Weight loss is such a tiring subject, isn’t it? We want to add a little zest to it, because, for better or worse, losing weight (or preventing weight gain!) tops the goal list of a high percentage of Americans.
Whether it’s to improve heart health, avoid diabetes or just feel better, many of us have very specific reasons for wanting to shed some fat.
It’s our goal to help these fat burning efforts by revealing an effective flight of teas that can help keep you on track and maybe even accelerate your weight loss efforts.
You read that right – drinking tea can indeed enhance weight loss efforts. And no, it doesn’t need to be a special “weight loss tea.” Pure, quality teas will do the trick!
Read on to discover which teas are best for the various phases of a weight loss journey!
Green Tea For Increased Metabolism And Appetite Suppression
Anywhere you look nowadays, you can find products claiming to help boost your metabolism and burn more fat. Green tea actually has the science to back it up.
It’s the catechins in green tea that seem to be particularly effective in burning visceral belly fat, which is the most unhealthy (and potentially dangerous!) fat that your body stores. Studies have shown that green tea can aid in reducing waistline size without changing body weight (1).
And since green tea contains not only these amazing catechins but also caffeine, these two elements work together to boost your metabolic rate and ability to burn fat.
Specifically, one study showed that your daily calorie expenditure could increase by up to 4% by drinking green tea (2). When that increase is happening on a daily basis, it makes more of a difference than you’d think!
Bonus: Green tea has been proven time and time again to be a successful aid in reducing not just body fat, but also LDL cholesterol (3)(4). This goes above and beyond mere weight loss – these are true long-term health benefits!
There’s one more really cool way in which green tea can aid weight-loss efforts. Green tea catechins have actually been proven to lower your ghrelin levels (5).
What’s ghrelin, you ask? Ghrelin is a hormone known as the “hunger hormone,” and it is the primary culprit of those annoying hunger pangs. For many of us, lifestyle, environmental and biological stressors can lead to a hormone imbalance which will actually set off hunger pangs that have nothing to do with a true need to eat.
Normalizing your ghrelin levels will alleviate this problem. And drinking green tea is one of the simplest ways to do that!
P.S. Don’t forget about matcha, which is made by grinding up the entire tea leaf. Essentially, it’s a very potent form of green tea.
Hibiscus Tea For Help With Sugar And Carbs
If you’ve ever spent any time trying to lose weight, you probably feel like sugar and carbs (glucose and starches) are your enemies, right? But enemies that you love . . . and probably miss! We’ve all been there.
Hibiscus extract seems to have the uncanny ability to reduce absorption of glucose and starches (6). Sound too good to be true? Let’s investigate how this works.
Amylase is an enzyme your body secretes in order to absorb glucose and starch. Hibiscus actually blocks production of amylase, making it more likely that at least some of the sugar and carbs you eat will pass through your system without ever being absorbed into your cells (7). Sounds like plant magic!
Being able to maintain stable blood sugar levels is also important to weight management, as well as avoiding adult-onset diabetes. Hibiscus tea can help with this too. Even in patients who have already developed diabetes, hibiscus has shown an ability to help manage blood sugar levels (8).
In a study involving participants with BMI’s considered to be “overweight,” a group that was given hibiscus extract decreased their body fat, lost weight and improved their waist-to-hip ratio, as compared to the placebo group (9).
Bonus: Hibiscus might even help you maintain healthy blood pressure. In a blind study where neither of the two control groups knew whether they were being given hibiscus extract, the group taking hibiscus experienced a significant reduction in their blood pressure (3). Other studies have reached similar findings, including improved blood pressure in diabetic patients (4)(5).
Black Tea For Enhanced Energy
Ask anyone who’s ever tried to lose weight, and they’ll tell you the energy struggle is real. You’re trying to eat less, so you’re tired and don’t exactly feel pumped to work out, right? Doesn’t seem fair at all.
Black tea can help! It has two powerful weapons: caffeine and L-theanine.
First off, black tea has the highest caffeine content of all the teas. And yes, caffeine is a well-known stimulant, but in combination with the calming antioxidant L-theanine, these two will give you a steady, calm and focused mental state with no subsequent energy crash.
In a couple different studies on black tea’s ability to enhance mental alertness and focus, the group drinking black tea was more accurate in mental tasks than the placebo group. The black tea group also self-reported feeling more alert than the placebo group (10).
And there’s more: It turns out that when you consume black tea, you are supporting your body’s ability to form microbial metabolites. These little guys are critical to regulating your energy metabolism, which supports your body’s ability to lose weight (11). Pretty cool.
Peppermint Tea To Beat Cravings
So you’ve committed to eating healthy, and you’ve had the perfect day sticking to well-balanced meals. Evening comes, and what’s your reward for being good all day? Your sweet tooth emerges, tempting you to eat anything in the house that’s not nailed down.
Again, we’ve all been there, right?
Willpower is awesome and all, but if you want a little help, peppermint tea can do wonders to stop those cravings in their tracks. It’s all about the smell!
Yup, you’re winning this battle through your nose. Scientists have discovered that just the scent of peppermint is capable of triggering certain chemical reactions in your brain that will reduce cravings.
And that translates to weight loss: one study showed that smelling peppermint every two hours translated to an average of 5lbs lost in a month! (12)
So when you sit down with your steaming cup of peppermint tea, be sure to spend some time deeply inhaling the aromatic steam while you drink up!
And if you’re thinking that you should just sniff it and not drink it — think again. Peppermint also has tummy-soothing properties and can combat bloating.
White Tea To Cut The Fat
Because white tea leaves are not processed the same way other teas are, a cup of white tea will provide you with a higher concentration of catechins and polyphenols. The result?
Your body is less able to form new fat cells.
Seriously! Scientists have discovered that the antioxidant EGCG (found in very high doses in white tea) is able to prevent the formation of fat cells (13). And it gets better — EGCG also demonstrated an ability to speed up the breakdown of fat.
Recommended Daily Tea Routine
Now that you know how various teas can help you, what’s the best way to incorporate them into your day? In order to experience noticeable benefits, we recommend drinking at least 3-6 cups per day for 30 consecutive days. That should include at least 2 cups of green tea!
The best way to drink tea is to sip it slowly, not chug it all at once. Try to spend at least 10-20 minutes enjoying your cup of tea and wait awhile before making another cup. This will ensure your body can gradually absorb all the polyphenols (antioxidants) instead of overloading your body all at once. Chugging a cup of tea too quickly can actually cause nausea, stomach sensitivity or caffeine overdose.
Here is a program we recommend for maximum benefits:
- Early morning: black tea
- Mid-morning: black tea
- Lunch: hot green tea
- Afternoon: black tea
- Late afternoon: green tea or herbal tea (depending on caffeine sensitivity)
- Dinner: herbal tea
People in the far east routinely drink 10 or more cups of tea per day, so there’s no need to worry you’re drinking too much!
Of course, you are more likely to experience benefits if you add tea-drinking to a healthy diet, and if you minimize (or avoid) sweeteners.
Losing weight is hard! If there’s a simple and yummy way to make it easier, why not give it a try. Whether it’s giving you more energy to conquer your workouts, helping you triumph over your sweet tooth or giving your body tools to help burn fat, tea truly can be your secret weapon.
Have you tried using tea to help with weight loss? Let us know your experience!
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