Everyone wants a quick fix for weight loss, whether it is a pill, supplement, drink, detox, or diet. But, as you know, the quick fix usually doesn’t work. To lose weight and keep it off for good, you need to make some changes in your daily habits.
For thousands of years, people in Asia have been drinking green tea as a health drink. It has been a regular part of their daily life.
Green tea is not the same as other teas because it is unfermented. When teas ferment, they loose antioxidants. So green tea has the highest amount of antioxidants of all teas.
The antioxidants, or catechins, go after free radicals in your body. Free radicals are the main cause of disease and aging. So, naturally, we want less of these.
In 1999, researchers at a university in Switzerland found men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea burned more calories than those given only caffeine or a placebo.
Participants in the study increased their total energy expenditure (or metabolic rate) by 4% and reduced their body weight over a 3-month period.
EGCG, the main catechin, works together with caffeine to promote thermogenesis, an increase in metabolism and fat oxidation.
Green tea helps keep sugar from being stored as fats. Insulin turns excess glucose in your body into fats, but green tea blocks this effect and instead sends the glucose to your muscles for immediate use.
Researchers at Penn State University recently found EGCG to reduce the spike in blood sugar (blood glucose level) when eating starches.
In the study, mice were given a small dose of EGCG (equivalent to one and a half cups of green tea for humans) and corn starch. The increase in blood sugar was 50% lower in the mice that took the EGCG over the control group.
One of the researchers, Joshua Lambert, said, “That may mean that if you add sugar into your green tea, that might negate the effect that the green tea will have on limiting the rise in blood glucose level.”
Coffee (not the caffeine) can also lead to weight gain because it increases cortisol and insulin in the body. An increase in insulin levels promotes body fat.
Dr. Nicholas Perricone talked about green tea diets on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2004, and said, “If you substitute green tea for coffee, and do nothing else differently, you will lose 10 pounds in six weeks.”
There are green tea diet pills such as Mega T Green Tea, Mega Green Tea Extract, Green Tea Fat Burner, and Dieter’s Green Tea, but all you really need to do is add freshly brewed green tea to a healthy diet.
Tips for a healthy diet:
Drink lots of water: To be exact, you should drink around 8 – 10 glasses a day. Sodas, coffee, and teas do not count, either. Caffeine is a diuretic and increases urination.
Eat lots of plant-based foods: You can eat as many fruits and vegetables as you like! They are packed full of vitamins and fiber. They have everything your body needs.
Reduce your intake of animal fats: According to The China Study, “There are virtually no nutrients in animal-based foods that are not better provided by plants.” Try to make meat a side dish rather than the main course.
Avoid processed foods: Processed foods are high in sugar and lack in nutrients. Avoid the middle aisles of the grocery store, if possible.
Exercise: You need to have moderate exercise at least 2 or 3 times a week. Go for a walk, climb the stairs, ride a bike, or find something that you enjoy that increases your heart rate.
Limit caffeine and alcohol: Caffeine and alcohol are toxins in the body. In addition, alcohol can increase appetite!
Try to avoid bottled teas or tea bags. They are processed and have much less antioxidants than the real thing. And, do not put sugar or milk in your green tea.
Green tea diets can help give you a boost if you are trying to lose weight. If Dr. Perricone is correct, then something as simple as drinking green tea instead of coffee can help you shed 10 pounds in six weeks!
Anyone up for the challenge?
Campbell, T. C., & Campbell, T. M. (2006). The China study: Startling implications for diet, weight loss and long-term health. Dallas, TX: BenBella Books.
Dulloo, A., Duret, C., Rohrer, D., Girardier, L., Mensi, N., Fathi, M., & Vandermander, J. (1999). Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, 70(6), 1040-1045.
Forester, S., Gu, Y., & Lambert, J. D. (2012). Inhibition of starch digestion by the green tea polyphenol, (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 56(11), 1647.
Sinija, V. R., & Mishra, H. N. (2008). Green tea: Health benefits. Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine, 17(4), 232-242.