Healthy Eat


The "lemon coffee challenge"

Pineapple, green tea, cucumber… many foods are advertised for their slimming properties. Some are the focus of crazy diets. The latest trend on social media?

The "lemon coffee challenge"

means the “lemon coffee challenge”. Good or bad idea? These other equally daunting challenges should absolutely terrify you:

The Thigh Gap Challenge has become very popular with young women around the world. It consists of widening the gap between the thighs as much as possible when the legs are together. The Cinderella Challenge relies on Disney character Cinderella’s measurements to create a baseline… totally impossible to match of course. The A4 Challenge requires you to take a selfie with a simple A4 sheet of paper in front of you.

If no part of your body is protruding, you have completed the challenge. If not, you are like the majority of the population. 7 million. At the time of writing, this is how many times the hashtag #lemoncoffeechallenge has been quoted on Tiktok, a social network very popular among young people. The principle is simple.

You will lose the most weight with this incredible mixture:

a good glass of lemon juice in a large coffee mug. All taken several times a day on an empty stomach for a “guaranteed” and “immediate effect”. The problem, as I’m sure you understand, is that this miracle recipe… doesn’t work.

Worse, it could be harmful to your health. Why it doesn’t work Thanks to its stimulating effect, coffee has a slight appetite suppressant effect, but only to a very limited extent. Drinking coffee (like any other beverage, including water) can also trick your body into filling your stomach with fluid to make you feel full, but only for a short time. As for coffee’s laxative effects, while real for some people, “it has no effect on weight
other than speeding up defecation,” moderates Maaike Kruseman, Consultant Dietitian*.

The other belief conveyed by this diet is that caffeine has the ability to speed up the oxidation of fats. This effect can be achieved in the laboratory, but several studies show that it has no real-life effects, except perhaps when consuming phenomenal amounts of caffeine,” adds the nutritionist.

Lemons do not have the fat burning power that is sometimes attributed to them. On the contrary, it is rich in vitamin C and potassium, which makes it a useful food as part of a healthy diet. wrong with coffee and lemon itself, but there’s no argument for combining them for weight loss. Also, I think it tastes pretty bad! responds Maaike Kruseman.

Are you aware of danger? As with many other foods, the potential harm of coffee is primarily due to the amount consumed. But this kind of challenge can lead to extreme behavior. Of course, it all depends on each person’s sensitivity, but beyond 3 to 5 cups a day, coffee can cause restlessness, trouble sleeping, increased heart rate, and although this has yet to be confirmed — could increase the risk of a heart attack in people at risk. You don’t have to run to the coffee shop to lose weight effectively.

It is important to ensure a regular and varied diet and to avoid foods with a very high energy density and very low nutrient density, especially highly processed and sugary drinks. For people who are still struggling to lose weight, try reducing the amounts consumed, which may not be appropriate,” adds Maaike Kruseman. Will all diets be banned? Some can help some people for a short time…

the nutritionist admits.

But for someone who has an eating disorder or an uneasy relationship with food, I would advise avoiding diets that ban an entire category of food.

Finally, this type of “challenge” on social media raises a deeper problem. “The idea it promotes is that losing weight is absolutely desirable,” explains Maaike Kruseman. That may be true for some people, but certainly not for all. .” By generalizing potentially harmful behaviors, these challenges trivialize weight loss and add to the praise of thinness. “How desirable is it to want to lose weight at all costs? asks the nutritionist. Losing weight is not a harmless process and cannot be a fad.

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