If losing weight sits high atop your New Year’s resolution list, you might want to reach for a piping-hot cup of coffee. Why? New research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that just 4 cups of coffee a day can help shed some body fat.
Investigators initially set out to see if coffee could help lower the risk for type 2 diabetes risk by reducing the risk for developing insulin resistance, which can lead to dramatic spikes in blood sugar and, ultimately, diabetes. Those who drank 4 cups of caffeinated coffee per day over six months saw a nearly 4% drop in overall body fat.
“We were indeed surprised by the observed weight loss that was specifically due to fat mass loss among coffee drinkers,” said study author Derrick Johnston Alperet, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He and his colleagues think that coffee-fueled fat loss may be the result of a “metabolic reaction,” in which caffeine causes the drinker’s metabolic process to ramp up. The end result, said Alperet, is the burning of more calories and a notable drop in body fat.