How Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight

green-teaNext to water, tea is considered to be the most consumed drink in the world. Of the many varieties of tea available, green tea is rather popular for its nutrients which help melt away pounds.

Green tea for weight loss is possible and practical only if you drink it and not consume green tea flavored ice cream or noodles, or wear its perfume. It’s weight loss properties are attributed to its epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, a healthy antioxidant found in green tea, and not its flavor.

Is green tea good for weight loss?

Most of the commercial weight loss and fat burning supplements in the market have some kind of tea as an ingredient. Studies have especially shown that green tea helps increase the burning of fat while exercising. It is the selective boosting of fat burning by green tea when you exercise which helps you lose body fat in the long term.

Green tea does help with weight loss as it contains bioactive substances which trigger biological effects to help you lose weight. It contains caffeine which helps burn both fat and calories in your body.

Though it contains less caffeine (24-40mg) than a cup of coffee (100mg-200mg), every 100mg of caffeine you drink burns 9 extra calories. Green tea is especially helpful with weight loss because of its potent catechins EGCG, which boosts your body metabolism.

Green tea helps induce weight loss by mobilizing fat from fat cells for breaking down. The EGCG in green tea inhibits the enzyme which breaks down the hormone norepinephrine to help increase norepinephrine levels.

As norepinephrine hormone is responsible for signaling the breakdown of fat in fat cells, the higher are its levels, the stronger are signals it sends to the fat cells. This leads to more fat getting released into the bloodstream to be used as energy by cells needing it like muscle cells.

Not only does green tea burn fat, it also helps your body burn more calories even at rest by increasing your body metabolic rate. This increase in body metabolism can be anything from a 3-8% increase. So a person who usually burns 2000 calories per day ends up burning 60-80 more calories.

However these metabolism boosting effects of green tea depend on the individual. Some people may experience prolonged increased body metabolism and some, may not even experience any increase in their body metabolism.

So basically green tea helps increase metabolism and the body’s fat burning process. But as the effects are rather modest, not much weight is lost. However if you look at things this way, every bit helps while attempting to lose weight.

In fact, the green tea weight loss effects prove more pronounced when they are used with other effective weight loss strategies like eating more proteins and reducing your intake of carbs.

How much green tea for weight loss?

Now that you know that green tea helps you lose weight, you also need to know it’s not enough to just drink one cup a day to start losing weight! You need to drink a minimum of 3-5 cups of green tea everyday to get the required amount of caffeine and catechins to help you lose weight.

On an average, a cup of green tea contains about 120-130mg of catechins and 10-60mg of caffeine. The actual amount depends on the brewing technique used to make a cup of green tea.

How to prepare green tea for healthy weight

A person working at losing weight is obviously very careful about their calorie consumption. Each calorie counts and you can’t afford to add unnecessary calories to your meals and drinks.

So while green tea does help you lose weight, it doesn’t give profound results. There’s thus no point in negating any of your weight loss results by adding sweeteners like honey, milk or cream to your tea.

It’s better to avoid using green tea bags. Opt only for fresh leaves as you have to extract the leaves’ essence by pouring hot water directly onto it. Tea bags only reduce the chemical reaction’s potency. In case you have no other option but to use tea bags, just cut open the bag and pour hot water directly onto the contents.

Regarding the brewing process never let the water start boiling. Instead, you just have heat some water and pour it over the tea leaves just before it reaches boiling point. Let the leaves steep for 3-4 minutes, and your green tea is ready to drink!

A cup of plain green tea contains only 2 calories. So it’s a welcome addition to your weight loss endeavors as you have nothing much to lose. However adding just a tablespoon of honey and cream increases its calorie level to 86 calories.

So if you drink 3-5 cups of green tea a day to lose weight, the added honey and cream to all these cups leads to an additional 258-430 calories a day which in turn leads to an additional 2-3 pounds a month!

