Can Coffee Make You Skinny?

Can Coffee Make You Skinny?

Scrolling through my Facebook feed, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by an advert that appeared time and time again for a new miracle weight loss aid that could ‘help me look visibly thinner in just one week’. Could the Skinny Coffee Club™ and their ‘clinically proven’ product have me changing my FB profile picture for a new, slimmer version of me in no time at all, without the need for Photoshop?

Skinny Club Coffee™ benefits?

Add to that, this miracle weight loss aid would also increase my energy levels all day long (I suffer from a severe energy slump around 2pm every day), help reduce the signs of aging, improve my complexion, reduce bloating and stop me from feeling hungry and all this comes in the form of my absolute favourite beverage (coffee), I had to click on the link to find out more.

On the website it told me ‘what was once your average cup of Joe has been transformed to burn fat, boost antioxidants with many more benefits. Our organic, fat-burning Skinny Coffee Club™ formula is an innovation in weight loss and is helping women all over the world look and feel their best’.

In the back of my mind, my ‘sensible WLR voice’ was telling me it was highly unlikely that swapping one of my daily cups of coffee for this new version would help me to lose weight but the ‘transformation pictures’ on the site were appealing to the vain and impatient parts of my brain and were telling me another story.

So what is the skinny on the Skinny Coffee Club™ coffee?

The weight loss, energy boosting, complexion improving, fat-burning claims on the website are attributed to the ‘special formula of all-natural, sought after ingredients that their experts have worked tirelessly to provide in a cup of skinny coffee’. Let’s investigate.

What’s in Skinny Coffee?

I looked through the list of ingredients on the pack I was sent and checked them on WebMD.com to see what I would be consuming. Some of it is pretty mediocre and some a little scary but, disappointingly, none of it has been ’clinically proven’ to increase metabolism, enhance stamina and fitness, reduce weight or have anti-aging properties as was promised on the Skinny Coffee Club website.

Ground Green Coffee

Green coffee beans are the raw version of roasted coffee beans. Because they haven’t been through the roasting process, they contain higher levels of chlorogenic acid which is thought to have health benefits. Much more research is needed (there have only been a few studies), but it is thought chlorogenic acid affects the way the body handles blood sugar and metabolism. So far though, it hasn’t been clinically proven that it would benefit anyone wanting to lose weight.

Siberian Ginseng

This plant is often called an adaptogen which is a non-medical term for substances that can supposedly strengthen the body and increase general resistance to daily stress.  Don’t confuse Siberian ginseng with other types of ginseng. Siberian ginseng is not the same herb as American or Panax ginseng. Be careful about which product you choose. American and Panax ginseng can be a lot more expensive. It is said that years ago, the Soviet Union wanted to provide its athletes with the advantages offered by ginseng but wanted a less expensive version. So, Siberian ginseng became popular, and this is why most studies on Siberian ginseng have been done in Russia. According to WebMD, it is thought it is possibly effective for people with Bipolar, ADHD and Herpes but there is insufficient evidence that it improves athletic performance.

Spirulina (Blue-Green Algae)

Blue-green algae describes a large and diverse group of simple, plant-like organisms found in salt water and some large fresh water lakes. These products are used for lots conditions, but so far, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not they are effective for any of them. Some of the conditions include PMS, depression, fatigue, ADHD, hay fever and weight loss. They are a source of iron, B-vitamins and protein but contain no more protein than meat or milk and are a lot more expensive. According to WebMD, Spirulina has been researched for weight loss and they don’t seem to help.

Green Tea Extract

Green tea has long been hailed as a great addition to a healthy diet. Many health experts suggest that 4 cups a day could help protect our bodies from the effects of free radicals which could lower our risk of many health problems including heart disease, cancer, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease and even cataracts. However, whether or not it benefits weight loss needs a lot more investigation and the jury is still out. Cynics argue that any weight loss benefits from drinking green tea are down to the calorie savings made by switching from a milky, sugary cup of char.

Garcinia Combogia

This is the fruit rind of a small to medium-sized tree that grows in India and South East Asia. It contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA). People take Garcinia Cambogia for weight loss, exercise performance, joint pain, bloody diarrhoea, to increase bowel movements, and for treating worms and parasites. Developing research on animals suggests that hydroxycitric acid might prevent fat storage, control appetite, and increase exercise endurance. Whether these results will be the same in humans isn't clear yet.

Let’s give it a go!

I decided to give a 28 day trial a try (mainly because after a search on Google I found it half price and the ‘what if’ part of my brain was interested) If you buy directly from the Skinny Coffee Club™ the prices range from £24.95 for 28 days’ supply to £69.95 for 12 weeks’ supply. I ordered mine from Holland & Barrett for just over £12 and waited, with baited breath, for my prize to arrive.

