Can coffee cause weight gain? In some people caffeine can lead to hormonal changes that encourage fat storage.

“When you consume caffeine, it sends a message to the pituitary gland in your brain to alert your adrenal glands to make adrenalin,” says Dr Libby Weaver, author of Rushing Woman’s Syndrome.

“Your body thinks it is in danger so this causes a ‘fight or flight’ response, which leads your blood sugar to rise to provide you with more energy and in response, you make more insulin to deal with that elevation in blood sugar,” she says. Insulin is a primary fat storage hormone.

The effect is highest in sippers downing five or more cups of Joe a day.

The evidence

According to a study at the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research, mice fed the equivalent of five or more cups of coffee a day quickly developed abnormal retention of fat in their cells and liver and showed a greater insulin resistance.

In effect, too much coffee fast ramped up their risk of weight gain and Type 2 diabetes.

Tearoom tactics:
•    Choose low-caffeine teas and drink more herbal teas such as peppermint and chamomile, which are caffeine-free.

•    After you’ve had your daily coffee, sub in dandelion tea.

•    Swap tea for a H20 break; you’ll still get the benefit of getting up from your desk and moving and the water will make you feel full and stop you mistaking thirst for hunger (and throwing back a snack you don’t need).

Next: 15 ways to burn more fat>>