False hunger caused by coffee

Anobono
Anobono Posts: 10 Member
edited May 13 in Food and Nutrition
I'm more a lurker than a poster, but this topic is so important to me that I thought I would share.

I have just rediscovered the false hunger I feel when I drink coffee which, of course, will lead me to overeat unless I'm very careful. You might be familiar with this: your stomach is somewhat upset, and it feels very similar to being hungry, but you're not, because you've had regular nutritious meals. Add to that the excited state caused by the caffeine and I suddenly just want to eat non-stop (though I haven't).

In my case, it's totally obvious what the cause is because I completely stopped drinking coffee for 4 months and practically forgot about this. As soon as I started again, this week in fact, the false hunger came back. So I guess I should really stay off coffee (coffee may be fine for you, but not for me.)

I joined MFP in January this year after having a fairly serious esophagitis/gastritis incident related to acid reflux. I have since had a gastroscopy and all looks fine, thankfully. But I'm at the stage where I either continuously suffer digestive issues every day and many nights or I lessen the symptoms through my lifestyle, including eating, sleeping, and exercising. I'm counting calories while eating a balanced diet macro-wise, and I have lost around 25 pounds so far, with 15-20 more to lose to reach my ideal weight. Being thinner will also help with my sleep apnea.
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Replies

  • nutmegoreo
    nutmegoreo Posts: 15,534 Member
    edited May 13
    I can't drink coffee, but I do drink tea. I have a similar issue of increased hunger with caffeine. I know most people report that it decreases their hunger, but for me, my brain interprets the jittery feeling with low blood sugar, making me stupid hungry. I have to control caffeine, if I'm going to control calories.

    I'm glad you figured it out. Great job on your progress!
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,870 Member
    edited May 14
    What Suzy said is my experience, but good to know yourself. One issue for me when on a deficit is I tend to overdo coffee. It doesn't make me hungry (the opposite), but at some point it interferes with sleep.
  • musicfan68
    musicfan68 Posts: 988 Member
    That's strange. Coffee is well known to curb appetite. Does for me. I can drink coffee in the morning and not be hungry until late afternoon.
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 7,625 Member
    Coffee is hunger neutral for me - it doesn't curb hunger, it doesn't make me hungry.

    But everyone is different, and we all have individual triggers- you know what works or doesn't work for you.

    And as an aside - yes, losing weight will certainly help with sleep apnoea issues.
  • I2k4
    I2k4 Posts: 176 Member
    edited May 14
    Marijuana does that to me, but a very light user (Canadian - legal) thereof.
  • WailingDusk
    WailingDusk Posts: 58 Member
    I drink black coffee, and it doesn't make me hungry. It does the opposite. What are you putting in your coffee? If you're loading it up with sugar, that may be what is triggering your hunger too.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,626 Member
    I drink black coffee, and it doesn't make me hungry. It does the opposite. What are you putting in your coffee? If you're loading it up with sugar, that may be what is triggering your hunger too.

    This was my question too, only I was wondering if you were using an artificial sweetener, which studies have shown can trigger hunger in some people.
  • Anobono
    Anobono Posts: 10 Member
    edited May 15
    I drink black coffee, and it doesn't make me hungry. It does the opposite. What are you putting in your coffee? If you're loading it up with sugar, that may be what is triggering your hunger too.

    I drink my coffee black, no sugar. I prefer dark roast, which is perhaps too strong for me?
  • Anobono
    Anobono Posts: 10 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    I drink black coffee, and it doesn't make me hungry. It does the opposite. What are you putting in your coffee? If you're loading it up with sugar, that may be what is triggering your hunger too.

    This was my question too, only I was wondering if you were using an artificial sweetener, which studies have shown can trigger hunger in some people.

    See my reply to WailingDusk :)
  • iam4scuba
    iam4scuba Posts: 38 Member
    Anobono wrote: »
    I drink black coffee, and it doesn't make me hungry. It does the opposite. What are you putting in your coffee? If you're loading it up with sugar, that may be what is triggering your hunger too.

    I drink my coffee black, no sugar. I prefer dark roast, which is perhaps too strong for me?

    Dark roasts don't inherently have more caffeine. Assuming the exact same bean roasted dark vs light, it has the same amount of caffeine either way. Unless you burn it, but that's not dark roast, it's just disgusting roast :). If you go to a specialty coffee shop, they'll weigh the beans, then yes, a cup of dark roast has more caffeine because they use more beans in that one cup. But a lot of the chain coffee shops won't weigh the beans, and you're likely to have less caffeine in a cup of dark roast compared to light roast.
  • drmwc
    drmwc Posts: 788 Member
    edited May 16
    The coffee shop I was in the morning offered robusta espresso, which has a materially higher caffeine content than arabica. (I went for arabica, as I prefer the taste.) It drew my attention, as it's a bit unusual for a specialty coffee shop.

    I believe robusta is often roasted darker than arabica, and is common in Italian-syle espressos. So if the dark espressos you drink contain robusta, it may have more caffeine than the equivalent brew with arabica.
  • Anobono
    Anobono Posts: 10 Member
    iam4scuba wrote: »
    Anobono wrote: »
    I drink black coffee, and it doesn't make me hungry. It does the opposite. What are you putting in your coffee? If you're loading it up with sugar, that may be what is triggering your hunger too.

