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How Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight

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The number one New Year’s Resolution is weight loss. It’s held this position for quite possibly decades, and with good reason. The modern lifestyle we all have is currently making it really hard to be physically active. This explains why many are turning to natural ways of losing weight, and studies suggest one of the best methods is by drinking green tea.

Why is Green Tea good for weight loss?

While the general conclusion is still anything, but conclusive, many experts point out a deep correlation between green tea consumption and better weight management. Specifically, researchers saw that people who habitually drank green tea were less likely to be obese and are more likely to be within a healthy weight range for their height, also known as BMI.

Scientists also suggest that East Asian countries with traditions and/or cultures that regularly drink green tea are less likely to have problems with weight relative to their Western counterparts.

Green Tea for Weight Loss

What Happens If I Drink Green Tea Every Day?

Based on actual studies, here are some of the benefits of drinking green tea regularly:

Weight Loss

It’s no secret that perhaps everyone and their aunts know green tea can help with weight loss. Drinking green tea can help you manage weight by:

  • Increasing the metabolic rate. The active compounds found in green tea have been cited to increase energy expenditure which translates to more calories burned. More calories burned leads to better weight loss efforts. [1]
  • Making you feel full. Tea seems to possess some form of appetite suppressing property, which can help you eat less. No matter how fancy it is, eating less is at the center of many weight loss diets. [5]
  • Reduce stress. You know that feeling when you’re stressed out and you feel like a doughnut can help you cope with whatever it is that’s stressing you out? Yeah, green tea can also do that minus the 200+ calories. Drinking green tea is known to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, so lower stress levels means you’re less likely to crave something from the fridge. Not to mention at most, drinking green tea will only give you 3 calories per cup.

Good for the brain

Some studies show green tea’s bioactive compounds can have brain-protective elements to them, especially with regards to neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. [6]

A good source of antioxidants

Antioxidants are pretty much what the body uses to help fight free radical damage which can lead to higher risks of diseases as well as rapid aging. This explains why people who regularly drink green tea appear youthful despite their advanced age, and are unlikely to suffer from chronic ailments and even some cancers.

Does green tea work as a fat burner?

Green tea works really well as a fat burner. It’s among the highest sources of polyphenols, compounds known to help the body burn more fat and help you lose weight naturally. Then, there’s also the amazing fat burning effects of its most active compound: Epigallocatechin Gallate or EGCG. [1] [2]

EGCG is thought to be behind green tea’s potent fat burning properties, as well as its other health benefits. It’s so good that many supplement companies are now selling green tea extracts either as a solo ingredient formula, or as part of a complex fat burning stack.

What is the best time to drink green tea for weight loss?

There is no real right or wrong answer to this question because this is more about convenience than it is efficacy.

Daytime

Many East Asian cultures drink green tea (usually hot) during the day as part of their regular beverage. You can see this being in practice in countries like Taiwan, Japan, and many parts of China. These countries are also known to have much lower rates of obesity, with experts saying green tea consumption plays a huge role in overall weight loss.

Drinking green tea during the day may help with satiety and a bit of an energy boost, as some green tea variants still have a bit of caffeine – enough to give you a bit of a good energy boost, but not enough to cause stimulatory side effects. The active components in green tea, which could be the secret behind its metabolism-boosting properties, may also help you burn more fat during the day and in-between meals.

Night time

Green tea is a natural relaxant, as it makes consumers feel less stressed and less anxious. If you’re the type who has trouble getting to sleep, and also want to burn extra fat while you’re in bed, then drinking at night should be beneficial. [3]

Do note that green tea also has diuretic effects i.e. it can make you get up to urinate in the middle of the night, so don’t drink too much!

Then there’s also the indirect benefit of a good sleep to weight loss. More people who have higher quality of sleep (7-8 hours and undisturbed) are less likely to eat too much the following day. This has to do with studies confirming the link between sleep deprivation/disturbance and higher overall caloric intake.

References:

  1. Bose M, Lambert JD, Ju J, Reuhl KR, Shapses SA, Yang CS. The major green tea polyphenol, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate, inhibits obesity, metabolic syndrome, and fatty liver disease in high-fat-fed mice. J Nutr. 2008;138(9):1677-1683. doi:10.1093/jn/138.9.1677
  2. Li F, Gao C, Yan P, et al. EGCG Reduces Obesity and White Adipose Tissue Gain Partly Through AMPK Activation in Mice. Front Pharmacol. 2018;9:1366. Published 2018 Nov 22. doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.01366
  3. Unno K, Noda S, Kawasaki Y, et al. Reduced Stress and Improved Sleep Quality Caused by Green Tea Are Associated with a Reduced Caffeine Content. Nutrients. 2017;9(7):777. Published 2017 Jul 19. doi:10.3390/nu9070777
  4. Murao T, Sakurai K, Mihara S, Marubayashi T, Murakami Y, Sasaki Y. Lifestyle change influences on GERD in Japan: a study of participants in a health examination program. Dig Dis Sci. 2011;56(10):2857-2864. doi:10.1007/s10620-011-1679-x
  5. Josic J, Olsson AT, Wickeberg J, Lindstedt S, Hlebowicz J. Does green tea affect postprandial glucose, insulin and satiety in healthy subjects: a randomized controlled trial. Nutr J. 2010;9:63. Published 2010 Nov 30. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-9-63
  6. Kakutani S, Watanabe H, Murayama N. Green Tea Intake and Risks for Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Cognitive Impairment: A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2019;11(5):1165. Published 2019 May 24. doi:10.3390/nu11051165

Frequently asked questions about green tea

What is green tea?

Tea is the second most popular beverage in the world next to water, with green tea taking the top spot among other tea variants. Many experts cite green tea consumption with many health benefits ranging from lower stress and better immunity to weight loss and longevity.

What is the healthiest green tea?

There is really no clear answer to this as some variants have some perks that others don’t, but generally speaking green tea has more EGCG, the active compound known for its fat burning and weight loss benefits.

Who should not drink green tea?

People who are prone to excessive urination or have problems with bladder control should not drink green tea regularly. Green tea has diuretic properties which can exacerbate conditions that already make it difficult to manage urination frequency.
Those who are easily bloated or have conditions that regularly cause bloating should not consume that much green tea as well, as this can cause high acidity. Acidity is linked to bloating as well as acid reflux. [4]

What are the side effects of drinking green tea?

The common side effects associated with green tea consumption include excessive urination, acidity, bloating, acid reflux, and even moodiness. Some even say too much green tea can hamper with the body’s iron absorption from food.

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