Why green tea is better than black tea

why-green-tea-is-better-than-black-teaBasically, all types of tea are picked from a leafy green shrub of the same Camellia family plants. The manufacturing process for black tea involves fermenting and curing new tea leaves which in turn breaks down most of the leaves’ active compounds.

Green tea is prepared by lightly steaming freshly picked tea leaves. This not only preserves the leaves’ active compounds, but also destroys enzymes which tend to quickly break them down.

The green tea with added flavors like pomegranate, cranberry and apple are also as healthy as green tea. However the problem crops up if the flavoring contains sugar as its additional calories only reduces green tea’s weight loss actions. Similarly, while there is no difference between hot and iced green tea, if the iced versions are over-diluted with water, it can  reduces the tea’s effects.

Green tea is available in various brands which may vary in its health benefits on your body. Different brands use different quality tea leaves and different ingredients which may improve or mess up your green tea’s benefits. It’s always better to look for, and use a brand with all natural ingredients and no artificial preservatives.

Popular green tea varieties

Two popular varieties of green tea are Matcha and Hojicha. Matcha comprises of green tea leaves which are ground into a fine powder. You just have to whisk the powder into water and drink your tea with it. You thus end up consuming the powder to enjoy much more antioxidants than other green teas.

Hojicha is made from green tea leaves picked at the end of the season and roasted till dark brown. As the leaves are roasted at a very high temperature when compared to other teas, hojicha tea has lower caffeine levels.

While there is no best green tea for weight loss, it’s always better to drink your tea fresh as the fresher the tea is the better are its effects on your body. The antioxidant potency of tea bags and loose tea usually lasts for up to 6 months.

What about green tea extract weight loss?

Unfortunately, not all people like the taste of organic green tea weight loss. They in fact hope and prefer consuming green tea extracts or supplements instead of drinking cups of green tea every day, to enjoy its weight loss benefits.

There are some supplements available like green tea weight loss pills which are actually a concentrated green tea extract. However it’s not sure how effective they are at inducing weight loss as it depends on the individual and the brand of pills.

It’s better going through some weight loss forums and green tea weight loss reviews to gather feedback about its effects by people who have used different types of green tea supplements. Of course, there are cases where people have experienced faster weight loss after taking green tea weight loss pills, which shows that the right pills, brand and lifestyle can in fact lead to green tea weight loss benefits.

Some green tea recipes for weight loss

If you are bored drinking your green tea hot, plain and without calorie-ridden cream and sugars, why not try these diet green tea weight loss recipes! These green tea smoothie for weight loss recipes not only help you lose weight, but also make you feel full and satisfied after drinking them. Though these smoothie recipes may seem to be calorie laden, they are full of good calories which help you lose weight.

Mango avocado green tea smoothie

Try this refreshing green tea smoothie to amp up your morning cup of tea. It’s also a better mid-summer drink when you may not enjoy drinking hot drinks. You first have to brew a cup of green tea as it’s the base of your drink, with the green tea benefits for weight loss. Don’t worry about its taste mixing with the taste of other ingredients. As long as you don’t brew too strong a cup of tea, its taste smoothly infuses with other ingredients.

Pour the green tea into a blender with a cup of fresh or frozen mango chunks, half a medium avocado, a cup of spinach and half a tablespoon of coconut oil. Blend everything together with a dash of sea salt and if required, a little honey or maple syrup. Your delicious green tea smoothie is ready!

Banana spinach green tea smoothie

Here is another smoothie recipe using green tea. As above, you need to brew and cool a cup of green tea then blend it with half banana, half cup green grapes, half cup spinach, 2 tsp honey and a cup of ice cubes till smooth, in a blender. You can add some cold water, if needed, to get your desired consistency. Drink immediately.

Besides green tea smoothies, you can also drink your regular cup of iced green tea with the added taste of perhaps lemon grass and ginger or lavender. You just have to add a stalk of crushed lemon grass and 1-2 slices of ginger while making your normal cup of green tea, add some honey for taste if needed, and refrigerate for 5-10 minutes before drinking. You can also do the same using dried lavender blossoms instead of lemon grass and ginger.

