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Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.read biographyclose window
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
As a specialty editor for the nutrition and healthy eating guide, Katherine Zeratsky helps you sort through the facts and figures, the fads and the hype to learn more about nutrition and diet.
A Marinette, Wis., native, Katherine is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.
She is active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition education related to weight management and practical applications of nutrition-related lifestyle changes.
Other areas of interest include food and nutrition for all life stages, active lifestyles and the culinary arts.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and worked as a registered dietitian and health risk counselor at ThedaCare of Appleton, Wis., before joining the Mayo Clinic staff.
Weight-loss basics (8)
- Body fat: What happens to lost fat?
- Fast weight loss: What's wrong with it?
- Slow metabolism: Is it to blame for weight gain?
- see all in Weight-loss basics
Diet plans (8)
- The Special K diet: Helpful for weight loss?
- Coffee calories: Sabotaging your weight-loss goal?
- Cabbage soup diet: Can it help with weight loss?
- see all in Diet plans
Mayo Clinic diet (1)
- Weight loss: Better to cut calories or exercise more?
Diet and exercise (4)
- Can I use yoga for weight loss?
- Walking: Is it enough for weight loss?
- Negative-calorie foods: Diet gimmick or weight-loss aid?
- see all in Diet and exercise
Diet pills, supplements and surgery (14)
- Ear stapling for weight loss: Does it work?
- Coconut oil and weight loss: Does it work?
- Lipovarin: An effective weight-loss supplement?
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Caffeine: Can it help me lose weight?
Does caffeine help with weight loss?
from Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
Caffeine may slightly boost weight loss or prevent weight gain, but there's no sound evidence that increased caffeine consumption results in significant or permanent weight loss.
Caffeine is found in many beverages, including coffee, tea, energy drinks and colas; in products containing cocoa or chocolate; and in a variety of medications and dietary supplements, including supplements aimed at weight loss.
Although research about the connection between caffeine and weight isn't definitive, there are several theories about how caffeine might affect weight, including:
- Appetite suppression. Caffeine may reduce your desire to eat for a brief time, but there's not enough evidence to show that long-term consumption aids weight loss.
- Calorie burning. Caffeine may stimulate thermogenesis — one way your body generates heat and energy from digesting food. But this probably isn't enough to produce significant weight loss.
- Water loss. In some people, caffeine can act as a diuretic, which means it increases the amount of urine you excrete. This increase in urine output, mostly water loss, may temporarily decrease your body weight, but it doesn't result in the loss of body fat.
Some studies looking at caffeine and weight were poor quality or done on animals, making the results questionable or hard to generalize to humans. In addition, some studies found that even decaffeinated coffee may contribute to modest weight loss, suggesting that substances or factors besides caffeine may play a role in weight loss.
The bottom line: Be cautious about using caffeine products to help with weight loss. When used in moderation, caffeine is generally safe. But too much caffeine might cause nervousness, insomnia, nausea, increased blood pressure and other problems. Also, some caffeinated beverages, such as specialty coffees, are high in calories and fat. So instead of losing weight, you might actually gain weight if you drink too many of these.Next question
Phentermine for weight loss: Can it help?
- Belza A, et al. The effect of caffeine, green tea and tyrosine on thermogenesis and energy intake. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2009;63:57.
- Nawrot P, et al. Effects of caffeine on human health. Food Additives and Contaminants. 2003;20:1.
- Lopez-Garcia E, et al. Changes in caffeine intake and long-term weight change in men and women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2006;83:674.
- Greenberg JA, et al. Coffee, diabetes, and weight control. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2006;84:682.
- Heckman M, et al. Caffeine (1, 3, 7-trimethylxanthine) in foods: A comprehensive review on consumption, functionality, safety, and regulatory matters. Journal of Food Science. 2010;75:R77.
- Bouchard D, et al. Coffee, tea and their additives: Association with BMI and waist circumference. Obesity Facts. 2010;3:345.
- Caffeine. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed April 20, 2011.
- Anderson CA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 20, 2011.
- Zeratsky KA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 21, 2011.