Five Top Tips on Skinny Coffee

Is Skinny Coffee a thing?

Have you heard about skinny coffee?  Skinny coffee products are touted as miracle cures to assist in weight loss, but does it really work?  

As everyone is aware, weight gain and obesity have become very serious health concerns, and there are many different strategies touted as effective slimming aids.  One such aid is skinny coffee.

TOP TIP # 1 - What are Skinny coffee ingredients?

The ingredients in a skinny coffee may vary depending on whether it is marketed as a day, night, or flavoured coffee. A night coffee drink is usually decaffeinated, as compared to the day coffee which can have ground coffee, ground green coffee, green tea extract (GTE), and garcinia cambogia.  

TOP TIP # 2 - What is Garcinia Cambogia?

Garcinia Cambogia is a pumpkin-shaped fruit from South East Asia, called a Malabar Tamarind.  The active ingredient in the rind is called hydroxycitric acid or HCA, and it is claimed to inhibit lipogenesis and reduce appetite.  HCA appears to block an enzyme called citrate lyase, which your body uses to make fat, but does HCA really help with weight loss? In a systematic review of 9 studies that used HCA for weight loss,there was overall a modest short term weight loss, but gastrointestinal side effects were twice as common in the HCA groups and more studies are needed (2, 3).

TOP TIP # 3 - Caffeine and weight loss

Caffeine has been shown to increase energy expenditure in humans (4), possibly through a thermogenic and fat oxidation effect.  Studies have also shown that people who have a regular intake of caffeine, there is a negative dose-response relationship between both ground caffeinated and ground decaffinated coffee with weight gain, in adults less than 60 years of age (5), i.e.they are less likely to gain weight over time. Usually the weight loss effects from caffeine are modest and short term,and there are side effects to having too much caffeine such as tremors,insomnia, nervousness, jitteriness, vomiting and tachycardia (6).

TOP TIP # 4 - Green coffee beans

Green coffee beans are claimed to inhibit fat accumulation and modulate glucose metabolism, however the research is of poor methodological quality and there are few clinical trials(6).  A more recent study indicated some promising results, with green coffee extract consumers losing up to 10% of their body weight over 12 weeks, however as with a lot of research there were limitations in the study  and more research is required (7).  

TOP TIP # 5 - Green Tea Extract

GTE has a long history of many uses, and is claimed to help overweight or obese people lose weight.  The catechins (water soluble polyphenols) and caffeine are the ingredients reported to increase metabolism.  You can either drink green tea or take a GTE supplement. In a systematic review looking at consumption of green teas in studies longer than 12 weeks, there was no significant difference in weight loss or weight maintenance with green tea drinkers (8).  It appears more randomized controlled trials are needed.

So, will drinking skinny coffee or skinny tea help you to lose weight? Maybe for some people, but as always, eating less calories and getting regular exercise is a good start.


  1. Igho, O.,Kang, H. S., Rachel, P., Barbara, W., & Edzard, E. (2010). The use of Garcinia extract (hydroxycitric acid) as a weight loss supplement: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials. Journal of obesity2011.
  2. Egras, A. M., Hamilton, W. R., Lenz, T. L.,& Monaghan, M. S. (2010). An evidence-based review of fat modifying supplemental weight loss products. Journal of obesity2011.
  3. Saper, R. B., Eisenberg, D. M., & Phillips,R. S. (2004). Common dietary supplements for weight loss. American family physician70, 1731-1740.
  4. Westerterp‐Plantenga,M. S., Lejeune, M. P., & Kovacs, E. M. (2005). Body weight loss and weight maintenance in relation to habitual caffeine intake and green tea supplementation. Obesity research, 13(7), 1195-1204.
  5. Vinson,J. A., Burnham, B. R., & Nagendran, M. V. (2012). Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a green coffee bean extract in overweight subjects. Diabetes,metabolic syndrome and obesity: targets and therapy, 5, 21.
  6. Greenberg, J. A., Axen, K. V., Schnoll, R., & Boozer, C. N. (2005). Coffee, tea and diabetes: the role of weight loss and caffeine. International journal of obesity, 29(9),1121.
  7. Onakpoya, I., Terry,R., & Ernst, E. (2011). The use of green coffee extract as a weight loss supplement: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials. Gastroenterology research and practice, 2011.
  8. Jurgens, T. M., Whelan, A. M., Killian, L., Doucette, S., Kirk,S., & Foy, E. (2012). Green tea for weight loss and weight maintenance in overweight or obese adults. Cochrane database of systematic reviews,(12).

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