Green tea originated in China and was first used for its medicinal properties. It has been considered a staple in Chinese diets for over 4000 years so there must be some benefits. Luckily it has made its way to other countries around the world so we can all benefit from it – one of the major rewards is that green tea helps you lose weight. It is different from black and oolong teas in that it has not gone through the same withering and oxidation processes.
Losing weight is something so many of us struggle with on a daily basis. There is not a magic potion or miracle that can shed those excess pounds. However, enough exercise and a healthy diet can assist us to reach our weight loss goals. We are all aware that we should be eating our fruits and vegetables and whole grains but did you know that drinking green tea helps you lose weight and could also lead to you your success?
Green tea is rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, B2 and E as well as potassium, calcium, and phosphorus and therefore, one of the healthiest drinks you can ingest. It has next to no calories (literally one calorie in a cup!) which is essential for losing weight. It also contains less caffeine than the coffee you are regularly drinking.
So how does drinking green tea help you reach your weight loss targeted goals?
#1. Boosting Metabolism
Green tea is known to speed up your metabolism because of an antioxidant called catechin. When we speed up our metabolism, we begin to burn more calories and consequently, will lose that dreaded excess weight. (Of course, you need to be burning more calories than you are consuming!).
Often along a weight loss journey, we will hit a plateau – a period of time when the weight does not seem to be coming off as easily or quickly – and drinking green tea can give our metabolism that extra little boost.
#2. Losing Belly Fat
Many people, especially women after having children, can have an excess amount of fat around their bellies. It is difficult to lose and although it is impossible to only lose fat in one area specifically, drinking green tea helps you lose weight and more fat more quickly.
As I mentioned previously, the catechin speeds up your metabolism but it also increases the release of fat from surrounding fat cells. And if you find that you have fat around your midsection, there are obviously more fat cells and the tea will aid in reducing them. Reducing extra weight around your middle is critical in reducing heart disease and stroke, as well as keeping your organs healthy.
#3. Burning More Calories
Green tea increases your metabolism which, in turn, burns more calories and can result in some weight loss. Studies have shown it can increase your ability to burn more fat, especially when combined with exercise. Thus, green tea helps you lose weight.
When you begin to incorporate green tea into your daily diet, you can burn up to 17% more fat! Isn’t that incredible? Now combine it with a brisk walk, or a game of volleyball with a few friends and the results could be even greater! Why would you let such an opportunity pass you by?
#4. Reducing Bloating
Often when we ingest certain foods like broccoli or grains, we can feel bloated. Our pants feel a tad tighter than usual and we just generally feel uncomfortable. Try drinking a cup of green tea to reduce this bloating. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that help with this issue.
#5. Sleeping Better
Sleep is crucial to our overall health, both mental and physical. The effects of little sleep are detrimental to almost every aspect of our lives but especially so when we are attempting to lose weight. Green tea contains an amino acid called theanine which is known to help reduce stress and consequently, is a food that can help us sleep better. One word of caution though – green tea contains caffeine and probably should be avoided before your bedtime.
#6. Increasing Energy
Green tea contains caffeine which can help to increase your energy when you are feeling a bit lethargic. And when we have a bit more energy, we tend to move around more, burning more calories. As an additional benefit, it can make our brain function better. It makes us more alert and can increase our mental stamina, ability to problem solve, and productivity.
Many people enjoy their cup of tea with some cream and sugar. Be aware of this pitfall if you are trying to lose weight as not only does it add a great number of nutritionally-empty calories, the sugar is also harmful to your teeth.
Green tea is also beneficial for diabetics as it can regulate your blood sugar levels but with that added cream and sugar, you could actually be doing more damage. If you dislike the flavour of the tea all on its own, do not avoid it as it has far too many benefits. Adding some lemon makes it even healthier while improving the taste but if that is still not enough to convince you, you can opt for green tea supplements.
Overall, green tea is a great addition to anyone’s diet of healthy foods and adequate exercise. If you are choosing to drink it and to reap its complete benefits, you should:
- Try to drink it after breakfast,
- 30 minutes before exercising,
- An hour before and after meals
- 45 minutes before bedtime.
There are times that you should also avoid drinking green tea:
- Do not consume it very early in the morning on an empty stomach. It can be hard on your stomach without food in your belly.
- Also do not take it during mealtime – drink plain water.
The timing is important and limits your intake to three to four cups a day. It can improve your ability to lose weight by speeding up your metabolism and burning more calories. It also keeps you hydrated so you do not experience the effects of dehydration. Green tea helps you lose weight and will allow you to become a healthier person overall.