The idea that drinking coffee can keep you from getting hungry and aid in losing weight is a common one, and it may be true to an extent. As you might expect, there is more to it than that. While there is some evidence to suggest that drinking coffee will ward off hunger, there is also evidence that a weight-loss plan based around excessive coffee drinking could be misguided.

Appetite Suppressant

Yes, coffee is a natural appetite suppressant to a certain extent, because of its caffeine content. According to the Mayo Clinic, caffeine may reduce your desire to eat for a brief time, but there is not enough evidence to state that long-term consumption will help with weight loss.

When hunger strikes, coffee can come to rescue for the moment. says that one way to stop hunger, and keep it at bay for three hours, is to eat a handful (no more than 10) of peanuts and chase them with a few sips of coffee. This combination is said to nullify hunger within minutes. However, eating a comparable 30-calorie snack of any kind may stop hunger just as well if you give it a few minutes for the signal to be relayed to your brain. How much longer the caffeine in coffee will stop hunger is the key question, and the results may vary for different people.

Coffee and Weight Loss

In addition to the beverage’s potential ability to control hunger, there are a couple of reasons why coffee may be effective in jumpstarting a weight-loss plan. Caffeine night stimulate thermogenesis, according the Mayo Clinic. Thermogenesis is a way the body produces heat and energy by digesting food and “burning” calories. Coffee also acts as a diuretic, which may cause some people to urinate more frequently and at higher volumes. This process will eliminate water weight from the body, and could seem to indicate quick weight loss. However, the loss does not indicate a reduction in fat deposits, and metabolic processes can be stressed by functional dehydration.

Side Effects

Too much coffee or other heavily caffeinated beverages can lead to nervousness, restlessness and insomnia, and while black coffee may be effective for short-term appetite control, specialty coffees with high fat and sugar content are likely cause weight gain.