Besides these recipes, you can also add half a slice of lemon to the original version of green tea for better taste and zest. The lemon not only gives taste to your green tea, but its vitamin C increases the amount of catechins in the body to absorb and also offers increased antioxidants benefits.

How to drink green tea for weight loss

  • For best effects, drink your green tea everyday as a daily habit. You can perhaps find ways to create a healthy tea drinking habit by perhaps scheduling a ‘tea-time’ everyday. You could perhaps drink a cup of green tea in the morning, one in the afternoon and then a third cup in the evening.
  • It’s better avoiding drinking green tea early in the morning on an empty stomach as its caffeine can make you feel dehydrated. This in turn may release gastric acid which can upset your stomach and even trigger ulcers. It’s also better to avoid drinking green tea at meal time as it reduces the body’s thiamin absorption levels where its deficiency can lead to beriberi.
  • It’s helpful drinking green tea before exercising as it improves your performance, improves the fat burning in your body and also speed up your metabolism. So you end up burning more calories after exercise than you would have without green tea.
  • If you have always been drinking coffee in the morning, it’s time you substituted it for green tea.
  • If you don’t like the idea of drinking hot green tea on hot days, why not brew a pot of tea in advance and chill it to drink as iced tea? You could perhaps brew your iced tea the night before so that you have a pitcher of iced green tea ready in the fridge for the next day.
  • There is also the option of buying an iced tea maker which makes instant iced tea for you in a matter of minutes. It works just like an electric teakettle where you have to fill it with water, add ice as per the manufacturer’s instructions and your tea leaves or bags. Switch the iced tea maker on and you have iced green tea ready to drink in a matter of minutes!
  • Instead of taking a few sodas to work, why not fill your large thermos with your favorite iced green tea to drink throughout the day?
  • While it’s a fact that green tea helps regulate your body metabolism, you can start drinking tea to fight off any food cravings you get. So whenever you get a craving to eat something sweet or fatty and unhealthy, just drinking a warm cup of tea helps settle your stomach and avoids these unnecessary temptations.
  • Similarly, when you go out for lunch and dinner, ask for unsweetened iced tea instead of sugary or diet sodas.

Warnings and benefits of green tea weight loss

Green tea is not only famous for its weight loss benefits, but also for other health benefits like reducing heart disease and some types of cancer. It is also helpful at reducing inflammatory bowel disease related inflammations and is helpful at controlling blood sugar levels and thus benefits diabetics too.

However you need to be careful about drinking too much of green tea if you have a history of heart problems, anxiety or high blood pressure because of the caffeine in green tea. There is the risk of the caffeine in green tea interfering with different types of medications like blood thinners, blood pressure medication, antibiotics and even chemotherapy.

It’s better to first consult your doctor before drinking green tea if you take these medications or suffer from these conditions.

Not a weight loss miracle

Of course, you cannot expect to lose weight overnight just by drinking green tea. You need to also learn how to balance your tea habits with a healthy diet. Moreover, if you only start drinking green tea but don’t change your diet much, there’s little chance of your sticking to it.

You get faster and better green tea weight loss results if you follow a healthy diet by limiting your fat and carb intake, consuming more proteins and including some exercise like a little everyday walk around the block!

Look for only high quality tea as they are more potent in function and contain fewer impurities. They also have a lower chance of suffering from the side effects of drinking too much tea. While it’s best drinking 3-5 cups of green tea per day, if you are caffeine sensitive, even drinking one cup a day can help you recharge and keep you slim.

Remember, drinking green tea for weight loss doesn’t involve drinking copious amounts of the tea one day, thinking that it will help you lose weight overnight. You need to develop the habit of incorporating green tea to your everyday routine and make it a part of your daily active and healthy lifestyle.

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