Claim: Viral TikTok trend suggests that drinking coffee mixed with lemon will lead to loss of belly fat in as little as five days.
The ingredients, coffee, lemon, and hot water are known to be linked to weight loss. However, taking them together is not a “special brew” nor does the brew have any extra potent effect that causes loss of excessive fat.
Zamansbusykitchen on TikTok shared a “TOP SECRET DRINK FOR FLAT TUMMY” which has gathered 245.7K likes and 25.1K shares. The post suggests that mixing half a tablespoon of coffee and half a lemon with a glass of hot water is highly effective for losing tummy fat.
The platform’s users have had a mix of responses to the trend with many claiming the efficacy of the mix. C_24yc stated that a total of 5lbs was lost in four days because of the brew while uaesarah2017 claimed she lost 2kg in a week.
Some have been indifferent to the “TOP SECRET” drink, stating that it does not work and shows no loss of weight in the five days claimed to be effective by other people.
Others like Kendalllamber also questioned if the brew is healthy for the body.
“Does it work and is it healthy or bad for our body or not?,” they asked.
Dubawa spoke to Ernestina Eduful (RDN), lead Dietician at NutriDi Wellness, who said that the beverage alone is not enough to cause weight loss.
“If they take this and still go on ahead to eat the way they already eat and are inactive, they will still put on weight. It will only work if perhaps they replace a higher calorie beverage they would regularly take with this. It can’t stand on its own unless you are doing all the other things like eating a healthy diet, more vegetables, low or no sugar, low oil intake, and keeping active,” she said.
She also noted that although lemon can boost metabolism and curb appetite while coffee can give that kick that can keep people going for extended periods of time without eating, those alone will not be sufficient for proper weight loss or fat burning.
Coffee and weight loss
Black coffee in itself is a low-calorie beverage that contributes to the boosting of metabolism. Metabolism is explained by the Insider as the process by which the body breaks down nutrients and makes use of the calories derived from food. Coffee is known to increase the rate at which the body burns calories in a state of rest [the basal metabolic rate (BMR)].
This is supported by findings by Cornelis et al (2018) in their study titled Metabolomic response to coffee consumption: application to three-stage clinical trial. Their study found that over a course of two months, participants who drank various quantities of coffee had developed higher levels of metabolites. This is what in turn results in faster metabolism in black coffee drinkers and consequently in the burning of more calories during the performance of physical activities or even during rest. This may then lead to weight loss.
Kim et al (2010), in their study Effects of caffeine on the metabolic response of lipolysis and activated sweat gland density in human during physical activity, also found that coffee can stimulate the nervous system and cause a directive to be sent to the fat cells to “break down fat”.
Coffee is also known for its appetite suppression qualities which leads to less food consumption and the creation of antioxidants which are useful in destroying free radicals (known for amassing fat); both of which may also result in weight loss.
Lemon and weight loss
Tejpal, Bastie and Klein Seetharaman’s (2018) Lemon Juice: A potential source of Angiotensin Converting Enzyme antagonism for weight loss and insulin resistance, found that lemon juice is a potential source of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) antagonism which is effective for weight loss. This means that lemon juice can produce ACE which prevents an enzyme in the body from creating angiotensin II which causes a narrowing of the blood vessels.
Hot/warm water and weight loss
Although studies on how hot water may result or contribute to weight loss is quite scant, studies on ample water consumption and its contributions to weight loss exist.
A study by Stooky et al (2008), Drinking water is associated with weight loss in overweight dieting women independent of diet and activity suggests that increased consumption of water is associated with significant body weight and fat loss over time.
Other benefits with increased water intake is the feeling of fullness, boosting of metabolism, and burning more calories, amongst others.
It is also important to note while the individual components in drinks are indicatively helpful in burning fat, fat loss or weight loss, when a caloric deficit, that is, the burning of more calories than is consumed daily is not established, no fat or weight loss may be achieved.
Even though coffee, lemon and water, the three main ingredients in the claim, have properties that contribute to weight loss, using them together, as a set, does not particularly have any extra or special ability in belly fat loss. Additionally, maintaining an unhealthy lifestyle while drinking this brew will not result in the suggested results.