    I drink my coffee black, no sugar. I prefer dark roast, which is perhaps too strong for me?

    Dark roasts don't inherently have more caffeine. Assuming the exact same bean roasted dark vs light, it has the same amount of caffeine either way. Unless you burn it, but that's not dark roast, it's just disgusting roast :). If you go to a specialty coffee shop, they'll weigh the beans, then yes, a cup of dark roast has more caffeine because they use more beans in that one cup. But a lot of the chain coffee shops won't weigh the beans, and you're likely to have less caffeine in a cup of dark roast compared to light roast.

    Interesting. When it comes to "sensitive stomachs", many factors come into play: caffeine level, acidity, added ingredients including fat and sweets, quantity, etc. In the end, the only take away I should remember is that coffee disturbs my stomach and that I should limit my consumption or avoid it entirely. I have to listen to my body.

    It should be a no brainer for me but I LOVE coffee and the caffeine buzz (more than the taste). Why a no-brainer? Because I suffer from GERD due to a hiatal hernia and acid reducers and blockers don't work for me -- probably because the issue is a bad valve and not too much acid -- and caffeinated drinks are high on the list of foods/beverages to avoid.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,626 Member
    edited May 16
    Anobono wrote: »
    iam4scuba wrote: »
    Anobono wrote: »
    I drink black coffee, and it doesn't make me hungry. It does the opposite. What are you putting in your coffee? If you're loading it up with sugar, that may be what is triggering your hunger too.

    I drink my coffee black, no sugar. I prefer dark roast, which is perhaps too strong for me?

    Dark roasts don't inherently have more caffeine. Assuming the exact same bean roasted dark vs light, it has the same amount of caffeine either way. Unless you burn it, but that's not dark roast, it's just disgusting roast :). If you go to a specialty coffee shop, they'll weigh the beans, then yes, a cup of dark roast has more caffeine because they use more beans in that one cup. But a lot of the chain coffee shops won't weigh the beans, and you're likely to have less caffeine in a cup of dark roast compared to light roast.

    Interesting. When it comes to "sensitive stomachs", many factors come into play: caffeine level, acidity, added ingredients including fat and sweets, quantity, etc. In the end, the only take away I should remember is that coffee disturbs my stomach and that I should limit my consumption or avoid it entirely. I have to listen to my body.

    It should be a no brainer for me but I LOVE coffee and the caffeine buzz (more than the taste). Why a no-brainer? Because I suffer from GERD due to a hiatal hernia and acid reducers and blockers don't work for me -- probably because the issue is a bad valve and not too much acid -- and caffeinated drinks are high on the list of foods/beverages to avoid.

    My mom has silent reflux which is not aggravated by caffeine pills, so those are perhaps one way to get a caffeine buzz without the disturbed stomach.

    These have 50 mg caffeine per capsule. (Their suggested serving size is two capsules.)

    https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00U0DL5O2
  • Anobono
    Anobono Posts: 10 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    caffeine pills

    That's interesting. Skip the coffee. Go straight to the caffeine :D
  • Walkywalkerson
    Walkywalkerson Posts: 447 Member
    I drink black coffee no sugar and it often makes me hungry - I'm trying to slowly phase coffee out and drink tea which doesn't have the same effect.
    If I go to a coffee shop I usually have a full fat mocha which is a sugary drink and it quiets my hunger for a while.
  • Anobono
    Anobono Posts: 10 Member
    I drink black coffee no sugar and it often makes me hungry - I'm trying to slowly phase coffee out and drink tea which doesn't have the same effect.
    If I go to a coffee shop I usually have a full fat mocha which is a sugary drink and it quiets my hunger for a while.

    I'm glad I never got into fat and sweet coffee because that's fewer calories to count. For fun, I looked up the nutrition for a venti Mocha Frappucino from Starbucks, and it's impressive at around 1/3 of my current daily calorie target:
    There are 460 calories in a Venti Mocha Frappuccino from Starbucks. Most of those calories come from fat (32%) and carbohydrates (62%).
  • shockbishop
    shockbishop Posts: 37 Member
    Coffee is the devil with Gerd. I still do it though. I do tend to get hungry after coffee, but it's morning, the best time to eat like a king!!!! I also don't eat at night either, so I'm pretty hungry on wakeup or shortly after coffee.

    Hey, try inclining your bed. I was able to drop some serious GERD meds doing that(after 25 years on them). Sleeping is where some serious damage is done.
  • jrlo561974
    jrlo561974 Posts: 1 Member
    For me it was a mental association with black coffee and sweet snacks, especially in the evening after dinner. I wasn't hungry, it just made me feel good. I also had some problems with gastric reflux, but it was the sweets, not the coffee. After a couple of weeks with no sweets in the house I began to enjoy my evening coffee solo.
  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 5,144 Member
    Different tack here.

    Coffees and teas can be diuretic. I have to go midway through a cup, it has such a strong effect on me. (Although I’m a late-to-the-party coffee drinker having only taken it up in the past year.)

    I find that coffee makes me feel dehydrated after drinking it. Your body can interpret dehydration signals as hunger cues.

    Try drinking a glass of water after your coffee?