Both from personal experience and in my work with clients, I know there is no real, long-term quick fix for weight loss. There is no healthy miracle pill or food that will make the pounds come off and, more importantly, stay off. Getting and staying slim is always a matter of eating the right foods for your body at the right times of the day, the correct consistent exercise for your body, and a healthy, balanced lifestyle with self-care and stress management tools at your disposal. That’s the secret. It’s not a pill or a drink, or a powder, or a piece of equipment that lets you eat crap without gaining weight. It’s not calorie counting, or low-fat, low-cal packaged foods, or frozen dinners. Though there are supplements and tricks and diets that help you drop weight quickly, odds are, you won’t be able to keep it off without making real, healthy changes to your eating and lifestyle. The weight will always come back, and it will bring friends.
So with this in mind, I wasn’t too taken in by all the hullabaloo surrounding green coffee bean extract (GCBE) that everyone has been talking about. But enough clients have been asking me about it (ever in search of that quick fix!), that I thought I’d do a little more research.
Green coffee beans are raw, unroasted beans found in red coffee berries. In their unadulterated state, coffee beans offer a ton of natural antioxidants, can lower risk of diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. However, the benefit I’m most interested in (and the part everyone is talking about) is the effect green coffee beans have on blood sugar. Chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant abundant in green coffee bean extract, has been shown to significantly inhibit the release of glucose into the blood stream, preventing the elevated blood sugar levels that make weight loss difficult for many people. Stable blood sugar equals weight loss, energy, and improved hormone function!
But wait… Before you get all excited and think this is the miracle cure you’re looking for, that will let you eat pizza and ice cream and still lose weight, you’re wrong. Although GCBE will definitely help stabilize your blood sugar after meals, it’s not going to keep you from gaining cellulite, clogged arteries, and increased risk of all kinds of disease that is the result of poor eating. It’s also not a long-term solution. Clinical trials of GCBE were for 3 months, and I’m going to go ahead and wager that if you are overeating or eating poorly and using GCBE to stay slim, it’s going to catch up with you, and you will balloon up!
Green coffee bean extract could be for you if you are already making the transition to healthier eating and lifestyle. When used in conjunction with healthy eating, GCBE can be a great way to supplement all the hard work you’re doing, especially if you struggle with blood sugar issues. Keep in mind, this supplement is for adults who are significantly overweight or pre-obese, not people who have 10 lbs. to lose.
If you’re going to take green coffee bean extract:
- Make sure it is sourced from organic coffee beans (coffee is one of the most highly sprayed crops in the world). This is actually pretty hard to find in capsule form, but it’s out there in powder form.
- Make sure to drink lots of water (coffee is a natural diuretic, and a dehydrated body does not do well with weight loss)
- Make sure the extract is pure, and not filled with tons of other ingredients.
Natasha Uspensky, CHHC
Holistic Health & Nutrition Counselor