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Coffee & weight loss

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I myself have had my battles with Starbucks. It's a difficult habit to break (though after writing this column, I'm going to give it a try). I can tell you this, though, both from my experience and from that of others: When you break the coffee habit, you will feel your own power and energy and be in touch with your own natural energetic rhythms. You may even find that a caffeine-free existence is a great boost to your weight-loss efforts.

Although we may not be ready to say that something as basic to American life as coffee is a "drug," we can certainly say that it has druglike properties:

* It's addictive.
* It's a stimulant.
* It alters mood.

And -- it's not good for weight loss.

There are two basic reasons coffee is a problem for the person trying to lose weight. (It's no bargain for the person who isn't either, by the way). The first reason is psychological, the second physiological.

Psychological

Coffee fits neatly into the receptors for a brain chemical known as adenosine, which is partly responsible for calming you down. By interrupting the activity of adenosine, coffee makes you feel awake and wired.

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