Is Caffeine The Secret Cause Of Your Weight Gain & Sugar Cravings?

Lifestyle, Nutrition Advice

When I was practicing as a clinical nutritionist, I noticed a pattern when it came to caffeine. People came to see me and felt they were doing all of the right things – eating well, exercising, sleeping their 8 hours – and yet, they were still finding it difficult to balance or control their weight AND they were experiencing intense sugar cravings, especially around 5pm and then again after dinner. They would say to be “I’m doing all the right things Jess, but my sugar cravings are non-stop and I can’t seem to lose the weight!”. I started noticing a pattern…


These clients were consuming more than 1 cup of caffeine daily – usually 2, 3, 4 cups (and enjoying caffeine after lunch/in the afternoon specifically).


Having been a fad dieter myself – black coffee with sweetener was my best friend. It is the perfect ‘skinny’ food. You feel you can have unlimited amount. However, people are not realising the impact caffeine can have on the body in excess amounts.


So, when I would see these symptoms of sugar cravings and an inability to lose weight, my number question became “How many coffees are you having a day?”


Caffeine can cause weight gain or make it very difficult to lose weight. This is because caffeine can have a direct impact on your stress levels (cortisol) and blood sugar balance, which in turn affects weight balance. Cortisol makes it very difficult to lose weight.


Also, some people are having coffee the wrong way – with too much milk (a large double latte!) and too many added sugars or artificial sweeteners. If you are struggling to lose weight and are having more than 1 cup of coffee a day, this MAY be the culprit!


Caffeine can also affect sleep as it can stay in the bloodstream for up to 8 hours. So, if you are struggling to fall asleep or waking up between 2-4am (broken sleep) this may also be causing you to wake up tired which in turns effects your ability to make healthy choices. We also know that less sleep will make it harder to balance our weight.


The solution?


My rule is to as always is to stick to 1x coffee a day, and to enjoy it with food before 10AM. This has been a long time JSHealth rule that people are thriving off.


Healthy living is not about deprivation – I am not asking you to give up coffee. I am just asking you to tweak and moderate your consumption for a healthier life.


Enjoy that 1 cup a day. I sip my coffee slowly and enjoy each sip! I drink it so mindfully which makes me feel so satisfied.


When you start to balanced your blood sugar levels and adrenal gland function (which I teach you how to do in my latest 8 week online program) you will see that you start to crave less caffeine.


In Week 7 of my online program specifically I discuss the various factors that influence weight. You can find it here!






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Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My  copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time.  My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.

With kindest regards Samantha

I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.

When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.

I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.


Hey Jessica!
I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again

- Jacinta

I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!


Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.

– Sophie

Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!


I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).

– Helene

I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud

Michelle Curtis

My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.