My Doctor Told Me To Drink Less Yerba Mate March 08 2014, 13 Comments

One of the most ironic things that have ever happened to me was when my doctor told me that I had to stop drinking so much yerba mate because it was making me lose too much weight. 

To give some context to the irony, I run a business selling yerba mate //ma-tay//. To add to that, I have never really believed in the so-called weight-loss properties of yerba mate. I just drink it because I like the energising effect and the ritualistic way of drinking mate.

I am male (1.68m), and weighed about 64 kg's which is a very healthy weight for my height.

Last month when I visited the doc the reading on the scale showed only 55 kg's! "You`re underweight!", he said.

I told him about my gluten-free diet, but he was not convinced about it causing so much weight-loss. Then, I pondered for a while and mentioned yerba mate to him. He was familiar with as a weight-loss medium and told me I should reduce my yerba mate consumption! Not easy for a yerba mate lover.

The interesting part is that I had been drinking yerba mate for 6 years but I had only lost the weight over the previous 6 months or so.

The reason for the sudden weight-loss was that I had been on a diet completely free from gluten ( protein found in grains such as wheat) for the previous 6 or 7 months. The common things you stop eating when going gluten-free are bread, cake, muffins, pies, pizza, pasta, scones, cookies, beer, oats, wheat cereals (most of them are wheat based) and sauces with wheat thickeners etc. In the past I only ate these treats occasionally anyway, so it would have been fair to expect a small adjustment in weight, but losing 9kg's was almost a 5th of my body mass!

I cut my consumption of yerba mate and increased my consumption of fatty fish and high carb rice. My weight went up from 55kg`s to 57.5kg's after 2 weeks.

I think yerba mate can indeed make you lose weight, however it only seems to work properly if you follow a semi- or completely gluten-free diet.

Somebody asked me yesterday, "Does this mean that people who are already on a gluten-free diet should not drink yerba mate?"

My answer was, "If you make sure you are getting sufficient carbs and natural fats from other sources you can and should drink mate occasionally, 3 to 4 times a week". In reality however, most people would probably want to lose a bit of weight. If that`s you then drink mate and stop eating bread for a month and let me know how much weight you lose.