(NaturalNews) While many people turn to extreme dieting measures and toxic prescription meds for weight loss, the answer may be as simple as brewing up a cup of green tea. If you're wondering, "Does green tea really help you lose weight?" the answer is a resounding "Yes!" Read on to learn about the many health and weight loss benefits of incorporating green tea into your diet.
Green Tea and Weight Loss
Research has long indicated that green tea fights heart disease, cancer and other diseases. But its fat-fighting powers may have been underestimated until a 2005 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that people who drank tea fortified with green tea extract lost more weight than those who simply drank regular oolong tea. (1)
Why? Even though oolong tea, black tea and green tea come from the same plant, green tea leaves are fermented differently. Because they don't oxidize prior to steaming and drying, green tea leaves retain more beneficial polyphenols called catechins. (2) Not only do these have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers, but they also trigger a trim-down by increasing the body's calorie-burning process.
In particular, a catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) has the ability to accelerate weight loss. When combined with green tea's natural caffeine content, EGCG stimulates the central nervous system and transforms fat into fuel in the blood stream in a process known as thermogenesis. While caffeine and EGCG each cause thermogenesis on their own, they have an enhanced effect when combined.
While everyone's metabolism is different, one fact remains consistent: Drinking green tea can kick your metabolism into overdrive. In fact, research from the University of Chicago suggests that drinking green tea may result in as much as a 21 percent reduction in body weight. These results have been attributed to everything from decreased appetite to green tea's ability to regulate excess triglycerides and help stabilize blood sugar. (3)
Green Tea and Exercise
While exercising and eating right are an essential part of any weight loss program, green tea also adds a beneficial boost to your fitness regimen. Catechins stimulate muscles and fatty acid consumption, slowing down the rate at which your body uses carbohydrates. The longer these carbohydrates stay in your body, the longer you will be able to exercise and burn calories. (4)
Incorporating Green Tea Into Your Diet
The benefits of drinking green tea are not affected by the addition of natural flavors, so if plain green tea doesn't satisfy your palette, feel free to add a flavor boost. Whether you prefer pomegranate or crave cranberry, you can enjoy the flavor you love without sacrificing the benefits of green tea.
Artificial sweeteners and sugars, meanwhile, can add calories and chemicals while interfering with the performance of catechins. Steer clear of these to maximize weight loss.
While the flavor of tea may not matter, the brand of tea does. Because green tea is not a significant source of vitamins or minerals, it's important to seek out selections which incorporate all natural ingredients. As preservatives can also cancel out the health benefits of green tea, avoid these as well.
And keep in mind that, while tea generally doesn't go bad, its antioxidant powers will diminish over time, so use tea bags and loose tea within six months.
Some Like It Hot
While there's nothing quite like a refreshing glass of iced tea on a hot summer day, think twice before chilling your next glass. Even though hot and iced tea share all the same ingredients, ice may dilute the effects of green tea. For the most slenderizing sipping, stick with hot tea.
No Time For Tea?
On-the-go types who don't have time to sit and sip can still get in on the weight loss benefits of green tea. In fact, when added to water, green tea extract can deliver the same sought-after weight loss as up to 10 cups of green tea.
Although drinking green tea may not provide the immediate results of prescription and OTC weight loss products, it offers beneficial and lasting lifestyle change. Even better? It does so without compromising your most valuable commodity: your health.