Drinking tea for weight loss might seem counterintuitive. Tea contains caffeine, which can speed up your metabolism and boost fat burning. But drinking certain teas, like green tea, which is high in caffeine, can even enable you to lose weight faster! This article will share how tea can help with weight loss as well as how much tea should you drink for weight loss.
What is the best tea to drink to lose weight?
Yes, it is possible to lose weight with tea, especially if you drink it regularly as part of a healthy diet. For one thing, by swapping out high-calorie drinks such as many coffee drinks, alcoholic drinks, and soda, you can cut down hundreds of calories every day with little effort. You can also take advantage of teas’ many health benefits, including its metabolism-boosting powers. Several types of tea are typically mentioned when it comes to losing weight with tea, including black, green, oolong, and pu-erh tea.
All teas, including black, green, oolong, dark, and white tea, come from the same plant — Camellia sinensis. The difference in the taste of the teas is due to different treatments to the tea. Black tea is completely oxidized, and oolong tea is partially oxidized. Both teas go through a natural chemical reaction, which change the taste and color of the teas. Green and white teas are not oxidized. Oolong tea is in between black and green tea in regards to its color and strength.
How to Lose Weight With Tea: Pu’erh Tea
San Francisco’s got a hotspot for weight-loss advice: the tiny Vital Tea Leaf shop in its famous Chinatown district. On a typical afternoon, the narrow storefront is packed with locals, tourists, celebrities, even the occasional TV crew — all clamoring for the attention of resident tea guru Uncle Gee, a guy known for “sweetening” each patron’s drink with some pretty amazing advice. He can tell you which variety of tea is traditionally used to cure a hangover, insomnia, even high cholesterol. “But most people ask, ‘Uncle Gee, which tea will make me lose weight?’ ” reveals the lively 83-year-old, who still goes for a six-mile run and a four-mile swim most days before work.
“Tea makes you healthy, gives you energy, and makes you live long. Drink the right tea, and it will dissolve fat. That’s why Chinese people are so thin — because we’ve been drinking tea for 5,000 years!” Fear not, he adds; it takes mere days, not centuries, to see noticeable benefits from drinking more tea. In fact, Uncle Gee’s devotees report dissolving 10, 25, even 40 pounds of fat in a matter of months. And they each went home with the same tips Uncle Gee reveals right here.
Uncle Gee’s slimming tea regimen
“Pu-erh tea is the kind that breaks down fat best,” reveals Uncle Gee, who says all this tea wisdom has been passed down through his family for generations. “This is what Chinese families have on the table during their meals. I tell people, ‘If you want to lose weight, drink it with every meal while you eat.’” Benefits don’t seem to be as dramatic if you sip pu-erh — pronounced “pooh-air” — on an empty stomach, he notes.
Uncle Gee suggests at least 2 cups of pu-erh per meal. One brand we recommend trying: Yunnan Pu-erh Tea ($15.99, Amazon.com). Uncle Gee also encourages you to sip tea between meals — particularly if you struggle with excess snacking. “Green tea cuts appetite the most,” he says. Enjoy at least three cups of the stuff throughout the day — regular or decaf, if you prefer — and your urge to eat will not only shrink, you’ll get a nice metabolism boost, too!
What about dieting? Uncle Gee keeps it simple: He says you should avoid excess grease, and stop eating when you feel full.
Pu-erh Tea and Green Tea for Weight Loss
Scientists confirm that, like all tea, both pu-erh and green tea contain antioxidants called EGCGs that have been shown to boost metabolism by as much as 6 percent. Plus, caffeine in tea can help amp up calorie burn by another 4 percent! And there’s so much more.
Pu-erh is a fat fighter! Kunming University in China began research to identify the slimming properties in pu-erh, a traditional remedy for weight problems. What did they find? The special fermentation and aging processes used to make pu-erh create a natural chemical called theabrownin that’s not found in other teas. And early evidence suggests it does exactly what Uncle Gee says. “It stimulates faster fat metabolism,” confirms San Diego tea expert Pam Brar, M.D. Pu-erh was also found to be particularly rich in a substance called gallic acid, which prevents some of the fat calories in the food we eat from ever being absorbed. No wonder Japanese researchers found that dieters who drank pu-erh lost more weight than other tea drinkers and resisted weight gain after they stopped dieting!
