyone is looking for an easy and feasible way to lose weight. So when the news went viral that a coffee and lemon drink, which can be whipped up with ingredients easily found at home, could be a little fattening, people considered it nothing less than a magic potion . And while there is no evidence-based study on its effectiveness in burning calories so far, people are following the “lemon coffee” trend to stay fit and cut back on their busy lives.
“There is no evidence or studies to suggest that you lose weight when you drink coffee and lemon, either individually or in combination,” says nutritionist and author Kavita Devgan, who specializes in weight loss and immunity diets.
So what could be the logic behind this becoming a dietary fad? “Part of it has to do with the acceptability, again misplaced, of black coffee being calorie-free. Caffeine doesn’t cut calories but it’s an appetite suppressant. So if you’re craving a snack or have appetite, a sip of coffee can be filling. The same goes for any liquid or even water. I routinely tell snackers to drink a glass of water before reaching for a packet of chips. Most of them don’t feel like drinking it after they’ve had a drink or two. That’s why models in the 70s and 80s drank coffee before walking the ramp to kill their hunger. Plus , caffeine is a stimulant that can perk you up during the day. Then it became a diet fad,” explains Devgan.
“Then there were several studies to show that coffee increased your basal metabolic rate (BMR). This is because caffeine is known to block the neurotransmitter adenosine and increase stimulating neurotransmitters like dopamine. But to actually increase your BMR , you would need to drink large amounts of caffeine, perhaps 12 to 15 cups a day.This would also have negative health consequences such as dehydration (caffeine is a diuretic), reduced sleep, and increased anxiety . Not to mention addiction as your body adjusts to incremental cups. Plus, you could develop extreme heartburn. Losing weight can’t make you sick,” he adds.
As for lemon water, Devgan believes it is rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, folate, minerals and low in saturated fat, cholesterol and salt. Being alkaline, it is good for your gut health and protects you from respiratory infections. It helps you stay hydrated and is an antidote to water retention. “Again, no evidence. On its own, it won’t help you fit into your old jeans, but as a fitter drink and, depending on your exercise regime, it can keep you trim. If “If someone thinks they’re losing weight by drinking lemon water and drinking it throughout the day, it may simply be because the person is making a healthy choice of drinks, replacing sugary and high-calorie drinks, sodas and smoothies,” says Devgan. Lemons, according to some studies, contain about 139 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. So, it’s the wonder fruit for everything.
“Also, there’s this thing called a flavor profile. Although there is compatibility between lemon and tea, lemon and coffee are definitely unpleasant. It’s just going to have a lot of bitterness and bite, you definitely can’t sip like any other healthy drink,” says Devgan. In the end, this fad is pointless and we should focus on adjusting ourselves instead of trying to drastically lose weight based on hearsay.