I eagerly opened the box to find a tiny pouch of ground coffee in the bottom. No paperwork, instructions or information. To my dismay, I needed a cafetiere to make it so I had to search to find one that I know was there after it had been relegated to the ‘don’t-need-it-but-let’s-not-throw-it-away-just-in-case cupboard after we bought a bean to cup coffee machine.

Luckily, there were basic instructions on how to make the coffee on the packet but not any indication as to when I should have my Skinny Coffee. So, back to the website I went. Everything I had read to this point indicated all I had to do to lose weight was to drink the stuff. In fact, on the home page of the website, one of the bullet points highlighted said ‘Works without Exercise’. I discovered with deeper investigation that there was actually an eating and exercise plan that I should have got with my order. In the FAQs it says, ‘We have designed a flexible eating plan, designed especially to compliment the Skinny Coffee Club weight loss program. This is delivered free to your email once you complete your checkout. It's simple and fun to follow and isn't based on severely restricting calories like other harmful diets.

*Although Skinny Coffee Club will work without diet and exercise we strongly recommend following our free programs to achieve maximum results and for an overall healthier lifestyle.’

So I emailed the site to ask for the info which was duly sent to me.

As it had been indicated that weight loss with Skinny Coffee Club™ was as simple as drinking one cup of skinny coffee each morning, I decided to forgo the eating and exercise plan. I walk an awful lot anyway. Having said that, I was interested to see how many calories and what the nutritional breakdown would be with their suggested food plan so I popped a day’s worth into my food diary. Here was the result:

WLR Food Diary Screenshot with Skinny Coffee Suggested Food Plan

As you can see, high in calories, high in fat, more protein than normal and very low in carbs. I thought I would copy the lists of foods they suggest you stay away from and the list of foods that are okay according to the eating plan. I have copied these directly from the plan I was sent:

Blacklist Foods (Copied directly from the eating plan I was sent)

White carbs

Remember if it’s white then it ain’t right! You should avoid bread, rice (including brown), whole grains, cereal including steel-cut oats, potatoes, past, tortillas and breaded fried food. This includes chips, crisps or anything derived from potatoes, clear avoidances are cakes, cookies, pastries and crackers.

Don’t drink calories or alcohol

Do not waste your calorie intake on drinks. This ranges from beer and wine to milk, pure fruit juices and fizzy drinks. You may have diet fizzy drinks, however, make sure you limit them as the artificial sweeteners can have a dampening effect on weight loss and are highly addictive.

Fruit

Don’t eat fruit except for citrus fruits. Yes, we did just say that! Fruit is full of sugars and can be the enemy of weight loss. Other than lemons and limes, we recommend that you stay away from fruits for the duration of your program.

Stay away from dairy

Avoid cow’s milk, cheese or any other dairy except for grass fed butter. If you need to add milk to something opt for a healthier option such as unsweetened almond or coconut milk. This obviously includes chocolate as well (boooo).

Oils and deep frying

Don’t use vegetable oil or deep fry foods. Cooking in grass fed butter, olive oil or coconut oil is totally fine. If you have a deep fat fryer in your kitchen then we recommend that you remove it to avoid temptation. The more you cook the food the less nutrients it has, so, we recommend cooking your food as little as possible for it to be healthily consumed.

Whitelisted Foods

Protein

Consume as much protein as you like. This includes things like:

  • Eggs
  • Beef
  • Fish
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Beef

We recommend that you eat fish at least three times a week!

Vegetables

Vegetables are your friend they are a healthy, nutritious way to fill your plate and make you feel full. Things like:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Other cruciferous vegetables
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kale
  • Asparagus
  • Peas
  • Green beans

There is no limit to how many of these vegetables you can eat. Although, not classed as vegetables these are a-ok as well:

  • Tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Peppers
  • Avocados

Healthy fats

Olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil and grass fed butter are perfectly fine to consume and cook with.

Legumes

Eat as many legumes as you like, such as:

  • Lentils
  • Black beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Red beans
  • Soy beans

Other

Use cinnamon with as many meals as possible to enhance the weight loss and detoxing properties of your skinny coffee club program. Make sure that you eat your first meal within one hour of waking and wait no more than 4 hours and a half between meals. Finally, don’t eat within 3 hours before going to bed.

Note: if you have to drink alcohol limit yourself to one glass of red wine a day.

Verdict

The coffee tasted okay, if a little weaker than my normal cup, which I did really miss first thing in the morning. The instructions say to have the coffee 30 minutes before breakfast and they suggest having it black, which I did. If you want milk and sugar, it’s okay to use coconut milk and Stevia as a sweetener.

Unfortunately, I can’t change my FB profile pic just yet. There has been no change in my weight or my wrinkles and I haven’t felt any more motivated or energised than before. I still want a nana nap at 2pm every day and haven’t felt any less hungry than normal. So, I am more than a little disappointed that I don’t look like a 20 year old model after drinking the coffee for 4 weeks but, maybe, my expectations were a little high?

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