Green Tea Targets Weight-Gain Hormones
Minimally processed green tea contains an intense concentration of antioxidants that have been shown in preliminary tests to improve levels of the hunger hormone leptin, notes Dr. Brar. Better yet, she adds, these same antioxidants seem to “help blunt the rise of blood sugar and lower levels of the hormone insulin.” As insulin levels drop, green tea drinkers will experience fewer carb cravings and burn belly fat a whole lot faster. Numerous university studies show that green tea — which boasts more antioxidants than any variety — can help a dieter shrink her waist three, four, even 25 times faster than folks who skip it!
We first read about Heather Dudley on SparkPeople.com, where she shared the inspiring story of her recent visit to Vital Tea Leaf. “They made me fall in love with tea. I went from drinking very little to six to eight cups a day,” reports the Georgia mom, 32, who happened upon the shop while vacationing. “I’d been trying to get in better shape for a long time, and tea gave me the leg up I needed. Now I feel better, eat better — and I’m pretty sure I burn fat faster. I’ve lost 27 pounds!” Heather also confided that — while purist Uncle Gee prefers his tea hot — she often drinks hers over ice. So we had Woman’s World readers try the refreshing trick, too. Sure enough, whether they followed Uncle Gee’s tea regimen using hot or iced drinks, they still got spectacular results, shedding seven, nine, even 11 pounds in one week without limiting portions. When we told Uncle Gee about this, he was delighted but not surprised. “Mother Nature made tea for us,” he says. “It’s better than any diet pill!”
Drinking tea may improve your health
Drinking tea has many health benefits. Here’s how a daily cup (or two!) can be good for you, along with healthy teas you should try.
No matter what the season, tea can be a tasty beverage since it can be served iced or hot.
But its benefits go far beyond refreshment. There is plenty of research showing that drinking tea can actually improve your health.
A recent study, published in European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, involved more than 100,000 adults in China and found those who regularly drank tea were less likely to develop atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease or die prematurely from any cause — particularly stroke — compared to others during a seven-year follow-up.
The link was especially strong among habitual tea drinkers — those who enjoyed the beverage at least three times a week. Green tea seemed to have a stronger effect than black tea.
Based on the findings, a 50-year-old frequent tea drinker might develop heart disease almost a year-and-a-half later or live about a year longer than someone who never or seldom drank tea, the study authors wrote.
Japanese secrets to longevity and happiness
The results suggest habitual tea consumption may be considered “as an overall health-promoting lifestyle behavior,” wrote Vanessa Bianconi, a researcher at the University of Perugia in Italy and lead author of an editorial accompanying the new research.
Tea’s ability to lower blood pressure may be why it could reduce a person’s risk of dying of a stroke, the editorial noted.
Tea, especially green tea, is a rich source of flavonoids, bioactive compounds that can lessen oxidative stress, relieve inflammation, and provide other health benefits, the study authors noted. They cautioned more research was needed to see whether the results in Chinese adults would also apply to people outside east Asia.
The top health benefits of tea
Which type you drink can make a difference. All non-herbal teas are made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The amount of time the leaves are processed determines whether you end up with a green, black or oolong tea.
The green teas are the least processed and tend to have the highest amounts of polyphenols, and the only type that contain the polyphenol, catechin, which is why many studies have been done using only green teas. Certain herbal teas are known for their medicinal values, including soothing the digestive system.
1. Tea contains antioxidants.
Antioxidants work to prevent the body’s version of rust and thus help to keep us young and protect us from damage from pollution. Load up on antioxidants with a white tea, which is less processed than black or green tea so it retains more beneficial antioxidants.
Vahdam Himalayan Imperial White Tea
2. Tea has less caffeine than coffee.
Herbal blends have no caffeine, while traditional teas have less than 50% of what typically is found in coffee. That means you can consume it without those pesky effects on your nervous system, says Leslie Bonci, nutritionist and owner of Active Eating Advice. If you’re trying to switch from coffee to tea, try a chicory root tea like Teeccino, which has a mouth feel and flavor similar to coffee. Chicory root is also known to help reduce stress and is a prebiotic so may be helpful to your gut.
Bonus: this tea will give you a kick of energy without the caffeine.
Teeccino Herbal Coffee Tee-Bags
3. Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke
“There’s a lot of literature out there on tea and heart health,” said Anna Ardine, clinical nutrition manager at Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “This is a health effect for which there is the strongest evidence.”
In fact, a study published in 2016 that combined data from a host of earlier reports found a nearly 20% reduction in the risk of heart attack and a 35% reduced risk of stroke among those who drank one to three cups of green tea a day. Those who drank four or more cups of green tea daily had a 32% reduction in the risk of having a heart attack and lower levels of LDL cholesterol. Four cups of green tea may keep you running to the bathroom, but you can get the same benefit from drinking one cup of matcha tea, which is made from ground green tea leaves and is said to be the nutritional equivalent of 10 cups of regular green tea.
Starter Matcha 100% Organic Matcha
4. Tea may help with weight loss
5. Tea may help protect your bones
Data from recent animal studies has shown that green tea may prevent bone loss. Moringa, a plant that’s native to South Asia, has been known for its medicinal properties and is now quickly becoming a mainstream superfood. With more calcium than milk, as well as iron, vitamin A and K, moringa tea is a great addition to help keep those bones strong.
The Republic Of Tea Organic Moringa Superherb Herbal Tea
6. Tea may keep your smile bright
“Japanese researchers have found that tea can decrease tooth loss,” Ardine said. “It changes the pH in your mouth when you drink it and that may be what prevents cavities.” Beyond that, tea, unlike many other beverages does not appear to erode tooth enamel, Bonci said.
Green tea vs black tea benefits: Why does it matter?
To begin with, all kinds of tea — black and green — are picked from a leafy green shrub in the same family as Camellia plants (Camellia sinensis).
However, to make black tea, the new leaves are fermented and cured. This breaks down most of its active compounds.
Green tea, on the other hand, is prepared by lightly steaming the leaves after picking. This not only preserves the active compounds, it also destroys the enzymes that would break them down rapidly.
Why go green with your tea?
Green tea has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to facilitate digestion, help heal wounds, promote heart health, stabilise blood sugar, improve digestion and boost mental function.
Now, this ancient tradition also has a strong scientific grounding with thousands of studies proving that green tea contains antioxidants (that are up to eight times more powerful than vitamin C) and other substances that help lower cholesterol and protect against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, gum disease, and bacterial and viral infections.
It also helps calm the nervous system by reducing levels of the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine, while countering the toxic effects of smoking.
What about green tea for weight loss? Is there any science behind this claim?
Yes. Several actually: Green tea has been shown to inhibit lipolysis, the process by which dietary fats (triglycerides) are broken down in the body. This prevents absorption of fat, thereby ensuring you don’t gain much weight.
Besides this, the catechins in green tea inhibit an important enzyme — catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) — that speeds up metabolism, thereby stepping up the calorie burn.
Do you get the same benefits with flavoured green teas?
The addition of flavours like pomegranate, apple, cranberry etc do not reduce the weight loss benefits of green tea.
However, if the flavouring includes sugar, the additional calories will certainly cancel out the green tea’s weight loss potential.
Is cold green tea good for weight loss?
Chemically speaking, there is no difference between hot green tea and its iced version. However, keep in mind that iced teas are usually over-diluted with water, which impacts their weight loss benefits.
Does the brand or variety of green tea matter?
Absolutely! There can be a difference in the quality of tea leaves and the number of additional, unnecessary ingredients that may mess up your green tea’s benefits for weight loss.
To reap the maximum benefits, look for brands that use all-natural ingredients and have no artificial preservatives.
Also, try and opt for these two varieties of green tea whenever possible:
- Matcha: Here, the green tea leaves are ground into a fine powder, which you can whisk into water for tea. Since you consume the actual leaves, you get more antioxidants than from other varietals.
- Hojicha: This is made from green tea leaves that are roasted until they’re dark brown. Because it’s picked at the end of the season and roasted at a higher heat than other teas, hojicha contains lower levels of caffeine.
What’s the best way to brew a cup of green tea to help lose weight?
Ideally, skip the tea bag and opt for fresh leaves.
That’s because, with green tea, you want to pour hot water directly over the leaves to extract their essence. Using a tea bag reduces the potency of the chemical reaction.
If bagged tea is the only option, cut open the bag and pour water over the contents directly. As for the brewing bit itself, don’t let the water come to a full boil. Instead, pour the water over the tea right before it boils and then let the tea steep for 3-4 minutes.
PS: Making matcha is a different species of prep altogether, involving a bowl and a whisk. Read about that here.